White or brown rice and even quinoa would be great with this dish. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Adults should get summer breaks like the kids get from school, don’t you think? A simple, weeklong, summer vacation just isn’t enough. In April, I went to New Orleans and during Memorial Day weekend, I traveled to Charleston with some friends. Even though both of those trips were fun and very relaxing, I’m feeling like I need more. Yes, I know that our jobs don’t necessarily allow for us to take off an entire summer but wouldn’t that be nice?

Even if you can’t take the whole summer off, you should at least be able to spend less time in the kitchen. That doesn’t mean order out all of the time but when you do spend time in the kitchen during the summer, it should be minimal. No one wants to spend the summer in a hot kitchen — no thank you. Today’s recipe is pretty simple to recreate. Most importantly, you can easily swap out ingredients. Tired of beef? Try shrimp or chicken. Maybe you’re trying to eat lighter this summer? Try a bunch of your favorite vegetables instead. The options are endless. Let’s start cooking.



For the beef and sauce:

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli florets
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
You can easily switch out the beef for shrimp or extra veggies. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Cut the steak crosswise in 2- 3-inch-wide strips then cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Place in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until the cornstarch and sugar have dissolved.

Transfer 2 tablespoons of this sauce mixture to the bowl of beef and toss to coat the meat; set aside.

To make the stir-fry, fill a large frying pan halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, cover, and cook, stirring halfway through, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes total. Drain and set aside.

Wipe the pan dry and heat over medium-high heat.

Drizzle in 1 teaspoon of the oil, then add half of the beef and spread into an even layer. Cook undisturbed until the beef begins to sear, about 1 minute. Saute until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 30 seconds more. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with remaining beef.

Beef & broccoli bowls the perfect summer meal. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of oil into the pan. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry until the garlic is fragrant — about 30 seconds.

Add the broccoli and beef and any accumulated juices, and stir to combine. Whisk the sauce again to recombine and dissolve the cornstarch, then add to the pan. Stir-fry until the beef is just cooked through and the sauce thickens and is glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with scallions and serve over rice.

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat. Drink. Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.