Tag Archives: cooking

Recipe: Galbi-tang, Korean Beef Rib Soup

 

Galbi-tang

Galbi-tang is one of my husband’s favorite Korean dishes, mostly because he loves meat. While he was doing Whole30, it was virtually impossible for us to get our Korean food fix since so much Korean cuisine contains soy and sugar. From delicious, sticky, white rice to kimchi to all the various side-dishes, all the things that contain soy sauce and sugar… Basically everything except samgyupsal (thick strips of pork belly, aka uncured bacon) and lettuce wraps was off limits.

However, there is one dish that we thoroughly enjoyed throughout the Whole30 experience–Galbi-tang–a beef-based soup full of thick cuts of beef ribs. It’s a simple dish with very basic ingredients. And trust me. It’s delicious.

This recipe isn’t difficult, but it requires a bit of prep work. I make the stock/soup base the day before we plan to eat it. Skimming the layer of fat off the soup is probably the most time-consuming part, but overall, it’s a very easy soup to make and well-worth the bit of planning/time management you have to do to make it!

Galbi-tang, Korean Beef Rib Soup

Paleo/Whole30

Serves 5

6-7 lbs of short cut beef ribs (can be purchased at Korean grocery stores–the thick cut short ribs are preferred for the soup)
1 Korean radish (cut in 1/4 inch thick squares)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbsp salt
4-6 scallions (diced)
freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/2 lb dangmyeon or Korean sweet potato noodles, optional (Typically sold in 1 lb bags. There’s much debate over whether or not sweet potato noodles are Whole30 compliant. I’m not here to judge. You decide!)

Prep (day before)

1. Place the ribs in a large bowl and fill with cold water, covering the ribs entirely. Let this sit for about an hour. The blood in the meat will drain out.

Galbi-tang prep

2. Drain the water and rinse the ribs. Place in a large pot (I use an 8 qt. pot) and fill the pot with water. Add garlic and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.

3. Turn off the heat and just let it hang out and cool overnight!

Cook (the day of)

1. When the soup has cooled completely, there will be a rather thick layer of congealed fat on top. Skim off as much of the fat as possible, and if you’d like, use a strainer to get the smaller bits of fat out.

Galbi-tang prep IMG_6752 IMG_6753 IMG_6755

2. As you reheat the soup, peel and cut the Korean radish and scallions.

3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil to cook the dangmyeon. Once the water is boiling, add the dangmyeon and cook for about 5 minutes until noodles are soft but still chewy. Drain and set aside.

4. Once the soup is boiling, add the Korean radish and boil for approximately 15 minutes (until the radish has cooked through–soft but not mushy).

5. To serve, place a handful of dangmyeon in a bowl and add soup and approximately 1 tbsp of diced scallions. Add salt (if necessary) and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Perfect Pan-Fried Tilapia

perfect pan-fried tilapia

My family loves seafood in all forms–fried, baked, steamed, raw. Shrimp, fish, mussels, clams, squid, octopus. You name it. They’ll eat it. Excitement abounds from my little foodie children when I tell them we’re having fish for dinner, so imagine my delight when tonight’s dinner elicited not only squeals of delight before dinner, but sounds of nom nom nom and second and third helpings during dinner!

This dish calls for duck fat, but if you don’t have duck fat, olive oil or coconut oil are great alternatives. However, a word about duck fat. I love it. It’s amazing. Imagine your favorite foods. Yummy… Now imagine them cooked in duck fat. Oh my... Yes, it’s that good. Acquiring duck fat isn’t the easiest thing. It’s not sold in stores, so you have to drain it out of the duck yourself. Luckily, in Korea, duck is abundant and relatively inexpensive. Pick up a pack of smoked duck breast at your local mart and just collect the drippings as you grill it. (I collect the duck fat in a ceramic bowl then strain it with a small strainer as I pour it into a jar.) One duck breast will give you about a cup of duck fat. In the U.S., your best bet is to go to your local Asian grocery story. Whole ducks can be found in the frozen section for far less than you’d pay at a specialty grocery store. Roasting a whole duck and collecting the drippings will give you about 1.5 to 2 cups of fat. Double yum! If you’ve never roasted a duck before, then here’s an excellent tutorial from someone who may possible love duck fat even more than I do! 😉

Perfect Pan-Fried Tilapia Recipe

Paleo/Whole30

1 large bag of tilapia fillets (defrosted) – a large bag typically contains 11-12 individually sealed fillets. For my family, I cooked the entire bag and we only had 2 fillets left for my husband to take to for lunch!
2 eggs
2 cups of almond meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp tarragon
approx. 4 tbsp of duck fat

1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.

2. In another bowl, thoroughly combine almond meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and tarragon.

3. Add about 1 tbsp of duck fat to skillet over medium heat.

4. Dredge tilapia fillets in egg, then thoroughly coat with almond meal mixture. Place on the skillet and do not move the fillets until you’re ready to flip them–approx. 4 minutes. This insures a nice, crispy coating. Flip the fillets, add a small amount of duck fat to the skillet (approx. 1/2 tbsp) and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Enjoy!

Obviously, with 11 fillets to cook, I have to repeat the cooking process a couple more times since skillets only get so big… But so worth it! I served this with steamed broccoli. Huge hit with my kiddos, and my husband said this was by far the best tilapia he’s ever had so give it a try!

Weekly Meal Planning

As I mentioned recently in a previous post, I started meal planning a few months ago. I was tired of the “what are we eating for dinner?” panic attacks every afternoon around 3pm, rummaging through the fridge and pantry to try and whip something up before the 6pm deadline. The first several weeks, I spent my entire Friday night googling and reading recipes, going through ingredients and trying to figure out what to feed my hungry horde (exciting, huh?). The focus on fresh, healthy ingredients and my husband going on Whole30 made the beginning of this venture a bit more challenging for me, but thankfully, Pinterest always has my back!

There are so many wonderful recipes to try, but time is a very large, limiting factor in my meal planning. During the week, I need recipes that don’t require too much prep work because my 2 year old daughter is usually grabbing my legs and trying to climb back into the womb every day during dinner prep. Either that, or she’s trying to burn the house down/kill herself by playing with the oven controls or reaching up onto the counter for every sharp, dangerous item she can find. Between chopping vegetables, mixing marinades and seasoning meats–I like to keep prep work under 30 minutes. Cook time doesn’t matter as much since by the time I actually cook food, my husband’s home from work and can keep the kids occupied while I get dinner on the table. Also, I’ve really come to love slow cooker meals. Meats come out so wonderfully juicy and tender, plus I don’t have to cook anything in the early evenings–AKA my daughter’s witching hour. However, I’m out of the house every Tuesday/Thursday morning, so I can’t prep slow cooker meals on those days–I figured this out the hard way!

Now that I’m several weeks into the meal planning adventure, it takes about 10-15 minutes every Friday evening to plan a week’s worth of meals and make my grocery list. And, of course, having a pretty printout that looks nice on the refrigerator is of primo importance! So here it is…

Weekly Menu and Grocery List

Click on the links below to download the PDF files! Enjoy!

weekly menu

grocery list

Recipe: The Sausage and Spinach Anti-Omelette

I love everything about omelets, unless I have to cook them myself for my hungry horde/family. By the time I finish making the last omelette (mine), my kids have either finished scarfing their breakfast down or they’re close to tears and blame me for making them stare at their delicious omelets without being allowed to eat them. It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation for me. So when I my husband requested a more hearty breakfast during his Whole30, I wanted an easy way to pack some vegetables into our weekend breakfast without slaving away in the kitchen making 5 separate omelets.

IMG_6742

It’s not just a throw everything in a baking dish and throw it in the oven recipe, but it’s a whole lot easier than making individual omelets. And if you love runny yolk (mmmm…), then this is a great way to eat eggs and sausage while packing in some delicious and nutritious greens and veggies. This recipe makes 6 servings.

The Sausage and Spinach Anti-Omelette

(Paleo/Whole30)

12 eggs
1 lb homemade breakfast sausage (I set aside 1/3 of this recipe when I make it for just this reason)
1 small onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (diced) *I used a yellow bell pepper just because that’s what I had on hand, but a red pepper would look lovely–I like pretty food!
1 lb bag of spinach (not baby spinach)
6 medium/large mushrooms (sliced)

1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat until cooked through. Stir often. You do not need to add oil.

2. Once sausage is cooked, add onions and combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add bell peppers. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add spinach gradually while combining the ingredients. Once all of the spinach has cooked down, remove from heat and set aside.

3. Fry eggs in your choice of oil. We love duck fat in this house! And we also love runny yolk. I tend to cook 6 eggs at a time in a large skillet rather than cooking 2 at a time, but that’s just a matter of preference. If I had the time, I would definitely cook each serving separately, but my kids down really care what their eggs look like–just as long as they can eat them!

4. Serve sausage and spinach mix on top of the fried eggs. My kids love their eggs, sausage and spinach served on top of toasted English muffins.

Recipe: Homemade Breakfast Sausage

We love breakfast sausage. I mean, we really love it. My kids count down to Saturday morning breakfasts, and they tell me how hungry they are within minutes of waking up on Saturdays. And since we’re working hard to cut down on eating pre-packaged foods, delicious breakfast sausages included, I decided to make my own. So after scouring the internet for recipes that were both Paleo and Whole30 complaint (my husband completed the Whole30 in February) and 6 weeks of experimenting with various ingredients, I finally created one that the family loves. It’s delicious.

Most recipes I came across called for just 1 lb of ground pork. Honestly, that’s barely enough to feed my family a single breakfast. So I make my sausages in 3 lb batches, which allows me to freeze some for later because some Saturday mornings, I just don’t feel like spending 40 minutes prepping breakfast.

sausage

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

3 lbs of ground pork
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp sage
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
3 tbsp maple syrup (optional–we love a hint of sweet in our sausages, but the addition of maple syrup crosses this recipe off the Whole30 list!)

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mortar (A mortar and pestle are not necessary, but I love grinding all the dry ingredients together and particularly grinding up the whole fennel seeds). Grind/mix ingredients thoroughly.

2. In a large mixing bowl, comine the ground pork and the dry ingredients. Be sure to mix thoroughly. (Add maple syrup if you’d like and mix.)

3. Shape individual sausage patties and place them on a sheet of wax paper. If you’re making extra to freeze, then cut your wax paper in a small enough size so you can easily place the sheets of wax paper in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, remove them from the wax paper and store in a ziplock bag or container.

4. Cook over medium heat until cooked through. Avoid flipping the patties over often. It’s best to leave the patties alone until they’re fully cooked on one side, then flip them once to cook and brown on the other side.

5. Try not to eat too many! 😉

Recipe: Baked Curry Chicken

UPDATE (4/1/2014): I made this tonight with bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh because I forgot to specify and that’s what my husband brought home from the store. It was A-MAZ-ING! The skin was crispy and flavorful–his “mistake” was sooooo worth it!

Whipped this up for dinner last night, and it came out perfectly! Juicy and flavorful. It was easy to make, my children loved it, and we had enough leftover to eat with salad this afternoon for lunch.

It’s Paleo and Whole30 compliant, so get cooking!

IMG_6714

Baked Curry Chicken

In normal circumstances, this recipe would probably feed 8 people. However, my hungry horde eats a lot. And we love leftovers.

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thigh
2 tsp curry
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground white pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Rinse chicken and pat dry.

3. Mix all of the dry ingredients.

4. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle dry ingredients on and combine thoroughly, making sure that each piece of chicken in thoroughly coated.

5. Boneless, skinless chicken thigh pieces typically come in large, flat pieces. Either fold the pieces in half or roll them so that you’re not placing them in the baking dish flat. Arrange in a baking dish so that the chicken pieces are not touching each other.

6. Bake for 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). I served this with a cauliflower mash (that my 5 year old boys thought was mashed potatoes–woohoo!) and fresh tomatoes and avocado slices. Yum!

Recipe: Delicious Pad Thai Recipe

This is a recipe that I put together about 7 years ago, back in the days before children when I could spend hours in the kitchen perfecting my meals! Pad Thai is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, so I spent a lot of time making sure this recipe was just right. It suits our palettes perfectly–a hint of sweet, a bit of spice, and all the savory goodness that Pad Thai is supposed to have. Enjoy!

Photo Jun 17, 8 01 15 PM

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb rice noodles (flat, ¼ inch wide)

1 lb shrimp and chicken
1/3 c. fish sauce
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. lime juice
2 t. paprika
4 spring onions (chopped)
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. garlic (minced)
2 eggs
1 c. bean sprouts
2 red chili peppers (chopped) NOTE: This will make a VERY spicy dish. You can either use one pepper or leave them out altogether for a mild dish. Also, you can substitute less spicy peppers such as jalepenos, which is what I often do because my kids can’t eat it if it’s too spicy!
1/2 c. peanuts (crushed)
  • Mix fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, and paprika. Set aside.
  • Scramble eggs and set aside.
  • Boil water and put noodles in to soften them (approx. 10 minutes). Do not completely soften the noodles because they still have to absorb a bit of water from the mixture. When you bite into them, there should still be a hint of hardness in the center. Drain and set aside.
  • Stir fry oil, garlic, chili peppers, and peanuts until garlic is brown.
  • Add meat. When meat is fully cooked, add noodles.
  • Add liquid mixture. Stir fry until the liquid mixture is completely absorbed.
  • Add eggs. Then add spring onions and bean sprouts and stir for about two more minutes.

Recipe: Orange and Ginger Glazed Cornish Game Hens

It’s sweet and tangy and goes perfectly with Asian stir-fry veggies and rice. However, we did steamed veggies since my kids like their vegetables with absolutely nothing on them. Weirdos.

Photo May 21, 6 59 57 PM

4 Cornish Game Hens
Orange juice and zest from one orange (or as my kitchen would have it: two really old, dried-up oranges)
2 TBL sesame oil
4 TBL soy sauce
4 TBL rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar is fine as well–just add some sugar to taste after combining all the ingredients)
4 TBL honey
1 TBL minced ginger
1 TBL minced garlic
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients (minus the Cornish game hens, obviously) in a bowl. Taste the sauce to see if it suits your taste buds. If it’s too salty, add a bit more honey or sugar. If it’s too sweet, add a bit more soy sauce. Coat the hens with the sauce and let it sit for 30 minutes on the rack of the roasting pan. Coat once more.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover the roasting pan with foil and place in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove, baste, then return to oven uncovered for another 20 minutes. Hens are fully cooked when juices run clear when pierced between breast and legs or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees. If necessary, cook in 7-10 minute increments until the hens are fully cooked. Transfer hens to a cutting board and let them rest for 10 minutes. Serve with rice and vegetables.

It’s delicious. Plus, it makes your whole house smell like oranges. 🙂