Orange Beef(or less) Stir-fry

This meal is so bright, so delicious, so easy, so filling, and so not a meat dish.  I used the Gardein Beefless tips for this normally beefy stir fry.  However, this will be my last meat substitute for a while here.  I have been doing much reading on the vegan meat substitute industry and I am no longer sold that is is necessarily the best way to go meatless.  Here is one such article on the state of quinoa and how the Westerner’s taste for this grain is driving prices through the roof and destroying the nutrition of Bolivians.  I am guilty of adding to this problem and know that eating locally grown and raised foods is a much smarter option in terms of the environment, and this meal is far from locally grown!  This has been heavy on my conscience – I feel better after venting a bit.

Usually Eric makes the stir fry dishes, so I actually snagged this one from an old issue of Every Day Foods. It was nice and simple to follow.

I guess the thing that always snags me about stir fry dishes is the sauce.  How much is too much and how much is too little?  Those bottles of pre-made sauce are just too easy…   This sauce was easy though – orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Honestly, I would leave out the sugar next time, but I am not big on sugary stir-fries.

The veggies are two of my favorites – red bell peppers and broccoli.

The only hassle about this dish is worth the hassle – cook the broccoli until green but still crisp.  Remove it from the pan, cook the rest of the items, and return – this way your broccoli does not turn into a gray, mushy mess.

I added red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce for the 5 star flavor.

 It made a large amount of food – at least 4 servings and was excellent reheated.  I ate it today for lunch while I was home again with sick Greta.  Poor girl has pneumonia now, but a trip to the doctor and the pharmacy hopefully will kick this sickness quickly.

Orange Beef Stir-fry – from Every Day Foods

1. Cook 1 cup of long-grain rice according to the package.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, toss 1 pound (top or bottom round steak, cut into strips, 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick) beef (or 1 bag Gardein beefless tips) with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.  Season with red pepper flakes or ground pepper.  Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, combine 1 bunch broccoli, florets broken with 1 cup water.  Bring to boil over medium-high.  Cook partially covered until broccoli is green and crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer to another dish.  Discard water and wipe skillet dry.

3.  In same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable or wok oil over high.  When pan is very hot, add half the beef; cook until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to plate with broccoli.  Repeat with remaining beef but leave beef in skillet.  If using Gardein beefless tips, cook entire bag until thawed, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.

4.  Return reserved broccoli mixture to skillet; add orange juice mixture and 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips (with seeds and ribs removed).  Continue to cook over high heat until sauce thickens, 2 to 4 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Someday when I have a bigger kitchen and more storage…

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