The Family Meal: Order up! Creating restaurant inspired meals at home

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READING TIME: 3 min.

the-family-mealI enjoy cooking but sometimes it’s a nice break to have someone wait on me and not have to scrape dried applesauce off my own dining room floor.   I’m sure my own mother felt that way many times but unfortunately when I was growing up my family’s eat out choices were limited to places like Applebee’s and the local Dairy Queen.  While I enjoy a Dairy Queen blizzard as much as the next girl, I appreciate living in Dallas due to the wide variety of restaurants I have to choose from.  My problem is that I like restaurant quality food all the time and since that’s not in the budget or good for the waistline I’ve had to find recipes that come close to the awesome taste I find in some of my favorite dining establishments yet don’t take all afternoon to prepare.

My hubby and I love Asian cuisine, whether it’s drive through Chinese food or Mongolian grills, we love the sauces, the rice, the meats and all the flavors from that part of the globe.  Both of these dishes are ones that I found in a Pampered Chef cookbook and when we
crave something with Asian flare I make either of these!

Korean Style Beef Bowl

Grocery List:

2 green onions sliced, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish (Use your kitchen shears and just cut the onions over a bowl if you don’t feel
like slicing them)

1 lb. skirt steak

2 garlic cloves (if mincing garlic frightens you, keep a jar of minced garlic in your refrigerator and use it instead)

3 Tbspn. soy sauce

1 Tbspn. sesame oil

1 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbspn. sugar

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

2 medium carrots (I buy the prepackaged shredded carrots to save me time)

2 cups bean or broccoli sprouts

1. For steak and marinade, thinly slice green onions and reserve a tablespoon. Place remaining onions in a bowl, shallow dish or I prefer the large freezer bags.

2. Cut steak crosswise into 2 inch pieces and then each piece into thinner strips CUT AGAINST the grain. Add to freezer bag. Add pressed garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil pepper and sugar. Massage and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. If you want to peel carrots knock yourself out, peel to make long ribbons. I used the pre shredded ones.

4. Start your rice. Boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water on stove; add rice, let simmer on low for 20 minutes.

5. To cook steak, heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes until beef is brown. Stir; cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat.

6. To serve, divide rice among serving bowls and serve with beef, carrots and sprouts. Garnish with onions.

Riced out.

I served this along with a steamable bag of carrots and green beans. We loved it and it literally took me less than thirty minutes to prepare.

The next dish is Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps and not only is it easy to create but it packs a flavorful punch.

Grocery List:

2 Tbspn. dry roasted peanuts, chopped

1 Tbspn. chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup poppy seed dressing (I use fat free)

2 tsp. soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbspn. rice vinegar

1 Tbspn. water

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into julienne strips

Medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I boiled chicken tender strips for about 5 minutes, let cool then shred them)

4 large Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves

For sauce, combine peanuts with basil, dressing, soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar and water in a small mixing bowl.

For salad, toss shredded chicken with sauce. Divide cucumber and pepper among lettuce leaves, spoon chicken over that. You can serve these in tortillas if you want something heartier but the crisp lettuce makes it so fresh and tasty.

If you try one or both of these please let me know if you liked it!

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