Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Korean Beef Bulgogi


We had some young men over for dinner recently. They are living and working in our area serving as missionaries for our church. We as members take turns feeding them and in return we get some special dinner conversations and we believe extra blessings in our home.

The night we ended up having them over for dinner, Joseph and I had both completely forgotten and so were had pawned off the little kids on grandparents after the bigger kids had all made their own plans.  5pm.. Knock... Knock....  We looked at each other with terror in our eyes.


I had been cooking things for the blog for most of the day already, so I had containers and containers of roasted beets, swiss chard for salad, half of a foot long french bread extra meat hoagie. 

Joseph too pity on the young men and gave them each a huge slice of the sandwich, I asked them if they liked beets. 



They were very kindly interested in what I did and I tried to explain it to them. (It is a little hard to explain) and then we talked about dinners with families. I was very excited to ask them what their moms and dads made for their families that they loved.

One of the young men talked about how much he and his siblings loved tuna noodle casserole growing up. He said his parents weren't too fond of it nowadays, but that he and all his siblings still loved it.  He also mentioned that it was a really special meal when his dad would make Korean Bulgogi. His dad also served a mission as a young man and this was something that he learned to make and his family adored it.  I made it for my family, and they really really liked it - yours is going to as well.



Ingredients:

1 lbs beef rib-eye or tenderloin, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 medium sized onion
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup of grated pear

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Broccoli or carrots, thinly sliced (optional)




Directions:

Mix everything else but the beef in a bowl or tupperware to make the marinade.

Add the beef and marinate for a few hours or overnight for best results.

Grill, BBQ, or pan-fry until meat is cooked.  I cooked mine in small batches in a skillet and 4-5 slices of meat took less than 3 minutes to cook.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!



notes and variations:

The pear, is what is used to tenderize the meat.  You'll read a lot of recipes that use Coke, but try the pear, it is healthy and gives it a really great flavor.

Before you add the beef, taste the marinade to make sure it fits your tastes. Add more sugar or soy sauce to make it sweeter or saltier.

Next time I am going to double or triple the recipe to make a large batch, so we can enjoy it anytime with little prep time involved! We'll just portion it out, and freeze, and thaw overnight when we’ll be eating it the next day.

The quality of the meat is really important! We tried to make this with other types of beef, and it tasted pretty terrible.

Ask your store Butcher where you buy the meat if they can slice it for you. Should be about 1/8 inch.


Monday, August 22, 2016

What to Add to Plain Oatmeal to make it delicious!

Oatmeal is really the perfect breakfast food, at least in my opinion. When you choose whole oats that aren’t prepackaged with any extra sugar, flavoring or other processed ingredients, you’re getting a seriously healthy and filling dose of fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.




The thing about plain oats (whether you like them steel cut, rolled, as oat bran or in some other form) is that they taste pretty bland on their own. You almost always have to add some other ingredients to it in order for it to taste like anything worth eating.

Unfortunately, pouring maple syrup or brown sugar or agave nectar all over it is a good way to quickly turn your healthy breakfast into a high-calorie bowl of sugar paste. You can certainly add just a little, but there are other ways to bring the flavor level up a few notches.

Here are some of my personal favorites to add to plain oatmeal.

1/2 cup of blueberries

Almost any berries will do, but blueberries are a must-try with oatmeal for a natural and healthy way to sweeten it up. They’re rich in vitamin C, help improve heart health, reduce your cancer risk and boost your brain health too. Try keeping a bag of frozen berries in your freezer and defrosting about half a cup in the microwave as needed to add to your oatmeal.

1 tablespoon of flax seed

It’s almost as if flax seed and oatmeal just belong together, and you’ll know what I mean when you taste these two together. Mixing just one tablespoon in gives it a subtle nutty taste that’s not at all overpowering. Flax seed is high in fiber, offering about two grams of it per tablespoon, and is also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). This little seed can improve digestion, keep your heart healthy and keep you fuller for longer throughout the morning.

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

An easy way to simultaneously boost protein and flavor in your oatmeal is by adding a scoop of your favorite type of vanilla protein powder to it. I use whey, but you can also try plant-based proteins for a vegan option. Just cook your oatmeal as you always do and then mix in one scoop of protein powder when it’s ready. It also tastes great alongside flax seed!

1 apple, cut up into small pieces (with skin)

Apples are a great source of antioxidants, flavonoids and fiber too. For an even tastier breakfast, sprinkle a bit of ground cinnamon on top of the apple pieces for a homemade apple-cinnamon bowl of oatmeal that the prepackaged stuff can never compete with!

1 banana, sliced

Bananas are definitely an oatmeal lover’s favorite. They’re perfectly sweet enough to turn bland oatmeal into something you can really enjoy. Bananas also have mood-boosting properties that may benefit you when you’re not feeling your best in the morning, plus they’re the perfect fruit to eat and energize you before a really intense workout.

1 tablespoon of natural almond butter

All you need is one tablespoon of this stuff to turn your oatmeal into something that tastes almost like warm, nutty cookie batter! Natural nut butters like almond butter add an extra dose of protein, healthy fat and other valuable nutrients. Research has shown that nuts can help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol and keep the heart healthy.

1 tablespoon of dark/semisweet chocolate chips

Adding a tablespoon of chocolate chips to oatmeal is absolute heaven. They’ll melt over the warm oatmeal and make it creamier and richer than ever. Of course, dark chocolate is best, offering you loads of antioxidants and a mood-boosting effect. Just remember to stick to portion control. When combined with the almond butter and banana, you’ll practically be eating dessert (that’s surprisingly healthy) for breakfast!


If instant oatmeal is more your style - Here is a blog post about how I make instant oatmeal for my family.   It has lots of great flavor combinations as well.  You can have oatmeal every day, and Never eat the same thing twice.

I personally love to combine the above ingredients with oatmeal in all sorts of different ways. Bananas and blueberries go great together, or you can stick with the flax seed and add just a few chocolate chips. In the end, it’s pretty hard to mess it up when you experiment with some of these delicious combinations.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Raspberry Honey Butter


Because I live a skip from a restaurant that is pretty famous for serving raspberry honey butter, my kids are hooked on the stuff - that means, if we have raspberries, we are making honey butter. 


Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup raspberries that have been smashed with a fork
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

(I made mine using my hand mixer. You could also use a KitchenAid mixer or another large / stand mixer.  If you don’t have any of those, you can just use your own arm power and beat it by hand, but I will warn you- your arm will be tired!)

Add butter to large bowl and beat until soft and creamy. 

While the mixer is still mixing the butter, add in the mashed raspberries, honey, and vanilla. 

Beat until all mixed together and creamy (like the consistency of a soft butter); about 8 minutes.

Serve over warm bread or toast.
Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container.



Friday, August 19, 2016

Cornbread with Fresh Berries



The other night we were going to be having leftover for dinner. It didn't sound too fabulous and I was not looking forward to it. 

I also was facing a few cups of raspberries and a cup of blackberries that needed to be used immediately. 


I decided to make a batch of cornbread muffins and add the berries to the top. That's all I did, no special recipe, no additional ingredients. 

My corn bread recipe is HERE 





Put your berries on top of your muffins once you have the poured into the pans. I added a lot, because I had a lot of berries.







Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cabbage Steaks with Balsamic Honey Glaze


Cabbage was made for the high heat of grilling or a roasting oven. My cousin makes these and posts the pictures on social media and my mouth just drools every time she does. 

When we got a cabbage in our CSA box, this is the first thing that I knew I wanted to do with it. 


Ingredients
1/2 head of savoy cabbage cut in to 1/2" thick rounds
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp course sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
A few sprigs of fresh thyme (Optional)


Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

In a bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey.

Arrange the cabbage slices in a single layer and brush with the honey balsamic vinaigrette. Season with the coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Roast until the cabbage is tender and the edges are golden (appox 25 to 30 minutes).


Cook longer ran than less time, You'll want your cabbage to nice and sweet and tender and not crispy and raw still. If you think it still needs another 10 minutes, go for it.