It’s Saturday as I’m writing this, one thirty in the afternoon and it’s the first time I’ve sat down since I woke up this morning. Weekends are for relaxing (aren’t they? Or do I have that wrong?). My weekends are more work than my weekdays lately. I have two days to clean the house, run errands (grocery shopping), spend time with my toddler (who is a full-time job) and work on Love and Duck Fat.
On Sunday I cook as much as I can to make sure we have healthy, home-cooked meals for the week. This Thai beef lettuce wrap recipe is one of our new favorites.
Gluten-Free, Paleo, Real Food, Organic, Grass-fed…however you want to label them; these beef lettuce wraps are a delicious, healthy recipe to add to your weekday meal lineup. I like to make a double batch of the beef filling and use it for dinner one night, and then use the leftovers in an Asian beef salad the next day.
Beef lettuce wraps are light, flavorful and full of crunchy texture. They are easy to make too. I usually keep a few pounds of grass-fed, organic ground beef in my freezer to pull out for meals later in the week. Ground beef is one of those versatile, affordable staples that make a busy schedule just a little easier.
When life is busy (and a little overwhelming) in times like these, you know what I do? More!
Yep. I committed to working out 20 minutes a day on top of everything else so I can manage my stress and get in better shape. I’m almost through my first week, and it’s hard, but I need to do something for myself–even if a toddler is climbing all over me while I’m trying to do yoga.
It’s a lot to handle, and sometimes I think I should just quit Love and Duck Fat for a while—I mean, why am I here? I’m certainly not getting paid (much beyond expenses) for my time, and blogging takes a LOT of my time. There’s recipe creating, cooking, photographic, photo editing, writing, social media promotion, emails to answer, blog maintenance.
I’m not complaining. After all, I started this blog and I’m very proud of it. I’m compelled to keep doing it—and maybe someday it will lead to something that would make the hours worthwhile in a more monetary sense. That would be nice…to be valued enough for what I do to get paid for it so I don’t have to go to that OTHER job where I feel like what I’m doing could be done by anyone.
Love and Duck Fat is all mine, and that’s why I’m taking the few quiet moments of my day (when my son is napping) to sit here and share this Thai beef lettuce wrap recipe with you. I would love to hear what you think about handling a busy schedule, priorities and blogging. You do you do it? Please share in the comments!
Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry, keeping them whole by cutting the stalk and peeling away the leaves one by one.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and add the chili flakes and ginger. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant but not brown. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Add the beef and sauté beef until nearly cooked. If using Grass-Fed beef it is usually lower in fat and you may not need to drain the grease.
Add the garlic, water chestnuts, mushrooms, soy sauce, fish sauce to the beef mixture. Cook until mixture is lightly browned.
Cut half the lime and squeeze juice over the beef mixture. Slice the remaining lime and use as garnish. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with scallions and serve with lettuce leaves and optional dipping sauce.
Mix all ingredients together and stir until combined. Garnish with scallions.
I am continuing my quest to explore the limits of the deviled egg and this one is the most fun so far! Sushi deviled eggs hit all the right notes for a show-stopping appetizer: delicious, fun-to-eat, elegant and beautiful.
They are easy to make, too. The hardest part about making these sushi deviled eggs is getting those little tobiko eggs (flying fish roe) in the seaweed. You can avoid the hassle altogether by making an indentation in the wasabi-yolk and scooping a mound of tobiko on top. Stick a little piece of seaweed on top and you have an elegant appetizer any expensive restaurant would be happy to serve.
I get my tobiko (also known as tobikko) from a Russian market near downtown Miami called Marky’s Caviar. If you are a serious foodie in Miami searching for an experience; I highly recommend a stop in Marky’s. It’s like going to Disney World. Without rides…and lots of fish eggs.
So maybe it isn’t like Disney World. But if I had a choice of one or the other (money aside), I would probably choose Marky’s.
Marky’s sells tobiko in little glass jars for around $5.00. It’s not expensive, and it comes in all sorts of pretty colors: red, green, black and orange. It’s the same stuff you see on top of sushi. Tobiko is sweet and salty and pops in your mouth. I could seriously eat it by the spoonful.
I suggest serving these with some pickled ginger on the side. They don’t need soy sauce, but you could offer it (or maybe some ponzu) at your next dinner party. I don’t actually have many dinner parties myself nowadays with a toddler underfoot, but if I did, these sushi deviled eggs would be at the top of my must-have appetizer list.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Yield: Makes 16 eggs
Note: I made these green with a sprinkle of matcha tea powder. If you add enough wasabi to make the yolks green, you just may choke from how spicy they are.
Note: If making ahead, boil and peel the eggs. Store them submerged in water in a food container until you are ready to assemble (1-2 days).
Place eggs in a medium saucepan in a single layer. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and enough water to cover eggs completely (the baking soda helps them to peel). Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs or place into an ice bath to cool.
Carefully peel the eggs. Cut them in half lengthwise or crosswise. If you are cutting them crosswise, slice off a tiny slice at the rounded bottom of each egg half so they sit upright.
Scoop or pop out the yolks into a bowl. Mash with a fork until very smooth. Add the mayonnaise, wasabi and vinegar. Season with salt and matcha tea powder (optional). Pipe or spoon the wasabi egg yolk into the egg whites.
With scissors, cut the seaweed sheets into 1/2 inch strips about 2 ½ inches long. Dip your finger in water and wet one end of the strip. Roll into a circle or oval shape and insert into the center of each egg yolk.
Using a very small spoon or chopsticks, fill the seaweed with tobiko caviar. Serve with pickled ginger (optional).
Do you want even more elegant deviled egg recipes? Check out these:
I can’t remember the last time I made a cupcakes or muffins (though I make a few cakes every month), which is why I asked my sister and her husband to submit their recipe for gluten-free pumpkin cake muffins. I have been watching my sister, Amy from afar and am very proud of her. Amy was once a struggling waitress trying to work her way through college while battling weight issues. Now she’s a Nike model and Elite Beachbody fitness coach. As I write this, she is one of the top 20 coaches in the country, making a very good living by inspiring others. Go Amy! To read more about Amy, visit her blog.
So what does Amy eat when she wants something sweet? I was able to pull this yummy recipe from their hands. It’s a delicious gluten free muffin packed with fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon and maple syrup. Made with almond flour and almond butter, these are high in protein. We call them cake muffins because of their light texture and the delicious icing on top, making them a cross between a muffin and a cupcake. Whatever you call them, these are yummy enough — and healthy enough — to eat for breakfast or dessert!
For the muffins:
2 cups Almond Flour
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons maple almond butter (Justin’s)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup GHEE or butter
1/2 cup maple almond butter (or regular almond butter)
4 tablespoons almond milk
1 ½ cups granulated sugar or confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 350° F/180° C and line a muffin tin with cups.
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing.
Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Before icing your muffins, place into the refrigerator to chill.