Real Food Fast: Beef & Pepper Stir Fry

This is real fast food: once you have your ingredients ready, a stir-fry takes under ten minutes to prepare. Serve it over brown rice or thin noodles, or wrap the mixture up in lettuce leaves and eat it with your fingers. Use this recipe as a canvas: try pork tenderloin instead of beef or add broccoli or cauliflower florets, pea pods or asparagus to the pan along with the peppers.

Turn leftovers into a fried rice bowl: reheat cold rice in a hot pan drizzled with canola or sesame oil; stir in chopped meat and vegetables and top with a fried or poached egg. Wonderful, delicious and cheap.

Beef & Bell Pepper Stir-fry

Marinade & sauce:
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. chili sauce or sriracha

1 tsp. cornstarch
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 lb. flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
1-2 red, orange or green bell peppers, cored and sliced
1 small purple onion, cut into half-moon slices or thin wedges
toasted sesame seeds or chopped peanuts, to sprinkle on top (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, oil, honey, garlic and chili sauce. Put the flank steak into a dish or zip-lock bag and pour half the marinade overtop; cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. In a small dish, stir the cornstarch into a tablespoon of cold water.

Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous drizzle of oil. Cook the strips of steak in batches, without crowding the skillet, tossing them with tongs as needed just until they’re cooked through; transfer to a bowl.

Add another drizzle of oil and cook the peppers and onion the same way, just until they start to brown on the edges but are still fairly crisp. Pour the rest of the marinade into the pan along with the cornstarch mixture and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Add the beef back to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Heat through and serve immediately over rice or noodles, sprinkled with sesame seeds or chopped nuts if you like. Serves 4-6.

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