My favorite magazine (well, besides the one that I produce for work, that is) is Real Simple.

I adore this magazine and let out a giddy shriek each time month when I find it in my entryway.

I was even IN the magazine once. It was so superbly cool.

5 Minutes of Fame! 

I totally want to put that copy in a vault to preserve it’s magazineness.

Much to my delight, last friday was Real Simple day. The cover offered me a ray of hope, sunshine, and love:

A month of easy dinners: Your stress-free plan for delicious weeknight meals

Now the other thing that I love about Real Simple is that they are almost always true to their name, with simple tips, recipes, and design ideas.

You might think that I tore through the mag to get to that section, but that’s not how I roll.

I read every single page in order.

(I prefer logical over boring or predictable.)

When I hit page 200 I started to drool a bit with the anticipation of the nummy meals I’d find. My good buddy Melissa blogged about this same phenomena recently, but determined that her growing boys wouldn’t be digging the dishes as much as she would.

For once I was glad that I could make chocolate chip cookies for dinner and my 4-year-old STILL wouldn’t want what we’re having (the baby is much more obliging of our meals – until she’s ready to get out of her high chair, then she dumps whatever is left on the floor immediately and starts signing and saying “all done”).

But I digress…

I filled in the hubby with my plan and took my magazine to the store to get my wares for a week’s worth of meals, courtesy of the handy-dandy list right in the magazine, sorted by week. (Oh – and another thing that those smarties did for me – I don’t have to freeze ANY of the meats I purchased if we eat them in the order published. Bonus!)

We did jumble the order a bit and decided to start with Day Two’s Beef and Bok Choy Stir-fry.

Now I’m going to be honest. I had no idea what bok choy was prior to this dish and I certainly would have never come up with this meal on my own.

I wouldn’t say I was skeptical, but I admit I wasn’t 100% confident in how this would turn out. I hoped for the best, but definitely didn’t take pictures with the goal to share my progress with y’all later.

Less than 30 minutes later (bonus x 10!), we were at the table. Casey and I had a lovely serving of the stir-fry, Peter had rice and peanut buttered bread, and Charlotte had rice, peaches, and some beef.

Oh my.

It. Was. Amazing.

So amazing that I gobbled mine up immediately (I am the world’s fastest eater) and grabbed my camera so I could take a picture of Casey’s half-eaten dish while it still looked more than half-way presentable.

Here’s the result.

beef and bok choy stir-fry

This was the kind of meal that wished we had two dinners in an evening.

Or that my husband and I were capable of leaving leftovers (we’re both what grandmas the world over call “good eaters”).

This bugger will be making it into our regular line up.

I’m almost glad that Peter won’t touch our food.

I’m not sure I’d let him.


Recipe for Beef and Bok Choy Stir-Fry (also found here)
Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


1 cup long-grain white rice (I used brown rice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced (1 pound served two of us. My husband is a meat man. If you’re serving more than two adults, I would add more meat.)
kosher salt and black pepper
4 heads baby bok choy, quartered (I used 1 head for the two of us. I’ll likely use 2 next time.)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (I used 2 tablespoons – it was extra zingy, just the way I like it.)
1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the steak with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate.
  2. Wipe out the skillet. Add the bok choy and 1⁄4 cup water and simmer, covered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Add to the bok choy in the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, tossing, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Up Wednesday: Spicy Orange-glazed Drumsticks with Green Beans and Corn Muffins