Most lists of pregnancy super foods include lean meats because they are such an excellent source of protein. When I think of lean meats, I usually envision dishes using chicken breasts or fish, but lean beef is an especially good source of protein during pregnancy because it also contains B vitamins and high levels of iron. In fact, many lists I found of healthy foods for pregnancy specifically listed lean beef. Lean cuts of beef do tend to be somewhat expensive, so it’s probably not something you’ll be eating often, but I try to include beef in my diet once a week while I’m pregnant. Stir-fries are a great way to prepare beef because they are low in fat and usually include lots of vegetables. All of the other ingredients in a stir-fry also make it easier to stretch a relatively small amount of beef to make more servings. Since Chinese New Year falls at the end of this week, I decided to post my favorite recipe for Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry. This healthy dish includes both lean beef and broccoli making it a pregnancy super food bonanza, but it is also full of rich, meaty flavor. So, here’s to a happy, healthy and delicious New Year!
You might also want to check out these other recipes that include good sources of lean protein: Â Chicken Breakfast Sausage, Frittata Breakfast Sandwiches, Salmon Salad Nicoise, Green Chicken Nuggets, Black Bean Burgers, and Homemade Fish Sticks.
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
The secret to the rich flavor of this dish lies in the use of oyster sauce. I know that the name sounds kind of disgusting, but oyster sauce adds such a great depth of flavor with none of the fishiness that it’s name implies . . . I promise!
Makes 4 large servings
3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons honey
a drizzle of sesame oil
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 pound flank steak or other lean cut of beef
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups prepared brown rice, for serving
1. About 45 minutes before preparing the meal, pat the steak dry with paper towels and place it on a plate in the freezer. Freezing the meat for a little while makes it easier to cut into thin strips. When you are ready to prepare the stir-fry, remove the steak from the freezer and cut it into thin strips, each a few inches long.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, honey, sesame oil, oyster sauce, garlic and chile sauce. Add the strips of steak to this sauce and toss well to coat all the strips.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade (reserving marinade) and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until it is browned and almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the steak from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
4. Add the broccoli to the pan, along with 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and steam the broccoli until it is vibrant green and tender, about 7 Â minutes.
5. Add the broth and corn starch to the marinade, whisking well to make sure the cornstarch dissolves. Pour this broth mixture into the pan with the broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes, just until sauce begins to thicken. Return the beef to the pan and toss it with the other ingredients until it is well-coated with sauce and warmed through. Serve immediately over brown rice.