Don’t worry if he’s not eating, the doctor kept assuring me on Thursday when I sat holding my eldest, sick and sitting listlessly in my lap and bordering on the brink of severe dehydration. Fluids yes, but food will be eaten when he’s better. And while Dr. Google confirmed this, and I know that my food-loving kiddo would eventually eat, it is one of the hardest things in the world to watch your kid just simply not take a bite of food. For days. To watch his weight plummet on the scale, his jeans getting looser, and knowing that you simply have to be patient, that this too shall pass. You believe it with your head, but your heart still struggles.
But slowly but surely, things began improving. Thursday evening after codeine dulled the pain, we got our first smile in days and an agreement to sip some juice and thus thankfully avoiding the impending visit to the ER for IV fluids. Saturday came the first meal, a quarter of a bagel. And Sunday a spoonful of rice. And now, he’s fine. And now, I can finally, properly, breathe.
Considering we had a sick kiddo, we were both too exhausted to cook but too exhausted to even drive and pick up some food. The plan had been some fancy dishes I had wanted to try like General Tso’s chicken and Manicotti, but with the way things were that was simply not going to happen. If you follow my facebook page you know I’ve been bit by the cooking bug. While I don’t like the clean up after, I do love the act of cooking. I can lose myself in it and the creativity of the process and even more, I love the look of excitement on my family’s face when I serve the newest thing I’m trying. To be certain, they don’t always work out, my recipes, but the process is still always worthwhile.
With a sick kid at home, I didn’t have the luxury of a couple of hours to cook so I looked in the cabinets and the freezer and did a quick run to the grocery store to make some stir fry noodles from a cookbook my dear friend got me for my birthday. [and you know your loved ones get you when nearly every last one of them got you either cook books, tea pots, and other cooking ware] that assured me I would be done with the meal in under thirty minutes. My son wanted noodles. And we were going to have noodles!
So K took the kids to the basement to play and I put on an episode of my favorite comedy of all time, The Office, to see if the meal could be served by its twenty-eight minute sitcom conclusion . .
. . . and it was.
We really enjoyed this meal. It’s simple and quick and looks pretty too. Nuke up some edamame to add to the side and you have what looks like a fancy meal for a fraction of the time. Minus the spinach [which you could probably substitute frozen spinach if you wanted to] all are things you can easily stock up in the pantry or freeze to use later so this meal could be made at any time with minimal hassle.
Beef Stir-Fred Rice Noodles [adapted and modified, original recipe from Cooking Light]
- .75 pound top sirloin steak thinly sliced
- 1 cup of green onions, sliced.
- 8 oz of rice sticks/noodles [note very important that this is rice sticks or rice noodles, they absorb the sauce better and enhance taste otherwise the sauce just drips to the bottom of the serving dish and you don’t get to enjoy it in each bite.]
- 6 oz. fresh spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1.5 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups of good quality mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1-2 teaspoon sriracha [to taste]
- 1 teaspoon salt [to taste]
Note: I added carrots for color, and next time will either add lightly sauteed vidalia onions or bamboo shoots for a bit of crunch that I think this dish could have benefited from.
- Cook noodles as directed on package and then rinse and drain in cold water
- Heat oil in large work/skillet and coat the pan.
- Add onions and steak and stir fry about a minute.
- Add mushrooms and garlic, stir fry one minute.
- Add spinach and stir fry one minute until it wilts [note: it seems like a ridiculous amount of spinach but it actually is the amount you need when it wilts it shrinks]
- Combine rice vinegar, black pepper, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, sriracha in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Add to steak mixture and cook thirty seconds stirring constantly.
- Stir in noodles, sesame oil, salt and cook 1 minute or until noodles completely reheated. Toss to combine.
- Garnish with sesame seeds
And we ate it. And liked it. And will definitely make it again. Thankful for easy recipes. And little boys who are finally well enough to eat.
If you try this please do share, any healthy and quick meals you know of? Inquiring minds want to know!