The #FirstFriday in March
Once in a while, you stumble across a seasonal ingredient that gets you geared up to tackle new dishes. For us, this week, the Trader Joe gods taunted us with bountiful bags of bok choy and all we could think was: challenge accepted. Note: sorry to those who envision us strictly traipsing through open-air farmer’s markets. We do, in fact, indulge in the conveniences that grocery stores afford from time to time.
Anyway, back to bok choy. For us, this natively Chinese cabbage was always the elusive crucifer that dangled from dim sum carts, smothered in that garlic sauce you can never manage to mimic at home. However, now, we were going to make it our own.
Full of folate, fiber, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, K, A, and B6 this leafy green goddess can help improve memory, and decrease inflammation (check out this study showing the beneficial effect of fiber in decreasing neuroinflammation, and this one too that shows an inverse relationship between cruciferous vegetables and proinflammatory markers in women!) So, needless to say, it’s #elatedapproved.
Whether you choose to steam it, stir-fry it, sauté it, or leave it raw, you can’t go wrong. We went with a quick sauté that is thought to allow for concentrated nutrient retention. The carotenoids (i.e. powerful antioxidants) in bok choy for example, are preserved when sautéed but can be lost while steaming or boiling.
Now let’s get to the exciting part. Here’s exactly what we decided make:
Beef and Bok Choy with Turmeric Jasmine Rice
2 Heads of bok choy
.5lb Sirloin tip steak
1 cup Jasmine rice (delicious substitutions include quinoa, forbidden (black) rice, or a vegetable of your choice!)
1 cup Bone Broth (or broth of your choosing)
Enough extra virgin olive oil to coat a wok or sauté pan
4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp Gluten free soy sauce
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Red chili paste
2 tsp Ground flaxseed
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to garnish, if desired
1. Place wok, or sauté pan, over medium heat and drizzle olive oil to create a light coating; let it sit for about a minute so it heats up.
2. As the wok is heating, chop your garlic and then place it in your now heated wok. You should hear immediate sizzles. Move the garlic around for about 30sec. You don’t want to ‘fry’ your garlic, I mean maybe you do, but we didn’t. So if you’re like us and you see that your garlic is browning, lower the heat.
3. Now, add your soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste. Stir the mixture.
4. While the mixture is, well, mixing, remove the ends of the bok choy so that the leaves separate. Wash the leaves and then add them to your thoroughly mixed sauce. Let them sit for about 30 sec and then add your broth. Let that simmer for about a minute.
5. If things are moving too fast, you can set your saucy bok choy aside and off the heat as you cut your steak into ½ inch strips. Maybe you already thought of this and cut your steak beforehand. If so, go you! Either way, once your steak is cut, combine it with your bok choy. Because this cut of meat is fairly thin you only need to cook it for about 3minutes or so. You should be continuously moving the food around as it cooks, and keep watch for when your meat is no longer red. As soon as this happens, remove your wok/pan from the flame.
6. To be completely honest, for this meal, we used flash-frozen jasmine rice just to expedite the process. You can find some at Trader Joe’s. So as our meat and bok choy was resting, we nuked our rice. However, if you prefer to cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stove, follow the associated instructions and you may want to start with this step so that your rice is ready when you are--sorry that we didn’t mention this sooner.
7. Once your rice is cooked, add the flaxseed, turmeric, and garlic powder. You may also want to add some olive oil, or your preferred fat, so that the rice doesn’t stick together. Add salt and pepper as desired.
8. Garnish your dish with red pepper flakes if you want to turn up the heat, and voila! Enjoy!
Here’s what ours looked like (before we decided to live life dangerously and add the pepper flakes. Also please excuse the ‘fogginess’ we are only now realizing this minor inconvenience).
-the elated team