Sesame Beef & Veggie Stir-Fry

Whenever I feel a little sluggish and notice that I'm bruising a little too easily, I eat red meat.

It gets a bad rap and people often link it with heart disease, but a lot of this comes down to the cut of meat you eat, how much and how frequently you consume it and how you cook it. Occasional indulgence is the way to go.

Regularly eating Kobe beef (if you could afford to!) is sure to shorten your lifespan, but not all cuts are high in saturated fat that will clog up your arteries and raise your cholesterol. With a lean cut of beef (guide to leaner cuts) you are getting a great source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. While protein helps your body build bones and muscles, zinc promotes a strong immune system and B12 keeps nerves and red blood cells healthy, what I’m really interested in is the iron. It's an important dietary mineral that helps your body’s red blood cells transport oxygen to all your organs. It’s particular important for women, since we regularly lose blood.

Red meat the one of the best sources of heme iron, which is more readily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron (found in vegetables, grains, beans and lentils). While consuming too much iron can cause it to build up and damage your organs, I typically find myself more on the iron deficient end of the spectrum. To get an idea of where you might be, ask your doctor to run a blood test.

If you want a more extensive overview on red meat, iron, and iron absorption check out these helpful resources: WebMD, Iron Disorders Insitute.

While this dish is a great way to get a decent amount of red meat along with your veggies, the beauty of a stir fry is you can easily swap out ingredients to match the ones in your fridge. Only have chicken and zucchini? Go ahead use those instead! This time I served the dish over tri-colored quinoa instead of rice. If you want to steer clear of white rice too, you can also use brown rice, bulgar or my favorite cauliflower rice.  


3 T. cornstarch
3/4 cup broth or water
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
(additional 1/2 cup water)
Canola oil
1 onion, slices
1-inch ginger, grated or julienned
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3/4 lb. lean beef, sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 red pepper, sliced
2 cups snow peas, whole or chopped in half
1/3 cup soy sauce
½ tsp. hot pepper flakes (or to taste, optional)
1-2 T. honey
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. sesame seeds
¼ cup peanuts chopped

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with broth or water until smooth, then set aside. Pour 1 T. oil into wok on medium-high heat. Stir-fry the broccoli briefly until it becomes bright green, add 1/2 cup water, cover and steam briefly so that broccoli is cooked, but still crisp. Remove broccoli and any excess water and set aside. Return wok to heat, add 1 T. of oil and the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until onions start become translucent, set aside with broccoli. Do the same with mushrooms. Add more oil if necessary and stir-fry beef in small batches. Return broccoli, onion, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and beef to pan along with sliced red peppers and snow peas. Stir-fry together for a minute with red pepper flakes then pour in cornstarch mixture, honey and soy sauce and toss. Add sesame oil and seeds. Garnish with chopped peanuts and lime.

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