Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Peas and Water Chestnuts

After a week-long vacation, the holidays, and being out of my routine, I could not wait to come home and cook my first homemade, healthy meal of 2015. I found a simple recipe for Asian Beef while browsing on Pinterest at the beach, and I decided she was the foundation on which to build my next culinary adventure.

I modified this recipe to suit my own tastes and to make healthier, and the result was honestly one of the best dishes I have ever made! I had to immediately come up to my office after dinner and write it all down so that I would not forget how I did it! (That happens to me a lot – I cannot recreate something I cooked to the T because I was messing around and too lazybones to write it down then can never remember what I did! Not this time!)

In the last year or so, I have almost completely replaced all of my spices from conventional to all organic, but there are a few non-organic lingerers I am trying to use up, which include several of my Asian staples. Whenever possible, always use organic spices, organic vegetables, and grass-fed and antibiotic-free meats. Earth Fare at Westgate in Fairview Park is my favorite place to shop for groceries, and you can find the GMO-free, organic, and antibiotic-free versions of anything you can think of! It really makes a difference, not only in taste, but in how you feel once you have been clean for a while.

Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Pea and Water Chestnuts

Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Pea and Water Chestnuts

Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Peas and Water Chestnuts Over Jasmine Rice

(The original recipe on which this is based can be found here – Many thanks to Julia’s Album for the original recipe. I cannot wait to try her other amazing dishes!)

Ingredients for Asian Sauce

Simple Asian Sauce for Beef

Simple Asian Sauce for Beef

6 Cloves Garlic – Minced

2 Tablespoons Organic Light Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup of Tamari (this is gluten-free soy sauce and it is not as salty – invest in a bottle straight away!)

3 Teaspoons Rice Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds

Instructions: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork until brown sugar is dissolved. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes while prepping the rest.

Simple Asian Sauce for Beef

Simple Asian Sauce for Beef

Ingredients for Beef and Vegetables

3/4 lb Grassfed, Antibiotic Free Sirloin Strips, sliced very thin

1/4 lb Snow Peas (boiled for 3 minutes, then drained)

1 can Sliced Water Chestnuts

1 Package Organic Whole Button Mushrooms, sliced very thin

Two 1/2 Teaspoons Organic Coconut Oil (Unrefined), divided

Two 1/2 Teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil, divided

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

1 Package of Tasty Bite Organic Jasmine Rice

Raw Ingredients

Directions 

1. In a Wok or a Stainless Steel Skillet, add one of the 1/2 teaspoon of Coconut Oil to the pan over Medium-High heat until sizzling.

2. Add in the sliced Mushrooms and Water Chestnuts and stir-fry in the Wok or Skillet. Once they are in the pan, pour one of the 1/2 teaspoons of Sesame Oil down the side of the pan and let move to the center by tilting the pan. Continue to stir-fry this mixture and add a dash of the Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Cook about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Shrooms and WCs

3. In the same Wok/Skillet, add the remaining 1/2 Teaspoon of Coconut Oil over Medium-High heat. Once sizzling, place the strips of Beef flat in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of Toasted Sesame Oil to side of pan and let flow to the bottom again. Shake pan around to even out the oils around the beef strips. Brown on both sides until desired temperature. Remove from pan and place between two paper towels to remove excess grease.

Beef

4. Wipe out the pan, removing any oils and bits.

5. Add back to the pan the ‘Shooms, Water Chestnuts, Snow Peas, Beef and top with the sauce over Medium heat and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, until warmed through.

6. Serve over Steamed Jasmine Rice – Tasty Bite Organic brand in the 90-second pouch is my favorite for when you are short on time and cannot steam it yourself.

Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Pea and Water Chestnuts

Asian Beef with Mushrooms, Snow Pea and Water Chestnuts

The 8th is the New 1st

You don’t have to tell me…I know New Year’s Resolutions are cliche and lame, and I scoff at them normally. That acknowledged, I made a few this year because they are just the things I should just be doing anyway! This year feels different, probably because of that small detail that I am someone’s wife now. So making NYR’s didn’t seem like too bad of an idea, since marriage is all about continually striving to be a better person for yourself and your person, you know.

My personal New Year started today, since this was my first day back from a fabulous trip to New Smyrna Beach, FL with the whole family, and it was my first day back to work after a bit of intermittent time off. I was absolutely not trying to be healthy when there were Waffle Houses to be patronized, boxloads of French pastries to mow, and dirty martinis to sling back after a hard day at the beach. I had an amazing time with Mike, my cousins Joey and Carly, my parents, and all my aunts and uncles. It really was a trip to remember. Here are some of the highlights:

French PastriesDecadent French Pastries from Mon Delice

Me and Carly Me and Carly Selfying

Beach DayWinter Beach Day with Joey

BlackbeardsEating at Blackbeard’s Inn – My New Favorite NSB Eatery

Ringin In 2015Ringing in 2015 at Traders

Lisa and Pat Lisa and Pat

Scrabble Who would we be if we didn’t Scrabble?

No Marshalls for YouThat time that Dean denied us all Marshalls…

60th Bday The Wildest 6oth Birthday Party In History (this is the only postable picture that survives)

Vintage DQVintage Dairy Queen – A Mid-century modern work of art

Alas, today was back to the polar vortex of Cleveland, and my “New” New Year’s Day is now over. I have stuck to everything so far. So disciplined, NetteF!

Here are my Five Resolutions for 2015:

1. Reusable Bags Always – NO MORE WIRE HANGARS PLASTIC BAGS. EVER! I moved my massive collection of cloth bags from their hiding place in the furnace room into the back of my Jeep where they are now with me everywhere I go so forgetting them is no excuse. I gathered up every plastic bag in the house and recycled them all, and it smelled of freedom.

2. Do something active and enjoyable every day. This should be easy since I have been doing this for the last eight months. And thanks to my love affair with Pure Barre, I have no doubt about this one. The Douchebag is back on the air and I just discovered OITNB  so, really, I should be dying to hop on my mill and enjoy some Teeve, which I vow to enjoy more of this year. More shitty TV, less reading about politics and climate change. Wait, one may ask, shouldn’t that be the other way around? Nope, not if you are me. Enough said on that topic.

Pure BarreCompletely At Pure Barre’s mercy…I would tattoo the damn logo on myself at this rate. 

3. Replace my normal black coffee in the AM with this instead: 8 oz. Hot Water and add 1 teaspoon each of organic cinnamon powder and raw organic honey, and the juice of half an organic lemon. The benefits of this simple drink are endless! This is especially helpful with respiratory issues and can aid in weight loss. It also has a detoxifying effect, and it just makes you feel nice inside.

4. No more store-bought toothpaste or toxic deods! These are two of the most toxic things sold in stores that everyone uses. I made my own toothpaste from a simple recipe of organic coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint essential oil. I have been researching how to make my own deods, but I haven’t perfected it yet, so I am using this for now. It was the very last mainstream toxic product left in my personal care arsenal. Vamoose, Degree!

5. Write, Write, Write – Now that the wedding is over and I have my life back and some extra leisure time on my hands, this is going to be the year I finally bring the first love of my life back into it. With the winter hibernation coming up, I will be whipping up all kinds of delicious treats and we have a list of home improvement projects 17 miles long, so I doubt I will be short on material. I will hold myself accountable and I will do this. Dean always said the saddest thing in the world is wasted talent. Not writing has been the fuel for my insomnia and the ding to my self-worth for far too long.

Our NetteF New Year’s Day Meal was a hit today too! It was one of the best things ever to accidentally come out of my kitchen. My best nonhuman/noncat friend Pinterest and I had much bonding time together in Florida, so my options for trying something new were vast. But anyone who knows me knows that Asian is my go-to cuisine anytime I need to make a food decision. Nine of 10 times, Asian it is. So that’s what I went with tonight. Plus, I was dying to use these adorable new bowls we yuppily picked out together as marrieds at Crate & Barrel at Christmastime. Check out the recipe for Asian Beef with Mushroom and Snow Pea and Water Chestnuts that we died over tonight.

What are your resolutions? Is 2015 the year you ditch the flouride, aluminum, plastic bags, pick up your pen and meet me at the Barre? That sounds like a set of resolutions even I won’t scoff at.

Spanish RiverMy First Blowout and Red Sangria of 2015 – January 2 at Spanish River Wine Bar, NSB