Saturday, September 8, 2012

Asparagus and Red Pepper Beef Stirfry

     I found this recipe a while back while looking for the perfect stirfry. I wasn't that enthused by the recipe, considering there weren't that many ingredients, but I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the sauce was! It actually became our favorite stirfry recipe and I made it most nights that week; I'm not ashamed.

     What's great about this recipe as well, is that it doesn't take long to go from prepping to the dinner table; as most stir fry's. I also love that I don't have to worry about side dishes with this one! I can never remember to plan for vegetable side dishes, which is why I love stir frys: the vegetables are already included!

3 T vegetable or peanut oil
1 bundle of asparagus, bottoms trimmed and sliced into thirds*
1 lb flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Slurry: 2 tsp cornstarch whisked into 3 T water
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp ginger (I use the jarred version)
1 clove garlic (again, I use the jarred version, crushed garlic)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tsp chili oil (or Sriracha** if you don't have chili oil)

Prepare your rice and set for 10-12 minutes.

For the asparagus, I have tried two methods here and both worked great, just choose whichever you'd prefer. Since you aren't going to cook the asparagus for very long, this step is going to help make the asparagus tender and not hard and woodsy.
     *1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the bottom half outer layer of the asparagus off (Obviously, do this before you cut the asparagus into thirds otherwise this step will be a bit difficult).
       2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the asparagus pieces for several minutes and drain.

Prepare the sauce: Stir together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallion and chili oil or Sriracha (**I didn't have chili oil the first several times I made this dish and used Sriracha instead. This time I did use chili oil, and I must say, I preferred the Sriracha. The Sriracha gives the dish a bit of heat and a bit more flavor).

Begin the stirfry: Add 1 T of oil. Start with the asparagus and cook on high heat for a few minutes until browning. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 T of oil to the pan and stirfry the beef strips in 2 batches for 1 minute on each side (2 minutes total); don't cook the beef any longer even though you might be tempted to. By the time the dish is ready, the meat will be so tough and dried out. Trust me, it might not look done, but just go with it.
Then, add all the beef to the pan along with the bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes to allow pepper to soften.

Give the slurry one more stir to make sure the cornstarch is incorporated into the water and pour into the pan with the stir fry sauce. Allow to thicken for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and toss to combine all the ingredients.

Serve over white rice.

Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp

      This dish was so outstanding! I was really surprised at how delicious and flavorful it was considering it took less than 15 minutes to make and there weren't many ingredients involved! Definitely make this one! I know that the fish sauce might kinda throw some people off, but just trust me... if you're careful with it and use it sparingly, it adds such depth and flavor. This was a perfect dish for two, we like lots of shrimp though! Do it!


1 tsp peanut oil
4 scallions (green onions) diced, with the white and green parts separated
1 Tb Thai Green Curry paste
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 lb shrimp
10 oz light Coconut Milk
6-8 dashes of Thai Fish Sauce (use sparingly and taste as you add)
2 T fresh chopped Basil
salt to taste


Prepare 1 C dried rice and set for 10-12 minutes.
Begin to peel and de-vein shrimp if necessary.
Chop scallions and basil.
In a 10 in skillet over med heat, add oil and let heat for 30 seconds or so.
Add white scallions parts and curry paste and allow to cook for a minute or so, stirring to combine.
Add garlic and stir to combine.
Add shrimp and allow to cook for several minutes until the shrimp begin to turn pink.
Add coconut milk and fish sauce* and stir to combine, allow to simmer 2-3 minutes to heat thoroughly.
Turn heat off and add the green scallions parts and chopped basil and mix together.
Serve over white rice.
Be amazed at the deliciousness!

*Please, please, please be careful with the fish sauce. I just know that people are going to put a lot in and then hate me for suggested this recipe when the smell eminating from this dish makes you want to vomit, and it's so salty and fishy tasting. Fish sauce is super tricky: if you put too much, it can completely ruin a dish. If you put just the right amount in, it adds so much depth and flavor and you cannot taste fishiness at all. I promise. My husband would not eat it if he could taste it.

     (I remember the time I followed the recipe and put 1/2 C fish sauce in a dish and that was the first time I refused to allow my husband and I to finish the dish past one bite. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner instead. That meal will go down in history as the worst dish I've ever made. So just DON'T do it.)

Be very careful. I accidentally added a dash too much in this dish, and compensated by adding more coconut milk and it was perfect! I ended up really liking the extra sauce that it provided for the rice, so I've written in the addition to the recipe here. After each dash or two, taste the sauce to see if it's right.

Recipe adapted from: Gina's Skinny Recipes