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Recipes Can Meet Dietary Needs: Steak with Green Peppers and Tomatoes

by Susan Braverman

Food as Herbs, Health, and Medicine

Spring Volume: 1995 Issue: 2(1) page(s): 19


Those of us who love food and are concerned about health try to modify recipes so that they will meet the Dietary Guidelines and yet still maintain the culinary integrity, texture, and taste of the dish. Sometimes it is a simple process; other times it is much more difficult.

I would like to share how to do that by using a recipe selected from one of the volumes our test kitchen directors have co-authored with the Kutschers: An Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking(New York: Crown Publishers, 1970, p. 349). Using that recipe, I can show some easy ways to make changes in a particular recipe. In future issues I'll present other ways to meet general and specific dietary needs.

Of course, there are a few times when it is impossible to maintain the taste and/or texture of a food when modifying a recipe. The choices then are to make it and eat a smaller portion along with foods that will balance with the very item that can't be modified, or to not eat it at all. I prefer to eat a small portion of a beloved food.

To modify the recipe, follow these steps:
1. Use a coated non-stick pan.
2. Reduce the amount of oil from three tablespoons to one tablespoon.
3. Decrease the amoun of meat served, use six ounces of flank strak instead of the eight ounces.
4. Eliminate the salt.

Should you have a recipe you would like modified and can't figure out how to do it, of if you have any other dietary questions about recipes in Chinese or related cuisines that you need help with, please send them to me at: P.O. Box 91, Kings Park NY 11754. In the meantime: Happy eating and good health to all; and do try a small portion of this steak recipe as is and try it with the modification provided.
Stir-fired Steak with Green Peppers and Tomatoes
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 clove garlic
1 scallion, white part only, minced
4 slices ginger root
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound flank steak
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sherry
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup beef broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Pre-preparation:
1. Slice flank steak into strips. Each strip should be about one-eighth by one and a half inches.
2. Cut each tomato into ten wedges.
3. Cut peppers in quarters and remove the seeds; then slice each diagonally.
4. Peel onion and cut in half and slice thinly.
5. Peel garlic and mince well.
6. Slice the ginger root into thin strips.
7. Mix sugar, sherry, soy sauce, black pepper, and broth.
8. Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons cold water.
Preparation:
1. Heat oil. Add garlic, scallion, ginger, and salt and stir-fry a few seconds.
2. Add meat slices, stir fry for one minute.
3. Add tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and stir-fry one more minute.
4. Add sugar, sherry, soy sauce, black pepper, and broth, and keep stirring until all ingredients are well-mixed.
5. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until gravy thickens.
6. Put everything into a large bowl. This recipe can be served with four cups of cooked rice.

                                                                                                                                                       
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