Thursday, February 23, 2006

Teriyaki beef with rice and spinach

Why do we have so much stuff???? I am looking at the shelves in our refrigerator door, and there must be at least ten packages with sauces from fastfood chains, two jars of mustard, one of mayo, about a million (give or take a few) salad dressings, pickles and whatnots.

The packages with sauce go right in the trash, they've been there for eons so I am not even going to bother. I check expiration dates on all the salad dressings and but one or two are still good, so out they go too. Hey, I've instantly created some space ! While I'm at it, I also check what's in the crisper and what else needs to go, I have half of that roast left from yesterday. Ah...the crisper reveals fresh spinach that I bought the other day.

It's amazing what we keep in our refrigerator. After only eight minutes ( I timed it for your convenience), I have gotten rid of some items, rearranged some others, and found several ones that I didn't even know I had ( some mini wedges of brie cheese that will come in handy for the quiche I am making later this week!). I even wiped down some shelves and it all looks a lot better now! Set your timer and see how much you can get rid of, rearrange, clean and come up with in eight minutes, and drop me an email to let me know!

Time to fix dinner, I decided to cut the remainder of that beef roast in half. One half goes in a pot with water and an onion, for a nice beef soup, the other one I'm slicing for beef teriyaki. One more half empty bottle of sauce that I can get rid of :-)

Teriyaki Beef with rice and spinach

1 lb of beef, sliced in bitesize portions
2 cloves of garlic
teriyaki sauce (enough to cover and marinate meat)
a large handful of spinach per person
pinch of dried hot pepper seeds (like the ones you get with your pizza)
cup of rice
2 1/2 cups of water

Marinate the meat in the sauce for at least 30 minutes before preparation. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a nonstick pan and fish the pieces of meat out of the marinade, and brown the meat on both sides. Add the rest of the marinade with 1/2 cup of warm water and simmer while you prepare the rest of the food.

Put one cup of rice in a pan, add two cups of water, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover with lid, turn down to simmer and set the timer for 20 minutes. I cook on electric and this is the way it works for me, you may have to experiment in the beginning.

Peel and chop the two cloves of garlic, and stir quickly in another skillet that has a teaspoon of hot oil. Add the washed spinach to the garlic and stir until the spinach is limp, sprinkle the hot peppers over the spinach, a pinch of salt and black pepper and set to the side.

Put a spoonful or two of rice on a plate, add the spinach on one side, and meat with sauce on the other. You have yourself a quick and tasty meal, and a cleaner, more organized refrigerator to boot!

*if you don't have any teriyaki sauce, don't despair, you may have a salad dressing that will do the trick: there's a citrus vinaigrette that you can add a splash of soy sauce too (and why not open up one of those endless cans of mandarine oranges that you have in your pantry and add it to the meat?), there's a ginger and soy based salad dressing that is great with beef and crushed pineapple (ha! another can gone out of the pantry!) or just use soy sauce laced with crushed pineapple liquid for a marinade. and if you don't know, why don't you send me an email or leave me a comment with what you have, and we'll think of something!*

If you have any leftover rice, save it until the next morning, add a splash of milk and some cinnamon and brown sugar, nuke it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and breakfast is ready :-)

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