I recently received an invitation to a wedding shower for one of my family members. In the envelope the invitation came in I also found a small, blank recipe card titled “From the Kitchen of:” What a great idea, I thought. I wish someone had thought about that when I was getting married. Receiving a collection of recipes tested and approved by friends and family would have saved me hours of time in the kitchen and a few occasions when my husband suggested I not make the dish again. I started to think which recipe to choose. A stew? Soup? Cake? One pot meal? Then I realized how small the card was: it only had seven lines. How was I supposed to fit in my favorite recipe for banana bread, or my mother’s fool-proof recipe for stuffed cabbage? I needed space for ingredients, for directions, for serving suggestions.
I held the card, looked at the front, looked at the back, pondering at the change of times it reflected. I was thinking really hard about what kind of recipe I would share with the bride. I knew it had to be healthy, delicious and easy to make, in that exact order. The dish had to have nutritious veggies, include legumes and maybe some dark leafy vegetables, no oil or butter, maybe some meat, like lean grass-fed beef (just a little for flavor) and not a lot of salt. I knew what a married life brings to many people – extra inches to their waists and extra pounds to their thighs. That’s not what I wanted my culinary contribution to the newlyweds to be.
As for delicious, of course, that’s imperative! Whether it will be the bride or the groom cooking, they will definitely want to impress one another. A dessert? It’s an option. But I know one appreciates a scrumptious, comforting meal after a long day at work probably more than a few minutes of sweet elation. Something healthy, something that does not take long to prepare and something that would make him or her say “Honey, this tastes so good. I love you.” Out of many options I chose the following recipe:
Beef Stir-Fry with Veggies
Top sirloin steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef available. Keep the meat tender and juicy with this quick-cooking stir-fry packed with veggies and a flavorful marinade. Make sure to slice the steak against the grain to prevent chewiness. To save time, use frozen 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice instead of cooking rice from scratch. You can replace beef with slices of tofu for a vegetarian version of this dish.
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pound top sirloin steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1/2 cup sliced shallots (from about 2 shallots)
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced against the grain
4 carrots, thinly sliced
8 ounces snow peas, strings removed
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
Combine vinegar, tamari, ginger and garlic in a medium bowl. Toss sliced beef in mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After beef has marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and marinade and cook until beef is just done to your liking, about 5 minutes. Remove beef and juices to a bowl, cover and keep warm. Add ½ cup water to the skillet, bring to a simmer, add shallots and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in bell peppers and carrots. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook until vegetables are just fork tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring once. Uncover and increase heat to medium-high. Add snow peas and cook 2 minutes longer. Return beef and any juices to skillet and cook 1 minute longer to heat everything thoroughly. Serve with brown rice and garnish with cashews.
For more recipes go to http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthstartshere/