The Easiest Beef and Broccoli and Sending Your First to College

Gluten FreeDiary Free

I think one of the easiest things about college was getting her accepted. She had a very nerve wracking tryout for theatre programs but she got accepted.

That was the easy part. Sending her away was the gut wrenching cry-every-evening-in-the-shower-since-shes-left kindof a feeling.

I can’t put my finger on it as to why I’m so emotional. With the pandemic I was so blessed with an extra few months with her by my side. I am so grateful for those months that allowed our family to be close before we all went our separate ways.

Maybe that actually made it harder.

And maybe my ex husband’s mother and several friends who have gone through this before were right when they said that by the senior year of high school you are also ready for them to go. She did develop that senioritis entitlement everyone talks about. Part of me was MORE than ready to send her on her way and finally have her learn to appreciate what her parents have done for her for so many years.

I think I was also ready and excited to change that relationship from one of parent to more of a consultant and further down the road to friend.

And then that thought terrified me. I spent nights awake wondering if I had remembered to teach her everything that she would need to know. If I had talked to her enough about dating, taught her enough about finances and made her take enough foods classes in high school to learn to cook.

That pretty much went out the window after the first two weeks of school when she gave herself food poisoning after learning that food only stays good for a certain amount of time after being prepared (not two weeks!) and lot’s and lot’s of boy trauma drama.

Yeah I didn’t prepare her enough at all.

Or me.

When I sent her off I didn’t even leave her a pot or pan. Instead we opted for ready made salads and microwave meals. She was taking 18 credits and her professors told her she would be super busy. She’s found that evenings are pretty blah with a lot of theater events in the evenings cancelled. she has some time to cook. And she found that even $2 taco Tuesdays can add up in price. 

But she really wanted to start cooking and called her friend for advice and then called her Mom for money. That sounds about right.

These two books have been her friends and her favorite. They use them all the time. They have easy meals that offer options for stovetop, oven, microwave, blender or toaster oven. The ingredients are easy and the meals are simple to make.

Today we’re featuring the easy beef and broccoli recipe. It was a breeze to adapt for allergies too. It just came down to having to change out the noodles to make it gluten free for me.

I found these Miracle Noodles at my local grocery store and I tried them. They aren’t bad. They are kind of chewy but not in a bad way. And they taste a little like watercress but not crunchy like watercress. They take on the taste of whatever sauce or food I use. They are gluten free and have 0 calories per serving. And I can eat a pack and feel STUFFED afterwards.

If you are sending a child off to college and a month and a half in are getting phone calls like mine, I totally suggest grabbing this book for your college child. 


College Style Garlic Bread and Spaghetti

How to Pass A Rental Inspection

Easiest Beef and Broccoli

  • 8 oz sirloin steak, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • Juice of two limes, divided
  • 4 tbsp packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 head broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 (3 oz) packages instant ramen, noodles only (discard seasoning packet) **replacement noodles can be used.

In a bowl, stir together the marinade consisting of 1/4 cup of soy sauce, juice of one lime, and two tablespoons of brown sugar. Add the steak, stir to combine and allow to marinade for ten minutes.

After the ten minutes, heat a skillet with the oil. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard marinade. Add the meat to the skillet and cook meat until browned. Transfer the steak to a plate and set aside.

Cook the ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the noodles are cooking to the skillet on medium high heat, add the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce, lime juice, remaining two tablespoons of brown sugar, and the garlic powder. Stir to combine. add the broccoli, bringing the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in the meat and combine.

Divide the noodles between two bowls. Top with the beef and broccoli mixture, then toss to combine.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe adapted from The Easy College Cookbook

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