Come on…Let’s talk Paleo!
I recently was in New York and I had the pleasure of walking through Brooklyn. For anyone who has ever lived or traveled to New York you most certainly have experienced all of the great shops, restaurants and general commerce that is abundant there. One day I passed this fabulous Chinese take out joint that I met before I actually saw it. The aroma from the take-out filled the street and I knew that I had to stop and pick up some beef and broccoli before I went a step further. I thoroughly enjoyed each bite and I realized it took me back to Friday evenings when my Mom was too tired to cook. She would pick up take-out and bring it home in those signature brown bags tinged with oil in the corners. Gosh I remember it like it was yesterday. Well these days I rarely eat at Chinese or Thai take-out joints. Mostly because of the MSG, rice and lack of traceable nutritional value. These days I prefer to break out the wok and make my own Chinese food.
When it comes to preparing Chinese food, it is all about taking the same Paleo principals that are used to create any meal and use it in your dish. Start by selecting a lean meat and veges of your choice. Remember, the easiest way to transition to a Paleo Lifestyle is to create the same experiences that you enjoy but with healthful ingredients.
As always you have a choice of oils to use when you are stir frying. I often use olive oil but remember that olive oil becomes rancid when it gets too hot which can happen when using a wok. Coconut oil is preferable if you have it because it can be heated at high temperature without altering the oil. Cauliflower has long been established as the best way to “fake” rice so grab a head of cauliflower to use as part of the dish. Simply steam the cauliflower for 15 minutes then transfer it to a cutting board and dice it into fine kernels. At this point you can put it into a bowl until you are ready to add it into your stir fry.
Remember that this is a great way to eat your veges so think about your favorite Chinese take out meal and start from there. I personally love broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, bok choy and I pick all or some of those ingredients depending on what is in the refrigerator. Sometimes I like to make my stir fry a little spicy by adding red pepper flakes but I always use Mrs. Dash and black pepper for seasoning.
As far as lean meats, I love shrimp, lean steak and chicken and I frequently pick or mix from that list. The great thing about stir fry is that you can make many different meals each time yet easily eat Paleo. Lastly don’t be afraid to crack an egg into your stir fry. The egg adds protein and creates a lovely flavor when mixed with cauliflower and veges.
I have a wok which makes stir frying easy but you don’t have to have a wok to create a great meal. A sauté pan will work well but a wok is an easier way to pile in all of your vegetables, meats, and “rice” in one place while getting it nice and hot. So get started and create a stir fry meal tonight. However, be prepared for the aroma to fill your home and your family to ask you when the food will be ready. No problem, just think of your favorite Chinese take out restaurant and in your most respectable Chinese accent respond with “10 minute”.