Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

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Hello everyone!!  It’s been awhile since my last blog post. At times life calls for focus elsewhere, and far away to elsewhere I went. There was a time when I would have exhausted myself to do it all, but to what end I had to ask myself. As I get older, I realize that I am a priority as much as anything and doing something for the sake of just getting it done is not the same as doing it for the joy it brings me.  Sooo, now that I have moved, dealt with the death of my mother, moved again, cleaned up a hoarder’s home, renovated my own home and assisted my father with a broken femur, I am ready to get back to me. And by me, I mean food of course LOL!

I’ve truly missed being part of the foodie community and participating in my passion.  This creative outlet and meaningful pursuit bring me a lot of joy. I’m also very excited to share that I’ve finally stepped into the world of video. It’s been great to learn and challenge myself, and I’m sure that my “being on camera” nerves will calm as it becomes my norm. You can find me on YouTube @compelledtocook and as time goes I will include videos here on the blog for some of my existing posts. My channel is very new and I still have plenty to learn and improve upon, but I hope you’ll join me in my endeavour.  Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a great recipe video. If you’ve been hanging around wondering if I’d ever post again, I thank you for your patience, and if you’re new to my blog, I welcome you.

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry is quick, simple and flavourful.  Thinly sliced beef gets fried quickly over high heat to keep it tender, while crisp and healthy snow peas balance the umami “ish” sauce. Let’s talk about the beef for a moment. There are several cuts that work well, and I have a couple of tricks to create tender, silky beef. My cuts of choice are tenderloin, strip loin or flank steak. Regardless of the cut you choose it is imperative that you cut it thinly across the natural grain of the meat to ensure a chewable bite.

The second trick is to add a small amount of baking soda (mixed with soy sauce) to the slices and allow to marinate. The baking soda helps to break down the meat fibres and create a silky texture. If using tenderloin, the need to marinate is less because it’s already a very tender cut of meat, however, I still do. Just marinate it for a shorter length of time, about 30-60 minutes. If using other cuts I recommend marinating for 1-2 hours. Please know that more soda does NOT mean more tender. It only adds a sharp taste to the meat, so resist the urge to do so.  Beef and Snow Pea Stir Fry is wonderful served over rice or your favourite noodle.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Beef

  • 10 ounces beef, thinly sliced across the grain, see notes
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Stir Fry

  • 10-12 ounces snow peas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup beef broth, cold
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • as needed canola oil
  • as needed scallions, thinly sliced
  • as needed sesame seeds

Instructions

Beef

  • Toss beef with ginger and minced garlic.
  • In a small bowl stir together soy sauce and baking soda. Pour over beef and mix well to evenly coat the beef slices (I use my hands to ensure it's mixed well). Set in the fridge to marinate for 30-120 minutes depending on cut used. (see notes)
  • While the beef is marinating whisk together beef broth and cornstarch (see notes). Stir in oyster sauce, sugar and chili flakes.

Stir Fry

  • Prep snow peas by trimming the ends and removing the side string.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous splash of oil. When the oil is hot add the beef, separating the slices with your hands as you add it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through and starting to brown. Remove to a clean bowl and cover.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of water and snow peas to the wok and cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the water has cooked off and the peas are starting to soften but are still slightly crisp (they will continue to cook in the sauce).
  • Add the sauce to the snow peas and cook for about a minute, stirring until the sauce fully thickens. Add the beef and stir to combine and warm.
  • Serve over rice or desired noodles and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Notes

-Several cuts of beef will work.  I enjoy tenderloin or strip loin, however, flank steak will work well too. Be sure to cut the beef into thin strips across the grain.
-If using tenderloin, marinating for 30-60 minutes is enough, it's already a tender cut.  If using strip loin or flank 1-2 hours is best.
-Cornstarch dissolves better in cool liquids, so if your broth is hot, allow it to cool first.  It will also dissolve better in the broth as opposed to the thick oyster sauce.

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I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
    Tuna Noodle Casserole
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
      3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
      4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
      5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
      6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Chocolate Pots de Créme

      Chocolate Pots de Créme

      Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

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      Love is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate the ones we love. As a foodie, I find there’s no better way than to share and indulge in a luscious chocolate dessert. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a decadent and indulgent spoonful meant to be eaten slowly, savouring every bite. Preferably with a tender kiss in between.

      These lovely baked chocolate custards are very simple to make but taste like you’ve spent hours labouring. Your Valentine is sure to be impressed!

      Ingredients for Chocolate Pots de Creme arranged on a small white platter on a dark background.

      Good quality chocolate, heavy cream and egg yolks make up the structure and the water bath baking ensures they bake gently, creating a smooth and creamy texture. They can be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart without the worry of fussing with food. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope your day is filled with love…and chocolate!

      Other Valentine’s Day treats to share!

      Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

      Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

      Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Epicurious

      Chocolate Pots de Créme
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6 people 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        40 minutes 3+ hours
        Servings Prep Time
        6 people 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        40 minutes 3+ hours
        Chocolate Pots de Créme
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6 people 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          40 minutes 3+ hours
          Servings Prep Time
          6 people 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          40 minutes 3+ hours
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
          2. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Allow chocolate to sit for a few minutes and then stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
          3. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in an approximate 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture until combined, repeat with another 1/4 cup and then slowly whisk in the remaining hot mixture. Whisk in espresso powder and salt.
          4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam on the surface.
          5. Pour evenly among six 3/4 cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9"x13" baking pan and add enough boiling water to come up the ramekins halfway. Cover entire pan with foil and bake on centre rack for approximately 40 minutes until the edges are set but centers still jiggle when shaken.
          6. Remove from oven and remove custards from pan. Allow to rest for 10-20 minutes and then chill until cold, about 3 hours.
          7. Serve with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
          Recipe Notes

          -If you do not use boiling water to start with the cooking time will be longer.

          -You can also use good quality semi-sweet chocolate, however bittersweet results in a richer custard.

          -Do not skip the straining as it ensures a smooth custard.

          -Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and chilled.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Cherry Salsa

          Cherry Salsa

          Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.

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          Cherry Salsa is sweet, spicy and delicious on goat cheese crostini, baked Brie, chicken cutlets or grilled meats. Simplicity is good and this quick and easy recipe can be ready for guests without much fuss. The dried cherries offer a nice texture to the salsa and the freshly chopped jalapenos, lime and vinegar balance the cherry jam. It’s so good!

          Ingredients for Cherry Salsa arranged on and around a wooden cutting board with a bowl of dried cherries in the background.

          My favourite way to eat this lovely Cherry Salsa is dabbed on crisp crostini smeared with goat cheese. The tang and creaminess of the goat cheese make it a great pairing with the salsa and the combo makes for an easy company friendly appetizer. Another great way to use Cherry Salsa is as a baked brie topping. Simply spoon the salsa onto your hot baked brie and serve with crisp crackers, crostini or crudites. I originally found this Cherry Salsa paired up pecan-crusted chicken wings. I’ve prepared pecan-crusted chicken cutlets in the past and thought this would also be a wonderful way to use the salsa in a main course. I was not disappointed as the crunchy, nutty cutlets beg for the sweet, spiciness that the salsa offers. The recipe for pecan-crusted chicken cutlets will be coming to the blog soon, so be sure to check back.

          Looking for more company friendly appetizers?

          Tomato Confit

          Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

          Miso Shrimp

          Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food.com

          Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
          Cherry Salsa
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 20 minutes
            Passive Time
            30+ minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            1 cup 20 minutes
            Passive Time
            30+ minutes
            Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
            Cherry Salsa
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              1 cup 20 minutes
              Passive Time
              30+ minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              1 cup 20 minutes
              Passive Time
              30+ minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: cup
              Instructions
              1. Chop dried cherries and combine with cherry jam in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse several times until cherries are about the size of a pea or smaller. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 2-3 times to combine.
              2. Scoop into a serving dish, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to meld flavours. Use as a topping for crostini, baked brie, breaded chicken cutlets or grilled meats.
              Recipe Notes

              -I find there is a need to first chop the cherries before adding to the food processor because everything becomes too processed in the time it takes the dried cherries to break down.  By chopping the cherries first, the mixture retains most of its texture yet everything is combined.

              -If a food processor is not available, simply chop everything by hand and combine.

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              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

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              Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

              I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

              I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat. 

              Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
              Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                25 minutes 5 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                25 minutes 5 minutes
                Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
                Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  25 minutes 5 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  25 minutes 5 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Shrimp Bowls
                  Dressing
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
                  2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
                  3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
                  4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
                  5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
                  6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com