Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stir-fried beef with black bean sauce

Today at work I had a 7:30 am meeting, which of course meant little time to prepare any sort of lunch. However, I have been fortunate lately to have stockpiled lots of proteins (rare for me) including chicken, ground turkey and LOTS OF TUNA FISH.  Currently I have twelve cans...

So in my mad rush to make something decent for lunch this morning, I remember a Cosmo article that mentioned tuna [get your head out of the gutter].  I popped a can open, put it in a tupperware, and added a generous amount of plain Greek yogurt (my breakfast of choice mixed with lots of honey, cinnamon, and flax seed).  I also had dill left in the fridge, so I threw in about five sprigs (and ripped the dill-y part off at lunch to sprinkle in).  I had read that a squirt of lemon is also good, and had just bought a lemon at the store.  I couldn't find it anywhere in the morning, so had to go without (and just found it on the floor tonight).

Anyway, it was a simple recipe with no measuring, and it was totally delicious! I have also read that any place you would use mayo, you can replace with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative.  Furthermore, when I told my mom about my discovery, she said she has heard of using cottage cheese with tuna.  Have any of you tried these unique combinations?

After a hastily (but delicious) thrown together lunch, I decided I wanted something more substantial for lunch tomorrow, so I went to the grocery store after work.  I don't USUALLY eat meat much, but lately I have been trying to because of my aforementioned stockpile and because it really is a good "bang for your buck," meaning I can eat it at lunch and stay full.  If I had it my way, I would eat a little bit every three hours, but the work zone isn't the most conducive to that.  Even with how I eat now, I find the lunch hour slightly boring because my smaller-but-more-frequent portions disappear in a few minutes, leaving me with tons of time.  I get teased because I usually start to do my chores (pay bills, write thank yous, etc.), but I think it is multitasking at it's finest. Anyway, I am confident I could go vegetarian no problem (vegan would be another story) but there are so many tasty recipes involving meat.

I also wanted another opportunity to use my Chinese black bean sauce.

Therefore, I found myself at the grocery store and in the meat aisle.  Amazingly, a perfect looking piece of beef was on sale for buy one get one half off, so I got too big slabs (~.75 pounds each) for $4.50.  I also picked up a yellow onion.

I then looked in my trusty Forever Young cookbook, and found the recipe for stir-fried beef with black bean sauce, which was perfect because I had a huge bag of spinach in my fridge.

To start, I cut up one of the pieces of beef into slices.  The book says 12 ounces of boneless grass feed beef sirloin.  Then I cut up about half the yellow onion (book says 3 tablespoons but I winged it).
I have sunflower oil I bought forever ago, that says good for high heat cooking, so I used that (and love it).  The book says basically DON'T use extra-virgin olive oil (bad for high heat).  I put in three tablespoons and turned it to high until it was barely smoking.
I think have finally mastered the art of stir-frying.  Last time I made one, the oil was flying up and burning me (I was using a fork).  This time I used a spatula and was MUCH more successful.  Anyway, I added the onions and cooked for 30 seconds (they browned up fast).  I then added a teaspoon of choppd garlic and cooked another thirty seconds.  Then I added all the beef and cooked for three minutes -- this was MORE THAN enough time.  I think you would be fine to cook for two minutes if you genuinely have your stove on high.
A big piece of meat really doesn't go that far, so if you have a big family, I would double the recipe.

Take the beef and onions out of the pan, leaving the oil, and add six cups spinach.  I just dumped a huge bag in.

Cook this for about one minute.  I think this part is important just to decrease the space the spinach is taking up...it basically wilts itself once you add the meat.

Now, add the meat back in.  Here are the sauce ingredients:
2 tablespoons Chinese Black Bean sauce
1/4 cup cooking sherry
2 tablespoons low-sodium beef broth (I used chicken).

Add the sauce and stir to coat, cooking everything for one more minute. As you can see, the spinach shrinks drastically.
To serve, garnish with sesame seeds.

And there you have it! A super easy meal that only involves chopping half an onion and slicing meat, and a total of seven minutes cooking time.  Easy peasy.

*The only sad part is now my black bean sauce is almost gone already!


Lauren Hairston said...

It looks yummy!

I have not tried tuna with either Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. Tuna absolutely grosses me out! I'm not terribly adverse to most foods, but tuna is one of them. :-/

Florence said...

YUM gonna try it tomorrow night !
awesome post

thanks for your last comment it was really sweet :3 :3


Kelsey said...

Haha I love tuna fish sandwiches! I HATE hamburgers and haven't had one since I was about 4 :) My favorite is Tina with sweet pickled chopped up in it (even though I like the herb dill i do not like dill pickles!).

Thanks Florence let me know if you like it :) today images Chinese chili garlic sauce and i thought it was even better!

Meg {henninglove} said...

yum i would totally love to make this dish for my husband and i, we love stir-frys, thanks for sharing!

Kelsey said...

Good I'm glad! I love stir frys and I think they are a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet.