Over the past several months, I've been very disciplined about how I spend my money. A night off from cooking in favor of takeout was rare. And even though I'm settling into my new job and have a couple of paychecks in the bank, I still haven't eased up on my self-imposed spending restrictions. Instead, I've been trying to recreate my favorite takeout dishes at home as a way of saving money in the long run.
Last summer I created and refined my recipe for Scallion Pancakes. Ridiculously simple to make, the scallion pancakes were crispy and delicious and not overly greasy. I think I may have lived off of them for a solid week. But it wasn't until recently that I found a recipe for Ginger and Garlic Broccoli (a very close alternative to the Broccoli with Garlic Sauce that I love so much) that I found intriguing enough to try in my own kitchen.
Of course, I found the recipe as I was searching for my February submission to Gourmet, unbound. I added sesame oil because I love the flavor of it and had to substitute balsamic vinegar because I was out of rice vinegar. And, since the broccoli in my local market was subpar, I used frozen broccoli rather than fresh. Using the frozen broccoli helped speed up the preparation of the meal a bit, but I think I lost out on texture, as the frozen vegetables didn't have that crisp bite that I love from cooked broccoli. Nowhere near mushy, but not crunchy either.
Thankfully, the flavor was spot-on, with a fantastic balance between the garlic and the ginger that wasn't overpowering or overwhelming. In fact, the next time I make this dish, I think I'm going to add more garlic! And you're not making any huge sacrifices from a nutritional standpoint, since this dish is low in sugar, low in calories, and high in fiber. If you're looking for a way to satisfy your craving for Chinese takeout without hurting your wallet or your diet, then definitely try this recipe!
Ginger and Garlic Broccoli with Brown Rice
Cook time: 45-50 minutes | Yield: 2-3 Servings | Printable Recipe
- 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound bag frozen broccoli cuts or florets
- Place rice, stock, and olive oil in a medium pan. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
- After about half of the time required for the rice has passed, stir together the soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a 10-inch heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the sliced ginger and garlic and cook until just golden, occasionally swirling the ingredients around in the skillet. Transfer the ginger and garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Add the broccoli to the skillet and pour in the soy sauce and vinegar mixture. Cook, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and the broccoli has thawed and is heated through.
- Add the ginger and garlic back in and heat for 1 minute. Serve with a side of brown rice.
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