Before we started following the keto diet, we ordered Chinese food often…. Shamefully often. It was kind of like benzo-junkies in the 50’s would have multiple doctors so that no one could see how much of drugs they were using; we had multiple Chinese restaurants who would deliver to us so that none of them knew how much lo-mein, General Tso’s, and fried rice it took to eat my feelings.
So in the same way that an alcoholic might cultivate a passion for coffee, I’ve made it my business to develop new and exciting ways to gorge on Chinese without breaking my keto commitment. You’ll find the following to be a satisfying stand-in for beef and broccoli or green beans with spicy garlic sauce, mainly because it’s essentially a fusion of the two. For the same reason, the green beans can be subbed easily with broccoli, fresh or frozen, as long as you steam said broccoli to the desired consistency before tossing it in the wok (or skillet).
Beef Tenderloin, Haricots Verts, and Baby Kale Stir-Fry with Spicy Garlic-Lime Sauce
- 12 oz (or 2 6-oz filets) of beef tenderloin, sliced super thin (This is most easily achieved when the beef is partially frozen. So freeze it, then let it thaw about halfway and, using a VERY sharp knife, cut really thin slices. I mean about a couple millimeters thin.)
- 6 c haricots verts
- 4 c baby kale
- 2 tbs minced shallots
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 c gluten-free tamari
- 3 tbs rice vinegar
- juice of 1 lime (so like 3-4 tbs)
- 3 tbs peanut oil
- 1/3 c coconut oil
- 2 tbs toasted sesame oil
- 2 c chicken stock (bone stock is ideal, but unsalted is essential. Don’t use that Swanson’s broth crap, it’s garbage. This will end up being reduced to give you the saucy viscosity, and when you reduce stock, it concentrates the flavor. Nobody wants concentrated garbage in their Chinese food besides cats and the occasional schizophrenic.)
- 2 tsp stevia powder
- Make life easy on yourself and just toss all the oils in a bowl and mix mix mix. Normally, I get really picky about how hot each thing gets, but in this case, I just didn’t have the patience, and besides, they’re really not in the pan very long because stir-frying is, by nature, a pretty fast and dirty process. (It’s not actually dirty. Don’t cook with dirty stuff, it’s gross.)
- In a large wok (or a skillet if you’re roughin’ it), heat about 1/4 of the oils on high heat and swish to coat. Once the oil is shimmering (click HERE for a recipe that talks about what this word means because I’m not retyping it — lazy miss, right here!), toss in half the beef and stir around until cooked. Dump that into a heat safe dish big enough to fit everything after it’s done. Repeat with more beef, adding another tbs or two of oil to slick things back up.
- DO NOT TOUCH THAT DIAL! Ha, always wanted to say that. Not really. But don’t turn down the heat. Add more oil, let it shimmer, and stir fry the haricots verts in batches, roughly 1-2 cups each depending on the size of your pan. Continue this process with the baby kale, but make sure not to overcook that because they’re better when they’re wilted and not cooked to death. Plus, keep in mind that they will continue to cook after you’ve removed them from the heat via carryover temp (meaning the heat they retain from the cooking you just put them through) and the heat from the other ingredients.
- Put the rest of the oil in the pan and add the shallots. Cook until translucent, then add the garlic. After about 30 seconds to a minute, that will smell great, and you’ll add your other stuff: tamari, lime, vinegar, chili flakes, ground ginger, stevia powder, and chicken stock. Mix that all up and NOW drop the heat to about medium high to let it reduce down to about 1/3 of its original volume. You’ll notice that the bubbling action will start to appear smaller and, for lack of a better descriptor, pre-foamy. That’s the good stuff. Is it gummy like if you used cornstarch? Nope. But I compare this to a roast beef served with gravy vs a roast beef served with au jus. Still a great flavor concentration with the capacity to coat my food with goodness, love, and light.
- Dump that sauce over your ingredients and toss. You can eat this on its own or over cauliflower rice, but I just ate it on its own because I didn’t have the patience to rice cauliflower after I sampled it. This is one of those things you might want to heap into a bowl in an embarrassing amount, scurry away to your room, and eat it behind a locked door while everyone else in the house wonders where you went. Don’t let the haters hate.
(….or 1 if it mysteriously disappears after it’s made.)
Time: appx 45 mins