Leah loves cooking healthy food and enjoys finding ways to spruce up traditional recipes. She is a follower of the 21-Day Fix.
Spicing Things Up—Literally!
Eating healthy becomes a way of life pretty quickly once you get the hang of it. At least it did for me. But I love variety, and a program that has me eating broccoli and grilled chicken all the time never works. I like to get creative in the kitchen and try new flavor combinations.
I remember seeing an episode of Master Chef where the contestants received a mystery box and were told to prepare bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish. My first thought was "what the heck is a bibimbap?" Then I realized how fun it is to say. I also recall seeing how easily the contestants were able to really tailor this dish to their own style with the ingredients provided.
Time to Customize
I know that bibimbap is usually served over rice, but I have a ton of my favorite brown rice ramen in the cabinet, and I'm running out of space. So I started thinking: what else do I have that I could throw in here?
I don't have any kimchi in the house, because I'm not really partial to pickled foods. But I always have some bagged coleslaw mix in the fridge because it's super versatile. I also had a bunch of other veggies to make, including leftover snow peas from my chow mein. I've seen many versions of bibimbap that top the dish with an egg, but my family won't have that. So I left it out.
Once I started gathering my ingredients, I realized the fresh mushrooms I had went bad. Easy fix: I used canned mushrooms. Not my favorite, but they work in a pinch. You could also use dried mushrooms, provided they're reconstituted before cooking. The rest was super simple.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 carrots, julienned
- 1 zucchini, julienned
- 1 package mushrooms, any type, can be fresh, canned, or dried
- 1 cup snow peas, cut into 1/2
- 1 bag coleslaw mix
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 2 cakes brown rice ramen, or 2 cups rice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or tamari sauce, divided
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili paste, or sriracha
- 4 eggs, over easy (optional garnish)
- Sprinkle of sesame seeds, (optional garnish)
- Dash of hot sauce, (optional garnish)
- Using a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the carrots. Sauté until the carrots are cooked but still a little crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add a teaspoon of coconut aminos/tamari to the skillet. When the carrots are done, move them to a bowl and cover it to keep them warm.
- Place the beef into the skillet with the chili paste. I chose to be a bit cautious, and only used 1 tablespoon, but it wasn't spicy at all. Play around with the amount to find the right amount of chili paste for you. Make sure everything is mixed very well, and cook until there is no pink left (about 8 minutes). Break the ground beef into smaller pieces as you cook, so it should ideally be tiny crumbles. Place into a bowl and cover.
- Repeat step 1 for the snow peas, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, and cabbage, keeping all in separate covered bowls. I added about double the amount of coconut aminos/tamari to the cabbage, as it absorbed all the liquid right away.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, put up the water for the brown rice ramen, and cook according to instructions.
- Once everything has finished, place your noodles in the center of a large bowl (or plate like I did), and surround it with the sautéed vegetables and meat. I topped mine with sesame seeds and hot sauce, but feel free to get creative with your arrangement and garnishes!
What Do You Think?
I cooked these ingredients in a specific order, as even in covered bowls, certain things cool off faster (I'm looking at you, cabbage and noodles). Also, cooking the meat (but not draining the fat) allows some of the flavor and spice to infuse into the veggies, which I drained before serving.
Gluten-Free Ramen? Where?
21-Day Fix Container Counts
This meal is an amazing way to get your family to eat more vegetables. I've heard it said that it's healthy to eat a variety of colors, and this meal is a nice mix of colors and textures. 21-Day Fix container counts are as follows:
- 1 red
- 2 green
- 1 yellow
- 2 teaspoons
- Please be sure to count any additional vegetables or garnishes you use!
This dish is probably the easiest one to customize, because you can change just about anything you like. Let your imagination run wild! ENJOY!
© 2018 Leah
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 13, 2018:
Mmmm... looks delicious, very different from the Korean version
Leah (author) from New York on June 13, 2018:
I do not make the coconut aminos at home, so I wouldn’t have any idea how to make it. But yes, you can substitute any other kind of meat! I hope you enjoy it!
Rinita Sen on June 13, 2018:
This is a great recipe. I am on AIP and I could easily tweak one or two ingredients to suit my diet. Questions: Do you make the coconut aminos at home? Is there an easy recipe? Also, could I substitute other kinds of meat such as chicken or lamb? Thank you for sharing!