Easy Beef Stir Fry

I love a yummy stir fry. I decided to make one for the family and they really enjoyed it. The meal came together quick and easy, my favorite kind of meal. All ingredients were purchased from my local grocery store. I highly recommend low sodium soy sauce, same great flavor, just lower sodium.

Ingredients for the marinade:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce

2 Tablespoons of sesame oil

Beef in marinade

Mix together. Place meat in a plastic ziplock bag and marinate for an hour or more in the refrigerator. Prep the vegetables that need to be sliced, diced or minced while this is marinading.

I seasoned my beef with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for stir fry:

3 Tablespoons of sesame oil

1 1/2 pound package of beef (my package was cut for fajitas and stir fry)

1 package pre-sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper, sliced into sticks

3/4 package of sugar snap peas

1 can of water chestnuts, drained

1/2 onion, sliced

1 container of stir fry, I bought some with Napa cabbage

Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Chow mein noodles for garnish, optional

Green onion for garnish, optional

Delicious over rice

These Chinese noodles cooked in 3 minutes.

Sauce for Stir Fry:

1/2 cup sesame oil

3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce

1 cup of water

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

4 Tablespoons honey

3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

4 Tablespoons maple syrup

3 Tablespoons minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 Tablespoons cornstarch

In a sauce pan, add all ingredients except cornstarch. Heat and remove a cup of sauce and add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry. Mix slurry into sauce, if it’s not thick enough for your liking, make another slurry. Keep warm until you add this to the stir fry.

Remove beef from marinade. Brown in sesame oil and set aside. Add vegetables to you pan/wok and stir until tender. Add the beef back to your pan/wok and add the stir fry sauce. Serve over Chinese noodles or rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion or chopped chow mein noodles. My family cannot eat seeds so I opted for green onions and chow mein noodles. Enjoy!

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Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms

Green beans are my favorite vegetable. They always have been. This side dish is easy, comes together quickly and is a great side dish to any meal. The flavor is incredible and low carb friendly.

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed

1 pound of sliced mushrooms

2 shallots, grated*

4 pieces of bacon

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

8 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in a sauté pan. Remove bacon and set aside. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in bacon grease. Add mushrooms and shallots. Sauté until tender. In a dutch oven, place green beans and boil until done. If you prefer your green beans al dente with a slight crunch, boil 4 minutes and drain and return to Dutch oven. If you prefer your beans more tender, boil a few minutes more. Add mushrooms, bacon and shallots and all of the butter and bacon grease in the pan. Add in Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, last 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low for fifteen minutes. Discard bacon if desired and serve immediately. Enjoy!

*I used a microplane to grate the shallots but a box grater will work just fine.

Crockpot Summer Harvest Vegetable Soup

Living in Florida sometimes makes it hard to enjoy soup all year. My tip is to turn the air conditioning  down and enjoy!  I know many of you have summer gardens so I made this recipe for you and for my Dad!  This soup has a very light broth showcasing great summer vegetables from the garden.  

  
Ingredients:
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cans diced tomatoes, not drained, I used petite diced
2 cans chickpeas, drained*
1/2 pound green beans, stems removed, cut into pieces
4 medium summer squash, cut in slices
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 -3 carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Salt and pepper to taste, I used Lawry’s Garluc Salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 heaping teaspoon of cumin

  
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Place all ingredients into the crockpot and give it a gentle stir to blend. *If you are not a fan of chickpeas, use your favorite bean like kidney, black or whatever you like. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. 

  

Flavor Roasted Cauliflower

It’s a new year and many of you have decided to start the year out healthy. So to accommodate my low carb people and those of us that want to watch your calories, I have a great snack, appetizer or eat it as a side dish. This recipe is fast, easy and delicious. The flavor combinations are limitless. I made Buffalo flavor, garlic and lastly, butter/Parmesan cheese flavor. All were delicious.

Ingredients:
Cauliflower
Pam, Olive Oil or Regular flavor
Garlic Salt
Buffalo flavor popcorn seasoning (I used Kernel Seasons, sold in the popcorn isle)
Butter flavor popcorn seasoning (I used Kernel Seasons, sold in the popcorn isle)

Wash and dry cauliflower. You can do this ahead of time and let it dry on the countertop. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break off pieces of cauliflower into florets. I cut off the stem, that’s up to you. Try to keep the pieces in a uniform size so they will roast and be done at the same time. (Save the small pieces for your salad or just eat them!) Spray cauliflower with Pam. Spray it well. Sprinkle on your choice of flavoring or do several, like I did. Bake on a baking sheet for 20 – 30 minutes. I loved all of the flavors. Hard to believe something so tasty was healthy. I am sure it would be great for broccoli, or any vegetable. Enjoy!

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Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

I love green beans. They are my favorite vegetable. We all have eaten and tried “The Green Bean Casserole” with condensed soup, etc. a few years ago, I tried the casserole another way. Let me say, I will never prepare it the old fashioned way again. You might say What? Ewww! No way! But trust me, this recipe is a winner. Even my picky father LOVED it and he is hard to please.

Ingredients:
3 14.5 ounce cans of cut green beans, drained or 5 1/2 cups frozen , if using frozen, thaw before making casserole, or 5 1/2 cups fresh cooked al dente
1/2 cup onion, diced fine
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce (secret ingredient that rocks this recipe)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of cheese
1 large container of French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet on the stove. Add flour to pan to make a roux. Cook for one minute. Do not burn! Add onion, salt, soy sauce, sugar and sour cream. Stir to blend. Add green beans and toss in mixture to coat. Pour into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Distribute onions on top of cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. I usually check halfway through the cooking time to make sure the fried onions are not getting too brown, if they are, tent with foil.

***Tip: This dish can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated without the onion topping on it. Take it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you need to bake it. Right before baking, add the French fried onions. This can be a big time saver when trying to prepare a holiday meal.

Adapted from Allrecipes.

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Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

I had dinner at my friends house the other night. I never show up empty handed so I made a very tasty casserole to take with me.

3 large heads of cauliflower
2 8 ounce containers of whipped chive and onion creamed cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of sour cream
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons salt*
2 teaspoons pepper*
1/4 cup to 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 pound of bacon cooked crispy
About 5-6 green onions
Additional chicken broth for steaming if desired

  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash cauliflower and steam pieces of cauliflower for about 10 minutes. You want this to be soft enough to mash. Repeat into all cauliflower has been steamed. I steamed mine in the microwave in a microwave steamer using 1/4 cup of broth for each steaming. Water can be used too. You can do it on the stove top if you like. Once cauliflower has been steamed. Place it in a colander and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will redistribute the water and you will be able to remove big pieces of stem. I mostly used the florets and de-stemmed them before mashing.

Cook your bacon crisp. I used thick cut bacon. While bacon is cooking, mash cauliflower with potato masher. In a large bowl, I used my Kitchen Aid mixer. Blend mashed cauliflower with butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Add salt and pepper. This is when you decide how thick or thin you want the consistency. Add chicken broth to get your desired consistently. Next add 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and one half of the bacon mixture. Mix to combine. I used a deep dish 9 1/2 by 11 1/2 heavy duty aluminum pan. Place in pan and top with remaining cheese and bacon. Bake for 30 minutes until hot. Top with scallions.

This recipe serves 10 people easily. You can cut it in half for smaller quantities. *To taste. Enjoy!

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