Friday, October 15, 2021
Oct. 15, 2021

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Simple stir-fry dish made in minutes

Dish has crunchy texture and delicious sweet, sour flavor


Sweet and sour beef is a popular Chinese stir-fry dish. Here’s a simple version that has great flavor and can be made in minutes. The sweet and sour sauce is light so it gently coats the beef and vegetables blending the flavors together, but not masking the taste of each ingredient.

The secret to wok cooking is to achieve a crunchy texture while making sure the food is cooked through. Make sure your wok or skillet is very hot before adding the ingredients. The oil should be smoking. Then add the first ingredient and let sit, without tossing for at least a minute. Repeat this process when adding the main ingredients. This allows the pan to regain its heat after adding the cold food.

Helpful Hints:

  • To substitute white or red wine vinegar for rice wine vinegar, use 3 ounces vinegar and 1 ounce water.
  • For easy stir-frying, place all of the prepared ingredients on a cutting board or plate in order of use. You won’t have to look at the recipe once you start to cook.

Sweet and Sour Beef

Yield 2 servings. By Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3/4 pound grass-fed beef tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup red bell pepper cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

2 cups sliced bok choy, leaves and stems

Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. When oil is smoking, add beef and stir-fry 3 minutes, turning after one minute. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper to taste. Add red bell pepper and bok choy. Let stir-fry 2 minutes, turning after one minute. Move the ingredients to the sides of the wok and add the sauce in the center. Bring all of the ingredients into sauce and stir-fry until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Per serving: 420 calories (38% from fat), 17.5 g fat (5.7 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 38.5 g protein, 24.1 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 674 mg sodium.

Rice and Scallions

Yield 2 servings. Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 package microwave brown rice (11/2 cups cooked)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/4 cup sliced scallions

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Microwave rice according to package instructions. Measure 11/2 cups rice and reserve remaining rice for another time. Add oil, scallions and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Per serving: 231 calories (23% from fat), 6 g fat (1 g saturated, 2.4 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 4.4 g protein, 39.9 g carbohydrates, 2.8 g fiber, 8 mg sodium.