Beef Stir Fry
Today Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is sharing her recipe for beef stir fry to recognize a Hunger Strike I went on several years ago to raise awareness for childhood hunger in my local community.
For five days I only ate what was on the breakfast and lunch menu at the local elementary school to see what too many children go through every day.
Guest Post From Cravings of a Lunatic
I am so happy to introduce you to a friend of mine! She and I have talked about the Strike and food insecurity in the weeks that led up to now and I am very pleased to have her here with us today. So I give you Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic!
Beef Stir Fry Using Leftover Roast
I am honoured and touched to be guest posting for my lovely friend Dionne today. This woman has such a good heart. I adore her to bits and fully support her this week while she is on her Hunger Strike. No More Hungry Nights is such a good cause. If you can afford to help by donating money please do so. If you have items to donate please donate those. Whatever you can do, no matter how big or small, it is enough. Every little bit helps.
When Dionne told me about her cause I knew I wanted to hop on board. Initially I thought I’d strike with her. Due to a 2 week flu that has caused issues with my I.B.S. I need to sit on the sidelines instead. I can however cheer her on. This lady deserves lots of cheers for all she does. I am so proud to know her and count her among my friends.
During our talks leading up to Dionne’s Hunger Strike we shared stories about personal experiences with difficult times. It prompted me to think about times where my own family has struggled. I don’t share much about our difficulties on my site. There’s always the fear of getting too personal. I’m also known for being silly, and writing with humour so it’s hard to translate that into a personal story about not having enough to eat. However it seems high time to share that story with people, and I cannot think of a better place to do that.
We’ve gone through hard times more than once in our life. In fact it’s been twice now that life has turned upside down and times have been tough. About 6 years ago my hubs lost his job at Ford Motor Company. He had been with them for about 13 years and quite honestly working in the auto industry comes with the threat of layoffs almost all the time. My dad worked at Fords for over 30 years so I had been raised with that kind of uncertainty. This time it was worse than anyone could imagine. The economy tanked, and the auto industry went with it. Hubs was laid off the same day we signed out mortgage papers.
We did not panic at this point. However, a year later when he still had not been called back to work we started to panic. Hubs made the decision to go back to school to get his engineering degree. We knew this would likely break us financially but it also made sense for the big picture. So we sucked it up and made cuts where we could. For 2 years we managed to stay afloat. Then he got out of school and could not find work. Long story short our lives spiralled out of control. Most people don’t know this, but we came incredibly close to losing our home. We had property taxes we hadn’t been able to pay and they put a lien on our home. The bank would not help. No one in the family could help. After lots of tears and freaking out over the fact that we were going to lose my parents home, I made a call to the head of the bank. After lots of talking they finally agreed to help us. I cannot even begin to tell you how scary the whole ordeal was. There is nothing like being taken to the edge and almost being pushed over it to give you perspective. It also forces you to find strength you did not know you had. I’m grateful for that lesson in life.
We’d had tough times before so I knew how to stretch food as far as possible. There was a time years earlier when we couldn’t afford groceries. Our family brought over food for us for a few months while we struggled. I learned to cook in a way to make things last as long as possible. Blade roasts would go on sale, and when they did I knew our family would pick some up since they could be turned into many meals with a little creativity. I would marinate and slow cook it the first day. Then the second day we would have roast leftovers. For the third day I would take the small pieces that were left and cut them thinly for stir fry. Rice and noodles are cheap so you can make stir fries stretch a long, long way. Day four was always stew. I could take a roast and turn it into at least 4 meals, if I was lucky I could turn it into 5 or 6. We had a garden so we were lucky enough to have fresh veggies on hand.
We ate A LOT of pasta and rice dishes during those months. I would use end pieces of veggies and any bones I could muster for stocks. I would freeze them in ice cubes trays. That way I could have flavour without spending money on spices. Any meats that went on sale ended up at my house. Things like blade roasts, pork roasts, and whole chickens. I could use up every little bit of them so I knew I was getting the most bang for the buck. Taking leftover roast and turning it into a stir fry is one of my specialities. It’s easy to do and you can adjust the veggies to what you happen to have on hand at any given time. I still love stir fry. It’s one of our go to meals on busy days. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.
- Leftover Beef, any amount you can muster
- 4 or 5 carrots, sliced thinly
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 or 5 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons stir fry sauce, you can use soy, tamari, teriyaki, ponzu, whatever you happen to have on hand. (Honestly using a little barbecue sauce is also fabulous!)
- Either 2 cups cooked rice, or 2 cups cooked pasta
- Cook either rice or pasta ahead. We sometimes do both then I freeze the extra ones for lunches. I have used white, jasmine, basmati and wild rice mix for this. I have even use packaged rice when our family was shopping for us. Any rice or pasta works beautifully. Pasta I usually use penne, linguine, or farfalle.
- In a large skillet or wok use some non stick spray, then drizzle a little oil in the bottle of the pan. Use what you can afford. Olive oil is lovely but if you're on a budget use canola or safflower if you have it. I've even used vegetable oil. I'm a big believer is the "use what you have" idea. Bring that oil to a glimmer over medium heat. Once it starts to glisten add your hardest veggies first. I toss in my carrots, onions and shallots first. Cook those for about 5 to 8 minutes, till they start to soften and brown. Keep stirring them about.
- Now add your celery and cook for about 3 to 5 more minutes, it should just start to soften up.
- Now toss in your cut up pieces of beef. The thinner you slice them the quicker they heat up. Since this is leftovers the meat is already cooked, you're just heating it up and searing the cut ends up a bit. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes to heat up the meat and bring it all together.
- Now add your sauce (I'm partial to Tamari) and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring till it coats all the meat and veggies. If you find it not coating add a little more oil to loosen things up a bit.
- Now spoon the stir fry mixture over the rice or pasta.
- Serve with a big old stir fry loving smile!
Thank you so much to Dionne for having me today. It’s both an honour and a treat to be here. Thank you to all Dionne’s readers for opening your homes to me today and allowing me to share my story with you.
A special thanks to Dionne for shedding some light on this great cause. I have much empathy for kids and parents struggling. It breaks my heart. There’s so many kids going hungry these days. It’s hard to focus and think in school when your tummy is growling. So I applaud Dionne and what she is doing to try to raise awareness for this amazing cause. She wants to effect change and I think that’s commendable.
I am so proud of you my friend. You ARE the change you want to see in the world. It’s a good thing.
Together we can accomplish so much more!
I’d like to thank Kim for supporting me and the Hunger Strike. This is a cause very close to my heart and on top of that, I’m a big fan of stir fry! Thank YOU for stopping by.