Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ginger Beef and Vegetables (Crockpot)

The entire month of April has HECTIC written all over it for me, and it is at times like this that I am eternally grateful for my Crockpot.

I feel like Crockpot dinners can get monotonous...it's always some kind of soup or stew or pulled pork. I've been searching the ends of the internet for some fresh takes on a typical slow cooker meal.

I stumbled upon this recipe from Fit Magazine and knew I had to give it a try. I love this combination of Asian flavors, and they pair so well with the tender beef round. I simply made adjustments to what vegetables I had on hand.

Ginger Beef and Vegetables is a fun yet simple meal. Nearly all of the prep can be taken care of the night before, with a few finishing touches made just before you eat. This meal is rich in protein and packed with flavorful veggies.

The night before, I pre-chopped all my vegetables and beef. The beef, carrots, scallions, and garlic get added to the bowl of your slow cooker. In a measuring cup, whisk together minced ginger, water, vegetable bouillon, and low-sodium soy sauce. Pour over the meat and carrots and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, place the bowl in the body of the slow cooker and cook on low for 9 hours (or high for 4 1/2).

When you get home from work, turn the heat setting to high and stir in the bell pepper. Whisk cornstarch with a little bit of water and stir into the pot. Cover and cook for a bit longer. Remove the cover and stir in green beans (the frozen variety, thawed) and some lime juice. Cook until green beans are warmed and the sauce is to the desired thickness.

I served this beef over brown rice and garnished with additional scallions. This cured our craving for Chinese take out for half the cost and very little work! The beef was tender and packed with the great flavors of ginger and  soy sauce. The crispy beans and soft carrots make this a great vegetable medley. The creamy sauce is so dreamy! Below is the ingredient list and step by step instructions--enjoy!

Here's what you need for Ginger Beef and Vegetables (Print Recipe!)

1 pound beef round steak, cut into cubes
2 medium or 3 large carrots, chopped on the diagonal (because it looks pretty!)
1/2 cup scallions, white and light green parts chopped (reserve the darker green portion for garnish)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced fine
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons cold water
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving.

Here's what you do:

Combine the steak, carrots, and scallions in the bowl of a slow cooker. Whisk together the water, soy sauce, bouillon, and ginger until the bouillon breaks up and starts to dissolve. Pour over the beef and carrots and stir until coated. Refrigerate overnight (or proceed to step 2).

Cook the beef mixture on low heat for 9 hours. Turn up the heat to high and add in the red bell pepper. Mix the cold water and corn starch in a small bowl then stir into the Crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Add the green beans, juice of 1/2 the lime and season with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered about 10 minutes more until the beans are warmed and the sauce has thickened. Serve over brown rice with additional scallions and lime wedges on top for garnish.

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