by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
This beef and broccoli stir-fry dinner entrée arrived in a 2-compartment plastic tray. One section held nice-sized chunks of beef, large broccoli florets, and slices of sautéed red and green peppers, tossed in a light sauce. The other section held the fried rice, which consisted of basmati rice, with bits of carrots, celery, and golden corn kernels interlaced. There were a couple of tablespoons of black beans off to the side of the rice.
I was to supply items from the fruit and dairy food groups, so I added a half a red grapefruit and an ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese to my plate.
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Fried Rice
The heating instructions called for a microwave time of 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Based on previous experience, I cooked mine for 15 minutes more since I own a lower-wattage microwave oven.
My General Impressions
This meal had a lot of visual appeal with the dark green broccoli, golden cheddar, and red grapefruit picking up the bits of color in the fried rice dish. And it proved to be incredibly delicious.
Each and every bite of the beef was so unbelievably tender that I’m left to wonder what eDiets’ secret is. The broccoli was cooked al dente and added a wonderful texture to the dish. The sautéed peppers provided yet another texture, as well as more color and flavor. The stir-fry sauce had a light soy-ginger flavor that enhanced the flavors of the individual ingredients, rather than masking them as some sauces do.
The fried rice was slightly sticky, but the bits of vegetables provided the dish with some interesting textures. However, when I first tasted the rice/vegetable mixture, it had a tanginess that wasn’t to my liking.
I tried the beans next. They were soft, but not mushy, and had a nice flavor. Since the rice and the beans had been presented in the same section of the container in which they arrived, I decided to mix the two together. Voilà! The addition of the beans muted the sharp taste of the rice/vegetable mixture, producing a delicious result.
Only 60 of this entrée’s 260 calories are from fat—about 23%. It contains a healthy 22 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Total carbs are 27 grams, with 4 grams of sugars.
It’s rich in Vitamins A and C, supplying 35% of the recommended average daily intake of Vitamin A and 90% of Vitamin C. It also supplies 6% of the calcium requirement and 8% of the iron.
All the food groups are represented in this meal, too: protein (beef), starch (rice), vegetables (broccoli, peppers, and vegetable bits in rice), fruit (grapefruit), dairy (cheddar cheese), and fats (sesame, canola, and olive oils).
There are a number of other vegetables listed among the ingredients, including green beans, bamboo shoots, onions, and water chestnuts, but I neither saw nor tasted any of these items.
On a scale of 1 to 5, this dinner entrée scores a perfect “5” with me. It looked and tasted as fresh as any similar dish I’ve enjoyed in a Chinese restaurant, and I’ve never been served beef chunks this tender.
While the fried rice had too much tang to suit me before I stirred in the beans, I’m guessing that the beans were meant to be blended into the rice after cooking. eDiets might consider including this in the directions if this is the case.
This meal was extremely filling, too. I saved my cheddar cheese wedge to have as a snack later in the evening.