Beef and Watermelon Stir-fry with Brown Rice

Beef and Watermelon Stir-Fry

It’s summer and watermelon is everywhere. I was curious if watermelon could be incorporated into a main dish and started looking around. I came across this recipe at (originally from Virginia Willis in Southern Living) and gave it a try. The sweetness of the watermelon is nicely balanced by the salt and spices. The original called for hoisin sauce as one of the main ingredients of the sauce part, but we’ve not found one that we trust as not being made on shared equipment with fish, so I made up something that seemed to work well for the sauce.

Beef and Watermelon Stir-fry with Brown Rice adapted from
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main
Servings 4



  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp Low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs white cooking wine


  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 Tbs corn starch
  • 1 Tbs Low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • 1 Tbs white cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

The rest

  • 1 lb sirloin strip steak cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium sweet onion sliced
  • 1 lb sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 lb carrots sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb watermelon sliced in long 1/2in square sticks
  • Brown rice


  • Mix marinade: garlic, cornstarch, water, soy sauce, olive oil and wine and marinate the steak slices for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the sauce: stir together water, corn starch, soy molasses, wine.
  • Remove steak from marinade, discarding the marinade.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook half of beef at a time without stirring, 45 seconds or until browned; turn beef, and cook 45 seconds or until browned. Transfer to a warm plate.
  • Stir-fry the onion until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add sugar snap peas, carrots, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Add beef and sauce mixture; stir-fry 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in watermelon.
  • Add black pepper, and red pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately over brown rice.



Steaks with Citrus-Soy Sauce and Edamame Slaw

Pink Parsley is always a source of great recipes, and the author is pregnant with twins and craving stake. Hence this awesome recipe she posted! This was simple and delicious, the sauce serves as a dressing for the slaw and gets reduced for a sauce on the steak. Easy enough for a week-night, good enough for company!

Steaks with Citrus-Soy Sauce and Edamame SlawWe tend not to have sesame oil like the original recipe calls for, so I substituted olive oil. We’re also not fans of raw red onions, so we we left that out too. With prepackaged broco-slaw mix and cooked edamame, this is really a fast meal to whip up. We served it with brown rice, which was the longest part of the cooking.IMG_9296

Steak with Citrus-Soy Sauce and Edamame Slaw, adapted from Pink Parsley
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main
Servings 4


For the sauce:

  • 5 Tbs Low-sodium soy sauce this gets cooked down, and was plenty salty using low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Orange juiced
  • 1 Tbs orange zest
  • 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder or 1 Tbs freshly grated ginger

For the Broco-slaw:

  • 10 oz package pre-cooked shelled Edamame
  • 10 oz bag broccoli slaw mix
  • 2 Tbs Olive oil

For the steaks:

  • 1-2 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1 lb New York strip steaks
  • 4 Tbs butter


  • If serving with rice, start the rice.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, orange juice and zest, vinegar, and ginger.
  • In a large bowl, combine the broco-slaw and edamame.
  • Take 3 Tbs of the sauce and add to the slaw mix.
  • Add 2 Tbs olive oil to the slaw
  • Mix and refrigerate until the rest of the meal is ready.
  • Heat a pan on medium-high and add the olive oil
  • Add the steaks and cook to desired doneness (~5-7minuted per side for medium-well)
  • Remove the steaks and tent with foil while you cook the sauce.
  • Add the rest of the sauce to the pan and simmer for a minute or two, scraping up the burned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • When the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add the butter one tablespoon at a time, melting into the sauce.
  • Slice the steaks
  • To serve, put some slaw on the plate, top with stakes and the sauce.
  • If serving with rice, put some sauce on that too, it's good stuff!


Sweet Potato Samosas

Sweet Potato SamosasI’m always on the lookout for new sweet potato recipes. Besides being tasty and popular with the kids, they have a lot more going for them than regular potatoes (e.g.: this site). So when I ran across this recipe for Sweet Potato Samosas on, I decided to give it a try. I added some ground beef, though you can leave that out for a veggie option. I’ve also thought peas were a required part of samosas, so I added a can. These were quite good and made a lot. In fact, with the peas and beef, I think you would need 2 batches of the dough for all of the filling. We just served some filing on the side and for left-overs. The green sauce was especially good! Sweet Potato Samosas


Sweet Potato Samosas, adapted from
Sweet potato, beef and pea samosas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6


Cream-cheese pastry

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Butter softened
  • 2 cups Flour--we used White whole-wheat
  • 1/4 tsp. Ssalt

Sweet-potato filling

  • 1 lb Ground Beef or, for a veggie option, omit and add some olive oil
  • 1 Large onion chopped
  • 2 Tbs lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Fresh ginger finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced (about ½ teaspoon)
  • 1/4 tsp. Cardamom powder
  • 3 Large sweet potatoes
  • 1 14 oz can Peas

Green dipping sauce

  • 1 cup Low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1 jalapeño chile seeded, chopped (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove


Prepare the pastry:

  • Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the salt
  • Add in the flour half a cup at a time, mixing until it comes together in a ball.
  • Wrap in plastic, flatten, and refrigerate while you make the filling. (You can make this dough up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it for up to a month.)

Prepare the filling:

  • Microwave or bake the sweet potatoes until soft.
  • Peal and mash the potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the ground-beef if using, or add some oil.
  • Add the onion and sauté
  • Add the lemon or lime juice, ginger, garlic and cardamom
  • Transfer the beef and onion mixture to the bowl with the sweet potatoes.
  • Fold everything together.
  • Drain the peas and gently mix them into the mixture.
  • Set aside to cool--the dough gets too soft if the filling is too hot.

Forming the samosas:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface.
  • Using about a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, cut circles in the dough--I used a big wide-mouth jar.
  • Place spoonful of the sweet-potato filling in the center of a dough circle and fold in half, sealing the edges.
  • Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Once the sheet is filled up, bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Make the dipping sauce:

  • While the samosas are cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Serve the samosas warm or at room temperature.


    Feta Burgers with Grilled Sweet Potatoes

    Feta Burger with Grilled Sweet PotatoesIt’s great to fire up the grill in the summer and when I ran across this recipe for Grilled Sweet Potatoes, I knew I had to try them. Wow, the lime-cilantro dressing on these was awesome! Paired with a burger topped with feta cheese and some lettuce, this was a great, easy meal.

    Feta Burgers with Grilled Sweet Potatoes, adapted from
    Burgers topped with feta cheese, served with grilled sweet potatoes and a lime-cilantro dressing


    For the potatoes:

    • 2 lbs about 3 large Sweet Potatoes
    • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro finely chopped
    • 1 tsp Lime zest
    • Juice of one lime
    • 1/4 cup Olive oil
    • Pinch of salt

    For the Burgers:

    • 1 Lb of ground beef formed into patties
    • 4 oz Feta cheese sliced into 4 slices
    • Lettuce
    • Hamburger buns


    • Preheat the grill to medium-high, direct heat.
    • Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.
    • Coat the slices with olive oil.
    • Form the beef into patties.
    • Grill the potatoes and burgers, 3-6 minutes each side or until the burgers are cooked as you like and the sweet potatoes are softened and have some nice grill marks.
    • While things are grilling, mix the cilantro, lime zest and juice, oil and salt in a large bowl.
    • Add the sweet potatoes to the dressing and mix.
    • Place the burgers on a bun with a slice of feta and some lettuce.
    • Enjoy!


    Burger with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Mint

    We’ve started a pot herb garden with mint, basil and cilantro. So far, the mint has been going gangbusters, so there’s an abundance of fresh mint for recipes. Googling around for a good way to use mint in a main dish led me to this recipe from the Miami Herold. It was a nice change from standard burger, but very easy to make. We made some bread to serve it on and served with sweet potato fries.

    Burger with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and MintBurger with Yogurt-Feta Sauce and Mint

    Adapted from Linda Bladholm’s A Fork on the Road (reprinted here)

    • 1.5 lbs ground beef
    •  8 slices good bread
    • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
    • 4 oz crumbled feta
    • 1 Tomato sliced
    • Fresh mint leaves

    Form beef into patties, season with salt and pepper if desired. Cook on bbq grill.

    While burgers are cooking, mix yogurt and feta. Toast or grill the bread.

    Assemble burger with a dollop of sauce, slice of tomato and fresh mint leaves.

    Bee-Bim Bop

    Bee-Bim-Bop, Bip Bim Bap, Bibimbap…Maybe there is a difference, but they all seem to be a tasty mix of veggies, especially cabbage, meat and eggs. I had originally planned on using this which more a guideline than a recipe, but we also had the recipe from the Bee-Bim Bop book our youngest read in class. We also couldn’t find any safe Hoisin sauce, so we made something with soy sauce, molasses, sugar and corn starch…

    As we tend to do, we made a bit of a mashup and came up with a yummy meal.


    • ~1 lb Skirt steak
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 3 Tbs soy sauce
    • 2 Tbs molasses
    • 1 Tbs sugar
    • 1 Tbs corn starch
    • rice wine vinegar
    • 2 Tbs Olive oil
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 2-3 green onions sliced
    • 1/2 cabbage sliced
    • 2 carrots sliced
    • 2 cups bean sprouts
    • Handfull or two of spinach
    • rice cooked
    • sriracha sauce

    In a large bowl mix the ingredients from garlic through vinegar. Grill the steak a few minutes on each side until cooked as desired. Slice across the grain into bite sized pieces. Add the steak to the sauce in the bowl while it is still warm and set aside.

    Add 1 Tbs oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. Cook the egg like an omelet. When it’s cooked through remove from the pan and slice into strips.

    Add the other Tbs oil to a pan and heat over med-high heat. Add the green onions and then cabbage and stir fry. Add the carrots and cook for a bit. Add the bean sprouts and cook stirring. Add the meat with the sauce and cook until the sauce has thickened a bit.

    Serve over rice with sriracha sauce.

    Crisp and Spicy Chickpeas with Ground Beef

    This is from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook Book (p. 410, also posted on this blog).

    We made this last week, but with sleep overs, and other things, it’s taken a while to get photos uploaded and this posted…

    This was really good! The crisp chickpeas and beef had a great texture.