Category Archives: Beef

Mongolian Beef

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Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence in the past week or so. Last week was a very busy week for me and I couldn’t find the time to write a blog post, let alone make nice meals for myself! I think I cooked one large meal last week and have been eating the leftovers for almost 5 days in a row… time for something new fo sho.

Mongolian Beef is a meal often found at Chinese restaurants in America made from thinly sliced flank steak and green onions in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. I admit I’ve never actually tried Mongolian Beef from a restaurant and it’s not something that would have appealed to me a few years ago, but lately I’ve been craving an Asian-inspired meal. I’ve come across a few recipes for Mongolian Beef or other similar beef stir-fry recipes, and yesterday when I found sirloin tips on sale at the store, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

After browsing a few more recipes, I decided this one from The Daring Gourmet appealed to me most. Thinly sliced steak is sautéed in vegetable oil, and then cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce made from soy sauce, hoisin sauce, green onions, and other spices. I’ve heard hoisin sauce described as the “Chinese version of barbecue sauce” and it can be found in most international/Asian sections of grocery stores. I also threw in some vegetables for some extra color and texture, and served it over chow mein noodles.

This is one of the few times I’ve cooked steak on my own, and the first time I’ve posted a steak recipe on this blog. I really loved this meal and it inspired me to incorporate a little more red meat into my diet. It isn’t the healthiest recipe I’ve posted on here, but oh man was it good.

Mongolian Beef
adapted from The Daring Gourmet

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Ingredients:
serves 2

  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tsp minced ginger + 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek chili paste or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb. flank steak or sirloin, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • noodles or rice, to serve
  • optional: sliced onion and red bell pepper for stir-frying, sesame seeds to garnish

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Ingredients for the stir fry portion

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Ingredients for the sauce

Directions:

  1. To prepare the sauce, simply whisk together all of the ingredients for it in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. If including stir-fried veggies, start by cooking them in 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan or wok until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. If serving meal with rice or noodles, prepare those at this time as well.
  3. Spread the thinly sliced steak onto a cutting board or plate and sprinkle with cornstarch. Heat the vegetable and sesame oil in your pan over medium heat and add steak. Cook until steak is browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside with the veggies.
  4. In your empty pan, pour in the sauce and let it cook over medium-low heat. When the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it gently for about 1 minute. Once sauce is thickened, stir in cooked steak and vegetables, along with the green onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Serve the beef and veggies over noodles or rice and enjoy!

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Start by frizzling up some veggies. Set aside.

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To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients for it and whisk together.

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Next, prepare your steak for cooking by slicing in thinly (I actually recommend slicing it thinner than I did) and sprinkle it with the cornstarch.

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Heat vegetable and sesame oil in your frying pan and saute the steak until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

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After removing steak from the pan, pour in your sauce and cook over medium-low heat. Once the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it for about a minute until it’s thickened.

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Stir in your steak, veggies, and green onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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Serve your awesome meal over cooked noodles or rice and enjoy!

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🙂

 

Beef Enchilada Casserole

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I don’t usually post holiday-appropriate recipes on here, but I have to admit I’m excited for Cinco de Mayo. I love Mexican food (though I realize Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal here in the U.S. than in actual Mexico, ha) and I haven’t posted any Latin-inspired recipes lately.

This recipe is inspired by a frozen meal that I used to buy all the time in college: Cedarlane Three-Layer Enchilada Pie. I used to find it in the organic/natural foods section of my grocery store and loved that it was quick and easy but still managed to be fairly healthy. My version of enchilada pie includes beef, which I somehow have never included on this blog, but you can easily make it with chicken, pork, or leave the meat out all together!

My Beef Enchilada Casserole includes layers of soft corn tortillas, juicy ground beef, enchilada sauce, Mexican spices, and plenty of veggies and cheese. This is a great meal to serve to friends or family, and heats up nicely, too. I really love meals where every bite is filled with flavor and variety, and all the protein/veggies/calcium you need – such as stir-fry, soup, casseroles, etc, rather than having your food groups separated. I thought this meal was the perfect way to celebrate one of my favorite cuisines 🙂

Beef Enchilada Casserole
makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 10 oz. can Rotel, juices drained (or diced tomatoes if Rotel is not available)
  • 1/3 cup enchilada sauce, reserving 2 Tbsp
  • 3/4 cup pinto or black beans
  • 6 8-inch corn (or flour) tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • optional: black olive and jalapeño slices to garnish
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Your ingredients

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Your spices (alternatively, you could use pre-made taco seasoning)

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Add diced onions and diced green bell pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
  2. Add garlic and ground beef and turn heat up to medium. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is lightly browned. Stir in spices. (Beef does not have to be 100% cooked through, because it will continue cooking in the following steps.)
  3. Stir in Rotel and enchilada sauce and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. You should also preheat your oven to 400ºF at this time, too. Stir in pinto beans and remove from heat.
  4. Lightly spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and layer tortillas as shown in the photo below. Layer half of enchilada mixture on top, along with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat this step once more. Finish off with a third layer of tortillas and spoon remaining 2 Tbsp of enchilada sauce on top, along with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and golden-brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream and scallions. 🙂
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Saute up your onion, pepper, and garlic, and add ground beef and spices.

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Mix in Rotel and enchilada sauce, and cook until sauce has thickened – about 10 minutes. You will also want to preheat your oven at this time.

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Stir in beans and remove from heat.

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Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and layer your tortillas as shown: 1 in the middle, and another torn in half on either side. (At this point I realized I was using 6 inch tortillas instead of 8 inch. Oh well.)

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Pour half of the enchilada mixture on top of the tortillas, along with 1/4 cup of cheese. Repeat this process 1 more time.

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On top of your second layer of enchilada mixture, add another layer of tortillas and spread the remaining 2 Tbsp enchilada sauce on top.

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Top off with your remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, sliced olives and sliced jalapenos.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melty. Let cool slightly before serving.

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Enjoy 🙂

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