Being a Hip Hostess isn’t always about entertaining at home.  Sometimes, once of the most appreciated dinner you can provide is at someone else’s house.  Our friends just had a baby so we brought dinner to them.  Thinking of a good, portable meal can be a bit of a challenge so I’ll share the recipe we brought:  Thai Curry Ground Beef over brown rice, served with a simple salad of romaine, cucumbers and cilantro vinaigrette.  Bring a tin of cookies or brownies too and your friends will so appreciate your hosting skills.

Here’s how to transport the meal:  Pack the beef and rice in separate tupperware containers, put the salad in a ziplock bag along with the dressing, (I like to use an empty spice jar for the dressing, but any screw-top container will work).  Stack the containers in a reusable bag with a flat bottom, using a piece of cardboard to separate the layers to make sure the salad doesn’t get wilted from the warmth of the other food.  Also, remember to bring disposable plates, utensils and napkins (I like to bring sturdy, eco-friendly bamboo plates) so you don’t leave any dishes behind.  Pack a few bottles of sparkling water and a nice bottle of red wine or some beer (beer is especially great for newly nursing mamas – the hops help to bring in their milk!).  This meal was easy enough to transport in one bag on the subway.

Thai Curry Ground Beef

Cooking spray or 1 Tbs. sesame or peanut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lb grass-fed lean ground sirloin

½ -1 tsp. red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen)

1 cup tomato sauce

½ cup light coconut milk

1 Tbs. brown sugar or ½ Tbs. agave nectar

¼ tsp. grated lime rind

1 ½ Tbs. fresh lime juice

1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce

½ cup cilantro, chopped

Bib lettuce (optional)

Chopped green onions (optional)

1.                        Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray or 1 Tbs. oil, then add onion and sauté until translucent and soft.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add beef, stirring to crumble, and cook until lightly browned and cooked through.  (Note:  If there is a lot of liquid after beef is cooked, pour some out, leaving about ¼ cup of liquid in the pan and discarding the rest).

2.                        Add curry paste and tomato sauce to pan and cook until liquid is reduced to a thick sauce, after about 4 minutes.  Add coconut milk through fish sauce, and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce.  Add green onion.  Serve over brown rice with bib lettuce slices for scooping, garnishing with cilantro.

Hip Tips:

  • Double this recipe and freeze half of the beef mixture for a quick weeknight dinner in the future.  Serve it over rice or with bib lettuce leaves to use as lettuce wraps for the beef.