Dinner on my diet night #3… and what do I decide to make? You guessed it… Asian! Before you judge, let me explain.
If you were to order a comparable dish at a Chinese Takeout restaurant, you’re looking at a meal that takes up over half your daily calorie allotment! Chinese Beef & Broccoli can have over 1,000 calories and up to 65 grams of fat. For a dish that has a vegetable in its title, that’s pretty disgusting!
This is exactly why I wanted to give up Chinese food for my Challenge. Dave and I could live off of it, we just love it… and for a while were eating it once a week. The funny thing about Chinese Food and my past dieting, is that every time I would eat it, my diet would go astray for a few days. The reason for this is because it is VERY difficult to find nutritional information for Chinese Food. All of the places we order our takeout are local, neighborhood, Mom & Pop shops. None of them have websites let alone nutritional information… and I bet you can agree about the restaurants you go to! So, in the past, I would go a few days keeping track of my food, eat Chinese, and then give up since that day couldn’t be tracked.
Although I’ve given up Chinese Food for the obvious nutritional value, it’s more important to me that I’m keeping track of my food diary. If I make my own asian inspired meals, I know exactly what’s going into it and I can still continue to track.
With all of that being said, you HAVE to try out this Beef Stir-Fry! This is another recipe I tried out from Cooking Light (Nov 2011) – where a lot of my recipes come from. This recipe in particular claims to be a “20-Minute Dinner”… so I put it to the test!
Sesame Beef Stir-Fry Recipe:
1 tablespoon bottled minced ginger
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 pound presliced stir-fry meat (such as flank or boneless sirloin steak)
8 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon hot chili garlic sauce (optional… I added this!)
This recipe is pretty simple. Mix the first five ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy, sugar, red pepper) into a bowl. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or sauté pan. Once the oil is heated, stir in the sliced beef and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Mine took about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and sauté for one minute. Pour on the sauce waiting for you in the bowl and stir for 30 seconds. Pile on a bag of spinach. Let it sit for a minute until it starts to shrink, then stir until it shrinks completely. Add the sesame seeds, stir, and serve!
When I was done cooking the stir-fry, I checked the clock and it turns out that it took me about 23 minutes. Not too bad! This is only the second time I’ve ever cooked with fresh ginger. I’m happy with the way it turned out, it tasted fresher and less salty than the normal store-bought sauces we stir-fry with.
Unlike its takeout twin Beef & Broccoli, this recipe only has 230 calories and 11 gramsof fat per serving. The recipe should make 4 servings, but I only got 2 out of it… I guess I was pretty hungry! I ended up buying a bigger than normal bag of spinach leaves (not baby spinach) and used the entire thing. I also didn’t check the weight of the beef I purchased, so there’s a chance it was less than a pound. However, 460 calories is pretty good for a delicious Asian dinner that was made in 23 minutes!