Confession: I’m kinda obsessed with Pioneer Woman.
I realize she doesn’t necessarily cook the healthiest of meals (she uses butter almost as much as Paula Deen), but damn, those dishes look goooooood. While I was exploring the recipes on her blog, I came across a pretty simple and yummy-looking Beef and Broccoli recipe.
Considering the fact that Nick and I order Chinese take-out all the time, I figured this would be an excellent meal to try – and if it turned out awful, we could always order in. J
I used marinated skirt steak for Nick’s and marinated tempeh for my dish – luckily, both of our versions turned out phenomenally. I thought I had way more broccoli on hand than I actually did, so I compensated by adding some mushrooms and asparagus. Now, the original recipe calls for Oyster Sauce – but I can’t eat that so I made my own version that is vegetarian and shellfish-free.
Tempeh with Broccoli/Beef with Broccoli
- 1/2 lb skirt steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
- 1 lb broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
- handful of sliced mushrooms
- 6 asparagus spear sliced into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef
- 3 tablespoons “oyster sauce” (recipe follows)
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
- 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (just mix)
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinade for 10 minutes at room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for “oyster sauce” in one bowl and the stir-fry sauce in another bowl.
- In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus for 3 minutes. Then add broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.
- Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and tempeh/steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.
- Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.
- Serve over a bed of brown rice.
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu, drained
- 1 tbp. Light Soy Sauce
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
- Mix all ingredients together in a shallow bowl.
- Once the tofu has drained, slice five 1-inch strips and toss them in the marinade.
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Throw strips on a medium-high heat grill pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
Marinated Tomato Salad ingredients:
- 6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
- 4 green onions
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Handful fresh parsley leaves, lightly chopped
- 12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Marinated Tomato Salad instructions:
- Cut the tomatoes into 4 wedges, then cut the wedges in half and add to a bowl. Lop off the tops of the green onions, then slice the white and mostly light green parts really thin. Add to the tomatoes.
- Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, dash of salt and pepper to a jar. Screw on the lid and shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss.
- Add the herbs and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Wilted Spinach with Fried Garlic ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 pound spinach, washed and stemmed
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Wilted Spinach with Fried Garlic instructions:
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and stir until golden, about 30 seconds.
- Add greens in batches, if necessary, and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
I’ve never claimed to be a “healthy” vegetarian. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a carbohydrate fiend. I simply would not be able to live without my pasta and bread. However, eating a strictly carbohydrate-based diet will undoubtedly cause weight gain and all sorts of health issues. But I must admit that dressing up some simple veggies, like these yummy Green Beans above, with some parm and truffle oil makes what you used to try to hide under mashed potatoes, your favorite option on the plate. I got this recipe from Skinny Taste, and the recipe claims to be kid-approved; I totally believe it. I think we may have just solved every mother’s crisis when butting heads with their toddler at the kitchen table. Kids: Eat your veggies!
12 oz green beans, trimmed (make sure they are dry)
2 tsp truffle oil
kosher salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum for easy clean-up.
- Lay green beans out on the baking sheet and drizzle oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss to evenly coat.
- Spread them out on the sheet so that they all lay flat and place on the lower third section of your oven. Bake 10 minutes, shake the pan to turn; bake 5 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Oh. My. Goodness. This was so delicious, if I do say so myself. Nick and I recently dined at North, in Arcadia – it quickly became one of our faves. They have an appetizer called the “Bread and Cheese Plate” – when we ordered it we figured we would be getting a selection of cheeses, some olives, chutney and bread; but what we got would be so much better.
While sipping on a lovely red wine, our jaws dropped to the floor when we saw a cast-iron skillet of cheesy goodness and beautifully grilled artisan bread slices. Needless to say, we were in heaven. This dish was so delish, that I couldn’t stop thinking about it days after we had been there. Naturally, I took a stab at creating it at home and it was my favorite dish that I’ve made to date.
I borrowed this recipe from Ina Garten, but added some twists to it. My recipe is below.
- 1 pound Italian Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, rind removed and 1-inch-diced
- 1 pound smoked mozzarella, 1-inch-diced
- 1/4 cup white truffle oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 crusty French baguette, grilled and sliced
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.
Distribute the cubes of Fontina and Smoked Mozzarella evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle on the truffle oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and truffle oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.
Serve the baked cheese family-style-right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread for everyone to dip.