Stir fry, Special sloppy joes, Five-way chili

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All these recipes feature beef used in very different ways.
Stir fry
2 beef ranch steaks, cut 3/4 in. thick (about 8 oz. each)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) fresh vegetable stir-fry blend
3 TBS water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C prepared sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 C hot cooked rice or brown rice, prepared without butter or salt
1/4 C dry-roasted peanuts
Combine vegetables and water in large nonstick skillet; cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove and drain vegetables. Set aside. Meanwhile cut beef steaks into 1/4-inch thick strips. Heat same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef and 1/2 of garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining beef and garlic.
Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Add stir-fry sauce and red pepper; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with peanuts.
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Special sloppy joes
1 lb. ground beef
1 C diced bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)
1/2 C chopped onion
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 C water
1/2 C dark or golden raisins
2 tsp. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
Toppings (optional): chopped mango, chopped jalapeño, chopped tomato, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef, bell pepper and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove drippings (drain).
Stir in tomato sauce, water, raisins, ancho chili powder and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 to 18 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.
Lightly butter each side of the bun and place under broiler so it browns slightly. Remove from oven and cool for a minute. Evenly divide beef mixture on bottom half of each bun. Garnish with toppings, as desired; close sandwiches.
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Five-way chili
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (15-1/2 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 to 14-1/2 oz.) reduced-sodium or regular beef broth
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 TBS chili powder
Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, minced green onion, crushed Fritos
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes and chili powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes to develop flavors, stirring occasionally. Garnish with toppings, as desired. Makes four servings. This is the basic chili recipe, or try variations below.
Moroccan variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 C chopped pitted dates or golden raisins with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked couscous. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, chopped fresh mint and Greek yogurt, as desired.
Mexican variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1 TBS cocoa powder with ingredients in step 2. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and corn tortilla chips, as desired. Serve with corn tortillas.
Italian variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 1-1/2 tsp. fennel seed with ingredients in step 2. Before removing from heat, stir in 3 C fresh baby spinach. Cover; turn off heat and let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is just wilted. Serve over hot cooked orecchiette or cavatappi (pasta) if desired. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts, as desired.
Cincinnati variation: Prepare recipe as directed above, adding 3 TBS white vinegar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon with ingredients in step 2. Serve over hot cooked elbow macaroni. Garnish with chopped white onion, sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese, as desired.
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Message – Never ask a woman, who’s eating ice cream straight from the carton, how she’s doing.
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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