Bibimbap Rice Bowl with Meat and Vegetables

It may not roll off your tongue (if you’re not used to it), but bibimbap means a variety of ingredients mixed with rice. So, essentially, a Korean rice bowl. You make this meal in layers, building up the rice, then the meat, the veggies, sauce, and finally top it all with an egg. It’s really flexible though, sort of a Korean spin on cleaning out the fridge.  This particular bibimbap rice bowl recipe is loosely inspired by a recipe I found on Korean Kitchen.

However, I didn’t have all the ingredients she used, such as sprouts or seaweed, and under current circumstances, I didn’t really want to go out looking for them. The idea was to make this easy for myself, and for you too.  In addition, I also wanted to focus on “sturdier” ingredients, such as cabbage and carrots that will last in the fridge, rather than sprouts. You could even use frozen veggies (cook them for less time), like broccoli or one of those frozen stir fry mixes. Definitely not authentic, but still good.

Since I was using cabbage, which takes longer to cook, I just chopped the carrot up, instead of julienning it. That way, the two vegetables would be ready at the same time.

You make this in several stages. If you are using brown rice, start that first, and let it cook while you put the meat mixture together and let that sit so the flavors blend together. If you have white rice, start the meat mixture, and then put up the rice about half way through.




Bibimbap Rice Bowl Substitutions and Variations

  • try different vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, or zucchini
  • swap the beef for ground chicken or even leftover fish
  • this should properly be made with gochujang, which is a spicy Korean pepper paste; if you have it, use it and add about 3/4 tsp water.

 

More Cabbage Recipes

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Wonderful comfort food when. you’re stuck inside. Just enough soup for a generous serving for one.   The spicy hot broth helps clear your head , the garlic, ginger, and chili sauce have anti-bacterial (not viruses, bacteria) qualities, and it’s delicious.

asian chicken salad with cabbageSingle Serving Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage Recipe

Colorful, spicy, and frankly more colors makes a dish look and feel more appetizing.  Works with chicken, leftover pork, or even add some cooked noodles or rice instead.

 

unstuffed cabbage roll recipeSmall Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Stuffed cabbage is delicious, and pantry-friendly. But making all those separate rolls is a pain. So don’t bother.  Layer it like lasagne instead!

 




Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

This roasted root vegetable medley is a product of a bit of serendipity and a few internet searches. My local grocery delivery service was offering a farm share at a reduced price (and reduced size). I’ve wanted to try this for some time, but most of the boxes are way too much for one. So I pounced. And ended up with a box of mizuna (Japanese mustard greens) which I really liked, turnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

So, what to do with them? I’ve never made anything with sweet potatoes, and I’ve only used turnips for soup. I found this recipe for roasted sweet potatoes, and thought, well why not add more root vegetables, roast them all together, and make it a medley?

Potatoes and carrots are both sweet to start with.  Turnips start out a bit pungent and strong, but roasting them transforms that sharp, almost bitter, flavor into something sweet and slightly peppery, which is a good foil for the sweet carrots and potatoes.

This recipe takes advantage of that change and adds a bit of heat from chili powder, cumin, and paprika. And it’s easy too. Just peel and cut up the veggies, sprinkle them with some spices, toss in some olive oil, and pop it all in the oven.

Cook this with some roasted chicken (like the recipe I used for the chicken in my apple almond chicken salad). They both cook at the same temperature, and for the same time.  Then you only have to “cook” once to get a whole meal. Tricky huh?

 







Roasted Root Vegetable Medley Substitutions and Variations

  • Try different potatoes, such as yellow or red
  • Experiment with different root vegetables, like celery root or parsnips
  • Ditch the “hot” spices and use rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and fresh garlic instead
  • Try this with some butternut squash (technically not a root vegetable, but still good)

More Root Vegetable Recipes

honey mustard glazed carrotsHoney Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

Seems fancy, but it’s really easy to prepare. Another recipe that’s both sweet and savory (from the mustard).  This will also pair beautifully with roast chicken, and perhaps a glass of chardonnay.

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Little bite-size pieces of potato heaven that are crispy outside and fluffy inside. Easier than making French fries, and a lot less messy too. Plus there’s garlic! And basil.

 

skin on garlic mashed potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Because potatoes, especially mashed potatoes, are really a food group. Right? These leave the skin on, so they’re less work. Then there’s half and half and garlic, for a warm, creamy mouthful of delight.

Lamb Kofta Meatballs

I had started out one night thinking I’d make lamb and spinach meatballs, but I found I was low on eggs, and wanted to use what I had for something else. So I switched to lamb kofta meatballs mid-stream! Sometimes, I pivot in the middle!

The meatballs are flavored with toasted nuts, warm spicy cumin and cinnamon, as well as sweet, minty green cardamom. All that makes them a feast both for the mouth and the eyes. Look how colorful they are!

Plus, they require no eggs and no breadcrumbs. I wasn’t entirely sure if they would stay together without it, but they did. So it’s a great way to have meatballs if you can’t have eggs. And, since there’s no bread crumbs, they’re also gluten-free.

I’ve adapted this from once upon a chef‘s recipe for Middle Eastern lamb kofta meatballs , and reduced the quantities. I did make a few other changes. One, I swapped cilantro for spinach (don’t like cilantro!). Two, my quarter of a bell pepper was questionable, so I used chopped carrot instead.  And lastly, I didn’t have the mixed nuts, only ground almonds, so I used that. More pivoting!

That also saved me the step of grinding up the nuts.  You can use almonds, or go with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts as she did in the original recipe.

That’s the thing about cooking. Sometimes you have to be able to think on your feet, and figure out what to do when something doesn’t go quite the way that you initially planned.

 

More Lamb Recipes

spinach lamb meatballsSpinach Lamb Meatballs

Rich with lamb, earthy spinach, tangy vinegar, and spicy/warm cumin, these meatballs are ready in minutes. But, they taste like you spent hours making them.

 

Lmab keema with potatoes and broccoliLamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Flavored with ginger, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, this dish is a sort of Pakistani shepherd’s pie. It’s savory, not hot or strong. Make it with lamb or beef if you prefer. And only needs one pot!

turkish lamb burgerTurkish Lamb Burgers

Rich lamb, sharp garlic, and salty feta balanced by cool cucumber and mint, topped with yogurt sauce. Flavorful, filling, and just a wee bit messy. But soooo good. Even better if you can refrigerate the mixture for a few hours.

Zucchini Carrot Fritters

Like starch? Like fried foods? Want to be a bit more healthy about eating them?  Think of these zucchini carrot fritters as “healthy veggie” potato pancakes. Except, instead of potatoes, this recipe uses zucchini (or yellow squash) and carrots (for vitamins!) and is topped with a yogurt mint dip instead of sour cream or applesauce.  You end up with tiny, crispy, slightly salty fritters which you can gobble down in two bites.

I got the recipe from the NY Times (which I would link to, except they now hide everything behind a paywall). I’ve cut it in half, to make it more suitable for one person. The recipe writer developed them for her picky daughter.  It was something she’d eat, and a semi-sneaky way to get in some veggies.

I confess this is a bit messier than usual, but they do taste good! And most people probably have a dishwasher and don’t fuss about cleanup as much as I do.




Zucchini Carrot Fritters Substitutions and Variations

  • try different combinations of vegetables, such as mashed up chickpeas, potatoes, or diced bell peppers
  • spice it up with some curry (and swap the mint for cucumber)
  • add a chopped scallion (which was supposed to be in there, but I blanked out!)
  • swap the coriander with basil
  • add some diced onion
  • add a few red pepper flakes to the batter
  • try panko instead of flour, for more crunch

More Vegetable Recipes

honey mustard glazed carrotsHoney Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

An easy side dish, great with roast chicken, roast beef, or lamb.  It’s both sweet and savory at the same time.

 

rosemary olive oil broiled eggplantRosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

Meltingly tender eggplant with a splash of olive oil, dusted with rosemary and grated cheese.

 

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Little bite size bits of potato heaven.  Fresh garlic and summery basil add flavor, aroma, and character to this easy side dish.

 

butternut squash brown sugar vanillaRoasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

The veggie side dish that thinks it’s a dessert. You may want to eat this twice in a row.  Topped with nuts and craisins, and only slightly sweetened.  The squash provides all the “sugar” fix you need.

 




Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

I spotted this wonderful merguez sausage (spicy sausage made with lamb) while shopping online and then went looking for some ideas on what to do with it.  I found a lamb merguez tagine recipe  but I had no squash, no chickpeas and no couscous (also no tagine, but a saucepan fixed that).  Time to adapt and improvise!  I’m calling it lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetables.

First I replaced the couscous with rice.  Then, instead of squash or zucchini (which I didn’t have, and didn’t think ideal with the lamb anyway) I used the rest of a white eggplant I already had at hand. I am a firm believer in using what you have whenever possible (especially with all those steps, I’m not going up and down for one can or two items)!  

The result was this delicious lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetables. It only takes about 35 or 40 minutes to cook. Plus, I reduced the original three pots to only two (one for the rice and another for the lamb and veggies). I wasn’t going to clean three pots!  Not to mention, the ingredients are now in the order you use them.

If you’re not familiar with merguez sausage, it’s a bit spicy, but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s flavored with chili peppers and cumin, but that’s tempered by the cinnamon, coriander, onions, and garlic, which mellow as you simmer them.  The richness of the eggplant and the sweet carrots also make an excellent foil for the spicy lamb.




Lamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables Substitutions and Variations

  • If you have the chickpeas, add them to the dish
  • Or substitute some lentils for the eggplant
  • Try it with couscous instead of the rice
  • Or serve it over some pasta
  • If you can’t find the merguez, you can approximate the flavor by using ground lamb, increasing the garlic, cumin, and coriander and adding some harissa or sriracha or chili garlic sauce for heat

More Lamb and Eggplant Recipes

Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

Leftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad for One

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person




Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

It’s been a while since I posted a side dish, so I thought I’d fix that. Honey mustard glazed carrots are an easy and savory side dish that’s ready in just a few minutes.  The honey adds a hint of sweetness, while the mustard provides a bit of a kick. The carrots are really easy to prepare, but the dish feels fancy enough for company.

This side dish goes beautifully with a simply roasted piece of chicken.  Season it with olive oil, lemon, and rosemary, put it in the oven and then start the carrots about 20 minutes before the chicken is done.

Or, try them with a grilled lamb chop,  or a steak. This recipe would also be great with Thanksgiving turkey or a family holiday get-together (you’d obviously have to size up the quantities).

If you’re trying to eat more veggies, honey mustard carrots also go well with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

I sliced the carrots in matchsticks, but you can make them whatever way suits you. If you’re in a hurry, use frozen carrots (which are pre-blanched and will cook faster than fresh ones will).

Another tip to speed up the process and make your life a bit easier: when you measure the honey, dip the spoon in water first.  It creates a barrier that  will keep the honey from sticking and make it easier to pour it into the saucepan.




Substitutions and Variations for Mustard Honey Glazed Carrots

  • If you don’t have honey, use brown sugar instead
  • Add some fresh rosemary to the carrots
  • Saute some shallots with the honey mustard mixture and then add the carrots back to the pan
  • Try roasting them in a 450 oven for 40 minutes with some parsnips

More Side Dish Recipes

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe for One

Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

 




Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage

As colorful as it is tasty, this Asian chicken salad with cabbage proved to be an inspired invention. I was sick and didn’t feel like cooking much, plus I could hardly taste anything.

The crispy, vibrant salad even helped improve my appetite. It looked pretty (with the cabbage, peppers, and carrots), and I could taste it! It was also a good way to keep using up the giant cabbage I got from FreshDirect.

Asian chicken salad with cabbage is pretty easy to make, and you can make the dressing in advance if you like.

Before I got sick I had defrosted a chicken thigh that I had to use up, so I just seasoned that with ginger, garlic, a bit of soy sauce, and some sriracha. Then all I had to do was pop it in the oven for an hour.  Easy! The recipe would also work just fine with leftover rotisserie chicken, or even some leftover Chinese pork.

If you don’t want meat, you could add cold noodles, ramen noodles, slivered almonds, or extra veggies.

The dressing is straight from a recipe I found online in The New York Times recipe section.  I don’t like a lot of dressing, so this made about 4 servings of dressing for me. Your mileage may vary.





I had a big bag of mini mixed bell peppers, so I used those (they also helped make the food look more appealing) and a seedless cucumber, so that’s what I used.

You could use regular bell peppers, add snow peas, mushrooms, or regular cucumbers too.  Food should be flexible, and unless it’s baking, you should adjust recipes to fit what you have or what you prefer to eat.

Ingredients and Tools for This Recipe

black and decker mini chopper

Black & Decker Food Chopper

I use this all the time. It’s so much easier than dragging out a big food processor. And, with space at a premium, it’s a lot easier to store it too. Use it for the dressing, to chop garlic or onions, cut up potatoes, and make pesto without making a big mess.


Huy Fong, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, 17 Ounce Bottle

This stuff has become so popular it’s almost a cliché, but it’s also versatile enough to use in eggs, salads, meatballs, or on chicken. Just a little bit adds a big punch of flavor, without being too spicy or too sweet.

 

More Asian Recipes with Chicken or Cabbage

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Fragrant with garlic, spicy chili, mellowed cabbage, and a touch of sweetness from honey, this Chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup tastes great and clears stuffy heads too.

 

bibimbap rice bowl

Bibimbap Rice Bowl with Meat and Vegetables

Both a feast for the eyes and the taste buds, this dish is enriched with a spicy, garlicky sauce, sweet carrots, and lots of vibrant veggies.

 

honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Pantry-friendly and hunger-friendly too. This is ready quickly and uses ingredients you already have around. But, it tastes like it came from a restaurant.

 

sichuan chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauceSichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Speaking of takeout, this is a takeout standard that you can easily make at home.  It’s spicy, tender, and absolutely delicious. No need to get takeout.

 




Split Pea Soup Recipe with Ham Hock

Nothing beats a bowl of split pea soup when it’s cold outside. This recipe has ham, split peas (of course), and bacon. The ham hock releases a lot of flavor as it slowly cooks into the soup. The bacon is good for salty crunch.  If you haven’t got a ham hock or bacon, salt pork works fine.  Add some crusty bread, or a sandwich, and you’ve got lunch.

The original recipe came from the NY Times Cookbook, but I’ve changed it a bit.  For one thing, it made up to 10 servings (which means one person would be eating soup for a very long time)!  This recipe is only for four servings. Just enough to enjoy it without feeling like you are drowning in split pea soup!

That recipe also called for celeraic (which I never have) and salt pork. Salt pork is fine, but I found it worked really well with bacon (preferably Trader Joe’s no nitrate bacon).

It also freezes well, so you can save some soup for later.

Substitutions and Variations for Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock

  • the original recipe called for 1/2 C diced leek (great for flavor, but not something I usually have in the fridge); if you use it, reduce the amount to about 1/4C.
  • cut up a frankfurter or a chunk of kielbasa, cook it and add it to the soup
  • add a carrot for a bit of sweetness
  • top with croutons
  • cook some extra bacon, crumble it, and top the soup with it
  • add freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • add a parmesan or Manchego cheese rind to the soup while it’s simmering

 

More Soup Recipes

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

An Italian classic, downsized for one person. It’s packed with flavor from pancetta, beans, rosemary and garlic. Filling too. It’s enough for a meal by itself.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Wonderful comfort food for chilly days. Only needs a single pot and a few basic ingredients.

 

mulligatawny soupMulligatawny Soup Recipe

Britain meets India in this fusion soup spiced with cumin and cinnamon. The Tamil provided the spices, and the British added meat.

 


mushroom barley soup
Mushroom Barley Soup

Nothing fancy or complicated, just filling hot soup.  Just like my grandma used to make (but in a smaller batch).

 




Image of soup in blender with towel thanks to joelk75

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

I’ve mind melded two lentil soup recipes for this and added a few variations to make lentil bean sausage soup. I was going to make bean and sausage soup but looked in the cupboard and found I was woefully short on beans.  There just weren’t enough to make anything with.  But, I did have more lentils.  And, a friend was talking about the bean, sausage, and potato soup she was making.

That gave me an idea.  Bean, lentil, potato, and sausage, plus a bit of manchego rind for some savor (I’ve always wanted to try that, and I had a big bag of rinds in the fridge).

Manchego, parmesan, and romano cheese rinds are great, by the way, for soup or for grating cheese when there’s plenty left on the rind, but not enough to serve.

The nice thing about lentils is that unlike beans, you don’t have to soak them first to use them.

If you only have lentils, skip the beans entirely.  If you only have beans, use my quick soak method to speed up the process.




Ingredients and Tools for Lentil Bean Sausage Soup


2 pcs Stainless Steel Mesh Tea Ball Strainer

Tea strainers are great for tea, but they also have a second use for making soup and other recipes.  Many recipes call for cheesecloth (which I’ve never seen in a store, and seems wasteful anyway).  Instead, I use the tea ball for bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and herb mixtures that have to be added (and then removed) from soup or other recipes. Because, who wants to bite down into a peppercorn?!

The New York Times Cook Book

This cookbook was the source for part of the recipe. I have had my copy so long it’s falling apart. The soup section includes lentil, split pea, and the savory tomato soup which is the basis for my dad’s secret soup recipe.


The Silver Palate Cookbook

I’m on my third copy of this! The other half of the soup recipe comes from the bean and sausage soup in this cookbook. The peasant vegetable is also wonderful, as is the six onion soup. Actually, I’ve never had a bad recipe from this one. Plus there are suggestions and variations for many of the recipes, which I like.

More Lentil and Bean Soup Recipes

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Soup with Carrots

Cumin, garlic, and ginger for mellow, warm spiciness, and a bit of red pepper flakes for a kick.  Warming, filling, and delicious. Quick too, since red lentils take less time to cook than the brown ones.

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Take the bones from your lamb breast, make a broth, and transform that into soup. Extra meals, with not much extra cost.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Faglioli (Bean) Soup

An Italian classic soup, downsized for one person. Flavored with pancetta, rosemary, beans, and pasta, it’s both aromatic and delicious.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Only one pot! Easy too, just a bit of chopping, and then let it simmer.




No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe for One

I like cabbage, and cole slaw, but most of the recipes are too heavy and have too much mayo. I feel as if I’m eating mayo, rather than cabbage. This no mayo healthy cole slaw recipe is different. It’s healthy and has no mayo at all.

I was at The Second Avenue Deli, which is a restaurant that specializes in food that is definitely not healthy:  fried pierogies, chopped liver, and enormous pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.  But, before you get your main dish, they plop down a big bowl of pickles and another of their “health salad.”  The salad is delicious! And no mayo.

The next day, I found a recipe, which I have adapted. I reduced the servings and made a few substitutions and changes.

Delicious! And it’s easy too.  It’s great as a side dish with a turkey sandwich (or on top of one), or along with a hot dog.  Or, pastrami, of course. Because mayo and pastrami is a shonda (a terrible disgrace, especially in public).




 

Substitutions and Variations for No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe

  • Use green cabbage (which is what the original recipe said)
  • Make it with green pepper (again the original recipe)
  • Add some cucumber
  • Try apple cider vinegar
  • Make it Asian with rice vinegar, soy sauce. and sesame oil

Try These  Cabbage Recipes

 

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Aromatic and flavorful with garlic, spicy chili, and a hint of sweetness from honey, this Chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup tastes good and knocks out germs too.

 

creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Knock out dinner in minutes with this quick recipe.  Spicy, fragrant, and super easy too.

 

unstuffed cabbage roll recipeSmall Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Stuffed cabbage is delicious, but those rolls are too much work. So skip them and layer it instead (like lasagne).

 

asian chicken salad with cabbageAsian Chicken Salad with Cabbage

Fresh, crispy, and colorful. Just chop, add cooked chicken, and mix it all together with an Asian-inspired dressing.