Paleo Ph’o

by Karen Frazier

img_2633The first time I tried ph’o, I knew I’d found something special. It’s possibly my favorite soup of all time (ha! I say that about a lot of soups. I just. Love. Soup!). Anyway – it’s been almost three years without it, and I knew it was time to give it a try. I had some flat iron steaks, and I realized ph’o would be the perfect use of the steak. Jim, who pretty much believes meat should be used as – well, meat – was skeptical. However, I’m happy to say he’s a convert.

The recipe uses fish sauce – and Red Boat fish sauce is both Whole30 approved and paleo. The recipe serves 4 to 6.

Paleo, Whole30 Ph’o

  • Grass-fed beef bones
  • 1 or two onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic bulbs, split lengthwise (tops cut off, but use both the top and the bottom)
  • 3-inch knob of ginger, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 or 3 thai chilies, split lengthwise (it’s up to you – they’re pretty spicy and they add a good bit of heat for how tiny they are. You can remove the seeds to minimize the heat a bit or leave them out altogether)
  • 6 star anise pods (or about a teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice – or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 pounds sirloin steak or flat-iron steak, very thinly sliced against the grain
  • 4 to 6 zucchini, spiralized into noodles using the angel hair blade
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (or Thai basil)
  • Finely chopped thai chilies
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Bean sprouts
  1. In an 8-quart slow cooker, cover the beef bones, halved onion, garlic bulbs, ginger, thai chiles, and star anise pods with cold water. Add the fish sauce, peppercorns, and salt. Cover and cook on low for 12 to 24 hours. Strain into a large pot and discard the solids. Taste and add fish sauce, salt, or Chinese 5 spice as desired to adjust the flavor to your taste.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the beef and cook for one minute. Add the noodles and cook one minute more.
  3. Serve garnished with cilantro, chopped thai chilies, sliced green onions, lime wedges, and bean sprouts.

Next time, I’m adding sauteed shiitakes. Just because.

For faster ph’o, you can simmer your beef bone broth on the stovetop for about four hours.

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Lebanese Garlic Chicken Thighs and Warm Spinach Salad

img_2619by Karen Frazier

I’m on day 22 of my Whole30 30-day challenge, and I’ve been tinkering in the kitchen. Yesterday, I decided to make Lebanese garlic sauce. Today, I decided to spread it on chicken thighs. The result? Delicious!

The recipe is Whole30 approved when you use sugar-free bacon (I like it from US Wellness Meats), as well as paleo and low-carb.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups EVOO
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic cloves and sea salt. Blend, scraping down the sides occasionally, until the garlic cloves make a fine paste.
  2. Add the EVOO in a very thin stream with the food processor still running until it is completely incorporated. This step will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice and pepper. Blend briefly to mix.

This has pretty good kick, but you can taste and adjust by adding more olive oil or lemon juice to suit your own taste buds, which is what I do. Even after I’ve added the lemon juice, I add extra olive oil, just making sure it goes in a thin stream. This will store in your fridge, tightly sealed, for a few weeks. If you prefer a more neutrally flavored oil, you can use another expeller pressed oil, such as avocado oil, or use half avocado oil and half EVOO. I like the California Olive Ranch everyday EVOO, which has a mild flavor.

Lebanese Garlic Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

  • 8 whole chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons Lebanese garlic sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, in a large baking or roasting pan and sprinkle them with the sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Spread each with one tablespoon (or more) of the Lebanese garlic sauce.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

I like to make enough for two meals – my motto is cook once and eat twice. It’s a great time saver.

Warm Spinach Salad

Serves 4

  • 6 slices sugar-free bacon, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  1. In a medium saute pan on medium-high heat, brown the bacon until all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the fat in the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  2. Add the shallot to the fat in the pan along with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute.
  3. Add the orange juice and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, three or four minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach and the bacon. Toss with the warm vinaigrette and serve immediately.

 

Low-Carb, Paleo Hummus

img_2608by Karen Frazier

I love hummus and when I went paleo, it was one of the most difficult things to give up. Fortunately, I came up with a fabulous replacement that tastes just like the real stuff, but is paleo friendly, low-carb, and Whole30 compliant when you serve it with chopped veggies.

  • 1 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Drizzle with EVOO.

 

Crispy Pork Belly and Shiitake Mushrooms on Asian Slaw

IMG_2559.JPGby Karen Frazier

For the new year, I’ve embarked on a Whole30 30-day re-set through my Nia/yoga studio. Although I tend to eat fairly cleanly or suffer the consequences, my habits towards the end of the year slipped a bit, so a Whole30 clean eating re-set is the perfect way to banish some inflammation I know built up over the holidays. For today’s recipe, I use pork belly that I get from Tenderbelly. It’s as delicious as it sounds.

Crispy Pork Belly and Shiitake Mushrooms on Asian Slaw

For the pork and mushrooms

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound pork belly, thinly sliced (about like thick cut bacon-width) and then cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat (or lard or another Whole30 friendly fat)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, quartered

For the slaw

  • 6 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the pork belly:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the pork belly.
  2. In a large skillet (I use a 12-inch cast iron skillet), heat the duck fat on medium-high until it shimmers.
  3. Add the pork belly and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork belly is crisp, about eight minutes.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, and green onions.
  2. In a small glass measuring cup, whisk together the garlic, ginger, cilantro, sea salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, orange, and olive oil until combined. Toss with the slaw.
  3. To assemble, spoon the dressed slaw onto a plate or into a bowl. Top with the shiitake and pork belly. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, if desired.