Paleo Manila Crack Clams

 

Ingredients
Manila Clams, 3 pounds
Fresh thai red chili pepeprs, 3 -6 stems minced  (mild to spicy)
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Shallots, 1 minced
Garlic, 4-5 cloves minced
Ginger, 2 cut medium slices
Lemongrass, 4 pieces pounded
Lime juice, of 2 to 3 limes (1/2 cup)
Light coconut Milk, 1 can
Palm Sugar, ¼ cup
Bacon, 4 slices chopped
Red Boat fish sauce, 3 tablespoons

Process
CLEANING & SPITTING CLAMS
For this recipe I recommend using live manila clams. You either buy them from the seafood section of your grocery store or fish market or you fish for them. Either way, you should plan to prepare them right away once you are home. In a large prep bowl, immerse your clams in cold water. Allow them to sit in cold water for about 20 minutes to an hour depending on how dirty they are. This time is called “spitting” as the clams are literally spitting out the dirt and debris. After the spitting time is over, use a kitchen scrub to clean the exterior of the shells. Transfer the clean clams into another bowl. Set aside.
PREP YOUR INGREDIENTS
As your clams are spitting, prepare all your ingredients as indicated. Preheat your large pan over medium heat.
BACON & AROMATICS
The first things you want to cook are your bacon, garlic and shallots. Place a tablespoon of ghee, butter, or coconut oil into the center of the pan until it melts. Add the ingredients and pan fry over medium high heat until the bacon crisps and renders fat and the garlic and aromatics start to infuse the room with its yummy scent. Set aside in a separate bowl once desired crisp is attained, usually about 5-7 minutes.
CRACK SAUCE
In that same large pan, add your coconut milk and your pounded lemon grass sticks. Let the oils from the lemon grass infuse with the coconut milk for about 3 minutes. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and the palm sugar. Stir the sauce as you cook melting the palm sugar. You’re looking to reduce the sauce and have a thicker consistency. Add the red thai chili peppers. Cook until thick. This should take about another 5-7 minutes. Once the sauce starts to caramelize in color, add the clams into the pan making sure that they cover only 1 layer. Do not pile up the mussels on top of each  other.
POPPING  & WATCHING
This is the fun part. Just sit back and watch the clams pop open one by one. If the clams do not open, toss them from the pan this indicates that they’re dead and not good to eat.
SERVING
Once all the clams have opened, you can turn your heat off. Serve immediately. Eat immediately. Enjoy with a beer, frites or toasted French baguettes. Oh my! Sooo delicious.

Maui Macadamia Salmon

I wanted to name this like Maui Wawi because the flavor profile reminds of the Sweet Maui Onion chips. This is a VERY easy recipe and it is great since a lot of people run out of ideas with what to do with their salmon. Am I right? Or, you have people intimidated to even buy salmon because they are afraid that they might waste it or ruin it. Well, I have a new menu item for you! You will need…

mauisalmon-5

 

INGREDIENTS

2 large salmon steaks. – Buy the ones that are thick and cut down vertically. Not salmon fillets.
1 egg
1/4 cup dried red onion flakes
1/2 cup raw macadamias – chopped
1 green onion finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar. OR if you are omitting sugars this time, you can ignore this ingredient
1-2 tsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

PROCESS

mauisalmon-2

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line your baking sheet with coconut oil

Cut the salmon steak fillets in half, down the boney spine. Feel for pointy fish bones through the surface of the salmon steak. Pick them out with a kitchen tweezer. (Not the ones you use for your eyebrows, ladies)

Add a pinch of salt and white pepper on both surfaces of the steak

Lay the steaks with skin side up on the baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes.

Add chopped macadamias, green onions, dried red onions, coconut palm sugar*, salt and white pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Crack your egg and add only your egg white. Set yolk aside.

mauisalmon-9

Mix together the ingredients in the bowl.

Once your salmon finishes its initial bake time of 5 minutes. Take them out of the oven.

Break the yolk and brush a layer of the sticky yellow yolk on the skin of the salmon.

Add the crust on top of the salmon steaks. Be as generous as you wish.

mauisalmon-10

Bake for another 5 minutes. DO NOT OVER-BAKE THE SALMON. You will cry.

And that is it! Enjoy with leafy greens! Hope you enjoy :]

mauisalmon-13

Vietnamese Inspired Shrimp & Pork Spring Rolls

My cooking style is being influenced by the most yummy way. Now that I live back in Orange County (Garden Grove, specifically.) my choice of cooking has been inspired and pulled into different directions of Asian. Vietnamese food has always been one of my favorites as I frequent the pho restaurants or occasionally crave a freshly made banh xeo.

springrolls-2-2
Having close resources available to me like vietnamese super markets has decreased my grocery bill notably! Vegetables that are considered rare, hard-to-find, or Asian in regular chain grocery stores like Ralph’s or Von’s are now available to me at a considerably lower price. This is great because I don’t need to drive over to my closest Whole Foods to find like asian basil (I love you but sometimes you’re too pricey) or drive even farther to get to my closest 99 Ranch Market. Moving back to Orange County has been beneficial in so many ways.

 

 

springrolls-3-2
This recipe I am about to share with you is one of my ultimate FAVORITES. These spring rolls are my go-to recipe for meal prep. The rolls are light, made with fresh vegetables, easy to eat, and you can add any type of protein to it. The rice paper wrapper are made with non-gmo rice and is naturally gluten free. Now the reason why I even started trying to make this myself is I have a growing addiction to nem nuong. Nem nuong is a vietnamese pork sausage spring roll made with fresh mint, lettuce, a fried wonton wrapper and sweet pork sausage patty. It is so dang addicting! Especially with the fresh, sweet, spicy, and limey fish sauce, you are sure to consume like 10 rolls in one sitting! The only thing holding me back from eating 10 rolls in one sitting is the price. For 3-4 skinny rolls at Brodards, one can spend over $6. If you knew what nem nuong was really made out of (inexpensive veggies and pork patty) you’d also say to yourself “DANG! I can make this myself for the fraction of the price!” And that is exactly what I am going to show you how to do.

 

 springrolls-13
My version is a lot more fresh. If you have a traditional nem nuong recipe you’ll notice that it requires a ton of sugar. I mean its great and it gives the pork its addictive flavor but if you’re trying to cut down on sugar like I am, you would want to stick with lighter ingredients. Also, feel free to add any medley of vegetables you desire. These are just example of my favorites. You will need…

 

springrolls-6
INGREDIENTS

 

1 pack of Three Ladies Brand Rice Paper wrapper.
1 head of red leaf lettuce – washed and seperated
3 romaine lettuces – washed and separated
1/2 head red cabbage – julienned
1 bunch of green onion – root tips off, sliced in half
1 large cucumber – washed, peeled, cut into long 3 inch strips
1 lb of cooked shrimp – headless, skinned, deveined, cooked
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch tio to leaves (sweet asian basil. These are purple on one side and green on the other)
1 to 1.5 cup pickled carrots and daikon or you can buy it for about $1 for a small 12 oz package from the asian grocery store
1 pack of pork floss (For strict paleo eaters, forget I even added this.)
1 large bowl filled with warm water
1 large plate or flat surface to roll

PROCESS

springrolls-1-2

  1. MISE EN PLACE

 

Set up your mis en place of red leaf lettuce, romain lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, cooked shrimp, separated mint leaves, tio to leaves, pickled carrots, and pork floss.

 

  1. PREPARE THE RICE PAPER
Carefully take one sheet of rice paper and dip it into the bowl of warm water. Turn the rice paper so that way every inch of it touches the warm water. Your goal is to soften the paper so that it is malleable and like a thin, sticky sheet. Carefully and skillfully lay it on top of your flat surface. I used a large plate

 

springrolls-2

  1. LAY ON THE INGREDIENTS
Just a heads up, I LOVE the herby flavor the mint and basil give; it is quintessentially vietnamese and it is what gives these rolls its memorable essence. Start off with 1 red lettuce folded in half. You want to keep these ingredients centered about 2/4 of the center section giving 1/4 of the width of the rice paper on each side. Next add 1 leaf of the romaine lettuce folded in half too. This will give the roll a backbone because of its thicker leaf. Add about 3 pieces of cooked shrimp,  about 6 strands of red cabbage, 2 long pieces of green onion, 1 to 2 slices of cucumber, 2-3 month leaves, 1-2 basil leaves, and finally a pinch or two of the pork floss. You’re going to want to add the pickled daikon and carrots in the roll or leave it to eat with the rolls as you are taking a bite, like a condiment. What ever works for you! If your rolls are too thick or you are a rice paper roller padawan, you might want to start with just one lettuce leaf.

 

springrolls-3

  1. ROLL OUT! (I am a “BOTTOM-UP” Roller. Neat!)
Now that you have all your ingredients centered in a neat pile, you are going to carefully fold the bottom side of the rice paper over the pile with your thumbs and then carefully tuck the pile of fresh ingredients in with your fingers into a tighter pile into toward the bottom of the paper.

 

Tighten the roll by using your fingers on top of the roll and move them closer to your body. You want tightly kept rolls and enough paper to use to fold over the surface of the roll.

 

Fold and tuck the left and right sides of the roll on to the pile as tightly as you can as well. Be careful not to manipulate the rice paper to coarsely. These are very thin when wet and extremely sensitive to edges of vegetables.

 

Finally, finish rolling upward toward the top of the rice paper.

 

If you’re a beginner you’ll probably have a very thick roll. Like an overside tootsie roll. You may also have a bunch of holes in your roll. Never fear! Just pop them into your mouth and pretend they never even existed. :]

springrolls-14

Keep practicing! Don’t fret if you can’t get it right. One simple way to ease yourself into a Master Jedi rice paper roller is to start off with less ingredients. Again, this recipe is not the original skinny nem nuong recipe, these rolls are thick and FILLED to its fullest potential of healthy greens! Enjoy the process and the product. Let me know below on the comments section if you have any questions! ENJOY!

3 Ways Meal Prepping Will Enhance My 2015 Goals

Resolutions are for hopeless romantics. Still, we all get that same feeling of refresh every first day of January. As if the combination of seeing “01/01” in our calendars defines our ultimate starting point. We already know this should not be the case if we want to take our own goals seriously. Yet we all get starry-eyed during that limbo week between Christmas and the ball drop. It is when we look back to our previous 360+ days and think forward of what could become of the next set of 365 days. We all have different starting points, plans and different obstacles that will test us this year. However we all have about the same goals: be happier, save more money, be healthier, lose weight, have more time to spend on what makes us happy, have more time to execute our dreams and passions.

RTP-TC-RECIPE_1-FINALS-10

 

This year, I’m focusing on one task. Why? Because I think if I master this one task, the way will be paved for my other goals. Now before I start, I want to go ahead and release this out into the universe. My other personal goals for this year are:
  1. Monetize from my food blog
  2. See abs by my birthday month
  3. Save more money to travel
  4. Save more money to buy myself a new car in December (I need it)
  5. Travel to Croatia in August
  6. Learn how to speak Portuguese by Rio Olympics in 2016.
My ONE task that will help with these goals is simply to meal prep every week. Meal prepping will help me save more time, money, and creative thought energy. I’m not saying cooking at home will have a direct correlation to being able to travel to Croatia or that eating out of tupperware will bless me with the ability to speak Portugese,  but it will definitely open up the doorway of opportunity wider than if I won’t meal prep. Let me explain…

 

RTP-TC-RECIPE_1-FINALS-6

 

MEAL PREP WILL SAVE ME MORE TIME
Meal prep means I can have more time throughout the week. (And more time for sleep or more time for fun things in life.) If I take the time to cook my eggs and cut my fruit in the morning, every morning during the work week I will either be 1. Late for work, 2. Wake up earlier than I already do, 3. Lazy to even eat my healthy meal. Let’s say if it takes me 10 minutes to boil my eggs and 5 minutes to chop fruits for a single serving of a protein smoothie and another 5-10 minutes to cook bacon and prepare avocado, I will probably need to wake up about 30 minutes earlier than I already do. Those are make-or-break minutes too. If I take just 1 hour every Sunday to prep my vegetables for my smoothie packs, hard boiled eggs, and avocados for 4-5 days of the week, I’ll save myself 30 minutes each day, or 2.5 hours of my work week. Compare that to 45 minutes to 1 hour on a Sunday. More importantly, the quality of my life will increase because I will have more time sleeping or working out before work. I’ll have more time for better activities like meditation in the morning, which will then launch my day into a more positive trajectory. Or I can spend that 30 minutes every morning practicing a new language. Having more time to do what I want versus what I need will have a positive ripple effect into my every day. My energy for thinking won’t be wasted on such a menial thought like “what can I eat this morning (that’s healthy)?” This brings me to my next topic…

 

RTP-TC-RECIPE_2-FINALS-17

 

MEAL PREP WILL SAVE MY CREATIVE ENERGY
Meal prepping will leave me with more mental energy for creative thinking and will decrease my chances of eating poorly at the end of the day. Sounds far fetched, but it is not. Mental energy depletes as the day goes by with each decision made. Meaning, you have more energy in the beginning of the day than at the end of your day to think. Decision making is exhausting! If I take up energy to figure out what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every single day of the work week I will likely choose poorly for lunch and dinner because my energy for thinking things through will be depleted. Meal prepping makes the task of thinking about breakfast more automatic. The decisions have already been made for you and all you need to do is reach in the fridge for that tupperware of food.
If I don’t have enough mental energy to think about consuming a healthy meal I will most likely eat something fast or something that will cost me about $15 a plate at a healthier diner. For instance,the choice of grabbing that juicy looking hamburger from the closest Carl’s Jr. will win my cardswipe for dinner over grabbing a salad. Expensive salad or cheap delicious burger? I’m screwed both ways. This leads me to point three…
RTP-TC-RECIPE_04-FINALS-15

 

MEAL PREP WILL SAVE ME MONEY
Meal prep will help me save money. (Thus, more cash for Croatia!)
Here’s an example I come across often: For breakfast-on-the-go I like to have 4 boiled eggs, 16 oz of Synergy Kombucha with Chia seeds, and almonds. When I am running late and did not meal prep the day before I run to the local Ralph’s grocery store right across the street from my work. It is convenient and I already know where to go to get my breakfast. Total price for my purchase: $8.94 (No tax).

 

  • Almark Food’s Hard Boiled Eggs (pack of 6 eggs) $2.99
  • Synergy Raspberry Kombucha with Chia Seeds $3.99
  • Planters Smoked Almonds 1.5 ounces $1.96
So that’s almost $10 a day for a LIGHT BREAKFAST. If I did that for 5 days because lets say I did not know how to boil my own eggs, I would spend about $50.00/week just on my breakfast snacks alone.
Let’s take a look at how much it would cost me to meal prep this:
  • Eggs: 1 pack of Large dozen eggs at Trader Joes $1.69 / dozen
    • Yields 2 breakfasts servings
    • Cost for 5 days: $4.23
  • Chia seed pack: 5.9 ounces $4.99 / pack
    • Yields about 12 16 ounce homemade chia drinks
    • Cost for 5 days: About $2.10 if I use just 16 oz water and 0.5 oz (1 tbsp) chia seeds (I don’t really care for kombucha anyway.)
  • Raw almonds: $5.99 / 16 ounces
    • Yields about 10 1.5 ounces
    • Cost for 5 days: About $2.80
So that is a total of $9.13 PER WEEK for my BREAKFAST. WOW. Compare that to almost $10 per DAY! Do you get me now? Meal prep will help me cut the fat off my grocery bill and transfer more cash into my Croatia trip or Audi R8 piggy bank (le sigh…)

 

Imagine if we took this “eating out” pattern to the next level. A healthy lunch will cost me about $9.00. Multiply that by 5 days and I would spend an extra $45.00 on top of my $50.00 per week breakfast. And for dinner? I’m looking at $75 per week if I buy a $15 meal every night. Grand total per week is $170. Plus gas to get to a healthy restaurant. Plus drive time… on the 405. Hailz nah! Its just not worth it! It is funny because before I meal prepped, I would look at my bank statements and say “Where did all my money go?” it all went to eating out for dinner and random trips to Ralph’s or 7Eleven. Terrible.

 

So there you have it. Now I know from personal experience that I can act too gung-ho about reaching my goals. We all know or have shyly lived through this first hand too: the burn out phase that creeps about the last week of january and into February. We have all gone through it. Why? Because we bite off more than we can chew. We announce our dreams without practicing it into our daily lives. Execution runs cold because we think no one is watching. I have many goals this year but I am going to perfect and focus on this one practice because I know it will have a ripple effect out to all the other aspects of my life. Meal prepping will launch my 2015 into the right direction with a bit of consistency and a sprinkle of faith. The challenge of staying on track will intimidate me but in the end it will all be worth the effort in more ways than one.

Calamansi Honey Pepper Chicken Skewers

Ready to prep for #MealprepMonday? I actually don’t prep on Monday but Sunday instead. That is because I start work that day and once I do I am ready to go! This is a simple recipe I made last week. It was a part of my fridge clearance and I included a spicy red cabbage slaw to go with the skewers.

kabobschicken-5
INGREDIENTS
16 – 20 4-inch wood skewers
2 Large chicken breast pieces, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Red bell pepper
1 Pack of white mushrooms, cut down the middle
2 Cups of tea (I used Arizona tea. Yea the one in the jug. This isn’t exactly paleo but I needed a quick marinade base better than coke. You can obviously change this to what you have.)
2 tablespoons of honey
Juice of 4 calamansis. Calamanses. Calamansisses. Aw fudge…
Flavor God’s Everything Seasoning.
1 tbsp cracked pepper + Pepper mill (freshly cracked works best, obvi.)
PROCESS – CHICKEN SKEWERS
MAKING THE MARINADE
Add the tea, honey, calamansi, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk until the honey is thoroughly diluted. Set aside.
SKEWER THE CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM
Since the sticks are shorter, I used about 2 pieces of chicken sandwiched with 2 mushrooms. Then I topped it with a red bell pepper. Add your skewers in a large ziplock bag. I was able to skewer 20 sticks so you may want to divide it into two bags. Carefully pour the marinade into the bags. Set aside in the fridge for about 2 hours.

BAKE
Preheat your oven to 375. Add foil lining to a baking sheet and set aside.  Take your marinaded chicken skewers and place them on your lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a generous amount of Flavorgod’s Everything Seasoning and add a final sprinkle of cracked pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until your chicken breasts pieces are thoroughly cooked through.
kabobschicken-1
PROCESS – SPICY RED CABBAGE SLAW
  1. Julienne half a head of spicy red cabbage. Set aside in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix with a whisk 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp liquid coconut aminos, 1 tsp coconut palm sugar, 2 finely sliced chives, 1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds. Pour into bowl of cabbage. Divide into meal prep containers. I was able to have 4 for my meal prep.
kabobschicken-4
Place about 3 to 4 skewers on top of your red cabbage slaw. This recipe is great for a light but filling lunch. Take it and GO! you’re set for lunch all under $4 each serving.

kabobschicken-7

Massive Rubbish Frittata

13-inches across, in fact. This thing is massive. Although the size is intimidating, it is easy to prepare. All you need is a fridge full of odds and ends of your almost-wilted vegetables. We all have those right?

massfrittata-5

What inspires me the most is seeing an array of untouched vegetables in the grocery store. I see a beautiful broccoli head and think “I can make so much with this!”. What is discerning is after about 7 to 10 days, you no longer have any more inspiration or interest in using this old, boring broccoli head to its fullest potential. You’ve given up and you soon decide that the best way to get rid of it is – exactly that – toss it to the trash. NO! Don’t waste food anymore. I beg you. 2015 should be about fresh starts but if you’re going to waste your vegetables because you were too gung-ho about eating healthy but couldn’t stick to cooking everything, then shame on you. Wasting half a broccoli head here and brown bananas there add up in the long run.


 

Luckily, there are solutions to saving your odds, ends and overstock. For instance if you have over-ripe fruits like bananas (they brown like a ticking time bomb don’t they?), peaches or pears, you can quickly chop them into small pieces and divide them up into baggies to freeze for your morning ritual juice (New blog post to expect).

Butter and herb cubes are being popularized because they help save your wilting herbs. We make such a big fuss about having fresh herbs. We buy in bulk as it comes, yet we only use a sprig, leaf or a few stems.

You can also toss vegetables into a large bakeable good like this frittata I am about to show you. The reason why this recipe is so great is because of the size. It took me about 5 days to finish this bad boy. I even asked my roommates to take some to work. Frittatas are an excellent food because you only really need one extra ingredient: eggs. I bought a 25-pack at my grocery store and I used 20 small eggs to fill a 13-inch CAKE PAN! LOL! Whoops! Oh well… Anyway, here you go! Don’t forget to prepare your tummy while you prepare your odds and ends.

massfrittata-12

INGREDIENTS

20 small eggs
1 cup pea sprouts (left over from my banh xeo recipe)
1/2 cup red onion slices (left over from my cod and basil thai curry recipe)
1 cup diced red bell peppers  (left over from my Bison Bombs recipe)
1 large zucchini, sliced diagonally
1/2 eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise and then in coins
3 green onions
3 Apple chicken sausages from breakfast

1 13 inch cake baking pan
1 large mixing bowl
1 large whisk
coconut oil or ghee

PROCESS

1. WHISK THE EGGS

Break all 20 eggs into a large mixing bowl. I used my electric mixer because I was lazy and Cobalt needed some love. Whisk until you do not see anymore whole yolks. Takes about 1 to 2 minutes on high.

2. ADD THE VEGETABLES AND SAUSAGES

Add the chopped up “rubbish” of vegetables and mix into the eggs . Use a spatula to press down any air bubbles to help ensure that there are no air gaps hiding between the leaves. Mix until there is an even distribution of the vegetables

 

massfrittata-7

3. POUR INTO THE CAKE PAN

Cut a circle out parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the edge of the cake pan with coconut oil or ghee. Pour the mixing bowl of your frittata batter into the cake pan. Bake for 90 or until the middle is no longer jiggly. Patience, grasshopper. Don’t reopen the oven because you were too excited to see the finished product. This frittata can feed a family but it needs time to cook.


 

4. ADD DECORATIVE TOP LAYER

With the zucchini and eggplant slices, cover the top with a single layer. Decorate it as you please. If you’re into some sort of Fibonacci sequence, go for it. If you’re into stained glass window art, please feel free to express. This is your time to shine. lol.

 

massfrittata-9

4. SERVE

Once your 90 minutes are up and you no longer see the jiggle in the middle (or hint of raw) take the cake pan out of the oven and cool for about 10 minutes. Use a plastic knife to loosen the edge of the frittata off the pan. Carefully using a medium plate, use your dominant hand to cover the top of the pan. Then with a careful fluid motion flip over the cake pan so that way you are “catching” the frittata into your dominant hand. Lay the frittata on a serving platter. Cut into slices – any size you wish!

massfrittata-19

Enjoy this as a meal prep. One slice is enough to keep me full during the first part of my shift in the hospital – and I can’t say that with a lot of my packed breakfasts. It is hearty, handy, and its not bad cold if you’re into cold breakfasts. It is packed with protein and fibers so it will satiate your morning energy demands without leaving you with an empty tank. Let me know what you think with your comments down below! Enjoy!

massfrittata-26

Gluten Free Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Style Crepes)

There is a place near where I live now thats known for their vietnamese food. Primarily for their nem nuong (pork spring rolls) and their number 2 item: Banh Xeo. Right now I want to showcase their number two item because frankly I am just addicted to it. As I pay for the bill and exit out the doors of this restaurant I leave a bit mad at myself for spending money on a dish I know I could make at home. Enter this awesome recipe. It is a bit altered from the one on Food and Wine because I did not have dried mung beans. In the end, the flavor is all there and I am so glad I can say that this is a pretty easy recipe. The hardest part was shelling and deveining the shrimp and the prep work of the vegetables. Serious. Why pay over $10 for one crepe when you can have 3 for the same price at home?

banhxeopaleo-5

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup mung bean flour
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups tapioca flour
4 cups of water
2 teaspoons of turmeric
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt
Coconut oil
3/4 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 lb medium shrimp – shelled, deveined and halved lengthwise
Bean sprouts
Pea sprouts
Red leaf lettuce
Mint leaves
Pickled carrots or radish

 

PROCESS

banhxeopaleo-1

1. MIXING THE CREPE BATTER
In a large bowl, mix your mung bean flour and coconut milk. Whisk until incorporated. Add your tapioca flour and water and whisk as well. Add the turmeric, scallions, and about two pinches of salt. Set aside. The consistency should be thin and runny.

banhxeopaleo-4

3. COOKING THE PORK AND SHRIMP
In a medium sized skillet over medium high flame, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add a few pieces of pork and about 3 pieces of shrimp. Cook for about 1 minute. With a measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup of the runny yellowish batter into the skillet and tilt it to swirl and maneuver the batter to cover the bottom. Reduce the flame to medium low. The most enjoyable crepes are the crunchiest, in my opinion. You want to leave the crepe on the skillet until it crisps but does not burn.
4. COMPLETING THE CREPE
Once you have your desired crisp texture, add the bean sprouts and the pea sprouts. With your spatula and a bit of finesse, gently fold the crepe in half. Place on top of serving ware

 

5. MIS EN PLACE OF SIDES
Prepare your table of the fixings by separating each clean lettuce leaf, washing the mint leaves, and separating the pickled carrots into a small bowl.

 

 

6. EATING THE DAMN THANG
So if you have not had banh xeo before or if you’re not blessed with a Vietnamese bestie like I am, never fear, I am going to explain to you how to eat this thing. First you are going to take one lettuce leaf and hold it in your non-dominant hand or place it on your plate if you’re trying to show good manners. Next, tear off a third of your crepe and make sure you have some shrimp and pork on there. Add the bean sprouts that slipped out of the crepe while you tore it off. Yes. There you go. Now, add 1-3 pieces of mint and a small chopstick pick of the pickled carrots. Wrap the lettuce leaf around the crepe like you were about to eat a taco. Then, dip the asian taco into the sauce. Manners don’t count right now. And bam! Stick it in your mouth. Chew and enjoy the wonderful texture of the crepe, flavors of the shrimp and pork and the freshness of the greens and mint. This is why I love bang xeo its just the right amount of texture, flavor and freshness. Addicting! Enjoy!
banhxeopaleo-9

Cod & Basil Thai Curry

This dish is perfect for the busy woman who needs a quick dinner, or who needs a one-pot wonder for the week’s meal prep, or for a busy mom who is craving thai food but does not need to spend the money to feed the whole family.

I got the idea for this dish from my visit to Thai Dishes in Los Angeles. I fell in love with this fried catfish in curry plate but I wanted to make it more “healthy” of course. The ingredients listed here cost about $20 in total. So however you are dividing it up, it comes out to about $4 per delicious serving! Enjoy!photo

Ingredients

  • TJ’s thai Yellow Curry Sauce
  • TJ’s Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 package TJ’s Frozen Cod pieces
  • 1 package raw peas
  • 1 package baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp sesame/vegetable oil
  • 1-3 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 to 1 package of TJ’s fresh basil
Process
Add cooking oil into large pot and bring to medium heat. Add garlic and full basil leaves. Stir leaves until they start to soften. Add full can of light coconut milk and yellow curry sauce bottle. Add red pepper flakes and fish sauce. Stir until you get to a medium simmer. Once the curry starts simmering, add the pieces of cod pieces using tongs to decrease the amount of extra fluid into the pot. Carefully lay the pieces on top of the curry and then cover the pot with the lid. You are going to let it cook with the hot curry and the steam. Leave the lid close for about 3 minutes or until the fish pieces have cooked thoroughly white and flakey. Next, add the carrots and leave the lid on for another 3 minutes. Then add the peas and leave in for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally. Serve with rice and serve it immediately for the perfect hearty seafood supper!

Bison Bombs with Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeños and Bell Peppers

This is such a dude’s recipe…

When I started making this recipe, I had this image of dainty and cute cheese-stuffed meatballs in my mind.  After about the sous vide part of the experiment I realized that I created a monster. These meatballs are generously sized. I can eat about 2-3 and feel full.

Sous vide technique is so new and exciting to me thanks to Nomiku! I’m enjoying the discovery of the kitchen water bath. For this recipe, I can see how it elevated the texture of the bison.  If one were to simply bake the meatballs or attempt to pan sear them, you would get tough meatballs. Bison is a little bit more lean than most red meat so that is exactly what you DON’T want – super dry bites of meat.  After trying the two-bite wonder, I realized that the water bath kept the balls juicy (twss) and flavorful.

Ingredients for 10 bison bombs

1 lb ground bison (I got my package from Trader Joe’s)
Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese (From Trader Joe’s as well)
1 tbsp Flavor God Spicy Everything seasoning (
1 large Jalapeño (use serrano or habanero for a twist)
1 tbsp ghee
1 egg
1/2 c almond flour or tapioca flour

1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/4 onion
BBQ Sauce

Appliances and tools

Nomiku immersion circulator. Preheating your water at 67C.
Digital kitchen scale
Plastic wrap
Large gallon-sized freezer bags

Process

Preparing the bison meat. Take the ground bison and add it into a mixing bowl. Add almond flour, egg and Flavorgod seasoning and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Preparing the cheddar cubes. Cut the cheddar block into 1cm cubes. When I measured out the block it turned out to be .30g of cheese. Set aside.

 

Rolling the Bombs. Measure out 60g of the bison meat. Take the .30g block of cheddar and insert it into the palmful of bison meat. Start forming the bison around the cheddar cube with your fingers (like you’re 5 and playing with play-doh) and be meticulous about any “cracks”. These cracks will be the Achilles heel to your bombs during the cooking portion if you don’t get them in the beginning. Set aside on a plate.

bisonbombs-1-3

Once you have rolled all your bombs, take some plastic wrap and wrap each bison ball into individual balls. This part is probably the most tedious but it keeps the shape of the bombs together. I don’t have a plastic bag sealer so this method worked for me. After you wrap each ball individually, you can place them in the gallon freezer bag and then immerse the bag in the water bath while its unzipped. As the bag is immersed, pressure will squeeze out the remaining air, so don’t worry about sucking or pushing the out before dipping it into the warm bath.

Sous vide for 40 minutes. You’ll notice the bombs will start to lighten in color.

bisonbombs-1-2

After they are done with the water bath, take the bags out and unwrap the bison bombs. Set aside on a paper towel to dab off extra moisture. Feel free to do a taste test here.

Take ghee and add it to a frying pan. Once the ghee is ready, pan sear the meatballs until their edge has a slight crust. The goal here is to add a bit of texture and flavor.  Serve immediately with the Jalapeño & Pepper BBQ Salsa. When you’re prepping this for a party, you want to serve this right away or keep it in a warm oven if making in batches.

bisonbombs-6

 

bisonbombs-1

Making the Jalapeño & Pepper BBQ salsa

Chop your peppers and onion into small pieces. Slice your jalapeño in half the long way and scoop the seeds out. Chop into small bits as well. Mix about 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite paleo-friendly, or gluten free BBQ sauce. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Presentation and More

Serve with a dollop of sour creme, a shake of Tabasco and add the BBQ Salsa. Serve with a fork and napkin. It is sooo good! Enjoy!

RECIPE – Stuffed Persimmons

“It’s like Thanksgiving blew up in my mouth.”

I really have no words for an intro here.  It is one of those “you have got to try it to believe it”. If you do, you’ll find yourself enjoying the flavor BOMB of fall goodies. Trust me on this one, guys!

 

Fallstuffedpers-1

Ingredients (Makes 5 stuffed persimmons)
  • 5 medium persimmons ripe but firm
  • 1 raw turkey breast
  • 1 twig of rosemary
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp Flavorgod Everything Seasoning
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix (I took the majority of the cranberries out for flavor balance)
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Process
  1. Prepare the turkey. Chop turkey breast into small half-bite size (a little larger than 1cm cubed). Add 1 tbsp OMGHEE ghee, 1 tbsp Flavorgod Everything seasoning. Of course, you can be liberal about the amount of seasoning and ghee. Mix until pieces are evenly coated which takes about ten turns of the spoon. Set aside

    Fallstuffedpers-3

  2. Using a pearing knife, carefully make a cut into the top 1/3 of the persimmon at a 45 degree angle as you are trying to core the persimmon from the top. After you cut the “top off” you can then cut a circle cut around the inner edge of the persimmon. The goal is to loosen the inside of the persimmon. Use a spoon to start spooning out the insides. If your persimmon is just perfectly ripened this process will be easy. If it is still firm, feel free to use the knife to help cut through. Set the cored persimmon cups aside

    Fallstuffedpers-6

  3. On your preheated medium pan, melt another 1 tbsp ghee. Add the turkey bits and stir until all pieces have turned white. You don’t want to over-cook the turkey as the meat hardens as it overcooks.
  4. Add the Omega Trek Mix and two spoonfuls of the persimmon “guts” into the pan. Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated into another. Add more salt, rosemary, and black pepper to your desire. The goal is to have a savory, sweet, salty, and peppery rosemary combo that reminds you of Thanksgiving. If pilgrims start showing up at your door, you know you’re doing the right thing. Once the turkey pieces are fully cooked, sprinkle your toasted pine nuts into the turkey mix. Set aside.
  5. Using a spoon, carefully spoon mounds of the turkey nut mix into the hollow persimmon cups. Plate as desired.

    Fallstuffedpers-29 Fallstuffedpers-18

Tips and More
I realized that this recipe, once I tasted it, could double as a great turkey stuffing. Just triple the ingredients, and add 2-3 cups of breadcrumbs or bread cubes, drizzle with melted ghee or olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
You can also bake the stuffed persimmons for 15 minutes under 350 degrees for a softer and warmer finish. Slap on the turkey gravy when you have it.
Enjoy!