Saturday, March 9, 2013

Yo, Home(cooked) Skillet!

Growing up my mom had a little heart trouble. I say "a little," but really she ended up having open heart surgery after nine years of "just a little heart trouble." She would get winded very easily, napped quite a bit, and just overall felt exhausted. It wasn't odd to come home from school or dance lessons at night and see Mom on her spot on the couch curled up in her favorite quilt nearly half asleep. We didn't know it at the time, but Mom had a whole in her heart the size of two quarters.

Mom got all patched up in September of '97! She was moving up and around town like nobody's business. The Christmas after her surgery, she went shopping for nine hours which, in our household, was eternity! I think all of her great rehabilitation classes really helped with that. They even did segments over healthy eating, but honestly, we'd been practicing pretty great eating habits for a while.

Because of Mom's heart issues, she had discovered heart healthy eating early on through The American Heart Association Cookbook. Her paperback copy has been thumbed through many a time and notes are left on quite a few of the pages. Tons of family meals came from this book and they're still my favorite to make today.

Last week I posted a picture of a favorite meal from my childhood, Chinese Beef Skillet. I got several people asking about the recipe so here it is:

Chinese Beef Skillet
The American Heart Association Cookbook

(1) 7oz package of frozen chinese pea pods (I forgot them and just used peas and add in with the other veggies )
(3) T oil
(1) pound flank stead or lean chuck sliced paper thin (I use pre-cut stir fry cut beef if I can find it)
(1/4) cup chopped onion (I think yellow onion has the best flavor) 
(1) clove of garlic (1/2 tsp of pre-minced garlic) 
(4) cups of cauliflower (Which detest--I call it albino broccoli. Sub carrots, red peppers, and broccoli instead)
(1) cup of beef broth
(2) T cornstarch
(1/4) cup soy sauce
(1/4) cup cold water
(1/4) cup sherry
(1/2) tsp sesame oil
(1) T freshly ground ginger

Pour boiling water over frozen pea pod to carefully separate and then drain immediately.

Heat skillet on medium/medium high and add 2 T of the oil. Add the beef, turn constantly for 1-2 minutes or until just browned. Remove meat at once.

Cook onion and garlic for a hot second in the leftover oil. Add the veggies and the broth and cook, stirring gently for about 3 minutes or until tenderly crisp.

Combine the last ingredients (cornstarch, soy sauce, cold water, sherry, sesame oil, and ground ginger) and stir into the broth in the skillet. Add the beef and pea pods stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

Dish it up over some steamed rice and enjoy!

Makes about 6 servings for about 285 calories a serving. 



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