Hello and happy Monday to you, I hope you had a nice weekend! It was grey, drizzly, and dreary here (I wanted to put the fire on SO bad!) but the weather couldn’t keep us away from the pumpkin patch – we were running out of time to go picking! (⬇️ best attempt at a family photo. Way more interested in drinking apple cider than smiling for Mom. So it goes!)
That said, on Saturday we headed back down to Wills Family Orchard for their Apple and Pumpkin Festival. The wind was whippy, and we were covered in a fine layer of mist, but it was nothing a warm cup of apple cider couldn’t fix. Besides, the weather kind of matched the Halloween mood – muwahaha!
Lincoln played in the corn pit, visited with the goat and chickens, then we found a few kittens including one that matched my shirt. Is there anything sweeter?! Maybe Lincoln slowly tip toeing towards him while saying “here, little fella!“? Cuteness overload. ?
Last stop was the pumpkin patch! ?
Of course Lincoln’s perfect pumpkin was located at the veeeery end of the patch. ? “Pwease Mom?”
We left with a wagon load of pumpkins, one for each member of the family including baby brother, who will be with us by Halloween (eek!) Can’t wait to dig into these babies in a couple weeks – the scent of freshly carved pumpkin always takes me back to my brothers and myself crowded around the kitchen table covered in newspapers directing my Dad on how to carve the face we wanted into our pumpkins, while my Mom stood at the kitchen sink separating seeds from slop to roast with lots of butter and salt. Ahhh, memories!
No roasted pumpkin seeds on the menu today (though maybe I’ll do a post in the next week or so?) just irresistible, incredibly delicious, Lighter Broccoli Beef! Because who needs gluten, fat, and sugar-laden take out when you can make it much healthier, and gluten-free, in less than 30 minutes at home?
This Broccoli Beef recipe is actually from my ebook, Gluten-Free for Beginners: 30 Day Meal Plan and Guide for Gluten-Free Success and of the 10 recipes in there, it’s one of my top two favorites (I’m sharing a riff on my other favorite this Wednesday!) I’m coming up on my 3 year anniversary of having to going gluten-free after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2013, and was revisiting some areas of the ebook, when I decided I just couldn’t keep this recipe from all of you – it’s too good to not share!
Thinly sliced steak and crisp-tender broccoli florets are smothered in a luscious stir fry sauce that’s the perfect balance of savory, sweet, and tangy. Honest to goodness this Lighter Broccoli Beef might be my favorite take out fake out dish on IGE! I love that the entire recipe, which feeds four, calls for just 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/4 cup brown sugar when I can guar-an-freaking-tee you a small take out container of the stuff would contain at least double that. Raise your hand if a small take out container has EVER fed four people?
(You better not be raising your hand.)
Ordering Chinese food from the neighborhood take out joint doesn’t exist when you have to eat gluten-free, and at the places it is offered the dish costs an arm and a leg. We’re talking $15+ for an entree. BLARG! This Lighter Broccoli Beef is one that I whip up whenever a take out craving strikes and it totally satisfies. The sauce is made from pantry staples so all I usually need to buy is the beef and broccoli. Easy, quick, inexpensive (compared to take out, anyway!) and seriously delicious – do not wait another night to make it!
Start with 1-1/4lb flank or sirloin steak. I used to be able to find flank steak in the $5-8 range but that hasn’t been the case over the past couple of years, which is fine because sirloin tastes just as delicious in this dish.
Whichever cut you go with, slice it into strips as thinly as possible against the grain. Some grocery stores sell pre-sliced stir fry meat, so you could definitely go that direction too!
Add the sliced steak to a Ziplock back with 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium gluten-free Tamari (or soy sauce – dish will not be GF if using soy sauce) and 1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour) then close the bag, squish until everything is coated, then stash in the refrigerator to marinate while you prep the rest of the dish. The Tamari will season the meat while the flour will create a nice crust on the outside when it’s stir fried.
Next, whisk together the Broccoli Beef sauce, that’s: 1/2 cup reduced-sodium gluten-free Tamari, 1-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less.)
Time for some heat! This recipe cooks in 5-7 minutes – TOTAL – so you’ll want to make sure you have everything on standby so you’re not rushing back and forth while the heat is on.
Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat then add 1/4 cup water. When it starts to simmer add 4 cups broccoli florets then stir fry until crisp tender, 2-3 minutes. Pour the broccoli out onto a plate then set aside.
Next add 1 Tablespoon high heat cooking oil (I used organic canola) then, when it’s piping hot, add half the beef into a single layer in the bottom of the wok. Let the beef sit undisturbed for 30 seconds then stir fry until nearly cooked through, some pink still showing is fine, then pour onto the plate with the broccoli. Heat another Tablespoon oil in the wok then repeat with the remaining beef.
Last step is to pour the sauce into the wok then let it simmer until thickened and bubbly, 2-3 minutes.
Add all the beef and broccoli back into the wok then stir fry for an additional minute or so – just until everything is heated through.
Scoop the Lighter Broccoli Beef over cooked rice and say see ya’ to the delivery driver! Enjoy!
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Lighter Broccoli Beef
Never order Broccoli Beef takeout again! My copycat, gluten-free Lighter Broccoli Beef is easy to whip up and much lower in fat and sugar than a restaurant's.
- 1-1/4lb flank or sirloin steak, cut very thin against the grain
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium gluten-free Tamari, divided
- 2-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, divided
- 3/4 cup gluten-free low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons water, divided
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 Tablespoon high heat cooking oil, divided
- cooked rice, for serving
- Add sliced steak, 2 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari, and 1 Tablespoon gluten-free flour to a large Ziplock bag then seal and squish to evenly coat. Place the bag into the refrigerator to marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Add remaining 1/2 cup gluten-free Tamari, remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, chicken broth, brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ground ginger, and red chili pepper flakes to a bowl then whisk to combine and set aside.
- Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat then add remaining 1/4 cup water. Once simmering, add broccoli then stir fry until crisp tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate then set aside.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in wok then, once hot, add 1/2 the marinated beef in one layer. Let sit undisturbed until seared, 30 seconds, then stir fry until just barely cooked through (some pink still showing is ok.) Remove to plate with broccoli. Heat remaining Tablespoon oil then stir fry remaining beef and add to plate.
- Add sauce to wok then simmer until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add cooked broccoli and beef back into the wok then simmer until everything is heated through, 1 minute. Serve over cooked rice.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.