I do my grocery shopping on Wednesdays. It’s the day before the new circular comes out, so the store is always empty. (Honestly though, I didn’t learn that until we’d been going for several weeks out of necessity because it was the only day we didn’t have something else scheduled; it’s a nice perk.) So this means that Tuesday night after The Munchkin goes to sleep I’m up racking my brain about what to make for dinner that week. I’d been in a rut for weeks — maybe months.
Then I read about one food blogger’s method for organizing recipes. Now, honestly, I’ve been looking everywhere & can’t find the post anymore, so I think it may have just been a Facebook post or something, otherwise I’d send you there in a millisecond. But the gist of it was that she has a Word document (or you could use an Excel spreadsheet) of all the dinner recipes she likes to use, with either the link (if it’s from a blog) or the title of the cookbook, so she can find it quickly. Keeping it on the computer makes it easy to add to & modify the list, & you could organize it by cuisine (Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc.) or food type (beef, chicken, vegetarian, etc.), & it’s so much quicker than my old method of printing off the recipe & sticking it in my overstuffed binder of recipes. So that’s my goal.
Another way to streamline weekly meal planning is to assign “theme nights.” I actually read in this month’s Parents magazine that theme nights can get kids excited about sitting down with the family for dinner & can help them assume a larger role in meal prep. But on the practical side, if I know that Thursday night is going to be Mexican night, I can go to my handy-dandy “Mexican” category & have fewer meals to have to choose from.
So why am I saying all this? Because I’m trying to expand my repertoire to include more international foods for said “theme nights.” For Asian night, meet Beef with Broccoli (original recipe here).
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 lb.+ stir-fry beef
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 large carrots, peeled & sliced on a diagonal
- 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
- Sauce, below
- hot cooked rice
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, combine cornstarch, water, soy sauce, & garlic powder; stir until smooth. Toss beef in mixture until well coated.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in wok on medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef until done. Remove & keep warm.
- Stir-fry vegetables in remaining oil 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. (I like to cover the wok to allow the veggies to steam.)
- Return beef to wok & add sauce. Cook 2 minutes.
- Serve over rice.