Everyday Mom's Meals: February 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Be Adventerous

Before my husband came long, I wasn't the adventurous eater I am today. I was always a good eater, mom and dad made sure of that, but I just didn't have the opportunity to try so many new things until Adam shared them with me. He loved all different cuisines and forced me to try things I had never dreamt of. And for the most part, I discovered I loved them too. Sushi, Calamari, Raw Tuna, just to name a few. Oh, and of course Korean food, which is where today's recipe comes in.

We have this little Korean restaurant here in town, a little "hole in the wall" if you will, and the first time he took me there I was not impressed. That will teach me not to judge a book by its cover! I had NO idea what to order, but he guided me to something he was pretty sure he knew I would love, and he was right! 

If you've never had Bibimbap, it literally means "mixed rice." It is this huge rice, meat, veggie mixture, and then...here is my favorite part...it has an ooey gooey fried egg served on top. Why? Because the minute you cut into it, the warm yolk covers everything making it's own sauce. I know it might sound weird, but you have to take my word for it...one bite and you will be hooked. 

Every time we go, I order the same thing, savor each and every bite and am always sad when it's gone. So it was about time I made a version at home we could enjoy any time. 

You can easily adapt this to include veggies you love, these are what I had on hand. You can also add some sriracha or garlic chili paste if you like it hot! 
And don't get overwhelmed! It really isn't a complicated recipe, it just has a lot of steps. But you can prep the veggies, and even pre-cook the rice too! Then all you have to worry about is the beef and frying up some eggs. Just take your time and take it one step at a time. No lie- I made this on a Monday night, with 1 hour until dinner had to be ready for Alex to eat before Tae Kwon Do, and Max was at my feet the whole time! My point? If I can do it, YOU can too! 
If you aren't a very adventurous eater, or maybe your kids won't touch anything that isn't a chicken nugget or hot dog, I urge you to start small. Try something like this that has things that are familiar, and then go from there!

Korean Beef Bowl
2 lbs. ground beef
6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Black Pepper to taste
1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
3 medium carrots, grated*
1 bunch green onions, chopped*
6 cups cooked white rice*
4 eggs, cooked over easy or sunny side up
Sesame Seeds for garnish 

Prep ALL veggies, and set aside. In a large skillet brown beef with garlic until no longer pink. Drain well, return to skillet.  In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, red pepper and black pepper. Pour over beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes until sauce reduces a little. To assemble, place rice in bottom of bowl. Top with beef, cucumber, carrots and green onions. Place 1 cooked egg on each bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. *NOTES* When grating carrots, use the large hole on a box grater. You only want the dark green parts of the green onions. Don't stress over using "fancy" rice. Save yourself some time and energy and use minute rice! Brown can be substituted too. 

Inspired by The Recipe Critic  

 Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Meal Plan Monday

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lemons In The Winter

Okay, was it just me or did January last 215 days? Seriously! I know winter months can drag on and on, but that was especially painful. Yes, it had 5 Mondays, which in itself should be outlawed, but I think there were 9 Tuesday and 17 Thursdays in there somewhere too.

Regardless, we onto February, and while for our family it is a very busy month, I realize for many it can drag on too.

Now is about the time of year my taste buds start to crave brighter, spring like flavors. They are ready to come out of winter hibernation and live again. Sure, we eat really well during these cold, drab months...soup, stew, casseroles...and there is nothing wrong with that. But they are always way ahead of the calendar and the weather, and wanting more.

One way I can wake them up a little is lemon! I will take lemon pretty much any way I can get it. Savory dishes, desserts, main dishes, sides, and everything in between.

This recipe is extra special, because it gives you pasta as a side dish. I don't know about you, but 99% of the time if I'm boiling pasta, it is going to be the star of the meal. Either on it's own, or in a casserole. But not with this. It is perfect alongside some chicken, or maybe some fish since we are entering Lent!

If you feel like this winter is never going to end, I assure you it will. Just maybe not as quick as we would like. In the meantime though we can have a burst of springtime on our plate!

Baked Lemon Noodles
1 lb. rotini pasta
16 oz. sour cream
1 stick butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 TBS dried parsley
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cook noodles to al dente. Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan melt butter. Add lemon juice and zest. Slowly whisk sour cream until well blended. Add parsley, salt and pepper. Keep on warm. When pasta is done, drain well. Return to hot pot. Add sauce. Stir well. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and extra parsley. Bake for 25 minutes until heated through.

Inspired by Montana Happy