Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ivy's Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

A quick, tasty meal, perfect for the middle of the week.

Stir fry is a very forgiving dish with a lot of room for creativity, considering the name refers more to the way it's prepared than what's actually in it. Considering this particular recipe featured my favorite protein (besides cheddar cheese) and my favorite vegetable (no joke, steamed broccoli with nothing on it is absolutely my favorite vegetable side dish to pretty much anything), I knew I had to give this recipe a whirl and see where it took me.

To make it all the more appealing, I'm really trying hard to eat healthier this year, and unlike most things on this blog, eating this for dinner won't set you back for the whole rest of the week diet wise.

You all know I'm not big into dieting - seriously, take a look around and see how much baking I do. Some fad diets actually actively concern me, because I do a lot of reading about prisoners of war in the Pacific theater of World War II for academic purposes, and that involves reading a lot of discussion of various vitamin deficiencies and the horrible illnesses that go right along with them. It kind of makes things like juice cleanses seem even more unappealing than they already did!

But you're not here for soap boxing about dieting. This is mostly just a lead up to say that while I don't really agree with a lot of people's attitudes towards food, I am definitely interested in eating better without sacrificing flavor or quality of food, and one of the ways I think works pretty well if you're willing to put in the effort is Weight Watchers. My mom's been working with the program for several years, and has cooked a variety of Weight Watcher recipes for us, most of which have been pretty tasty. There have been a few dingers for me - there was one soup in particular which wasn't filling at all and left me craving pretty much anything we had on hand to shove in my mouth - but for the most part, the food's been good and felt like a real meal, even if it's sort of diet food.

This recipe comes from their official website and can be found here! It's a fairly straight forward recipe, and begins with combining two tablespoons of cornstarch and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Three quarters of a pound of sliced sirloin beef should then be tossed and coated in the mixture. You can cut your sirloin yourself, or use the pre-cut stir fry strips sold by your grocery store.

Once they're coated, the beef gets added to two teaspoons of hot canola oil in a wok, and then gets cooked until it's lightly browned, at which point it's set aside in a bowl for later.

Without cleaning your wok, add one half cup of low sodium chicken broth to your wok and stir to loosen up the bits of fat and startch still stuck to the pan. Add the broccoli, cover the wok and cook over medium-high heat, stirring the broccoli occasionally to make sure it's cooked to be crisp but tender.

Once it's done, add two teaspoons of minced garlic, a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger and a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes, or more if you want the dish to be spicier. This gets stir fried with the broccoli for about a minute.

In a cup or bowl, combine a quarter of a cup of water, a quarter cup of soy sauce, a half cup of chicken stock, and a half tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir it into the pan and simmer it until slightly thickened.

Add the beef back to the pan, toss it...

And you're done! We served ours over some steamed brown rice.

While this didn't take me the promised half hour to prepare - I always take a little longer with a recipe I've never made before, and I still haven't really mastered the art of making dinner in a timely fashion - it was definitely a lot faster than other recipes I've made, and made pretty much the perfect amount for four people. We didn't have leftovers, but no one went to bed hungry or needing a snack after dinner.

This definitely isn't the spiciest stir fry I've ever had and can definitely be taken up a notch if you're into very spicy food, but it was flavorful and tasty. The relatively few ingredients made this much easier to prepare than other stir fries can be, especially since my beef and broccoli came pre-chopped, so overall, this was definitely a good way to get your feet wet making dinner on a week night and trying out a stir fry.

Next time we make one, I'll be sure to talk more about the history behind making yummy dishes like this! Unsurprisingly, there's a lot to cover.

Add this to the list of things we will be making again!


  1. *From Julie's doll mom, Sharry:*

    I love beef and broccoli! It's one of my fave things to order at a Chinese restaurant. And yes, next to brussel sprouts, broccoli is my fave veggie, too! And I hope the next time you have a Julie recipe, you'll be using that Brady Bunch cookbook that's on the table next to Ivy's dinner!

    1. I'm definitely breaking it out at some point! I just don't know when. My grandma got it for my mom's birthday last year. :)