Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry

Lindsey Proctor

Lindsey Proctor is a twenty-something foodie, with an emphasis on great tasting real food. She lives with her parents and sister on Hickory Cove Farm, a small, natural and sustainable farm in South-Central Pennsylvania where they raise Alpine and Nubian dairy goats, a flock of pastured laying hens and a few roosters, and a few beef steer. Her favorite place to be is out in the pasture with her goats, but she also enjoys spending time in the kitchen cooking, baking, preserving food, and cheese making. She also enjoys photography, music, and a really good cup of coffee, and blogging at The Life Of Linz. She views her life in the country as a great blessing and it is her firm belief that she has been placed there for a purpose; to help others get back to living and eating the way she think God intended us to - a simple, fresh, local, and seasonal way of life.

30 Minute Meal Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry

By Lindsey Proctor, contributing writer

Would you like another quick, easy, nutritious meal to add to your menu rotation? Then this quick stir-fry is just the thing for you! Made with grass-fed beef, rice noodles, yummy veggies, fresh-squeezed orange juice, coconut water, and toasted sesame seeds, spices, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic, this dish is full of flavor!  Best of all, it comes together quickly (it took me just under 30 minutes from stovetop to table) thanks to the quick-cooking rice noodles and a hot sauté pan, plus a few other time-saving tips.

Plan ahead, prepare ahead

The key to getting dinner on the table quickly is to plan ahead and do a few quick preparations earlier in the day when you have just a few minutes of time to spare. For example, when you go to the freezer to get your meat out to thaw, grab your veggies, too! This will cut down on the time needed to sauté them, since they won’t have to thaw in the pan before they cook.

If you are working with a whole piece of meat – say a sirloin or flank steak – that will need to be cut into smaller strips for this dish, try to cut the meat when it’s still partially frozen. It’s so much easier that way, and when cooking time comes, your meat will be completely thawed and ready to sear.

When you put the water in the saucepan for the pasta, if you can safely use water straight from your kitchen faucet, make it hot! If you need to use bottled or filtered water, measure it out and put it in the pan earlier in the day so it can at least be at room temperature. This way, there’s less time needed for the burner to heat up the water, and it’ll reach boiling just a bit faster than if you start with cold water.

And I know that this is a commonsense tip, but sometimes I forget – when it’s time to start cooking, read over the recipe and gather your ingredients and supplies. It’s a lot easier to walk over to the spice cupboard and cooking gadgets drawer once and get everything you need, than to walk around your kitchen several times grabbing things as you need them!  Read over the recipe instructions and come up with a plan of action. Start the water boiling before you heat your oil, so that you can boil the noodles while you’re cooking the meat and drain them while the veggies are cooking. Make the most of your time, and you’ll have more moments to spend around the table enjoying a great meal with your loved ones.

Note: This recipe calls for soy sauce. Please see this previous post by Kimi for advice on choosing the right kind

Coconut Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lb sirloin or flank steak, cut into small strips, thawed
  • 1 lb frozen stir-fry vegetables - I used a mix containing broccoli, carrots, peas, red pepper, and onion, thawed
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut water
  • 3 Tablespoons organic, naturally brewed soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons organic, non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 8 oz package rice noodles
  1. Bring water for pasta to a boil, cook according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, toast sesame seeds over medium heat. Add sesame oil, Chinese 5 spice powder, ginger, and garlic. Cook until garlic is browned. Raise heat to medium high. Add beef strips and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Remove beef from pan and set aside. Do not remove any liquid that may have accumulated during the cooking of the meat. Add vegetables and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together orange juice, coconut water, soy sauce, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Pour over cooked vegetables and stir to combine. Cook until liquid has thickened, about 3 minutes. Add meat back into the pan and stir to combine ingredients. Serve over rice noodles. Enjoy!










Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

April Swiger

Hi, I’m April Swiger, wife to my best friend, and worship-pastor, Adam. We are hopeful adoptive parents waiting to bring home children from foster care. We live in Connecticut, less than an hour from where I grew up. As a native New Englander, I was brought up on delicious meals by my mother who values the art of cooking. Her guidance instilled in me foundational skills, and confidence in the kitchen from a very young age.

After graduating from James Madison University I spent six years in campus ministry, including a year in East Asia. As a result, my cooking has been greatly influenced by Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. You can bet that I fully indulged in many traditional, and unique, Asian dishes that year!/div>

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with simple, nourishing recipes, while strategically keeping to our tight ministry budget. On any given day you’ll find my crockpot bubbling with rich bone broth, mason jars full of coconut oil in the cabinet, and beans or grains soaking on the radiator. When I’m not caring for my husband and our home, you can find me reading, writing, blogging at Redemptive Homemaking, making my own beauty products, and researching new skills like gardening and lacto-fermentation. Whether it’s marriage, homemaking, or serving in our local church, I am first and foremost a follower of King Jesus, and my aim is to glorify Him with all that I do. 

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Sweet, tangy, and a little bit of red-pepper-kick, these honey garlic drumsticks are the perfect meal for a hot summer night. I love the flavorful dark meat that chicken legs have to offer. Not only are they an incredibly frugal cut of meat, but the seasoning possibilities are near endless. Add in the simplicity of a slow cooker/Crockpot, and you have a nourishing meal for the whole family, or a crowd, without much effort.

When the weather is beautiful and warm, it’s much more difficult to give up time outside for prepping meals. We don’t have central air in our home, so turning on the oven during the summer can be a little uncomfortable. It’s easy to forget that crockpots aren’t just for hearty wintertime soups, stews, and chillies! I’ve learned that it’s a great option to beat the summer heat, and a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal after a fun day outside.

This recipe can be easily prepared in the slow cooker crock itself, minimizing the amount of dishes needed to be washed. It’s also easy to adapt based on how much “kick” you desire. You can thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder after the chicken is cooked. Pour it over the meat, or into a bowl for dipping. You definitely don’t want to skip this part as the sauce is absolutely delectable!

More time in the sun with family and friends, and less time in your kitchen – a win all around in my book! Keep it simple and serve these drumsticks with a side salad, carrot and celery sticks, rice or quinoa, or some sautéed veggies with butter or coconut oil.

Kimi uses this (affliate links)  slow cooker, and uses this clay cooker for making quinoa or rice on hot days.

Time at the stove: 10 minutes if you choose to sauté or steam some vegetables. 20 minutes if you make rice or quinoa. Or none if you serve it with cold vegetables or a salad.

Time at the oven: 5 minutes if you choose to broil the legs for a crispy skin.

Other drumstick/wing recipes:

Other crockpot recipes:

Honey Garlic Drumsticks (a simple summer crockpot meal)
Recipe type: Main Dish
These drumsticks are a perfect mixture of sweet and tangy, with a bit of kick! They are effortless to prepare and make a great summertime meal for your family, or a crowd.
  • 2 lbs chicken legs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 Tbls coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced (garlic lovers use 5!)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated, or about ¼ tsp dried
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbls arrowroot powder or cornstarch (used at the end to thicken the sauce)
  1. In the crock of your slow cooker whisk together the honey, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  2. Add the drumsticks to the crock, and toss them until they are fully coated with the sauce.
  3. Cook the drumsticks on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-4 hours.
  4. When the chicken legs are fully cooked, remove them from the crock, leaving the sauce inside.
  5. OPTIONAL - If desired, you can place the legs under the broiler at this point to crisp up the skin. About 5 minutes at 400 F should be sufficient.
  6. Ladle out ½ cup of the sauce into a small bowl, and whisk in the arrowroot powder or cornstarch (this step may not be necessary, but I find it's easier to get the lumps out in a smaller amount of sauce).
  7. Pour the sauce and arrowroot/cornstarch mixture back into the crock with the rest of the sauce. Whisk it in and allow it to thicken for a few minutes with the crock on 'high.'
  8. Serve the drumsticks with the sauce poured on top, or in a small bowl for dipping!


Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (GF, DF & Paleo-Friendly)

Alison Diven

A born and bred foodie, Alison is probably thinking about her next meal right. now.Her early interest in nutrition and eating spectacular food went alternative when her health collapsed in college, and she discovered—for the first time—real, nourishing food. She’s never looked back.

Recent transplants to New Mexico, Alison and her husband and son are embracing their new, enchanted landscape (the light! the mesas! the sunsets!) and celebrating their many opportunities for local, sustainable eating in the Four Corners region.

Alison shares the fruit of her 10-year healing quest at Alison’s List, a resource for whole-person healing and enrichment—body, mind, and spirit. Find her at Alison's List and her Facebook page. 

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps
By Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

When you crave something different but not too exotic for dinner, try picadillo! Brightened with green olives and capers, mellowed with currants, and warmed with cumin and cinnamon, this ground beef dish is sure to please young and old alike with its mild salty-sweet flavors. We piled it into lettuce leaves with rice and fresh pico de gallo for the perfect summertime meal.

If you’ve had picadillo before, my ingredients might surprise you. No potatoes! you gasp. And what’s with the capers? you wonder. Well, there are as many variations on picadillo as there are Latin-influenced cooks in the in the world. Spain, Brazil, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and more all boast their own version. This recipe features the add-ins my little family likes, and it happens to be on the Cuban(ish) side of things. I won’t claim authenticity, but I will claim deliciousness!

It’s that salty-sweet thing I can’t get enough of. I suppose I first developed a taste for it when I discovered Moroccan, Indian, and Persian cuisines in my early twenties. They paired spices I associated with baked goods, like cinnamon and nutmeg, with meat and poultry. What a revelation! While that period of my life was darkened by illness and desperate attempts to get well, one of its lasting gifts has been all the culinary exploration prompted by food restrictions and healing diets. It changed my cooking forever – for the better.

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps SliderRecipes Notes:

  • Choose 100% grass-fed ground beef or bison, if you can, for the best nutrition. (Read more about that and how to buy it for less here.)
  • If you’re grain-free, leave out the rice. We use it to help stretch the meat a bit further–it’s just too easy to keep filling lettuce leaves!–but it’s optional.
  • Cooked lentils could replace part or all of the ground meat for a more frugal, or even vegetarian, meal.
  • Instead of using lettuce leaves, serve the picadillo in tortillas, over rice or potatoes, or even in quesadillas for a different twist. And leftovers make a delicious omelet filling! Just add a little cheese.
  • Check the labels on your olives and capers to avoid preservatives and artificial colorings.

More ethnic-inspired recipes from the Nourishing Gourmet:

3 Ingredient Teriyaki Pan-Fried Chicken
Sriracha Lime Salmon One Pot Meal
Simple Persian Lentil Soup
Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup
Thai Inspired Pizza with Peanut Sauce

Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (GF, DF & Paleo-Friendly)
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Cuban-ish
Serves: 4-6
Salty, sweet, and a little tangy, this family-friendly dish will leave you begging for more! If you prefer, you can substitute raisins for the currants. Paleo and grain-free eaters can leave out the rice but will get fewer servings from the recipe.
For the Picadillo
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed
  • 2 Tablespoons tallow, lard, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, about 1.5 cups diced small
  • 1 large green bell pepper, about 1.5 cups diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 oz can whole tomatoes
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 2 Tablespoons green olives with pimiento, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 Tablespoons olive brine (or white wine vinegar and salt to taste)
For the Pico de Gallo
  • ⅓ cup minced shallot or red onion
  • ⅔ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
To Serve
  • Lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves
  • Cooked brown or white rice (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. Heat large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef. Crumble and stir occasionally as it cooks. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add tallow or oil to pan. Add onions and cook until beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in garlic, then add the salt, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add cooked beef, canned tomatoes, currants, diced olives, capers, and olive brine. Break up the tomatoes into small pieces while the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine minced shallot, chopped tomatoes, minced cilantro, lime juice, and a dash of salt, then set aside.
  6. To serve, fill each lettuce leaf with the beef mixture, a spoonful of rice (if desired), and a spoonful of pico de gallo or cilantro. Enjoy!


6 tips for packing healthy meals for a trip


I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

6 tips for healthy meals to bring on a vacation. Perfect for this time of year!
I was pretty quiet last week, but for good reason, it was our yearly family vacation to the beach! We had a wonderful time. Plus, we ate well for less because I had premade all of our dinners, and most of our lunches!

After a beautiful day on the beach, it was lovely to be able to reheat a homemade meal with little bother. We felt well nourished and fed, and it certainly saved us a lot of money too. We ate out for one lunch, and when I saw our bill, I was thankful again that I had made most of our meals!

And let’s face it, it can be really hard to find yummy food that is also allergy-friendly. As a family with gluten, dairy, and egg sensitivities, it can be a real chore to find food that we can eat.

I’m no expert on packing for trips, but I thought I’d share some of what I did as I know many of you have vacations planned as well. This plan works for those staying somewhere with a kitchen (or in my case; we borrowed the kitchen of my sister whose unit had one). I’d love to hear your ideas too!

(Some links may be affiliate. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

Stews and soups
Anyone who has read my blog for a while (or who has my cookbook, Ladled) knows that I’m a fan of soups. I brought a stew and a couple soups. I loved a couple things about specifically bringing them on a trip like this. First, they are super fast to reheat, so kitchen work is minimal. Secondly, soups tend to taste even better after a day or two of flavors melding together, which makes them the perfect food to pre-make for a trip. When much of the day is spent outdoors, I find that especially hearty stews and soups fill the bill.

My soups were from Ladled, but here are some similar soups:

We had “bean” burritos for several of our lunches. I made a big pot of Mexican lentils (one daughter can’t have many beans), and then brought along gluten-free tortillas and salsa for a simple lunch. They were hearty and filling and frugal too! You could also bring along freezer breakfast burritos!

Freeze meals in gallon bags if without a refrigerator
One thing that I wish I remembered to do was to freeze all of my premade meals. Once frozen and placed in a cooler, they act as their own ice packs. When I had gone on a camping trip with my family before I was married, my mom did this, and it was amazing how long the meals stayed frozen and chilled. In fact, the only thing you may need to do is to remember to defrost your frozen meal before meal time!

Cold cuts and produce
Meals don’t have to be fancy! Bring along some organic cold cuts and sausage to slice, or cheddar cheese, and serve with thick slabs of butter bread or crackers. Serve with sliced cucumber, carrots, and apples, or whatever produce you like! These types of meals are also great to bring along on picnic lunches – whether you are in a state park or at the beach.

Bring snacks
I don’t know what it is about vacations, but they just seem to make everyone hungry! We brought along plenty of snacks with us, and they saved us. Because I was already making so many meals ahead of time, we decided to bite the bullet and buy snacks during a good sale a local store had on gluten-free products. We were very thankful for that sale! But snacks are great to make as well. Here are some recipe ideas:

One nourishing spurge item we brought? These coconut oil sweet potato chips. SO good.

Slow cooker meals
Another great idea is to bring slow cooker meals. Last year, I brought several crockpot meals which meant just a little prep for me in the morning. You could make Slow Cooker Pot Roast (for three meals!), slow cooked whole chicken with vegetables, quinoa and chicken stew, or whatever else you fancy! Those eating a paleo diet will appreciate this Paleo Slow Cooking book too.

Finally, these are all ideas for those vacationing with a kitchen. But what about those camping? Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has a great eBook on nourishing camping food, The Family Camping Handbook. Check it out