Monday, January 14, 2013

Colorado Beef and Turkey Laab (Laab Neua Ki Ngwng)

You may pronounce the name of this beef and turkey dish any way you wish, but one my 10-year-olds called this "Laab Awesome Goodness", and I think that's the most fitting name!

This was a completely satisfying paleo dinner, from the noodles, to the veggies, meat and garnish. I used Shirataki white yam noodles for my base, and it was divine (I'm not sure if these are paleo, but they're certainly grain-free and I feel great after eating them). Make sure you rinse the noodles well and cook according to package directions.

Laab is one of my favorite dishes at Thai restaurants. It's a traditional dish of meat, herbs, lime and fish sauce. I wasn't able to find plain ground pork today, so I used half beef and half turkey, and I thought the mix of the two meats' flavors was superior to pork alone.

I call this "Colorado Laab" because we often can't find fresh lemongrass or other traditional Thai staples in the Rocky Mountains (and I usually use less than half of the fish sauce called for in Thai recipes as well). This dish was made with my pantry staples, and it is delicious. Read on, and enjoy a Thai night soon.

Colorado Beef and Turkey Laab (Laab Neua Ki Ngwng) or "Laab Awesome Goodness"
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 T. ginger, shaved or very finely minced
1 t. agave syrup
1/4 t. crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
2 t. paprika
2 T. fish sauce
3 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 c. mint leaves, thinly sliced (extra mint leaves for pretty garnish)
1/4 c. basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 T. finely sliced red onion for garnish

Thai Slaw
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
2 T. red onion, minced

Thai Slaw Dressing
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 T water
1 T. white wine vinegar
1-1/2 T. fish sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 t. agave
2 T. scallions, finely minced

2 T. mint, finely minced
2 T. cilantro, finely minced

1/2 t. paprika (and/or chile flakes to taste)

1 package Shirataki Noodles (white yam, not tofu) or sticky rice
chopped peanuts or cashews for garnish
Sriracha sauce for added heat

Brown the beef, turkey, salt and pepper together in olive oil. Drain and set aside.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent.Add the garlic and ginger and saute for one minute more. Add in meat, agave, pepper, fish sauce and combine over medium heat. Add in lime juice and stir well. Reserve the sliced scallions and herbs and add just before serving.

For the Thai Slaw, combine cabbage, carrots and onion and toss together. Toss with ~2 T of the dressing (or to taste). Serve immediately. If you're short on time, simply enjoy the slaw veggies without dressing or add a dash of lime juice, olive oil, and salt into your cabbage and toss well.

Serve the laab atop the slaw with rice or noodles on the side.

Garnish with chopped peanuts or cashews.
Have some Sriracha sauce on hand for added heat.

(a polite way of saying "eat!" in Thai)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cindy's Perfect Paleo Pancakes

I'll admit it. . .I'm a paleo pancake snob.

Life is too short not to enjoy a really delicious stack of pancakes with real maple syrup. While paying proper homage to the brave pioneers of paleo cooking (all the wonderful gluten-, grain-, dairy-, and legume-free chefs out there), I still hadn't found a pancake recipe that wasn't too sweet, too grainy, wouldn't burn too quickly, or wouldn't dissolve onto my spatula in an attempt to flip it. I had my work cut out for me.

But this recipe is fabulous! These little diddies are tender, complex, not-too-sweet, and perfect for paleo sandwich bread as well. The chestnut flour lends a lovely light texture and slight nuttiness to this recipe. You can find chestnut flour at most health food stores now. Fun Fresh Foods brand Gluten Free Italian Chestnut Flour works perfectly.

Cindy's Perfect Paleo Pancakes
5 eggs
1/4 t. vanilla
2 t. maple syrup
2 T. melted coconut oil
1 T. chestnut flour (or coconut flour if you don't have on-hand)
3 T. almond meal
3 T. coconut flour
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Preheat your largest nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until batter is smooth. Using a 2 T. measure (coffee scoop), spoon out the batter into a heated, lightly oiled pan to create a pancake of your perfect size. Once a bubble or two forms on the surface of the pancakes, peek at the underside, and flip each pancake when it's browned to your heart's content. Remove from pan once the second side is just browned.

Enjoy with a side of bacon, berries and maple syrup.
Also fabulous with my Sour Cherry Sauce or a fruit topping.

These keep well in the refrigerator for several days. Just toast or microwave slightly to heat up for best taste and texture.  Use the pancakes for yummy sandwiches, bread, AB&Js (Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwiches), flatbread for dipping in stews, mini flatbreads for appetizers, or hamburger buns.