Oyster Sauce Beef with Broccoli

We’ve been enjoying the grassfed beef from Natural Local Food Express, particularly the flank steaks, which at approximately 1.5 lbs are plenty for 2 meals when used in a stirfry. If you can’t find flank steak or it’s too pricy, you can use another fairly large-grained cut of beef – because you cut it across the grain, the result will be very tender. I prefer to use the vegetarian version of “oyster sauce,” which is made from mushrooms.


  • 3/4 lb flank steak
  • 3 T oil
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root
  • 2 ea scallions, roll-cut into 1.5″ sections
  • 1 recipe stirfried broccoli, to be stirfried just before stifrying the meat



  • 1 tsp tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 2 T water, stock or broth
  • 2 T oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar, brown or raw cane is best


  1. Mix together the marinade ingredients and set aside.
  2. Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Rinse and pat the steak dry, then slice into 1/8″ thick slices, approximately 1-1.5″ long.
  4. Mix the marinade into the meat and set aside for 30 m at room temperature or up to 60 m in the refrigerator, then drain off any juices if any have collected.
  5. Stirfry the broccoli and spread on a serving plate.
  6. Mix 1 T of oil into the meat.
  7. Heat the wok over medium-high heat, then add 1 T oil just until it shimmers.
  8. Stirfry the meat just until it loses its pink color, then remove to a second plate.
  9. Heat the wok over medium-high heat, then add the last 1 T oil just until it shimmers.
  10. Explode the ginger root and scallions just until fragrant, give the sauce ingredients a quick stir and add them to the wok.
  11. Allow the sauce to thicken, then cook approximately 1 m to get rid of the starchy taste.
  12. Add the meat back to the sauce, stirfry briefly until the meat is cooked through, then arrange on top of the broccoli.

Friday List of Links

Wow – what a novel idea: a TV show that is trying to promote healthy snacking and reduce childhood obesity! I almost wish we watched television…. Kudos to Disney Playhouse for  Tasty Time with ZeFronk – I checked out their snack recipes and found them pretty good, with a minimum of processed ingredients.

Still have time to fit in a short break before the official end of summer? How about a “haycation?”

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has published a position paper on GM foods – read it here.

Via Ann Arbor Natural Awakenings, I was interested to find an older article in the Christian Science Monitor regarding the greening of lunchrooms, from K – college: apparently the simple act of removing trays from the cafeterias can reduce food waste by an averagle of 25-30% per person!

Grilled Zucchini with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Still coping with a surplus of summer squash…. This recipe can be made with any grilled vegetable and can be served warm or at room temperature.


  • approximately 1 lb zucchini or yellow crookneck squash
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 oz Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette, or to taste
  • 1 T chopped cilantro


  1. Slice the squash 1/8″ thick: for smaller squash, I like to take off top and tail and then use a mandolin to cut into long strips; for larger ones, I usually slice on a diagonal, also using a mandolin.
  2. Spread the slices out on a sheet pan, then sprinkle with salt and let rest for 15-30 m.
  3. Pat the squash dry with a clean kitchen towel, then toss with 1 oz of the vinaigrette.
  4. Grill over high heat, approximately 1 m per side.
  5. Arrange on a serving plate, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, and sprinkle with the cilantro.

do ahead:

The vinaigrette can be prepared up to a week ahead, the squash up to 2 hours ahead – do not drizzle with vinaigrette or sprinkle with cilantro until just before serving.

You’re Invited!

I’m happy to promote a SOLE food event in my neck of the woods, this one put on by Two Creeks Organics, a CSA in which I’ve purchased a share:

Saturday September 26th beginning at 4:30 pm


Clothed tables will be set in the field at our 20-acre farm in Manchester, Michigan for guests to feast on food where it is grown. We are bringing together local farmers, food producers, winemakers, and brewers to celebrate the local connection to the food on your plate.

Enjoy appetizers made from locally sourced food with beer pairings from Arbor Brewing Company and a tour of the farm, before sitting down to a five course locally sourced dinner in our fields with wine pairings from Cherry Creek Winery.

During the meal the local producers who supplied the ingredients for the meal will talk about their operations and answer questions. Filmmaker Chris Bedford will also be on hand to speak about his new film, What Will We Eat?

Space is limited. Tickets are $135.00. Two Creeks CSA members and nondrinkers $125.00. To make a reservation or for more information, see our website www.twocreeksorganics.com

Two Creeks Organics
13290 Tracey Road Manchester, MI 48158

Quick Vegetable Pickles

So now it’s finally summer in Ann Arbor – 90s and HUMID. Perfect weather for cold pickles on the side of any meal. Here is an adaptation of a recipe from my son’s godmother – I’ve changed a few ingredients to make it more Chinese. You can use just about any pickling vegetables you like, and it’s a great way to use up those green tomatoes.

You will need to plan ahead for this, though – the pickles need to rest overnight at room temperature, then be refrigerated until completely chilled, so plan on 24 hours before they are ready to eat.  This will make approximately 2.5 lbs of pickles – they will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge (if you don’t eat them before that!)


You will need approximately 2.5 lbs of vegetables. Some of our favorites:

  • tomatoes (any color, including green), cut into 8ths
  • celery, cut into 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ sticks
  • carrots, cut into 1/2 x 1/2 x 2″ sticks
  • bell peppers (any color), cut into 1″ dice
  • green beans, ends removed, blanched and shocked
  • jalapenos, cut into rounds

brine ingredients:

  • 1 qt water (4 c)
  • 1/2 c vinegar, rice wine or apple cider varieties are best
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 1.5 T sea salt
  • 3 T sugar, raw cane is preferable
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped


  1. Bring the water and vinegar to a boil, then add the peppercorns, coriander seeds, salt, and sugar, and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a heat resistant glass bowl or container.
  3. Tuck the garlic cloves and cilantro into the vegetables.
  4. Pour the boiling brine over the vegetables, making sure that you have enough to submerge them entirely.
  5. Cover lightly and rest at room temperature overnight.
  6. Refrigerate until chilled, and serve as a cold side dish.

do ahead:

These pickles will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and their flavor will only improve with time.

Friday List of Links

Good news from the front: “Interest in organic food on the rise in China”

Some thoughts on why celiac disease is on the rise: “Why is celiac disease getting more common?”

And finally, a resource I’m determined to explore: National Center for Home Food Preservation (includes an online course!)

On the calendar this weekend: Chinese ratatouille?

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