Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weeknight Chef

Maintaining  family meal time is something so important to me, but is easier said then done when you are a working mom outside of the home.
I rely on meal planning, my crock pot and easy recipes that call for fresh ingredients to help me keep my family around the table together. Many times this means we don't eat until 8pm or so, but I know myself too well. If I have to make a decision on what we are eating after a long day of working, then it's take out for sure.
I try to keep my weekday meals simple with as much advanced preparation as possible. As I discover new recipes and add them to our repertoire, I hope to share them here with you as well in a series called Weeknight Chef.
Bon Appetit!

Confession: Most weekends I scour my sister in law's Pinterest boards for recipes like a hunter stalks it's prey. She has an uncanny knack for finding delicious dishes that are so easy to make it is almost ridiculous. I am constantly repinning her finds to my own boards in true copycat fashion. But imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

I spied a recipe for crock pot Beef and Broccoli on her Pinterest a while back, and since it is one of the only forms of Asian cuisine my daughter will eat, I decided to give it a go.

Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
recipe from

1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
Hot cooked rice
~ Place beef in a crock pot.
~ In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
~  In a cup, stir cornstarch and sauce form the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock pot. Stir well to combine. 
~  Add broccoli to the crock pot. Stir to combine. 
~  Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken). 
~  Serve over hot cooked rice.

Adaptions and Suggestions:
~ I removed everything from the crockpot after cooking and into a large saucepan because I have never seen my crock pot boil anything. I finished the dish on the stovetop which worked out just fine and gave me time to clean out the crock pot! Win!
~ I used a 1lb skirt steak because that was what I had on hand. We prefer lean meats as a general rule of thumb, but that cut of meat was a bit dry. A fattier cut would definitely retain more moisture.
~ I will make this again, but we all agreed it needed to have a little sweetness to it. Next time I prepare it, I will reduce some of the soy sauce and replace with agave nectar or honey.
~ Use a reduced sodium soy sauce. This recipe calls for a pretty hefty amount and the less salty the better!

Do you rely on simple weeknight meals too? What are some of your favorites?
I'd love to hear about them!

1 comment:

  1. This looks good Eleanor! What a good idea to scour Pinterest boards for recipes!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x