Something happened to my feet after I gave birth to Matthew. Actually, the something happened to my feet, my knees and my hips and I've been hobbling around the house in pain since my sweet baby came home from the hospital. I've been told this type of lower joint pain is common post-pregnancy, specifically in older women, and I'm giving it another week or so before I haul myself off to the doctor.
There are a few things that offer comfort to my aching lower body, and my beloved Birkenstocks happen to be one of them. I've been wearing this hippie staple for nearly two decades since I spotted the fashionable women of France wearing them in the late 1990s when I lived abroad, and I've been a fan ever since. Luckily for me, this eco-chic it shoe is trendy today, so the fact that I'm sporting multiple pairs for therapeutic purposes is making me accidentally trendy this season.
It turns out my dinner last night also took a fashionable turn when I spooned the Thai beef with basil and coconut rice into a bowl instead of serving it on a dinner plate like usual. Truth be told, I had no plates to use as they were sitting dirty in the dishwasher, so my rustic low bowls - usually reserved for dinner guests - were employed instead.
Serving food in bowls is a popular trend this year, a fact I find fascinating since bowls have held food for more than a few centuries. People are eating smoothies in bowls, making "dinner bowls" on the regular, and writing books full of recipes designed to be eaten in... a bowl (side note: it's a beautiful and inspiring book).
So for the second time this month I'm finding myself unintentionally en vogue. I'm not used to being so hip, but if my Birkenstocks and beef in a bowl make me so, well, I'll take it.
Thai Beef with Basil
This recipe is really nothing more than some fancied-up ground beef and rice, staples in my freezer and pantry. The addition of spices, fresh basil, and coconut milk take it up a notch, making it a little more special than something you might usually create with such humble ingredients.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced and seeded (for less heat)
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- Coconut rice (recipe below)
- For toppings: coarsely grated carrots, sliced peppers, cucumber spears, chopped avocado, fresh mint leaves, cilantro, lime wedges
1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and fish sauce, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic, jalapeño, and red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the beef and season generously with salt and pepper, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown the meat and crisp it up in spots, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the broth and basil and cook, stirring, until the basil is wilted, about 2 minutes.
5. Spoon coconut rice into bowls and top with beef mixture. Scatter fresh toppings of choice over top and drizzle with the sauce. Serve immediately.
- 2 cups uncooked basmati/jasmine/long grain rice
- 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well to combine. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
3. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover and let sit 5 minutes more.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
*While this recipe is meant to feed 4 people, it barely fed the four I feed dinner to each night. I ended up doubling it once I saw how much food was in the skillet. If you have less hungry people, you should be fine, but if you happen to be feeding teenagers, I might consider making a double or triple batch.