The concept of “home” is an interesting one to me. Although I call Kansas City my home now, other places feel like home when I am surrounded by certain people.
Last weekend I took a short road trip through my home state of Oklahoma. My first destination was Tulsa where i spent a few days with three of my closest girlfriends from college for Estrogenfest…an annual tradition with no men, no children, lots of love, and lots of booze. It is like a boozy spa retreat for my soul. We talk. We laugh. We cry. We remember old times. We build each other up. We bring out the best in each other. It feels like home.
I took back roads to get there from Kansas City. I like not traveling on the main highways during road trips so that I can see the forgotten pieces of slow American life. Slowing down is something I have to remind myself to do often. I was able to spend good quality time by myself and with my thoughts. I felt centered. I felt home.
After a few days, I left my girlfriends and headed further south to see my family. Being with my brother and two sisters is one of the biggest rewards I get in life. I can sit for hours around them without saying anything and all feels right in the world. We laugh so much with each other…inside jokes get funnier, food tastes better, the hot summer breeze feels right. It feels like home.
After a few days in OKC, I headed back to Kansas City. Even though I find comfort in the people that I see back in Oklahoma, Kansas City is my new home. When I am gone from here, I miss it more and more. The streets are becoming more and more familiar to me. I realize that other cities just don’t seem as pretty as Kansas City. I miss my rituals when I’m gone. I miss the tall trees from my neighborhood. I miss seeing the same people every morning during my morning jog. I miss cooking. I miss playing chess at night with my husband while drinking good beer. I miss visiting the same friendly farmers on Saturday mornings and asking how their farms are doing. I miss my home.
Weeknight dinners at my home often consist of burger-in-a-bowl. It’s super easy and refreshing. This past week when I got back from trekking around OK, I whipped up this Thai Burger-in-a-Bowl using a slaw I made with red cabbage from the market and tons of herbs from our garden. This is heavily inspired by my Green Curry Burger. I hope you enjoy this comfy recipe as I share it from my home to yours.
Thai Burger-in-a-Bowl (Gluten Free)
Adapted from my green curry burger wraps.
Thai Burger-in-a-Bowl Ingredients
- 4 burgers, grilled (see instructions below)
- Cabbage and Carrot Slaw
- Greens (Kale, Butter Lettuce, Chard)
- Spicy Peanut Sauce Dressing
- 1 lime, cut in quarters
- cilantro, mint, and basil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Cabbage and Carrot Slaw
- 1/2 large head of red cabbage, shredded
- 5 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- salt and pepper to taste
Spicy Peanut Sauce Dressing
- 1/3 cup unsalted creamy peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Siracha
- ¼ Cup water
- Making Burgers – Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands until ingredients are distributed throughout meat. Try to handle meat as lightly and as little as possible so that the meat does not become compact and tough when cooking. You are making burgers, not meatloaf, people! Form the meat into 4 equal-portioned patties, about ¾-inch thick. Make a dimple in the middle of the patty, pressing down with thumb or fingers. This will keep the burger from bulging during the cooking process and maintains juiciness. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and set aside.
- Making Slaw – Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Place in refrigerator while preparing everything else, mixing every once and awhile. Best if made at least 30 minutes ahead of time. Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time.
- Preparing the Spicy Peanut Sauce – Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
- Cooking Burger Patties – Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. When the grill is ready, place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Assembling Thai Burger-in-a-Bowl – Divide greens among four bowls. Add about 1/2 cup of slaw to each bowl and then top with a grilled burger. Add desired amount of siracha and herbs on top of burger. Drizzle peanut sauce on top of assembled burger. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top of everything.