Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recipe: 10 Minute Beef (or Shrimp, or Chicken) and Broccoli!

We've already established my laziness, so this recipe is perfect. 

And actually, it's two recipes, depending on how much planning you've done/want to do. 

I love Chinese American Chinese food. But it's so expensive, and it's a pain, and the only Chinese buffet I've ever really liked is back home in Arkansas. Pei Wei is close to my house, and it's fine, but I looked up the nutrition info one time and nearly died. 

And since I'm trying to work out on a regular basis and accomplish life goals (run a 5K by January and "have a fantastic ass," as I told my roommate, who's helping me, since he majored in some sort of science-y nutrition-y thing in college), I really didn't want to eat a billion calories. 

I had just done this workout: 

Well, this is the arm part - TJ and I did the 15 minute ab one. He made it through the whole thing, I had to take a break, and I still feel like I'm going to die, even today. 

And I walked 2 miles yesterday morning. 

So I sure as hell wasn't going to undo all that pain with a 1,000 calorie (and expensive) plate of food. 

But I was also starving. So I had to improvise. 

Usually, I make this recipe, adapted from Rainy Day Gal:

Homemade Beef and Broccoli

(This makes about 5 helpings, I'd say - easily enough for 3-4 people anyway)

First, marinate the meat:
 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
 1 tsp sugar
 1 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
 1/2 tbsp water
 2 tbsp vegetable oil
 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, cubed (I actually get the "stew meat" at the store)

Whisk all this together, smush the meat around in it, cover it and refrigerate for an hour (I've gone up to 5 and been fine). 

Pull it out about 30 minutes before you plan to start cooking.

Put your broccoli in the microwave - I usually do about a minute less than the package says.

While it's going, put water on to boil for the pasta (make sure you have plenty and salt your water), put your non-stick pan (I use one close to this Rachael Ray one, just orange) on medium heat and make the sauce. 

1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce (Regular is gross and way too salty)
 2 tbsp brown sugar
 8 cloves garlic, minced (I like mine really garlicky, you can use less or more obviously.)
2 1/2 tbsp flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bags Archer Farms frozen broccoli (or whatever kind, or fresh - do what you like!)
1 package fettuccine or linguine noodles

Whisk the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour, and vegetable oil together. 

Turn the heat to high for a minute.

Dump the meat in the really hot pan - you want a sear on it - and then put about half of your sauce in. 

Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 5ish minutes, then put the broccoli and the rest of the sauce in. I use tongs to get the broccoli out so all the juice doesn't get in. Stir it a bunch. 

When the pasta is ready, drain it and put it in the pan with the broccoli and beef. Stir it around, add pepper, salt to taste, and whatever else you like. I hit mine with a little garlic powder and a ton of crushed red pepper, but I like things a little crazy. 

*Without any noodles yet. It should be a thicker sauce that sticks to the noodles and the other ingredients. 

You can do the same thing with chicken. 

10 Minute Chinese Broccoli and Pasta

But, if you don't have any time, like I didn't last night, you can do the quick and dirty version, which doesn't have the complexity of flavors as the regular, but is really good. 

I made mine with frozen shrimp I had thawed, but you could use any meat really. 

I put some water (and salt - salt your pasta water people) on for the pasta. When it boils, add about half a box of fettuccine/linguine, boil until al dente.

I put one bag of broccoli in the microwave, since I was just cooking for me.

In the same Rachael Ray pan I did the beef and broccoli in, I turned the heat to medium and put in: 
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt
5 cloves garlic (I have a problem.)
1 tsp flour
1 tsp brown sugar
Maybe 20 shrimp

I turned the heat up, but I'm impatient - just don't burn your soy sauce or your shrimp. You can also turn the heat off if you think you're burning it and turn it back on before the next step.  

When the broccoli was done I added it, and when the pasta was done, I drained it and added it right to the same pan, and topped it with some garlic powder, a little more pepper, and some crushed red peppers. 

*One portion - I probably had 2 left over. 

This really took me 10 minutes tops. It's nice because you can do multiple things at once since you're using the frozen broccoli, and it's really easy to cleanup. I used one large pan, one pot for pasta, a colander, tongs, and a spatula to stir with. And it's relatively healthy (and could be healthier with whole grain pasta, or rice, or without any meat). You could also use literally any variation of veggies and meat, or add more to this. The sauce, either way you do it, is really good, and makes the dish. 


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