Whip up this Gluten Free Green Bean and Carrot Beef Stir Fry for a quick 30 minute week night meal. It’s full of veggies and full of flavor!
So here’s the problem with shopping for produce in Hawaii (and many other places in general): it’s so dang expensive! It’s hard to live on a budget, and more importantly live HEALTHILY on a budget, when fresh food costs so much money.
My solution is to buy items on sale from the cheapest local grocery store and make weekly trips to Costco for milk and some choice fruits and veggies. It’s hard to spend almost the same amount for one head of lettuce at the grocery store when I can get six for the same price at Costco. Crazy!
But then here’s the next dilemma: going through all the produce you bought before it goes bad.
If you know me, you know that I hardly throw anything food related away. I’m basically a master ninja at utilizing all the food in our fridge before it goes to waste. So you can imagine the anxiety I feel the days I shop at Costco and my fridge is filled to the brim. I almost can’t breathe thinking, “We’re never going to eat all this!” But lo and behold, somehow I make it work and once again the fridge needs to be restocked.
As nice as it is to get rid of the food I purchase, there are times when I feel like I can’t eat another bite of a certain item I’ve bought that week. Take, for instance, the 3 lb. bag of broccoli and 2 lb. bag of brussel sprouts that I bought in the same week.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!
No, really. What was I thinking?!
Just being real here, but I’ve never had so much gas in my life. I’m talking about farting fever around here. All of us. And our poop smelled to high heaven. Yes people, I am actually blogging about my bowels right now. But between roasted brussel sprouts, chicken and broccoli casserole, broccoli curry, brussel sprout salad, broccoli slaw, and sauteed brussel sprouts, my intestines were screaming for MERCY!
Oh yeah, and did I mention we also ate a Costco sized container of mixed greens in the same week? Ben was about to shoot me and take the kids to McDonald’s for a Big Mac.
So when it came time to use up the flank steak that I had bought earlier that week, to save my marriage and my bowels, I opted for green beans and carrots to go with our beef stir fry rather than the traditional beef and broccoli. Ben’s never been so happy to see a carrot in his entire life. Really. They were like little orange nuggets of broccoli liberation.
This Gluten Free Green Bean and Carrot Beef Stir Fry might even be better than the original. My opinion at this point may be a bit biased because of my recent broccoli overdose, but irregardless this 30 minute meal is a real winner no matter what veggies you opt to use.
The only prep that goes into this meal is slicing the flank steak thin and chopping up your veggies. Then you whip up the sauce and you are ready to get cooking.
To achieve that slightly crispy beef that everyone loves at those Chinese restaurants, there are a few tricks to follow:
- Make sure your meat is thin. If the flank steak is too thick, pound it out a bit before slicing. You really want the steak to be about 1/8″ thick.
- Coat the steak in cornstarch so it fries up with a little crunch.
- Make sure the oil is HOT. Yes, it will splatter and make a bit of a mess, but it’s worth it.
- Sear both sides for only about a minute or two and remove to a paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Pat the tops of the meat with a paper towel too.
- Sear in multiple batches. You don’t want the pan overcrowded or the meat will cease and become tough. Give those pieces room to cook. Also, having less pieces in the pan allows you adequate time to flip the beef and avoid overcooking.
- Add the beef to the sauce mixture at the very end and serve immediately. This step isn’t hard at all…who can wait anyway?!
So if you can master the beef cooking, the rest of this recipe in a cinch. All you have to do is saute the veggies in the same pan you used to sear the beef until they are crisp tender. Then you pour this super yummy sweet, savory, and spicy teriyaki sauce all over the veggies and cook until thickened.
This sauce is delicious! You’ll be spreading your rice all over your plate trying to soak up every last drop of this gingery garlicky goodness.
And speaking of rice, can I just say that I LOVE Hawaii sticky rice?! It is the BEST! I only ever cook brown rice at home because of the health benefits of using whole grains, but when we go out and sticky rice is the only option, I am secretly stoked. So if you are a sticky white rice fan, by all means, this is the meal to make it for.
Well there you have it. A glorious weeknight meal made in less time than it probably took you to read this post. And it’s chalk full of veggies…sans all the toots. Your welcome.
What is your best broccoli recipe?
- For the Stir Fry:
- 1 lb. thin flank steak, cut into thin strips (about ⅛" thick) across the grain
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed into 2" pieces
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, washed and sliced
- For the Sauce:
- ½ cup gluten free soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- Prepare the meat by slicing it into thin strips across the grain, about ⅛" thick. If your meat is not thin enough, pound it to get it thinner, or cut the thickness in half. Place pieces in a gallon Ziploc bag. Add salt and cornstarch. Seal and shake vigorously to coat all pieces of meat with cornstarch. Place in fridge until ready to use.
- Prepare vegetables by slicing carrots and mushrooms and trimming green beans.
- In a large saucepan/skillet heat ¼ cup cooking oil over medium high heat until drop of water sizzles in pan. Lay out paper towels next to pan. In two or three batches, cook beef in an even layer for about 1 minute on each side until just cooked through. Remove and lay on paper towel. Pat tops of meat with paper towels to remove excess oil. Continue until all meat is cooked.
- Pour all but about 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan. Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium. Add vegetables and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until crisp tender.
- While veggies are cooking, whisk together ingredients for the sauce. Pour sauce into pan and bring to a boil. Whisk constantly until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low and add meat into pan. Stir to coat and heat through. Season to taste.
- Serve immediately over rice noodles or brown rice.