Tag Archives: massaman

Whole30 Day Twenty Two: Thai’d Up

It is a very good thing that I am in a loving and committed relationship with Thai food as we saw a lot of each other today.

Breakfast: Strawberries, Boiled Egg & Mayonnaise

I’m starting to ask myself why I bought two punnets of strawberries? Strawberries again today.

Lunch: Eating Out – Spice I am – Chilli Basil Beef

I was definately “that person” in my favourite Thai restaurant today, however my waitress and the kitchen kindly helped me select something that had no sugar or soy. Just to be a complete pain in the ass I also had the extra condition of no coconut milk as I would be eating a coconut milk laden curry later and nobody needs that much of the good stuff! All things in moderation and all that.

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I’ve certainly done the menu at this place from top to bottom over the years, but have become entrenched in a few favourites. It was good to try something again that I normally wouldn’t order and really like, and it’s healthy! Huge amount of chilli. Perfection!!

Dinner: Massaman Curry & Cauliflower Rice

This curry is still giving, and I have a truck load of it in the freezer too!

Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin, & Cashew)

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Whole30 Day Twenty One: Magic Beans

Breakfast: Sliced Strawberries & Banana with Shredded Coconut

I couldn’t face eggs this morning, so unfortunately my breakfast lacked any protein. My standard morning bullet proof coffee took care of the healthy fats. All I really felt like this morning was my favorite brand of spiced granola with Greek yogurt. The closest I could get to it without breaking all the rules was the shredded coconut I added to my sliced fruit.

Lunch: Bean Fries

I love making bean fries, actually I think its the eating of bean fries I like, even though I’m not sure I’m allowed them on the Whole30. I think I may have skimmed over a warning that nothing should resemble pancakes or fries. However I don’t remember an explicit prohibition.

Recipe: Bean Fries

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Dinner: Mussaman Curry with Cauliflower Rice

I reheated some mussaman curry from last night and prepared some cauliflower rice using my fail safe method.

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Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

Recipe: Cauliflower “Rice”

Whole30 Day Twenty: Spicing Up a Cold Day

Breakfast: Lamb Chops and Spinach with Aioli

I had some left over chops from last night for breakfast which I paired with steamed spinach. Luckily I also had some roasted garlic lemony aioli left over as well which was fabulous over the spinach. What an amazing breakfast!

Lunch: Boiled Eggs and Butter, Strawberries

Strawberries have been an exorbitant price lately, as high as $8 a punnet. I don’t like spending more than $4 for a large punnet but luckily today I found two punnets for $6 at Coles. It is unfortunate that I am not a massive strawberry fan, as they are one of the lowest carb fruits. I’m not sure why I think they are over rated, perhaps it is because they are either under-ripe when you need them, or over-ripe with mouldy ones on the bottom which have tainted the entire punnet. Maybe it’s because people seem to get so ridiculously excited about them that brings out my inner Debbie Downer. On the other hand it could have something to do with my brief teenage sojourn as a strawberry picker, where I managed to consume more than I put into the buckets, from which I was fired after a particularly awesome strawberry fight (which I totally won!).

Dinner: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin and Cashew)

I normally eat a lot of curries and predominantly Thai curries. My love affair with chillies becomes a marriage made in heaven when paired with the sweet-and-sour-and-saltiness of Thai food. Surprisingly my first curry attempt for the Whole30 was not an eye watering, nose running, brow perspiring spicy choice. Once again the weather has influenced my menu, and it being a cold day, I decided to do a melt in your mouth massaman curry.

I liked the challenges this curry raised. Firstly the meal choice was a decision made on the fly and I was going to need to prepare it quickly if it was going have enough time to simmer slowly for dinner. It was therefore impossible to source all the ingredients in time to make my own paste. I was going to have to cheat. This meant a trip to the local Thai grocery where I needed to find a Whole30 compliant paste. My normal emergency go-to curry pastes (Maesri) unfortunately contain both sugar and soybean oil. In the end, only one brand (Mae Ploy) had neither and fitted the Whole30 rules. Luckily it was one that I have had success with in the past, although it definitely needs some help to reach its full potential.

Secondly, peanuts which are such an integral part to massaman are a delinquent legume known to masquerade as a nut. This was easily resolved by substituting cashew nuts.

Thirdly, potatoes although technically Whole30 complaint, are very high in carbs in a dish already pushing nutritional boundaries. Therefore I decided to substitute pumpkin.

Finally, massaman usually includes sweetness from palm sugar which of course tops the list of Whole30 no-nos. This I hoped could be remedied by the use of the pumpkin, which should bring a little sweetness to the curry. I also decided to use lime juice instead of the traditional tamarind paste as it would have a little less tartness needing to be counterbalanced.

The end result was spectacular.

Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

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Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

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This recipe was born out of a cold winter’s day and the desire to recreate some comfort food which was Whole30, Paleo and low carb. I have varied from tradition by substituting peanuts for cashews in this recipe, and pumpkin for the potatoes. Not only is pumpkin lower in carbohydrates than the traditional potatoes used in this dish, but it also helps to overcome the omission of sugar by partly dissolving into the curry and adding a natural rich sweetness to the finished dish. I’ve also chosen to use lime juice instead of the traditional tamarind paste or concentrate as it is slightly sweeter and provides less of a sour note to counterbalance.

Ingredients

(Serves 8)

  • 2 tablespoons (40mls) coconut oil
  • 1kg shin, gravy beef or chuck steak, trimmed and cut into medium sized chunks
  •  2 cups coconut cream
  •  3 tablespoons (60mls) massaman curry paste (see related recipe)
  •  1 cup coconut milk
  •  1 ½ cups good quality chicken stock
  •  1 cinnamon stick
  •  3 Star Anise
  •  3 bay leaves
  •  ½ tsp ground cardamom or 6 cardamom pods lightly crushed (see note)
  •   1 tablespoon (20 mls) lime juice
  •  1 tablespoon (20 mls) fish sauce
  •  1/2 cup roasted cashews
  •  600 gms peeled and pumpkin cut into medium sized pieces*

Method

In two batches, heat half of oil a large saucepan or casserole pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned all over. Remove beef and liquids to a bowl, and repeat with remaining oil and beef.

Add 3 tablespoons from the top of the coconut cream (do not shake) and cook until hot and bubbling, approximately 30 seconds. Add curry paste and cook stirring for 1 minute or until aromatic. If the paste will not loosen add a little more coconut milk, but account for the cooling down of the paste by cooking slightly longer.

Return beef and juices to pan. Add remaining coconut cream, coconut milk, stock, cinnamon stick, star anise, bay leaves, cardamom, lime juice, and fish sauce. Stir to combine.

Bring to near boil (do not boil). Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for 1 ½ hours. Add cashews and pumpkin. Stir to combine. Cook until the beef is tender and the pumpkin is very soft and starting to fall apart approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir a few times to break up some of the pumpkin so that it dissolves into the sauce. This will sweeten and thicken the sauce.

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Tips

*600 grams of peeled pumpkin is approximately 1kg of whole pumpkin.

In Australia I find the Ayam brand of coconut milk and cream is the only one I have found which does not have nasty additives as it is made from 100% coconut kernel.

I used the Mae Ploy brand of curry paste as it does not have sugar or soybean oil.

This freezes exceptionally well and tastes better the next day reheated.

Nutritional information is available here.

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