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When kids are young, you can have almost total control over their existence, including what they eat. In fact, it’s good parenting to offer a wide variety of wholesome foods, starting early on to get a clean-eating lifestyle established. But, as they grow up and fly the coop, decisions big and small, and not just about food, become entirely up the them.
This month my oldest is leaving two years of dorm life to live in an apartment for the first time. There will be plenty of decisions to make – gas for the car vs. video games, making it to class on time vs. sleeping in, eating ramin noodle cups and vending machine donuts vs. preparing healthy meals at home. All these years I’ve been teaching him how to make good choices, and more recently, how to cook. For my own peace of mind, I’m sending off a care package this week packed with a Chocolate Cashew Baked Oat Cups made with a favorite pantry staple, Silk® Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk Bottles.Continue reading →
I have a proposition! I’ll share my 15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice recipe and with all the time you save on dinner, you’ll spend the 1 minute it takes to vote for me in the Eggland’s Best “America’s Best Recipe Contest”! My regional-inspired recipe is for Texas Egg and Steak Hash with Chipotle Street Corn Relish (copied the photo below so you know exactly what to vote for) — thank you, thank you!
Now, onto the 15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice recipe (originally developed for Beeflovingtexans,com) — it’s a win on so many levels. Not only is it a lightening speed dinner solution, it can be kept simple enough that an older kid can make it. Honestly, realizing that my teenage boys were completely capable of cooking dinner every once in a while was a light bulb moment for me. What a relief to know I can call ahead and get them to start dinner on those crazy days when I’m stuck in traffic, sitting at another kid’s sports game or even trying to finish up my own workout.
One of the tricks to cooking the recipe so quickly is super-thinly cut sirloin steak — a method that also stretches my food budget as it makes the meat look like, well, a larger quantity than it actually is! So, just firm up your steak in the freezer for 10 to 30 minutes or before getting after it with a super sharp knife across the grain in razor-thin slices (like 1/8″ or less if you can). When the meat is this thin, it literally takes 3 minutes or less to cook with the stir-fry method — toss in the hot, hot skillet and stir around constantly and quickly just long enough to take the “red” of. Beef should still look pink when you take it off the skillet as it will continue to cook a tiny bit, trust me, it will always be juicy and tender this way! Do NOT leave it in the skillet or wok as you continue to cook the veggies, that will just cause a lot of undesirable toughness.
Another WIN is my recipe also includes a scramble of eggs, an assortment chopped vegetables selected by the young chef (a good trick to get kids to eat more veggies), a simple sauce and pre-prepared rice. Of course, you can cook your rice the old-fashioned way, but in a hurry and with the kids, I either keep those rice pouches from the frozen aisle on hand or meal prep my own and package into portions.
Love to use crunchy nuts for the top, NOW Foods has a great selection of organic options — cashews may be my favorite!
William, the 16-year old chef who picked out all the yummy veggies for this recipe and cooked them up for his mama!
So, no need to call for Chinese take-out to solve dinner – make your own healthier version in less time than it would take the delivery guy to show up. What’s even better than this? Getting the kids in the kitchen while you kick your feet up!
So, do you get your kids in the kitchen to cook? What’s in their repertoire? If you could only have 3 veggies (or fruits) in a stir fry – gasp – what would they be? Please share in the comments below – XOXO , Jennifer
15-minute Beef & Veggie Fried Rice Recipe
Get a vibrant and very healthy fried rice dinner on the table in less time that it would take to wait on delivery -- faster, fitter, fresher and easy enough for older kids to prepare!
Bring large skillet to high medium-heat. Add olive oil and add cut sirloin and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 4 minutes or until no longer red but pink n the middle with edges browning. Remove from heat immediately and drain on paper towels.
Spray same skillet (now empty) with cooking spray. Add eggs, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring vigorously, until scrambled. Scoop out of skillet to rest next to beef.
Place bag of rice in microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes. Or, used 10 ounces of previously prepared rice. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining olive oil to same skillet (now empty again) and stir fry vegetables on medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Exact time will depend on size and type of chopped vegetables.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add cooked rice, cooked beef and cooked eggs back to skillet with vegetables. Stir to combine.
Quickly mix together soy sauce and Sriracha. Evenly drizzle over top of mixture and stir well to combine, continue to cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until heated through.