April 2019 Recap

Spriiiiing! It makes me so happy. Winter was mild this year but I LOVE the daylight, everything growing, getting outside more, and transitioning from wintery foods. April was fun with a more social opportunities than I sometimes have with friends and a few fun family festivities. I think our energy is up! I feel like I’m being more realistic about what’s possible in the kitchen and I’m being OK with setting the priority that we eat together and eat different things, but I’m not forsaking all else to stick to my dinner plan. Seeing the little babe smile on the swing when her big brother pushes it when we get home is worth wayyy more than the meal prep I otherwise could make happen that night!

I love a grain bowl and these Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork were such winners. The pork was leftover from a crockpot pork, the rice was ready in 10 minutes from the pressure cooker, and the sauce I zipped together in the blender the day before.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
I need to perfect my salmon cooking. I overcooked it but the leftovers were perfect in a Salmon BLT with lemon aoli.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Next month I have some good stuff coming! I have a burger, a breakfast, and a few other things.

The Baby Girl:

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She’s so fast and so strong. She was pulling up to stand before quite hitting 8 months old. All she wants to do is stand! She’s a quick and quiet crawler who can disappear to explore before you know it! I’m so proud of her sleeping skills, though I’m sure daycare wouldn’t mind her sleeping more there! She has 2 little chiclet teeth on the bottom and wants to eat everything. She’s loving the swings and chewing on T’s raptor dino that is unofficially regulated to being hers now. Her teachers at a daycare-wide dance party swooped her away and brought her around to see everyone. They really love her. She’s so happy and chill even when hungry or tired. We got bows to keep her hair out of her face and they’re just too cute.

The Little Boy:

He’s sooo into favorites right now. What’s your favorite dino? What’s your favorite fork? What’s your favorite color on this picture? I forgot that that’s a thing for kids. He loves the baby and is a fantastic big brother. It melted my heart when he said he “just wants to be 6″ why I asked, “because then C will be 3 and we can play more.” I’ve loved doing puzzles with him. I think he over-does it on some favorite foods and thinks he wants them but then isn’t really into it- like certain cereals. It seems he will always want pasta, bananas, and avocado. He likes all candy- even junky stuff from a town egg hunt. I loved watching him at a daycare-wide dance party. He wanted to participate, was a bit reserved, then got into it. He thrives on having close friends. I missed the deadline for town soccer so he’s doing a little community one. We’ll see where his comfort-level is. He’s been happy on bike rides with Daddy but also is doing fantastic on his balance bike. His love for library books rivals mine.

2019 goals:

Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: ehhh. All I did was pull together items for a clothes swap at work. We have a bunch of baby equipment earmarked for a yard sale.
Feeding Littles: I shared dinner of shrimp with Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki sauce, brown rice, edamame. He wasn’t into the shrimp that night but liked it when he had rice in the same bite. 
Work on advanced food prepping: A day-off mid-month was huge for this! I cooked and blogged 3 things!
What I’m reading: I read An American Marriage for bookclub and really liked it. I read China Rich Girlfriend and loved it as much as the first in the series.
What I’m watching: We watched All the Money in the World and The Imitation Game. Both are so intense and fascinating. I want to know more about each in real life! TV-wise, Mr. J and I got into Schitt’s Creek and are ob-sess-ed. Amazing Race is back

Mocha Smoothie

I took a different route on this smoothie and made it into a snack-like smoothie versus a breakfast kind of smoothie. It was really good and hit the spot on a coffee-sat-too-long kind of day. It isn’t super sweet so the coffee flavor is for real. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fun coffee drink, but the serving of fruit can’t hurt. Right?
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie

Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup coffee, chilled
1 1/2 cups frozen pear or banana
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal

Directions:

Blend everything together. If it is too thick add in a bit more milk or some water.
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie
Enjoy!

This was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. A squirt of whipped cream made me fall more in love. I can see this one repeating when it is too hot to think!
The Three Bite Rule - Mocha Smoothie

BLT with Lemon Aoli

The lemon aoli takes this home lunch to the next level. It is tart and perfect with the salmon. It perked up my leftover salmon and brought brightness with the salty bacon, peppery arugula, and juicy tomato. I wanted to make a fun lunch to revive some leftover salmon that I overcooked a bit. It was actually better in this salmon BLT than it was the night before!
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT

Salmon BLT with Lemon Aoli

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons mayo
juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch salt & pepper
2 strips of bacon
3-4 oz salmon, cooked and cooled

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon and remove from the grease.
Turn off the pan from the bacon and gently warm the salmon in the bacon drippings.
Mix together the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Toast the bread and slice the tomato.
Assemble the sandwich with lemon aoli on each slice of toast, then salmon forked apart into chunks, then arugula, then bacon, and the remaining bread.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Enjoy!

This was seriously better than the salmon was the night before. Condiments can make such a difference. An extra special BLT is a great dinner too. Warming the salmon a bit in bacon drippings is definitely a good choice.

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

After cooking a pork shoulder in the slow cooker I love having a bunch more servings of pork to “pull” out and become a speedy dinner. This time, I made a Thai-inspired rice bowl instead of my usual BBQ or Mexican twists on the leftovers. Earlier the same week we had pulled pork on sandwiches with BBQ sauce. This bowl is an ideal use for any leftover pork or beef, shredded or ground meat.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule

I made the rice in my pressure cooker using white rice for a change, and coconut milk as the liquid. It turned out great- a gentle coconut flavor that isn’t too sweet! I mixed up the sauce in the blender a full day before this dinner which meant we had the speediest dinner ever! I came home to already prepared pork, rice I made that morning, and a sauce from the day before. Assembly time! Sauces often taste even better when made in advance and given a chance to sit before serving!

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup white rice
2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
~1 cup shredded pork (or steak or ground meat)
1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 clove/teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cucumber
1 cup shredded carrots
more fresh cilantro to garnish

Directions:

Cook the rice with the coconut milk. (My pressure cooker ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups liquid so I used that ratio but usually rice is 1 rice:2 liquid).
While the rice cooks, blend together the peanut sauce with: ginger, garlic, sriracha, honey, lime, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, cilantro, and stream in the olive oil. (Can be made ahead of time)
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Warm the pork over medium heat in a medium skillet. When starting to warm, drizzle in ~3 tablespoons of the peanut sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Slice the cucumbers into thin sticks.
Serve the rice on the bottom topped with pork, carrots, cucumber, a drizzle of peanut sauce and more cilantro.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

The little one liked the elements of this, but really loved the coconut rice. He hadn’t been into rice lately so that was nice to get back to it, also since coconut rice was something new to us.

Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
The sauce was a bit spicy for Mr. J so I’d say I loved this most (I added in more sriracha at first so go with my quantities above!). The raw veggies make it fun with almost sweet rice and warm pork with a few crispy bits. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and loved it all over again! Raw veggies are the pre-schooler’s preference but tricky for the babe who only has 2 little chicklet teeth poking through. I’ll have to balance that a bit more as she “eats dinner” with us.

Substitute any grain cooked as the coconut base and whatever veggies you like. Need more grain bowl inspiration? I’ve got you covered. ;-)