Paleo Day 4: Turkey Larb Lettuce Wraps

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I know you’re probably reading the word “larb” and thinking that it sounds an awful lot like the word “lard”. I know when I read the recipe titled “Chicken Larb” I was a bit put off by it simply because the word itself is just extremely unattractive. But I went down to the ingredients list and my mouth started watering and I knew I had to make this weird sounding dish! Call it Creepy Angela Food or call it weird Asian stuff, I am telling you now you will not be disappointed with the end result! If you were curious, like me, about what the word “larb” is, according to Wikipedia: Larb is a Lao minced meat salad, and is said to be the national dish of Laos. Often found in Thailand and parts of China.

As you know I am starting this lifestyle change and eating more like our ancestors did a long long time ago. If you are interested in the Paleo Diet, I suggest reading the book The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain, Ph.D. It has some really good information and helps break down the diet and the reason it’s so good for you! I am not as strict as the author and some other Paleo eaters, I am just giving it a go for a month to see how I feel. So far it’s been a week and I have seen a big change in the way I feel. I find that I have more energy and less stomach issues. I also find myself not as hungry all of the time, which has always been unheard of for me! I actually am making myself eat snacks throughout the day even though I am not hungry because I know I need the right amount of nutrition and calories. If you’re interested in changing your life, being healthy and feeling great, I suggest you try this diet out! You can still eat the most delicious meals too!

I am doing something new today on the blog! Here is a little video of the making of this easy and delicious recipe! Get a little Jimi Hendrix in the background and you can’t go wrong!

Let’s get started on some grub.

The original recipe I derived this dish from called for chicken instead of turkey. At my local grocery store they didn’t have ground chicken available, and I love turkey meat anyway so I grabbed a pound of that. I say you can cook with either meat, whatever you prefer.

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Whisk together your lime juice, fish sauce, honey, hot pepper paste, and sriracha sauce. If you can’t find the Gochujang or don’t want to go to an asian market you can sub with some chile paste. It’s always available in the asian aisle at local grocery stores. Taste and add more honey or sriracha to your liking. Set aside.

Place your chicken stock in a deep saucepan and place on medium heat until it starts to simmer. Add your ground meat and stir occasionally until it starts to break apart about 6 minutes. Add your shallots, green onion, carrots, lemongrass, cilantro, chilies, and pepper, stir to heat evenly. Take about 4 minutes for the onion to become translucent and the carrots to get soft. Once your meat is cooked through, take of the heat and strain any excess juices (I just use the saucepan lid over the sink).

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Take your lime-chile sauce and pour in the meat mixture. Stir evenly. Garnish with some cilantro on top. Serve with a slotted spoon and bib or butter lettuce leaves.

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What you’ll need:
2-3 limes, juiced
1/3 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 tbs Gochujang (hot pepper or chili paste)
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock, no msg or preservatives added (or homemade)
1 pound ground chicken or turkey, free range, grass fed
Handfull of carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 of a shallot, minced
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (gourmet garden) 3 tbs minced if using fresh herb
1 tablespoon thinly sliced serrano chile (seeds removed if you want it to be less spicy)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves (save some extra for garnish and top)
1 head of butter or bib lettuce (sometimes called “Living Lettuce”), washed and separated into leaves

This dish has SO much flavor! And it is even better leftover when all of the juices marinate with the ground meat. If you don’t want to stick to Paleo this will also be good with some steamed rice. This will definitely be a repeat dish for me! I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did, and have your P.F. Changs lettuce wrap fix at home!

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Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

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So I had made some random pasta dish over the week and used this awesome black olive fettuccine I had in the pantry, obviously you have to go Mediterranean with this one! I marinated shrimp and tossed the pasta with feta, sun dried tomatoes and black olives. It was pretty darn good! I had all of this left over Mediterranean goodness in my fridge and thought.. what will I make next?? Gyros??.. nah.. meatloaf??.. maybe another time… turkey burgers??.. YES! And there you have what I call a light bulb moment, my very own healthypassions original. It’s always fun to make your own recipe and I loved the way this one turned out. I am happy to share it with all of you and hope you make a successful meal out of it!

This recipe made about 3 large burgers, you can make 4 smaller sized ones or use an extra ½lb of meat to make 4 large burgers. Since my husband is on deployment I am trying to get used to cooking for 1, which still turns out to be enough for 2-3 people, but hey you can’t hate leftovers! These would be great on the grill, I don’t have one currently but if you do I would highly recommend it!

The first thing you want to do is make your tzatziki sauce, you can find that by clicking the direct link given here. This sauce is a definite must with these burgers (although I did try one without the sauce and they are still very good!) Let sit in the fridge for a few hours.

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Next take a large bowl and mix all of your ingredients well. Try not to overmix and I would recommend using your hands to make any kind of burger or meatloaf, etc. It is the best way to mix and to tell if the ingredients are incorporated evenly.

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Once mixed, form into burger patties. This is where you can choose how big or small you want them to be. Just remember they will shrink a little while cooking. They will cook longer the larger they are. Place on a non stick skillet, or grill pan if available. Cook your burgers trying to flip only once (this keeps the juices inside and prevents a dry burger). Mine took about 5-7 minutes on each side. You want to take it off the heat when a meat thermometer reaches 165°. I placed mine on a paper towel to soak up some excess grease.

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If you don’t want to make the Tzatziki sauce (but really, why wouldn’t you?!), these taste great with some avacado and a sweet potato as a side dish! But, you should give the sauce a go, it’s simple and tastes great with the burgers.

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Toast your pita bread, gently open the pocket and cut your burger lengthwise, carefully place your burger in the pocket with some feta cheese, spring mix, and tzatziki sauce. Go ahead and add some avocado on there too if there’s room! Or mash it up and make a spread. Personally, I like avocado with just about everything. Now all that’s left to do is feast on your scrumptious and juicy greek burger!

FYI bragging rights are included with the making of this recipe.

What you’ll need:
1lb ground turkey (1½lbs for 4 large burgers)
½ cup feta cheese crumbles (or in my case a handful)
5-6 sun dried tomatoes, diced(I recommend using the dry kind)
6-8 kalamata black olives, diced, make sure the brand is without pits (I recommend using a jar not a can)
1 tsp of the olive juice
A couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp hamburger seasoning
½ tbsp cajun seasoning (a staple for every burger in my opinion!)
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Spring Mix
Extra Feta to sprinkle on
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

 

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