Beef and Broccoli (Soy Free, Corn Free, GF)
Trader Joe’s carries this All Natural Shaved Beef Steak which I buy on occasion to make a curry. I have tried to use it a few different ways over the years, but I always go back to stir frying it up with some veggies and adding sauce. I had every intention of using my most recently purchased pack to make another curry, but I just wasn’t feeling it last night. So I turned to my fridge for inspiration. At the bottom of my veggie drawer lay a bag of broccoli with a Best Used By date of that very day. So Beef and Broccoli it was! I turned to the internet to gather recipe inspiration and adapted this one to fit the way I eat. With this and a side of Lo Mein, dinner was served. Here is how I did it:
1 lb shaved beef steak (you can also purchase your own cut of beef and cut it into thin strips yourself)
3 Tbs tapioca starch, divided
3 Tbs water
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1 Tbs fish sauce (optional, but it will give your coconut aminos more of a soy sauce flavor)
3 Tbs coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bag of broccoli florets
1/2 of a large yellow onion
Salt and pepper to taste
A light, neutral oil for sauteing
How to do it:
In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons tapioca starch with 3 tablespoons of water. Add the beef and toss to coat in the tapioca mixture.
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon tapioca starch with the coconut aminos, fish sauce if using, coconut sugar, ginger paste and crushed garlic. Set aside.
In a wok or large pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the beef. Cook the beef until it is done and starts to brown a little. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then throw in the onions. Add a pinch of salt and as the onions start to soften and release their juices, start scraping up the nice, flavorful, crusty stuff that the beef left behind (don’t go so hard you ruin your pan, just start the process and the rest will come up when you add the rest of your ingredients).
When the onions are slightly softened and turning transparent, add the broccoli florets. I cut a few of mine into smaller pieces than what what came in the bag. I kept the florets no bigger than about an inch. Toss the onions and broccoli together and then cover with a lid to steam for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli has a bright green color and is starting to soften.
Finally, return the beef back to the pan and add your sauce mixture. Let it all cook together for another minute or 3 and that’s it!
And there you have it, a soy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, but not flavor-free version of a classic Chinese takeout favorite. Next time, I might serve this with steamed rice because it is so packed with flavor that the rice would be a nice balance to it. Don’t get me wrong, my Lo Mein was absolutely a winner too. I’d say the only thing missing from the meal was the styrofoam to-go containers.
As I am trying to figure out what my allergies are and foods I should just avoid for my health, it is interesting and fun to find alternatives that give a similar effect, but don’t leave me feeling bloated and rashy. Using tapioca starch instead of corn starch worked pretty well in this application. And using coconut aminos with a little fish sauce has proven to be a pretty satisfying alternative to soy sauce.
What are some substitutions you like to make?