We came upon the realization that we haven’t been teaching the kids well. Don’t misunderstand, they’re doing just fine in school and we still feel strongly that the lessons and social cues they pick up while playing board games will benefit them in many facets of their lives. But many years of long working hours have taken their toll on our ability to pass on some things that every person should learn – how to cook for yourself!
Like many families, we have turned to out-of-the-box meals and fast food takeout on way too many occasions. Our girls know how to heat up a frozen burrito or make a box of mac-n-cheese, but sadly have no idea how to cook an entire meal from scratch. I know we’re not alone in this predicament and we’ve vowed to make a change. They helped out with our last recipe for slow cooker goulash and quickly volunteered to make this Crock-Pot version of Mongolian Beef. And they did everything, start to finish!
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
2 lbs flank steak
1/4 cup Corn Starch
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic
3/4 cup Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
3/4 cup Water
1 cup Grated Carrots
Green Onions / Scallions for garnish
After picking out the right cut of flank steak from the grocery store, cut it across the grain into 1/8″ strips. Place the cut strips into a plastic bag and add the corn starch. Shake until covered and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour. The corn starch does two things – first it tenderizes the meat and then it acts as a thickener when heated in the slow cooker!
Grate your carrots until approximately 1 cup is yielded. We chose to grate them small so they would “disappear” during the cooking process. If you like, you may cut them into larger pieces so they remain in the medley after cooking.
Put the carrots and the remaining ingredients (except for the scallions) into your slow cooker and add the coated flank steak.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly and cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours. We always recommend cooking on low as it will result in tenderer meat and be less likely to overcook.
Serve alone or plated over white rice and accompanied by mandarin oranges or Asian pears. The entire recipe should yield six servings and is just as good the next day as leftovers!
These simple recipes for slow cookers have been a hit with our girls without them having to worry about temperatures and cooking time on the stove. Of course they’ll progress to using standard pots and pans in the oven, but for now this little taste of cooking success is building their confidence in the kitchen.
Now to just teach them how to do the dishes…
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?