Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

I just celebrated by 44th birthday and it made me think about how some people think getting old is something we just do. I am older, but not old. Some parts of aging, like grey hair, perimenopause, and some limitations to my workouts were expected. Do we really have to “get old”. For every passing decade there are more things we have to accept. However, getting fat and unhealthy are not things we have to accept. I’m not suggesting we have to work out like a fiend and only eat enough to keep us alive to keep a svelte body. I’m suggesting we keep working at it. Eat a little less and move a little more. Don’t punish yourself for indulging a little or making mistakes. Do the best you can that keeps you healthy and feeling good. Lift weights and love it, do that. Love to walk, do that. My mother-in-law loves to dance. She loves going dancing and Zumba. Just don’t accept poor health and an expanding waistline. I don’t look like I did in my 20’s, but with the expanded knowledge that comes with age I know more ways to stay healthy. I refuse to drink smoothies for breakfast because for me they are not filling. I am eating meat now, because I can’t live on protein powder for protein. Anyway, long story short, do what ever you can to keep from getting old. You can be 90 and live a full life and not be old.

For this week’s recipe I wanted to do something with beef. I also wanted something quick. Tony and I are trying to spend more time together amidst all of the work we have going on. I don’t want to spend the day cooking. That doesn’t mean I don’t want something healthy and tasty. I am adapting a recipe from the New York Time for Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry. It’s a little high in sodium and and calories, but I can make some adjustments to bring it more in line with what we want.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I removed the added salt to reduce the sodium.
  • I am using a low sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium.
  • I am replacing the white rice with brown to add fiber.
  • I added more cabbage to increase the vitamin C.
  • I added an orange bell pepper to increase the vitamin A and C.
  • I added one carrot to increase the vitamin A.
  • I reduced the amount of oil to reduce the calories.
  • I added more beef to increase the protein.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:


Black Pepper Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Serves 8

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed with the bottom of a cup or pan
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1.25 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 8 ounces green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 300g orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, crushed with your fingertips
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Add the rice to 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes
  2. Add peppercorns, garlic, brown sugar, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add sliced steak and toss to coat.
  3. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add steak and cook, stirring frequently, until some of the edges are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add soy sauce and toss beef to coat, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl or plate.
  4. Add cabbage, bell pepper and carrot to skillet, spread in an even layer and let cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute so that some pieces caramelize in the pan. Toss and cook cabbage, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds.

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