Good food makes life better. My husband and I are live to eat people. We are all about enjoying good food in our family. Growing up in a Korean household my mom was very busy, she worked and juggled a million things, however she did always want us to eat good healthy food.
I ate well at home but as I started going to school, eating school lunches and going over my friends houses my palate started to crave processed fatty American food. I grew to love Hamburger Helper, sloppy joes, burgers, instant soup (from packets), and Chef Boyardee. I remember going to the grocery store, while my mom was putting fresh vegetables in the cart, I asked, “Why can’t I eat Chef Boyardee?” and my mom not wanting to hear it responded,
“Because I want you to eat REAL food!”
“Real food?” I wondered? But wasn’t this box and can real food too?
Now, I know what she meant. Korean food has a strange way of being very difficult to make if your talking fine Korean cuisine, but really easy to make if your daechoong (meaning just get it done in Korean) and looking for some good everyday grub. My mom always had Korean side dishes in the fridge. Much of the stuff was pickled and could last months like Kimchi, picked Perilla leaves, dried seasoned spicy anchovies, and toasted seaweed. Rice was always available in our rice cooker, so for dinner my mom would fry some fish, or make a big pot of stew and dinner would be done!
Looking back I understand my mom better as the years go by as a parent. When my son was first born I would buy vegetables and steam and puree them or I would buy organic fruit packets, only to see that he didn’t like any of it.
Then I started to think “baby food” is a rip off, I know a packet comes in handy for the busy mama on the go, but per oz you are paying an exorbitant amount of money compared to fresh food and who knows how long ago the stuff was packaged. When my daughter was born I started to do a lot of things differently, no more jars, no more packets. I have not once bought a single item of baby food for her. I realized babies should just eat what we eat. After my daughter got to be about 6 months we started eating a lot of Korean stew, most often made with beef broth, which is great for you!
Inspired by my mom’s daechoong ways I give you one of my favorite Korean food recipes! Made with beef broth, this particular recipe is Korean radish soup (Moo Guk).
The idea is you get about 10 cups of beef broth as a base (it’ll be about 9-8 cups after boiling). You can store it in the fridge and it will provide you with food for your baby for about3- 4 days. So for 3-4 days no fuss no muss. Each day chop up some veggies and place 2 cups of the broth, boil, cool and your are done. Or you can just serve it for dinner for the whole family to enjoy and that will be one less thing to worry about. To make things easier I recommend using a type of blender you can eat out of, like the Magic Bullet or my favorite Ninja Chop. O the hours of my life I cannot get back using that blasted blender for my son! Blending over and over then having to add water, scooping everything out, the mess, the cleaning! Now with the Ninja Chop, it chops so well and its so easy to clean! After I’m done blending it I can just feed her right out of the container I blended it in! It’s quicker faster. Here’s how you get started.
- 1 lb of beef shank (BEST for beef broth from a cow’s shin, has the most connective tissue)
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1/4 cup of scallions
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of diced radish
Here are the major ingredients: Korean radish, onion, garlic and shank meat (can be found at any Asian supermarket).
All ingredients chopped (minus the shank meat boiling)
Take the 1lb of beef shank and place it into a large pot. Fill the pot with 10 cups of water. Bring the meat to a boil on high heat. Once it boils you will notice chunks of impurities rice to the surface like blood etc. Scoop it out until you can see the beef through the water. Then put it on low heat and let it simmer for 3 hours.
After 3 hours using a long pair of tongs cut up the meat into small pieces. Then with the beef broth transfer about 2 cups into a smaller pot (careful it’s hot!).
Let the rest of the broth cool down in the pot and then transfer over to an airtight container and place it in the fridge (grub for the week). You can put 2 tbs of the cut up meat into the small pot or you can leave it out because the broth is plenty filled with protein and lots of yummy beef flavor. I leave it out so the rest of my family can eat the cut up shank meat as a side dish, just have soy sauce and garlic powerder to dip and its soft tender and yummy!
In the small pot add the garlic, onion, salt and radish.
Boil it at medium heat for about 20 minutes until the radish becomes translucent.
Take it off the heat and let it cool for about 10mins. Then place the soup into Ninja Chop and add a 1/2 cup of cooked rice. If you want to keep it gluten free just add cooked quinoa instead.
Blend it for about 10 secs, let it cool and serve! You can serve it right out of the Ninja Chop (just take out the blade of course) or transfer into a bowl and close the Ninja Chop. Your baby can eat the rest throughout the day. Just transfer it into a bowl each time and heat it in the microwave for 30 secs.
Looks pretty simple right? But this small bowl is jam packed with protein, veggies, and lots of healthy goodness. Got to go. Time for my daughter to enjoy her yummy real baby food.
This stuff makes her so happy!
Food all over her face but that’s ok…
Licking her fingers as usual.
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