Healthy Moo Shu Stir Fry

Moo Shu Stir Fry

Usually, I enjoy riding my bike to work. As you pull around a corner and head down a hill, there's no better word than freedom. Do you remember biking around the block as a kid? Just free to roll? Why leave those moments to the kids? When it's Friday afternoon, and you roll out of the office parking lot, the wind in your face, you'll know what I mean. 

I'm writing this post because a few weeks ago I took a spill that landed me face first on the pavement. The asphalt ripped through my (brand new) down coat, my gloves, and scraped up my arms. My helmet saved my head, my sunglasses saved my face -- thank goodness (not to sound all "mom" on you, buuuut Wear your helmet!!). 

Moo Shu Stir Fry

A lot of people offered me a ride home that day, and I almost took someone up on it when, after getting so many offers, I started to wonder if maybe I shouldn't ride home. The lazy little voice inside of me liked the sound of a warm car, and someone else at the wheel. The more I thought about it, the more my apprehension grew, until my lazy voice was coupled with my what-if voice, and suddenly I could hear nothing in my mind but whispers of "Warm caaaar..." "Nice and safe...." "Warm car....." "Don't you fall agaaaaain".

Here's the thing: they offered me a ride because I was flustered, and they care. And that was really nice. But what no one can know, unless they can hear your thoughts, is the power of getting up and starting again. When I was a gymnast, this was the golden rule: if you fall, you get right back and try again. Otherwise, that what-if voice will only gain power and become a tyrant you can't ignore.

Moo Shu Stir Fry

At first, I rode terribly slow and cautiously. My eyes analyzed every bit of pavement in front of me: Is that the rock I hit? Oh! don't hit that rock. Go way over there, away from that sand pit.

And then, anxious to get through a green light before it turned red, I cautiously peddled a little faster. After a few blocks, I realized I was free again -- all of that negative energy leaving my body with each exhale. It's just my bike. I know how to bike. I love to bike. 

And hey, on the bright side, that crash motivated me to finally get a massage I've desperately been wanting. (Thanks, whiplash!) 

When you fall, get right back up. Find glory in that freedom. And then, find something delicious to eat -- something like this moo shu. 😉

Moo Shu Stir Fry

Healthy Moo Shu Stir Fry

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |   

I serve this Moo Shu-inspired dish straight up. Most Moo Shu is served rolled in flat bread, but I enjoy just eating it straight!

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

    Pork:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1 x 1/4-inch strips (ask your butcher to do it for you!)
  • Stir Fry:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix the first three ingredients for the pork in a shallow pyrex or ziplock bag. Place the pork in the marinade, and either close the ziplock or cover the pyrex. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours.
  2. When ready to prepare the stir fry, remove the pork from the fridge and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once oil sizzles, add the pork the pan. Cook on pork pieces on one side for 5 minutes, stir and flip on the other side until the pork is cooked through. Remove pork from pan.
  3. Heat the additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, and mushrooms to the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and the bean sprouts. Stir, and cook for 3 more minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add to the pan, and use a wooden spoon to stir the eggs occasionally, just enough to scramble the eggs.
  5. Add the pork back to the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Drizzle the sauce into the pan, and stir everything until it was well coated. Cook everything for 5 more minutes.

Easy Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

For hours I would lay there, moving only to make room for the cat on the couch. Finally, my dad would pass through the living room and say something about "time to go to...". I would slip on my flip flops without even thinking of putting down my book, and following him out the garage. It's a wonder I never fell down the steps, but reading while walking became a practiced skill of mine. 

Some days I envy that little girl. She could be swept off her feet and transported to a new place so easily. To her, books weren't just stories, and stories weren't just words on paper. No-- stories were playgrounds for the imagination and books were travel destinations. 

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

Of all of the stores at the mall, the book store was my favorite -- I never had much interest in shopping. But I could spend hours picking out a new book. Judging a book by its cover was never a habit I kicked (now I do it with wine labels!) but I was so easily pleased by any book, it really didn't matter. 

I try hard to be equally enamored by books today. I wish I was so easily whisked away by a novel. But then, sometimes it doesn't feel good enough to read novels anymore. When you're grown up, you're supposed to read factual books, educational books, books about real life. It's no wonder laying on the couch for hours on end with a book in my face no longer sounds attractive. I'd rather read about exotic travels, delicious curries, and mysterious faces. 

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

But! I'm not giving up hope, not yet. I'm starting a list right now of books I want to read, books to give my imagination a little vacation. Aannnd, I'm looking for recommendations! What books did you recently fall in love with? 

On my reading list right now: 

  1. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.  Right now only the first book of the series is on my list, because that's all my mid-twenties-sized attention span can imagine right now. 
  2. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd.
  3. The Stories of Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende. It seems like I should have read this by now. I mean, my undergraduate studies focused on Spanish. I spent an entire semester in Isabel's stopping grounds! And I still haven't read this? Uh, yes I feel like a slacker. 
  4. Go Set a Watchman, by Haper Lee. The truth? This book is sitting on my night stand, underneath The Stories of Eva Luna, and I feel I must read it since it stare me in the face every night when I go to bed. 
  5. And --eek! forgive me for this one-- The Royal Wedding, by Meg Cabot. I was obsessed with everything princess related when I was a little girl, and read the entire Princess Diaries series. When I read that Cabot had an "adult installment" to her Princess Diaries series, I felt obligated to give it a shot. 

Right now I'm reading both Emma by Jane Austen, and Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon. I suppose reading two books at once isn't really helping me get wrapped up in the story, now is it? 

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

Easy Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Simple sweet potato and chicken in a spicy, coconut curry sauce.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 24-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on taste
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Dice the onion, and mince the garlic, ginger, and serrano chile. Add them to the oil once hot, and sauté until onions are transparent.
  2. Add the chicken to the pan, and sear on one side for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over, and sear on other side for 10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (the juices should run clear). Remove the chicken from pan and set on a plate to cool for a moment.
  3. Dice the sweet potato, and add it to the pan. Add the canned tomatoes, and place lid on pan.
  4. Now, using a serrated knife, dice the chicken. Once it all dices, add it back to the pan with the tomato and sweet potatoes. Add all of the spices to the sauce (with the cayenne, start small — you can always add more), and the coconut milk. Stir to combine, and bring to a low simmer. Place lid back on.
  5. Cook for 10 more minutes, or until sweet potatoes are cooked through (time will vary depending on size of sweet potato cubes). Once they are tender, serve curry hot, sprinkled with cilantro.

Fully Loaded Guacamole

Fully Loaded Guac

A few months ago I took a trip to Chicago. I'm usually a mountain girl, but there is one good thing about big cities: the food! We managed to eat at lot of good food over the course of two days, but the stand-out meal of the trip was happy hour at Xoco. Sort of like the little sister restaurant of Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill, Xoco is a quick serve hot spot that serves contemporary Mexican dishes. 

About 20% of the menu is dedicated to chocolate so of course I felt at home! 😉Actually, I didn't try any of the chocolatey items, though I would if I went back. Instead, I got the Ginger Pear Mezcal Margarita 😍and a bowl of "Fully Dressed" Guacamole. 

Fully Loaded Guac

That trip was over 2 months ago and I'm still thinking about it, so clearly, it was a game changer. I came home, and started loading up my guac with all sorts of treats, inspired by that meal. Now I'll never go back. So what all goes in this bowl? Well, guac. But don't stop there! Pile on fresh tomatoes, cilantro, toasted pepitas, crispy bacon, roasted shishito peppers, and green onions. Cheese fan? Don't hold back. Add that too. 

This weekend, when you're sitting there thinking, What should I bring to the neighbor's Super Bowl watching party? You'll have your answer. Just grab some avocados, break out the bag of plantain chips, and let your creativity go wild. Make a big BIG bowl of this fully loaded guacamole. 

Fully Loaded Guac
Fully Loaded Guac

You'll get a bonus play if you do! Because leftover fully loaded guac over eggs makes for one delicious breakfast. 

My favorite paleo dippers: plantain chips, pork rinds, cucumber slices, and roasted mushroom caps (stuff them with guac and serve them on a pretty plate!).

Fully Loaded Guac

Fully Loaded Guacamole

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Guac get’s all dressed up.

Serves: 6   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado (large)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 of a small red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash cayenne
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
  • Toppings:
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 slices bacon, fully cooked and chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 shishito peppers, roasted and diced
  • To serve: plantain chips, pork rinds, and/or sliced cucumber

Directions:

  1. Peal garlic cloves and pulse in a food processor util well minced. Add the onion and jalapeño, and pulse until minced. Next, add the cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne,and paprika. Pulse until cilantro is minced.
  2. Cut the avocado into cubes and add it to the food processor with the lime juice. Pulse until only a few avocado chunks remain. Use a spatula to scoop into a serving bowl.
  3. Finally, top bowl with diced toppings. Serve with plantain chips, pork rinds, and/or cucumber slices.