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story.lead_photo.caption Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry (For The Washington Post/Tom McCorkle)

$42.50.

That was the grand total for the last dinner I ordered using one of my favorite food apps. Granted, that fed two. And, hungry, I had impulsively added an appetizer that, in retrospect, I really didn't want.

That price tag made me stop short. Once again, I had shelled out serious money for so-so food that I could have easily made at home.

I love a good multistep cooking challenge — on a weekend when I have no pressing errands. During the week? I want a recipe with no tricks up its sleeve.

Still, satisfying a weeknight takeout craving with an easy version of that dish can be a tall order. Quick-version recipes often fall flat, with too few ingredients, or they call for convenience products that drive up the cost and add unwanted sodium and sugar.

That's where this Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry recipe steps in. It is as straightforward as its name implies.

And, like most stir-fry recipes, it is adaptable. Don't eat beef? Substitute in bite-size pieces of chicken or firm tofu cubes. Have frozen snow peas in the freezer? Add those in place of the carrots.

This take on the Chinese restaurant menu staple quickly made the repeat cycle in our house, after we discovered it in September at EatingWell.com. My two sisters make it. My nephew, too.

One reason we like it is that it's healthier. Our Americanized versions of Chinese food can be calorie-packed with added sugar, sodium and carbs. The Eating Well editors say this version has about half of the calories of typical takeout beef and broccoli.

This version makes just enough sauce to coat the al dente vegetables and protein, so usually, we eat it in a bowl without rice. If you want to keep the carbs down, try serving the stir-fry over steamed riced cauliflower.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

5 tablespoons chicken broth or water

2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided use

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 pound flank steak

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 pound broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)

1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch matchsticks

½ cup thinly sliced green onions (about 3 to 4), plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Steamed riced cauliflower (optional)

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth or water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and the brown sugar until combined.

Cut the flank steak with the grain into 2-inch-wide pieces, then slice against the grain into eighth-inch-thick strips. Place the steak on a large plate and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Toss to coat.

In a large flat-bottomed wok, nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat until just smoking. Add the onion, broccoli and carrot to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens and broccoli and carrot are slightly tender, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk the soy sauce mixture again. Reduce the heat to medium and add the soy mixture and beef to the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.

If desired, serve over steamed riced cauliflower and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and additional green onions.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (without riced cauliflower and sesame oil) contains approximately 360 calories, 28 g protein, 19 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 170 mg sodium, 75 mg cholesterol and 2 g fiber. A ½ cup serving of steamed riced cauliflower will add 20 calories, 2 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 20 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1 ½

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Food on 02/12/2020

Print Headline: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry adaptable

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