Instead of following my own advice, I have offered experimental recipes for the past two dinners that were delivered to new moms in our church: coconut cashew beef stir fry.
Last time it was the sweet & sticky baked chicken. I wasn’t able to make it for my own family so that we could be the guinea pigs beforehand, but it smelled great and I was out of other options. Fortunately the new mom said it was delicious, a reader commented that her family loved it and Kelly even put it on her bi-weekly menu plan.
Secretly I vowed to be better about it for the next new mom.
Secret schmeecret I tell you, because history repeated itself again yesterday! I thought I had a plan… I found marked-down beef at the store last week (the kind from the local ranch that follows sustainable practices, but isn’t actually certified) and was going to make some sort of vegetable beef bake with potatoes and carrots.
And that’s where the plan stopped. Potatoes, carrots and beef screamed B.O.R.I.N.G. and of course it was too late to throw it in the crock-pot for a yummy stew-ish type meal. Why does my brain not think beyond “8×8 dish that can be baked when it’s convenient for the mom?!”
After rummaging through the fridge, I came up with a plan. But not just any old plan, it’s actually a REALLY good one!
Coconut Cashew Beef anyone? 🙂 Mmm… my mouth is salivating at the sound of it!
Imagine a stir-fry that’s baked in the oven (instead of hovering over a hot stove, because that’s no fun when it’s sunny and warm outside). Large chunks of vegetables, thin strips of beef, creamy coconut milk, salty and crunchy cashews, a kick of ginger and the tiniest hint of chili spice.
Coconut cashew beef is fancy enough for company (really!) yet so easy that it can be made early in the day or even frozen for a future meal! To top it off, it’s gluten-free! (Which was purely accidental, so no promises it’ll happen again!)
I used what I had on hand and to be honest, it would have even been better with some fresh herbs. All you really need is one can of coconut milk and a pound of meat. The rest can be adjusted to whatever you have in the fridge and spice cabinet!
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
- 4-6 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
- ½ white onion, cut into chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 1lb beef (any cut will work, but I used flank steak), cut into medium-thick 3" slices
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground garlic
- ½ tsp chili
- ¾ cup cashews
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Layer vegetables in an 8x8 baking dish. Place beef on top.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour over beef, sprinkle the top with cashews and cover dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until beef is cooked as desired.
- Remove beef, re-cover and continue to bake for 20-30 additional minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Serve over plain or coconut rice (a great way to use up the remainder of that coconut milk).
Coconut Cashew Beef Recipe Options
- Add 1-2 tsp curry to the sauce.
- Use 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger instead of ground (which would be AMAZING!), or substitute fresh minced garlic for granulated.
- Don’t have cashews? Use peanuts instead!
- Try adding broccoli, bell peppers, peas and those cute little mini-corns. Shoot, use enough vegetables and you can skip the meat entirely!