We enjoy good food. Eating equals joy and happiness for Chinese people! I love food! I have been exploring cooking on my own since my kids were born. I like to make simple, easy, one-pot meals that are easy to put together and easy to clean up. Dinner is our family time. When my kids were younger we played in the kitchen a lot. Now they are a little older and we have experiments in the kitchen that yield results that we can actually eat. The most important thing is that we have fun together and discover the joy of preparing meals. We love Chinese dishes, including Chinese green onion cakes and dumplings!
I am from Taiwan and I learned how to cook Chinese dishes from my mother. I learned how to make American dishes when I came to the States. My own family enjoys American food, Chinese dishes, Italian pasta, Korean cuisine, Mexican tacos, and other meals from different countries so we mix and match the dishes from time to time. Pan fried salmon can go over rice or spaghetti. Fried rice may be wrapped up in seaweed for mini sushi rolls. Leftover dinner can be packed for lunch boxes for the next day. Lunch boxes are a Chinese tradition and it is very convenient. My kids and my husband all like to have homemade lunches so the leftovers make it easy.
Here is one of my meal plans for the week:
(1) Banana bread cupcake (plain with no frosting) and strawberries.
I follow the Banana bread recipe and bake them in a muffin pan. We do not have frosting on the cupcakes but the kids still love it.
(2) Blueberry muffins and apples.
(3) Green onion cakes and peaches.
This is a great appetizer and side dish. My kids love it! We have it almost every weekend. I use the bread machine to make the dough now so it is much easier. If you like softer cakes then you can use hot water to prepare the dough. If you enjoy a more chewy cake then you can use room temperature water for the dough. You can make a bunch and freeze the Green Onion Cakes individually with plastic wrap between each piece for a quick snack later.
(4) Hard boiled eggs, raisin bread, and pears.
(5) Cereal with yogurt and apples.
Easy Lunch box/bento:
Lunch box is prepared with leftovers from dinner! The kids also like to have a mini pack of dried seaweed wraps, a portion of fresh fruit, and crackers with the lunch. For the kids’ home lunch I use a small thermos cup to keep the food warm.
(1) Salt and pepper shrimps, rice, and vegetable stir-fry.
(2) Chicken taco with roasted chicken, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
(3) Tomato beef soup with rice or noodle.
(4) Chicken salad with apple crisps.
(5) Chinese dumplings with ground chicken and cabbage.
Dumplings are a must-have in my freezer. It makes a quick lunch or light meal. My kids love making them with me. We form an assembly line around the table and make them together. Kids make the dumplings into different shapes and they taste just as good. Above you can link to my mother’s, Grandma Panda’s, “famous” dumpling recipe and I am sure you will enjoy making them at home. Grandma Panda makes the wrappers from scratch but I use store bought dumplings wrappers as a short cut.
Happy eating! Have a wonderful week!
Amanda Miss Panda is the mom of 2 bilingual, bicultural, and energetic children ages 8 and 10. She is the creator of Miss Panda Chinese, where parents and teachers can find Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture resources to prepare the little ones to explore their world. You can visit Miss Panda on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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