Since the dawn of civilization, one topic has plagued us as a society. This has caused divisions within the home and brought about bitter feelings--at least at my house. What can this be, you ask? What could be so important as to cause a cataclysmic event dividing a seemingly happy household?


It seems silly to think that "what's for dinner?" could be such a hated phrase within my home. But it is just that. I despise that question because no matter what my answer, it is never right. Someone is always turning up their nose at me. "It's too spicy, it's too bland, I don't like pasta, I don't like that!" ARGH!!! As a mother it is my responsibility to ensure that my family is being fed properly. I was raised with a large family garden in which we were fully expected to participate in cultivating. And now I find myself married to a man who when he asks, "what's this?" really means it. Oft times he has never seen the vegetables that I place on his plate. Don't get me wrong, I have lived most of my life in the United States so I don't feed him anything "exotic" by any stretch of the imagination but most vegetables to him, are myths. I understand the "American Diet" and know that I don't serve much of what is on that menu so I find myself improvising, constantly on the search for "what's for dinner." And it is here that I find myself. Every now and again I find a recipe, though not entirely healthy, passes the palate test at my home. One such recipe is so simple and yet so tasty that I was actually able to designate it a "keeper." Who knew good food didn't have to come from a restaurant or a box. Hopefully those two places are not interchangeable.  But I digress. This simple Mongolian Beef recipe fit the bill for an easy weeknight dinner that even my pickiest eater loved. This recipe is adapted from the blogchef who has some great recipes. When it comes to cooking I tend not to follow the recipe exactly. This recipe is easily adapted to what ingredients you may have on hand. Snow peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, etc. can easily be substituted or added to this recipe.

1 lb flank steak
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
½ cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine (or white grape juice)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 green onions (sliced)
1 medium onion (sliced)
Oil (for frying)

These are the ingredients that I had on hand. First slice the meat across the grain thinly and toss it in the cornstarch. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. (Don't skip this step.) Heat your pan, add your oil and cook your meat until just past pink on medium heat. Mine only took a few seconds but it will depend on how thinly you slice your meat. Put it on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil. Put the meat aside and combine the sauce ingredients (ginger through rice wine or grape juice) in a small pan and bring to a boil. Set the sauce aside.

Pour off any excess oil from your frying pan or wok except for about a tablespoon. Saute onions or other vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add the meat back to the wok and pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Toss and cook until incorporated. Serve over rice or rice noodles.