Primal Thai Beef Recipe


I got an email a couple of weeks ago entitled “too good to pass”. Many years ago my brother taught me how to scalp bonuses from online casinos and I still get a lot of residual junk mail (it’s not so easy to do this anymore, by the way so I almost skipped over this email assuming it was referring to a sign-on bonus. Good thing I didn’t because it turned out to be a delicious recipe from a reader named Molly. She and her husband have been eating primal for about a year and make this dish nearly every week. I was immediately captivated by the unconventional use of ground beef in an Asian-inspired recipe which, let’s face it, is just a lot easier than chilling and thinly slicing flank steak or some other such thing. The beef and vegetables are surrounded in a delicious slightly sweet and slightly spicy almond butter sauce. If you’ve already got all the Asian ingredients around, this recipe will make a good addition to your repertoire. If not, it may be worth a trip to the store as it makes for an easy, tasty weeknight meal.

In other news, we are getting ready for Halloween. I’m still getting used to doing Halloween every year again. Sometime around 13 years of age I got my first of many menial food service jobs. My initial foray was at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Back then Dunkin Donuts had a long coffee counter where regulars hung out and we had to wear hideous brown, orange, and pink thigh-length smocks with matching visors. Even though I got sent home early my first day on the job for consistently making inaccurate change, they kept me around until I moved up in the world by landing a choice cashier job at a local bookstore. I think the onset of regular employment marked the end of trick-or-treating. Once you are actually able to afford the bags of candy from the supermarket yourself, the trick-or-treat excitement dies away. I mostly ignored Halloween from that point on until a few years ago when I realized my children were going to be trick-or-treating soon. Now it’s a really big deal, on par I’d say with Easter or Thanksgiving (not quite at the level of the big “C”. They are both going as werewolves although there is still time for last-minute mind changes. I offered to go with them as the victim, perhaps with a prosthetic bloody stump or a fake neck gash but they just looked at me with big sad eyes and said softly, “Please, mom, no”. Oops.

Primal Thai Beef

Reader Molly noted that you can eat this wrapped in lettuce or just as-is, depending on your preference. I opted for the lettuce but ate the leftovers without. Delicious both ways.

The beef and vegetable mixture:
1 lb ground beef
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced (I used half of one and half of another
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 small red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

The sauce:
3 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
teaspoon crushed red pepper

For sprinkling on top:
cup cilantro
2 green onions, sliced

12 romaine lettuce leaves (optional

Brown the beef in a large skillet. When the beef is about halfway done, add the vegetables and cook until beef is cooked through and peppers are tender-crisp.

Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

When the beef mixture is done cooking, add in the sauce and mix together. Spoon onto romaine lettuce leaves or eat as is.

Serves 4

10 Responses to “Primal Thai Beef Recipe”

  1. I make a similar ground beef “Thai” dish from Jo Robinson’s Pasture Perfect cookbook (without the almond butter, carrots, or peppers though I have added them for color and variety), but I serve it as a meal salad tossed with shredded cabbage. The warm spiced beef mixture slightly wilts the cabbage. It’s even better for breakfast or lunch the next day, warmed just enough to take the chill off and melt the beef fat. Mmmmm.

    I was a teen worker, too, but I was really into Halloween into my 30s because I just loved making costumes. As a teenager I often was hired to take little ones trick or treating early, then I went out with friends later. My son just turned 12 and is going trick-or-treating sans costume this year (so he says now) and wants to go with his friends without parent chaparones. Last year another mom and I trailed him and his friends to make sure the boys said thank you and didn’t trample front gardens. This year I think it’s time to stay home to answer the door instead of leaving a bowl out.

    I have a hard time giving out candy now. I usually buy those individual snack packs of nuts & raisins from Trader Joe’s. I might do small chocolate bars this year, but I draw the line at chocolate candy.

  2. Alta says:

    This sounds delicious! I occasionally make a version of lettuce wraps (ground pork though, instead of ground beef) but you’ve made me realize that I need to make them more often. Husband loves them! As for halloween, I can’t recall the last time I dressed up. I was an adult, but it was likely when I was working sales positions in a credit union where we routinely dressed up based on sales themes. When you’re in costumes for a lot of the year, halloween loses its appeal. Our kids also are always with their mom on Halloween, so no trick-or-treating. I haven’t handed out anything in years either, because like Againstthegrain above, I have a hard time wiht the candy thing.

  3. Chris Sturdy says:

    I was just thinking that I needed a Thai recipe to try on my own (i.e., without any store bought pastes which, admittedly, are very handy). This is perfect and I only need to restock a couple of items to try it out! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Matt Johnson says:

    I made this tonight. It was wonderful. A definate addition to my mealplans..

  5. Larry says:

    Yo nice blog.

    Just so that you are aware. Thai beef salad, the ones served in restaurants typically have ground roasted uncooked rice in it (my Mother is a thai chef). Not a whole lot but still there is some there. If someone is really strict on primal/paleo they may want to know this.

    I’m usually just trying not to make eye contact with the Phad Thai so a few ounces of ground roasted rice don’t bother me none.

    Nice blog btw.//Larry

  6. Julie says:

    Yum! Made this tonight with beef cut into cubes (that was what I had on hand) and it was delish! Definitely will be making it again.

  7. We tried this one last night…it was delicious. Please ‘keep them coming. Between you and Mark Sisson’s Cookbook we’ve got a great menu of yummy primal meals. Thanks!

  8. Britttttt says:

    This is one of the best primal recipes I have made. We used turkey the first time and beef the next 2 times… but turkey was the winner in my book! Such an easy recipe and makes for excellent leftovers! Bring on some more of your recipes girl… I can’t get enough!!

  9. Dana Zia says:

    Hey girl. Where are you?? Love your blog and miss your fantastic recipes. Just checking in.
    Cavewoman Cafe

  10. Tracy says:

    Mmmmmm. Looks like I’ll be making this for dinner since I have all of the ingredients on hand 🙂


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