thai lamb green wraps

thai lamb green wraps close up

I love lamb*. I was wary of it until I first tried it (maybe because I’ve had a tender spot in my heart for Shari Lewis and Lambchop?) but now I consider it my favorite meat. When cooked for the right amount of time with complimentary spices, it is so tender and flavorful. It satisfies something within me and always leaves me fulfilled, even just from a small portion. *If the idea of lamb turns you off, I have also made these using grass fed beef and replaced the mint leaves with cilantro… bom!

The health benefits of lamb are vast. Lamb is an easily digestible complete source of protein. It is rich in vitamin B12 which plays an essential role in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. B12 helps to produce red blood cells and lowers the levels of homocysteine which in turn, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Lamb also contains easily absorbed amounts zinc, iron, and selenium, all of which produce red blood cells and support the immune system. Additionally, selenium enhances thyroid function, facilitates the activities of various essential enzymes, and has antioxidant properties which promotes liver health and prevents certain cancers. So much good stuff, no wonder why my body LOVES lamb!

Now, do you love lamb?

I call these “green” wraps, meaning rather than using a tortilla, try using greens as an alternative.  As you can see from the picture, I used dinosaur kale which by itself has an abundance of it’s own health benefits. I have also used different varieties of cabbage, collard greens, radicchio, and romaine lettuce leaves. Whatever you prefer to use to wrap it up, go for it!

Thai Lamb Green Wraps
tweaked from a recipe by Wolfgang Puck

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish

4 to 6 medium to large leaves of kale, cabbage, lettuce, or wrapping green of choice
1 pound grass fed ground lamb
¾ cup chopped red onion (about half a medium sized onion)
5 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons coconut or peanut oil
¼ cup port wine or honey
1 medium finely chopped red bell pepper
¾ cup chopped water chestnuts
¼ cup fresh mint leaves

  • Rinse green leaves, trim the tougher bits off the end, and set aside to dry. Sometimes I leave them out of the fridge for a few hours so they wilt or I massage them with a bit of salt to make them more pliable, though it’s not necessary.
  • Mix the lamb with the onion, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, hoisin sauce, salt, and pepper using a fork.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. When super hot, add the coconut or peanut oil, and stir fry the lamb mixture until it is cooked, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the red bell pepper, water chestnuts, and port wine or honey, and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Spoon the mixture into the green wraps and garnish with fresh mint.

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This dish pairs most excellently with my simple spicy sesame green beans as a side dish. Enjoy!

thai lamb green wrap

Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below!

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simple spicy sesame green beans

spicy sesame green beans close up
I love green beans! Growing up eating them exclusively out of a can, when I discovered their fresh flavor, I was forever a convert. I will gladly never eat them out of a can again. So long jolly green bland beans…

Right after Thanksgiving is a great time to score a sweet deal on fresh green beans, also called string beans or French beans if your British (Wait, what?). They’re high in fiber, rich in Vitamin A, and full of antioxidants. They are a delicious snack eaten raw, and they are naturally fat free. Can I get a heck yes?!

This recipe is super easy and fast, makes a fantastic side dish, and the spiciness is a nice departure from the casseroles of recent weeks.

Simple Spicy Sesame Green Beans

Prep time: 3 minutes
Ready in: 12 minutes
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound green string beans
2 medium size cloves chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sesame oil

Rinse and trim the ends of the green beans and steam in a covered pot with 2 inches of water or steamer basket for 8 minutes.

Totally unrelated, check this out for a laugh and a sing along while your beans are steaming:


Jim Henson was a genius! Don’t you think?

Okay, now back to the beans…

After 8 minutes transfer to a heavy skillet over medium heat and quickly add the remaining ingredients in descending order and sauté on high heat for one minute.

Remove from heat and serve.

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spicy sesame green beans serving

Tis the season for green beans and the Muppets. Ode to Joy!

Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below.

spicy coconut pumpkin soup

mmm...
Tis the season for pumpkin! And nasty colds…

There’s no better way to keep your immune system strong than indulging in this spicy soup. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A; Coconut helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, is good for the heart, and assists in proper digestion; Served over a cup of cooked quinoa, this gluten and dairy free *vegan dish offers complete protein.

Ever wondered how to chop an onion and not break down sobbing? Well, here’s the trick – after you cut the ends off and remove the outermost layer, slice it in half on the vertical and rinse it in cold water. Then go about your chop without a teardrop!

I learned another method from the cook I worked with in Italy. She said that if your eyes start to water, hold a piece of bread in your mouth. I’m not sure about the science of this one but it has worked, however not in cases where the tears have been streaming for very long. Do what works for you and if you have your own secret, please do reveal!

Another trick I learned from a friend which changed my world was how to peel ginger using a spoon. Before learning this, I always cut the skin off the ginger which resulted in losing a lot of usable root in the process. Using a spoon, apply just enough pressure to the surface to penetrate the skin and peel it as if it were a sweet potato. So easy!

There is a lot of spice in this recipe, between the serrano peppers, ginger, and the red curry paste, but I promise you it’s not too much – just enough to ignite your inner fire and keep you healthy and warm during the wet or cold months.

Spicy Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes
Serves 4

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small yellow onion (about ½ cup chopped)
2 serrano peppers (about ½ cup sliced)
¼ cup chopped fresh ginger
3 medium cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon salt
2 (15 ounce) cans of pumpkin puree (or make your own)
1 (14 ounce) can of coconut cream or milk
2 cups chicken or *vegetable broth (vegan option)
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen red curry paste
¾ cup chopped cilantro
1 lime

In a heavy large pot, melt the coconut oil then add the onion, peppers, and ginger and sauté over medium-high heat.

After 5 minutes, add the garlic and salt and stir frequently for another 5 minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Turn to medium heat and mix in the coconut cream until it’s smooth.

Add the red curry paste and stir until it dissolves, turning the contents a pink color.

Next, mix in the pumpkin and broth. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, you can make the quinoa and listen to this fun little ditty…

When time’s up, remove from heat and add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, or use a hand blender to liquefy all the ingredients, blending in ½ cup of the cilantro.

Let cool and thicken for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Divide among bowls, adding cooked quinoa if desired, garnish with remaining cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime, and serve.

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Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section below.