There are a lot of myths and non-truths about the Paleo way of eating. Among them:
- It’s all meat (nope, if you’re doing it right, you’re eating a LOT of veggies, probably more than the average vegetarian)
- It’s super strict and I’ll never be able to eat ___ and ___ again. (not really, it’s more of a template. You’ll probably find that some foods make you feel great and others make you feel meh. Eat the ones that make you feel great! No one diet works for everyone. Find what works for you- you’re like a snowflake!)
- It’s way too time consuming. (nope, and Melissa Joulwan has a whole new book on why this is a big, fat nope nope nope)
If you know Mel’s previous books, Well Fed and Well Fed 2, you should be very excited right now. Because her third book is Well Fed Weeknights, Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less. So the bad news is, you’re going to have to stop using the “too time consuming” excuse. The good news? You now have 128 crazy-flavorful meals that you can make in under an hour! And in true Melissa Joulwan fashion, the book is also full of truly helpful cookup tips, variations, plus lots of great info about how to Paleo and how to feel like a pro in your kitchen.
The toughest obstacle of the Paleo diet you will now face is which recipe to cook first!
Mel was kind enough to let me share one of her new recipes here on the blog, and I chose Moo-Shu Stir-Fry. Well really I chose about 30 recipes and couldn’t decide; but since I’m always looking for new ways to cook up ground meat and LOVE Moo Shu, this sounded like a great choice!
And: The rockstar herself will be in San Francisco Signing books on November 7th! I know I’ll be in the crowd in full fan girl mode, and hope to see you there! (Omnivore Books from 6:30-7:30!)
Moo Shu Stir-Fry
Moo shu pork was my “usual” for Chinese take-out until I became a paleo devotee. Well Fed 2 includes a recipe for this dish that’s truer to the original and, therefore, takes far more time. This version is its equal, but uses ground pork and skips the marinating step to expedite the whole process. Moo shu is most fun when it’s served family style so everyone can roll their own wraps, but you could also serve it in bowls on a bed of cauliflower rice.
Total time: 25–30 minutes
Tools: pint-size Mason jar, stick blender
1 ounce dried, shredded wood ear (Chinese black) mushrooms
1⁄2 medium head green cabbage
1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 heads fresh butter or Boston lettuce
1 1⁄2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 cloves garlic
1⁄4 cup coconut aminos
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medjool date or dried fig
1⁄2 cup coconut aminos
1⁄4 cup sunflower seed butter
4 teaspoons unseasoned rice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Prep. Place the wood ear mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside to rehydrate. Get the veggies ready for the speed round of the stir-fry: thinly slice the cabbage and scallions. Drain the bamboo shoots.
Start the pork. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Crumble the pork into the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it is just pink, about 3 minutes. While it cooks, make the sauce.
Make the sauce. Smash and peel the garlic and place it in a pint-size Mason jar. Remove the pit from the date and drop the date into the jar, then add the coconut aminos, sun ower seed butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot sauce, and black pepper. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth; set aside.
Finish the pork. Add the arrowroot powder to the pork and stir to combine. Peel and crush the garlic; add it to the pan with the coconut aminos and sesame oil. Stir to combine and continue cooking until the liquid is mostly evaporated and the meat is cooked through, 5–7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a large bowl.
Cook the veggies. Place the oil in the same skillet you used for the pork and reheat it over medium-high, 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and shiitake mushrooms to the pan and toss with two wooden spoons until the cabbage has wilted, 1–2 minutes. Drain the wood ear mushrooms and add them to the skillet along with the bamboo shoots and scallions; toss to combine. Return the pork to the skillet with any accumulated juices and stir-fry until heated through, 1–2 minutes.
Serve family style with a platter of butter lettuce leaves, a big bowl of moo shu, and the hoisin sauce for drizzling.
YOU KNOW HOW YOU COULD DO THAT?
Add eggs: After cooking the meat, beat and fry 4 eggs and add to the meat in the bowl—or replace the ground pork with ground beef or chicken or whole shrimp. If you made Cauliflower Rice during a Cookup, this is an excellent deployment.
Make the hoisin sauce, stir-fry the pork, and cut up the raw veggies in advance; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, cook the veggies and follow the instructions for the final stir-fry.
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