A little sweet, a little spicy and a lot savoury…here we have large pan of (grass fed and finished, local) ground beef and some early season local organic broccoli, that we smother in an orange sauce creating a meal that is so So SO tasty! This recipe is super flexible, don’t have broccoli on hand? no problem substitute some kale, cabbage or kholrabi. No ground beef? use ground pork, chicken or turkey. The options are nearly endless and the results are truly satiating.
Over the years I have prioritized nutrient dense, synthetic pesticide / antibiotic / hormone / spray – free products in my diet. It’s something that aligns with my core values in supporting local producers with sustainable practices, taking into consideration both human and animal welfare, in addition to health and environmental impacts. Where I live on Vancouver Island we are fortunate to have access to a multigenerational farm, Cedar Beef, that raises antibiotic and hormone free cows. They are born on the farm and spend their lives roaming freely on lush pasture, free from pesticides and herbicides, where they are allowed to practice their natural behaviour. The cows are slaughtered, butchered and packaged, and then sold at our local farmers market. This entire process takes place locally and requires minimal inputs.
I understand that not everyone has the option or choice to take sustainability into consideration when trying to feed their family. Nowadays time is precious, money can be tight and conventional options at the grocery store are damn convenient. It’s no secret that products such as sustainable meats are more expensive and cooking from scratch can be time consuming. For those of us who are lucky enough to have the capacity to think about things such as our health and nutrition, I advocate that we take it a step further and extend that to animal, farmworker and environmental health and wellness. So I recognize that I am privileged, and I have the option to make this choice, however one big step we took to making this option financially viable for us is to not eat meat every day. This allows us to spend more on high quality products when we do choose to consume them. Another strategy we have for making high welfare meat products a little more cost effective is to use cheaper cuts, such as ground beef.
Today I listened to a thought provoking podcast, about Sustainable Eating for You and the Planet, which interviewed Diana Rodgers, a blogger / author / podcaster / advocate for “food that truly nourishes, that respects animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability”. I have great respect for the work she does and the ideas she presents and recommend checking out her blog and podcast if this is a subject that interests you.
Orange Beef and Broccoli
- 1 Tbsp. Orange zest (about 2 oranges)
- 1 1/2 cup Orange juice, freshly squeezed (about 4-5 oranges)
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Tamari (gluten free if desired), or Soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Grated Ginger (about 2″ piece)
- 1 Tbsp Organic Corn starch
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha
- 1 tsp. Sesame oil
- 1 tsp. Black pepper
beef and broccoli:
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 2 lbs. (908g) Ground Beef, look for local grass fed and finished if possible
- 1 medium Yellow onion, diced
- 2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
- 1 large head Broccoli (or 2 med-smallish ones), about 1 1/2 lbs. or 681g
- 3 cups Rice, cook according to package directions
- 1 bunch Green onions, sliced
To make the sauce whisk ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
In a large frying pan heat oil over medium-high. Add ground beef, break it up, and stir occasionally until cooked through and juices have started to evaporate, about 10-15 minutes.
While beef is cooking dice onion and prepare broccoli. Separate the florets from the stems and roughly chop stems into 1-2cm pieces (discard any hard/tough/fibrous bits). Set stems aside (you will add them before the florets as they take longer to cook) and roughly chop florets.
Add onion and Chinese five spice powder to beef, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are cooked through and everything starts to become brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli stems, cook for 3 minutes, then add florets and sauce, cook for about 2 more minutes.
Serve over rice with copped green onions.