Dreary Day Dinner: Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl

Check out the scene as I drove home from work this evening.

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The pouring rain meant no walk for this little girl:

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It also meant no trip to to PetSmart to get her nails clipped, which I think made her quite happy.

Sadie didn’t seem too thrilled about the idea when I tweeted about it earlier…




Her rebuttal via her own twitter account:


Seriously though, what kind of a dog has a twitter account? 😉

Dreary Day Dinner

Since Sadie’s walk and nail clipping appointment were no longer on the agenda, the rainy weather meant slipping into comfy pajamas right when I walked in the door.

I busted out my comfy flannel pj pants for the first time in months. Who cares if it’s in the 80s outside? Dreary weather demands cozy clothes!

After changing, it was time to get a lil’ dirty in the kitchen.

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(Thanks, Rachel for my new super-soft tank top!)

We had some lean ground beef waiting to be cooked into something delicious in the fridge, so I made us beef and cucumber bowls using Asian flavors and spices.

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To make the beef, I first sautéed 3/4 of a large onion in a pan before adding the beef.

I then added soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce to the mix and let it simmer for a bit while I chopped up a cucumber.

After topping the cucumber slices with the Asian beef, dinner was ready for eatin’.

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The cold, crispness of the cucumber slices were the perfect compliment to the heat from the beef.

Gotta love flavorful, healthy dinners that take less than 20 minutes to prepare!

I’m off to relax on the couch with a book for the rest of the night.


Asian Beef Cucumber Bowl (adapted from Real Simple’s Asian Beef and Mango Salad)


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chili sauce with garlic
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 extra large cucumber


  • Sautee onion in a pan sprayed with cooking spray until tender
  • Add beef and brown
  • Add hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce and soy sauce and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes
  • Slice cucumber
  • Top cucumber slices with beef mixture and enjoy!

Easy Crock Pot Beef

Tonight’s dinner was easy… just the way I like it!

Before I left for work I placed chunks of beef (sold pre-sliced for beef stew) in the crock pot with one can of cream of mushroom soup and a half of a can of water.

Cream of Mushroom soup

I let the meat cook on low for approximately eight hours (though I’m sure six would be plenty).

By the time we were hungry for dinner, the beef was moist and delicious. After steaming broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and sauteing spinach we were ready to eat.

My Plate

Aren’t effortless dinners the best?

What’s your favorite crock pot recipe?

Two of my favorites include the easiest pulled pork ever and slow cooker chicken tacos.

I think I’d love just about any crock pot meal. 😀

Beefin’ Up the Beef

Sometimes I get annoyed by the food that sits in our freezer. It mocks me everytime I add something new. Tonight’s dinner was a “clean out the freezer” dinner. I pulled out a package of frozen butternut squash and frozen spinach and put my thinking cap on.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Frozen Spinach

Frozen Spinach

I first unloaded the butternut squash into a pot with a bit of water on the stovetop. I then scoured the fridge for ideas to incorporate the spinach into our meal.

Beef! It’s what’s for dinner. I decided to use the chopped spinach to beef up the lean ground beef we planned to make into burgers this week. I combined the spinach with the meat, a couple squirts of barbeque sauce and some garlic salt and sent Ryan off to grill ’em up!

Spinach and BBQ Burgers

Spinach and BBQ Burgers

The pop of green really made the patties look pretty.

Grilled Burger

Grilled Burger

Ryan’s gettin’ pretty good at creating those wonderful grill marks.

I placed my burger on a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin with sliced tomato, ketchup and mustard. I wish I had some lettuce…

Spinach Burger

Spinach Burger

Juicy Burger

Juicy Burger

The butternut squash was a great side dish. I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the simmering squash which made it look a lil’ poopy, but it still tasted wonderful. 🙂 I topped mine with some soy nuts for that crunch I just loooove.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Soy Nut Crunchies

Soy Nut Crunchies

This dinner was the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Yummmm.

Off to read more of The Lost Symbol with Ryan… this book is fantastic!