Monday, October 5, 2009

Broccoli Beef, Fajitas, Crockpot Apple Cake

We have set a goal for ourselves to eat in more often. It will help keep our eating and spending habits healthy. I'm all in, but Barrett sometimes needs coaxing.

In order to make this adventure more fun for all of us we've started "restaurant nights". This is where one member of the family picks out what they would eat if we were going out that night. I then find a copycat recipe and try to recreate the restaurant meal - only a healthier version.

This weekend we visited a pizzeria, a Chinese "restaurant" and a Mexican "restaurant". Here are the recipes:

Pizza: Since the goal is health, I went with a whole wheat no rise crust that I saw on Sno White's blog. I also borrowed the pizza sauce recipe from my friend Cara's blog. The pizza dough recipe has a yield of two large pizzas. I made one large for Barrett and I, and then two smaller pizzas so that the kids could each top their own. We used turkey pepperoni, yellow peppers and mushrooms.

Chinese Broccoli Beef: This is a recipe that I adapted from allrecipes.


1 small onion sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound boneless round steak, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root
2 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli

In a small bowl, combine flour, broth, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir until sugar and flour are dissolved.
In a large skillet or wok over high heat, cook and stir beef and onion 2 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Stir in broth mixture, ginger, garlic, and broccoli. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

I served this with steamed rice. To make my steamed rice more flavorful I use chicken stock instead of water.

My kids love to eat this meal (and most anything) with chopsticks. I ordered the cutest animal training chopsticks for them.

Fajitas: I won't give you a whole recipe for fajitas since it is rather straight forward, but I will give you my spice mix for taco/fajita seasoning. Once you use this, you'll never use one of those packets again!


1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
To prepare the meat filling for the tacos/fajitas : In large skillet, brown 1 pound ground beef, chicken, turky, shrimp, etc.
Add spices& seasoning and 2/3 cup water; mix thoroughly.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cook, uncovered, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Crockpot Fat Free Apple Cake: Yummy! I again borrowed a recipe from Sno White. Follow her directions and enjoy! I love baking in the crockpot, what a novel idea. We set about our Sunday activities and then enjoyed this when we got home.

One last note. I read about a cute idea that I'll be trying with the kids soon. We will be making "menus" by cutting pictures out of the weekly grocery ads and pasting them onto construction paper. The menus can be further decorated to suit your childs creativity. The kids love to play chef to Barrett and I by "cooking" up goodies for us in their play kitchen. These menus will be perfect!


  1. YUM! I can't wait to try the Broccoli Beef! Stop over to my blog, I left you something:)


  2. Forgot to leave the link, lol!

  3. delicious sounding fajitas... and that pizza... I'm sure it was wonderful! glad to hear your enjoyed the cake :)


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