Doesn't taste like Mom's home cooking

Survival meal for busy parents

Whether I’m the one going to a spin class and ditching the kids with their dad for two hours on a somewhat weekly basis or their dad is going to spin class and leaving me alone, I have dinner all ready in a jiffy and plan it to be an easy one for preparation and the kids to eat.* Something that goes down easily.

I’ve known about the Taiwanese braised minced meat dish on rice. It’s the one that when the noodle dishes used to be about $10, would still be around $6. Times have changed, however: scale up. Way up!

And its amongst MIL’s arsenal of homestyle foods. Along with her oddly fluffy egg-pork patty and braised pork belly (which I swear over the years got too lean). Recently between a hospital stay for me and Kiddo (he’s okay) and their dad dealing with stuff, MIL is extending more of a helping hand in the way of food. Not so much with childcare because I don’t want to let go of the kids and she doesn’t drive herself here. But between the kids’ dad and her, they are concocting intervals to meet up and exchange food like prepared meats and Chinese vegetables.

The boon of vegetables lately makes me feel bad that I wasn’t doing more. But at the same time, in the very recent past, I wasn’t receiving any help with meals and now he’s all over washing vegetables and increasing vegetable intake. I believe in plant sources of protein but haven’t been great on making protein-rich meals and I let it be known I won’t work with large cuts of meat (i.e., minced meat is fine). MIL is eager to make meat for the kids.

Her braised minced meat dishes go down so well with the kids that I’m envious and I want to be a provider. Enter my entry into the fray. Nothing I concocted myself because it’s simply The Woks of Life Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork over Rice recipe. I love how it uses white pepper and five spice powder as well as light and dark soy and oyster sauce.

Their recipe with 1 lb of minced meat makes 2 500-mL portions (2 dinners) and I’m tempted to double the portions next time.

The Survival Meal for Busy Parents is simply rou zao from the freezer, boiled vegetables, rice and then “pilaf” it together.

* You heard me right, whether he or I are ditching, I made dinner. Sounds nice and fair, huh?