AIP meals post-partum have taken meat and veggies waaaay back to the basics. But now that I’m on week 4, I figured it’s time to add a little something more than sea salt to my food, at least for a blog recipe. I also need to stop eating from the Whole Foods hot bar 5 times a week. Or do I? Recently they had sweet potato fries that tasted like French toast sticks. Not AIP, not even Paleo because of their crap oils they use (get it together, “Whole” Foods). But it made my brain happy for 10 minutes and that’s all that matters when your day consists of feeding, burping, diapering, and calming a screaming newborn 24/7.
Motherhood is hard. I’ve always hated people who say stay at home moms don’t have real jobs. Their jobs are infinitely harder than any traditional worker I know. They’re on call 24 hours a day, get paid in poop deposits, and never get free company lunch. I totally see why there is a housewife stereotype of popping open a bottle of wine at 4 pm. I’ve been threatening to do it. I even bought a bottle of sauvignon blanc the other day in case I follow through with my threat. I joke with Baby Grace that she doesn’t let me eat, go to the bathroom, work out, or stretch my back which is incredibly sore from breastfeeding no matter what anatomical position I get myself into for comfort. Basically, she doesn’t let me perform self-care besides napping.
She loves to nap and sleep on my chest. It’s our special time together and basically the only time she doesn’t fuss. Other than those little nuances of owning a 4-week-old human, we’ve been really enjoying every single moment with her. Each day brings a teeny little step in development that is so fun to watch. Her newest thing is grabbing anything and everything with her little fist including my dog’s hair. I actually found a tuft of his hair in her clenched fist last night. So cute. She only smiles when she’s gassy but I’m super looking forward to her first social smile. I tell her jokes and make stupid faces to try to pull one out of her but no luck yet.
I haven’t decided if I’ll do a blog post on my delivery yet. If you feel like it would be beneficial please let me know in the comments or via email. I’ve so appreciated all your emails and messages congratulating us on her arrival!
All those tasty Thai flavors without any of the nightshades or soy in this veggie-filled bowl of nutrients!
Thai Beef & Veggie Noodle Bowl
- Thai Sauce:
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- Thai Beef:
- 2 pounds grassfed ground beef, crumbled
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 4 large zucchini, spiralized and cooked using your preferred method to al dente*
- Lime wedges, sliced green onions and cilantro for serving
- For the sauce: Whisk together all ingredients except arrowroot powder. When ready to use, whisk in arrowroot powder with a fork until combinedpan>
- For the beef: In a large deep skillet, cook the ground beef on medium heat until browned and cook through. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon leaving the fat and liquid in the skillet.
- Add onions, mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until onions are softened and mushrooms are tender. Stir in carrots and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add beef back to the pan and combine with the veggies. Lower heat to medium-low and stir in the sauce. Simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve over zucchini noodles with limes, sliced green onions and cilantro (optional) on top.
Making zucchini noodles: I place zucchini noodles in a large microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water, cover with a paper towel, and microwave in 30 seconds intervals, tossing in between. This usually takes between 2 to 3 minutes but will depend on the power of your microwave.
Have you cooked with tamarind paste before? It’s pretty new to me, since I bought it when I was cooking my way through Paleo Takeout (which has an amazing AIP modification guide here) by The Domestic Man. I’m almost a year late to the game on that book, but we share the same publisher, and when I was at his house during our Vegas book tour stop and saw it on his overly impressive bookshelf (aka every Paleo cookbook you wish you owned or probably do), I said “MINE!”. Well I was more tactful than that. We had two weeks of really amazing Pan-Asian meals from Russ’ book, took a mini break, then I realized I had a few tablespoons of tamarind to use up and some sad looking ground turkey in my fridge (plus all of these other ingredients – yay for no shopping).
Tamarind paste comes from the tamarind fruit, which boasts some impressive antioxidant and phytochemicals in it’s ugly little body. It’s a great source of iron, B-vitamins, and vitamin C too, and it adds a really interesting sour-umami flavor to your dishes. I used in it pretty hefty amounts in this recipe to get a puckery yet sweet and balanced sauce for the balls. Which means more vitamins and antioxidants for you, another “Yay!”
Asian-flavor on the autoimmune protocol may sound difficult to achieve or like a real let down, but it doesn’t have to be! There’s several Asian-inspired recipes in The Healing Kitchen such as Teriyaki Chicken & Fried Rice, Chinese Stir-Fried Lettuce, and Speedy Shanghai Stir Fry! You just have to stock your pantry with a few (really, just a few!) staples to create your own Asian flare meals.
My must-have AIP pantry staples for Asian food are:
When you combine the above with flavors like ginger, garlic, green onions, honey, and molasses, you can create these abundantly rich and nutritious sauces to top meatballs, meatloaf, stir-frys of all types, cauliflower rice, and even roasted broccoli or glazed carrots!
This recipe uses turkey thigh but you could try using an equally fatty cut of ground meat like ground pork, a mixtue of ground pork and beef, or ground chicken thigh too.
Sweet & sour Asian-inspired meatballs pair perfectly with cauliflower rice!
Sweet & Sour Thai Turkey Meatballs
- 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro, loosely packed
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 1/4 cup mashed white sweet potato (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 pounds ground turkey thigh
- 1 recipe Sweet & Sour Glaze
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Sweet & Sour Glaze:
- 1/3 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind, aminos, fish sauce, and sea salt until smooth. Stir into the herb and shallot mixture in the large bowl.
- Using your hands, mix the ground turkey with the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Form large 2 ½ tablespoon-sized meatballs with wet hands and place on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 18 minutes and let cool before tossing in the Sweet & Sour Glaze. Serve with lime wedges.
Sweet & Sour Glaze
Combine everything except the arrowroot and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil for 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot and water to make a thin, smooth paste. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the arrowroot mixture immediately until thickened.
If serving entire batch at once, coat the meatballs in the sauce. If only serving a portion of the batch, coat only the portion you'll be eating during that serving with some of the sauce. This prevents the sauce from soaking into the meatballs when stored. Store the sauce separately in the refrigerator and reheat in a saucepan over low heat until pourable when ready to serve again.