Monday, January 3, 2011

Beef Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

   I seriously debated about whether or not to post this.  Stir fry is really easy, but it is all about timing.  If you don't have everything planned out and added at just the correct time, your whole meal can be thrown off.  For example, I first started making stir fry when I was about 14, my onions would be mushy and my broccoli would be too crunchy.  It's a delicate process of timing and perfecting.  But once you master your own timing, it is great!  Stir fry is the best way to use the last bit of veggies left in your fridge.  I made stir fry at least once a week for 7 months because my husband craves it more than I do.  We usually had it the day before grocery shopping to clean out our refrigerator.

   Cleaning out is exactly what we did last night.  We had left over beef tenderloin from the holidays and like one zucchini, one stalk of broccoli, etc.  I don't expect you to use beef tenderloin in your stir fry because normally it is $15/lb.  Flank steak and any cut of sirloin will work just as well in this and be considerably cheaper without increasing fat or calories.  You can also use chicken or shrimp if you would like.  Literally, whatever you want to put in this. 

   Don't freak when you see the calorie count, fat, carbs, etc.  Remember this is an entire meal which is packed with good protein, fiber, and vitamins!  When you take that into consideration everything is extremely reasonable.  I do suggest using reduced fat peanut butter, though.  We just couldn't find the brand I like the last time I was at the store.  And obviously, if you use chicken, shrimp, or no meat the meal will have less fat and calories, but also less protein.  A lime wedge and sprinkle of Skillin's Roasted Peanuts sent to me by my lovely friend over at 87Life perfectly finished this dish!
Beef Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
1/4 C smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp mirin (optional)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp sriracha (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp lemon grass puree (optional)
zest of 1/4 lime
juice of 1/2 lime
2/3-3/4 C reserved pasta water

1/2 lb whole wheat (or whole grain) pasta (cooked in lightly salted water)
1/2 lb lean beef, sliced into very thin strips
1/9 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
a couple grinds black pepper
~1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 zucchini, sliced into half rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced into half rounds
1 medium stalk of broccoli, broken down into florets
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
4 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

   Combine sauce ingredients together (minus pasta water).
   Toss beef in salt, pepper, and baking soda (which helps tenderize the meat).
   Heat a little bit of oil over medium/med-high heat.  Sear beef very quickly, not cooking all the way through, and remove from pan.  Toss in onions and carrots.  Saute for about 2 minutes.  Add broccoli.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Add squashes, mushrooms, and beef.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
   Pasta should be cooking while vegetables are cooking.  Before draining the pasta, add 1/2 C of the water to the beef and vegetables and reserve another 1/4 C.  Add peanut sauce to pan and stir.  If it seems globby, add a little more of the reserved water.  Toss in pasta.
   Serves 4.
Per Serving:  Calories 415, Fat 12g, Total Carb 59 g, Fiber 12g, Protein 30g
Daily ValuesVit A 127%, Vit C 75%, Calcium 6.5%, Iron 16%
Total Ingredient Cost$8.80  This can obviously be brought down by using a less expensive meat.  We used 1/2 lb of beef tenderloin that was purchased at $9.99/lb (sale).


  1. YAY! so glad you used them... Im sending the link to the stores blog .. they werent our best batch but still pretty good. I am addicted to them!


  2. This looks really good - and I recently found a type of soy steak strip substitute at Trader Joe's that I think would work perfectly in this!

    xoxo ~ Courtney


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