Before I got into clean eating I had real thing for the Beef and Broccoli Recipe with Special Orange Sauce frequently served at Chinese restaurants. Actually, I think I loved just about anything with “Special Sauce”. Because really, isn’t it always the sauce that makes the dish? I mean what would be all that special about beef and broccoli if it weren’t for “Special Sauce”?
Of course the real deal “Special Sauce” that makes the Chinese restaurant-style Beef and Broccoli Recipe so darn good has a good deal of refined sugar and a ridiculous amount of refined oil, neither of which align with my idea of clean eating. However, I am happy to say there is definitely a way to ditch the bad and keep all the good (the flavor!!) with the reworked recipe below.
I also gave the whole recipe a serious nutrition boost by thickening the sauce primarily with pureed butternut squash. The butternut squash is so mild that it doesn’t compete with the dominant orange flavor in the slightest bit either.
The only two ingredients you might not be very familiar with in my cleaned up version are the unrefined red palm oil and arrowroot. Unrefined red palm oil is actually a superfood that is incredibly rich in antioxidants and it’s great for high-heat cooking. It’s easy to find in natural food stores or places like Whole Foods Market, but you can also buy it online HERE. If you can’t find unrefined red palm oil, you can always substitute organic, extra virgin coconut oil. As for the arrowroot, it is simply a healthier alternative to cornstarch. You can read more about the difference between arrowroot and cornstarch HERE. And like unrefined red palm oil, arrowroot is available at just about any natural food store.
Chinese Beef and Broccoli Recipe with Special Orange Sauce
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 -6 1x
- 1 1/2 pounds grass fed filet or lean beef (cut into strips, or 1 1/2 packages (20 ounces) extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into strips)
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons organic (unrefined red palm oil (or organic extra virgin coconut oil), divided)
- 2 tablespoons unpasteurized soy sauce (such as Namu Shoyu brand)
- 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
- 3/4 cup frozen butternut squash (thawed)
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons Srirachi sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 carrots (cut into strips)
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cooked (steamed brown rice)
- Place the beef or tofu in a large bowl, season with salt and coat with 1/4 cup of the arrowroot.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on high heat in a wok or large saute pan and then carefully add the beef or tofu. Cook until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring once or twice. Transfer to paper towels and set aside.
- In a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix), add the soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, butternut squash, medjool dates, ginger, Srirachi sauce, Dijon mustard and remaining teaspoon of arrowroot. Process until smooth and creamy.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the wok or skillet over medium-high heat; add the carrots and broccoli and saute for about 3 minutes. Push the carrots off to the side, add the special orange sauce and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the beef or tofu and coat with the sauce. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until sauce thickens. Serve over steamed brown rice.
Looking for More Healthy Dinner Recipes?
You’ll find a full month of clean dinner entrees similar to the Beef and Broccoli Recipe in the Clean Cuisine Dinners e-cookbook!