For National Nutrition Month in March and beyond, you should work on developing healthful eating habits, making informed food choices, and receiving nutritious meals.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics publishes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are updated every five years and recommends guidelines for people to follow. MyPlate is a tool you can use to set a healthy eating routine. It’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is Personalize Your Plate, which encourages you to make informed food choices and create healthy meals that meet your preferences.
This week, we’re going to share a simple yet delicious bibimbap recipe that you can easily personalize for your preferences. Bibimbap — literally meaning “mixed rice” — is a popular, nutritious Korean dish with steamed rice and pre-cooked vegetables. You can customize the ingredients for your own bibimbap, but for this sample recipe, we will be using zucchini, carrot, cabbage, tofu, spinach, corn, and eggs.
1 cup cooked rice
1 firm or medium firm tofu
1 can of sweet corn
1 large egg
2-4 tbsp gochujang (a Korean sweet spicy, chili paste. You can substitute with Sriracha or doubanjian, a Chinese chili bean sauce)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp hot water
To serve as the base of the bibimbap, you want a bowl of steamed rice.
The ingredients prep is pretty straightforward too, as you prepare each vegetable separately.
You can cut the carrot and zucchini into thin slices or matchsticks and then cook them in olive oil until they are soft.
After you wash the cabbage and spinach, you also sauté them in some olive oil.
For our protein, we are using tofu. Cut just ¼ of the tofu into cubes and cook them evenly until they are slightly brown.
Sweet canned corn works perfectly for bibimbap, but you can also use frozen or fresh corn. When you are done with each vegetable, put it in a bowl or plate and set it aside.
Most bibimbap are topped off with a fried egg on top. Using some olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, fry the egg on just one side until the whites are firm but the yolk is still running.
What makes bibimbap special is its sauce. Bibimbap can be enjoyed with a wide variety of sauces, but its staple is the gochujang sauce that has a slightly spicy yet sweet flavor. You can easily adjust the taste of the sauce if you want it spicier or sweeter. You also can’t go wrong with topping your bibimbap off with just soy sauce if you aren’t fond of the spiciness. However, if you want to try your hand at the special gochujang sauce, you simply combine all the ingredients listed above in a bowl and mix well. The quantity depends on how much you are cooking, and you might have to taste and adjust the sauce to reach the perfect taste for you.
Assembling the bowl is always a fun part of bibimbap. With the cooked rice at the bottom, top your bowl with your vegetables. Place the fried egg on top, drizzle the sauce over the top, and you are ready to eat!
Like I mentioned, you can substitute other vegetables for the ones used in this recipe. Another popular ingredient for bibimbap is bulgogi, which is essentially Korean beef. You can get your recommended amount of protein by adding your choice of meat, tofu, and/or beans. Other common ingredients for bibimbap include bean sprouts, kale, and edamame. Here are some pictures from a previous bibimbap recipe I made, featuring cucumbers, carrots, corn, and mushrooms.
The thing that makes bibimbap so delicious is that you can add your favorite vegetables and make your dish your own. What better way to Personalize Your Plate than by creating a nice, nutritious bibimbap! You can also create multiple meals from bibimbap, prepping the ingredients all at once so you can eat it for dinner and pack another bowl for lunch the next day. Planning your meals ahead of time will help make sure you receive a wide variety of nutrients throughout the week.
Try this bibimbap recipe out and let us know in the comments below or on social media your thoughts! Happy National Nutrition Month!
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