Recipe: Garlicky Steak and Veggie Bowls

published Jan 27, 2017
Garlicky Steak and Veggie Bowls
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(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

A few months back, I was frantically searching for ways to simplify my life. Even my kitchen routines received a dramatic culling; nothing was too precious or too small to be immune.

It was then I asked myself: Why do I need to chop garlic for every meal? I decided this tedious task provided too insignificant an impact to continue daily, and mostly avoided it — and garlic — for several months. It took weeks to sink in, but I began to realize many of my dishes were a little flat, lacking the allium’s savory undercurrent.

To celebrate both getting my life (somewhat) under control and garlic’s return to my kitchen prep, I made these garlicky steak and veggie bowls. Although they require chopping six cloves of garlic, they’re a speedy weeknight meal to honor this ubiquitous yet special seasoning.

A Low-Maintenance Dinner with Plenty of Flavor

Some of my new low-maintenance kitchen habits did stick, though, and a couple of them show up in this meal. I chose flank steak because it’s an economical cut and can cook in under 10 minutes.

I also opted for frozen vegetables, since they require zero prep and also cook quickly. Finally, the meat and veggies sit on a hearty bed of brown rice, which I usually have on hand, leftover from another meal or from Sunday batch cooking.

Of course, there’s plenty of garlic — enough to make this standard sideliner the star. The results are piquant without being spicy, so the kids enjoy it just as much as the parents do.

Garlicky Steak and Veggie Bowls

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    flank steak

  • 6 cloves

    garlic, finely chopped, divided

  • Juice of 1 medium lime

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 cup

    brown rice

  • 2 cups


  • 1

    (10-ounce) bag frozen stir-fry vegetables


  1. Place the steak, 3 of the garlic cloves, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Seal the bag, pressing out excess air, and rub between your hands to evenly distribute the ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the rice and toast, stirring occasionally, until nutty and fragrant. Add the water, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes more.

  3. Heat a large heavy-bottom skillet over high heat. Add the marinated flank steak and cook until the first side is nicely browned and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the second side for a medium-doneness steak. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.

  4. Wipe out the skillet used to cook the steak. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the vegetables, remaining garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the vegetables are heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. To serve, thinly slice the steak against the grain. Divide the rice among 4 bowls. Top with the sliced flank steak and vegetables.

Recipe Notes

  • Brown rice: Use precooked brown rice or cook the brown rice in advance and rewarm for a quicker dinner prep.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.