Archive for Asian

Build your own…

Adding to our build your own dinner theme, I decided on an Asian version.  The recipe came from a cookbook called Time for Dinner, which is a fun cookbook for ways to feed children, use pantry staples, and finding meal ideas with items you already have.  Although I’ve paged through the book several times, this is the first time I’ve made something from it.

The recipe called for ground pork, but I substituted ground turkey.  The dipping sauce (not pictured in the photo) was terrific.  It was perfect as a potsticker sauce.  I had intentions of making homeade potstickers, but a stop to Trader Joe’s changed that plan.  My boys are huge potsticker fans, and it is often our bribe for heading to a sushi restaurant.  Son #1 loves them so much that he requested a Japanese restaurant for his birthday meal when he was 5 years old.  Of the frozen options, I’ve found the Trader Joe’s version to be easy to cook properly and taste the best.  The homemade potstickers will have to wait for another night with more time.

The lettuce we chose wasn’t quite sturdy enough to handle the ingredients, but they were still delicious.  The boys could build their own “taco” with cucumbers, carrots, meat and peanuts.  Son #3 ate the ingredients separately without the lettuce.  The best part of this meal is that I convinced the two older boys to try some Sriracha, which I’m addicted to for some reason right now.  Could be the pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with Son #1, it was buffalo sauce.  They made a big fuss about how spicy it was, and washed it down with some milk.  The potstickers were the favored part of the meal, but I think we’ll give it another go in the future.

Sweet pork (this version is turkey) hand rolls and potstickers.

Recipe from Time for Dinner:

1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground pork (or turkey)

1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

sturdy Bibb or Romaine lettuce leaves

1 carrot, shredded

1 cucumber, peeled and julienned

chopped peanuts

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons lime juice


1. In a skillet over medium low-heat, cook 1 clove of the garlic in the oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the pork, 5-spice powder, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Raise the heat to high and cook until the pork is browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Scoop the pork mixture into the lettuce leaves. Garnish with carrot, cucumber and peanuts. *

4. Combine the sugar and lime juice with the remaining garlic and soy sauce to make the dipping sauce.

*I put the toppings in bowls and everyone made their own.  The adults also used Sriracha.


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The beginning of Woo-hoo, tofu!

I’ve been considering starting a blog for sometime, devoted mostly to food and my children. Seems like if I’m not thinking about food, I’m thinking about my boys. Or what I’m going to feed my boys. I’ve always been a somewhat selfish cook when it comes to feeding my kids. I make what I crave, and my family eats what I make. More often than not, someone complains about the meal, but our rule is that although you have to try it, you don’t have to like it.

I have been meaning to expose my boys, who are 8, 5, and 1, to new foods every week. I hadn’t truly planned it out yet, but this blog was born as a result of last night’s meal.  I decided to make a Friday night dinner, inspired by “take-out” items.  When I told my 8-year old about the soup I was making, I told him it was a little like miso soup and it had tofu in it.  His response?  “Woo-hoo! Tofu!” His response made me feel great. I did it! My kids like food that doesn’t come in a box with a toy (although we aren’t one of those never eat fast food families).

Our meal consisted of asian chicken soup, which I modified a bit from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe and was loved by the whole family. I was worried that the ginger and sriracha would be overpowering, but the boys loved the broth. The one-year old just ate the chicken, noodles, tofu and spinach from the soup.  I paired it with some store bought egg rolls and tea. I let the boys use my teacups I bought in Tokyo, and told them to be gentle, as they were special to me. The meal was a hit, and I’m already planning our next food adventure. When I asked the boys what they wanted next, they said “African food”.  Perhaps a Moroccan meal next week?

A photo of our meal, complete with our yummy soup (with tofu), egg rolls and tea.

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