Thursday, January 24, 2013

Crock Pot Broccoli Beef

Healthy and delicious Chinese food--in the comfort of your own home!!!

I don’t know about you, but I love a great Asian-inspired meal. Problem is, head to your local Pick Up Stix, Panda Express, or any other Chinese/Japanese joint and you’ll likely end up with a hefty dose of sodium and MSG with your combo meal.  
When I ran across this recipe on Pinterest it caught my eye 1) because I had a bunch of broccoli in the fridge I needed to use, 2) because it looked fresh and tasty, and 3) because it was a Crock Pot meal, and by now you all know that I’m obsessed with my slow cooker.
I didn’t stray much from the ingredients used in the original. I like my Crock Pot meals with a little more liquid so I added more broth than was called for. I also cut back on the amount of brown sugar and added a packet of stevia instead for a bit of natural sweetness without the calories and carbs. Trader Joe’s didn’t have boneless beef chuck roast so I used steak tips instead. Additionally, I added pepper and swapped the regular soy sauce for the low-sodium version.

Here’s what I came up with.
Crock Pot Broccoli Beef
Serves 3-4

Olive oil spray
1 pound steak tips or boneless beef chuck roast
1½ cups beef broth (low-sodium preferred)
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1 packet stevia (I used Stevia in the Raw but any brand will do)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons broth from the Crock Pot after meat is cooked through
2-3 cups broccoli florets (fresh preferred)
Steamed brown rice (optional)
Lightly spritz Crock Pot with olive oil. (This step is optional but it helps the food to not stick.) Place steak tips in the Crock Pot. Add broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, stevia, sesame oil, garlic, and ground pepper and stir to dissolve sugar. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

In a small bowl, collect 4 tablespoons of cooking liquid from the Crock Pot (make sure meat is cooked through first!). Combine cooking liquid with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk until smooth.  Pour mixture back into Crock Pot and stir well. You can shred the meat a little at this time. Add fresh broccoli florets, cover, and cook on high for 30 more minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken and the broccoli to cook through.
Serve over steamed brown rice if desired.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this dish turned out. The meat stayed juicy and tender and wasn’t at all fatty or stringy. I thought the flavors were to die for…due in part to the fact that I love the combination of garlic and sesame oil. The hubs gave it a thumb’s up and the baby liked it too. (Winning!) We enjoy a little heat so I used Huy Fong’s Chili Garlic Sauce (the one with the bright green lid and the rooster on the jar) to kick it up a notch. All and all, I’d chalk this dish up as a success.
If you are looking for a healthy, guilt-free Chinese meal in the comfort of your own home, this is the perfect recipe for you. Grab your chopsticks and enjoy!  

Until next time,

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