The much-maligned weeknight dinner. It causes so much angst in so many lives. And for good reason, a good weeknight meal is hard to find. To be a keeper, it must have a narrow number of healthful ingredients, it must take minimal prep time, and it must be eaten by all. If it takes too long to prepare or if it draws garners too many complaints, forget it. Life is too short to be in that kind of relationship.
The agony of the weeknight dinner is also never-ending — even when you make a fantastic meal one evening, everyone will be hungry again the next. No wonder it causes so much angst.
But as we all know, the right recipes can alleviate weeknight stress. Our version of bulgogi, also known as Korean beef, is one of our anxiety-free regulars. It is delicious wrapped in lettuce leaves. It takes just a few minutes to toss together and stick in the fridge in the morning, and then just a few minutes to cook at night. The kids never protest, and neither do their friends who often spontaneously stay for dinner.
Because my backyard garden is producing more lettuce than we can eat, we are wrapping up our bulgogi. Kids love wraps. My guess is they enjoy the excuse to eat with their hands. I enjoy not having to remind them to use a fork.
I like to add a little fermented kimchi for its health benefits and make the rice in coconut milk for extra flavor, although the kids keep it pretty simple: a little beef, a quick wrap, and dinner is done. That sounds like a weekday routine I can commit to.
Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company.