pork larb

Google
IMG_0952_thumb.jpgLarb is a classic Thai salad made with minced beef, pork or chicken and vegetables, served in a lettuce cup. The combination of flavourings, mint, coriander (cilantro) and lime, is very refreshing. Freshness and flavour – a perfect meal on a hot day.

IMG_0945

Feel free to experiment with the ingredients to suit your taste buds. Adjust the amount of chilli if you like it more or less spicy, or use substitutions if some ingredients are not readily available.

I do it all the time… sometimes I get an idea in my head about what I want to make and if I don’t have all the ingredients on hand I just use whatever I have on hand. Results may vary, but that can be a good thing.  Like the time I was going to make this incredible chicken pasta salad, but I didn’t have a couple of the ingredients so I substituted here and there. The resulting Tiramisu was incredible! As I said, results may vary.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the Larb. I had a Thai Pad Kaprow paste in the fridge that had lemongrass, garlic and chilli so I used that up and adjusted the amounts of those individual seasonings. I also used tubes of lemongrass and fresh chilli paste rather than fresh.

IMG_0944

And of course, you could use beef instead of pork.

IMG_1235

Or chicken.

And leftovers – if there are any – are very tasty cold. And that’s major coming from me. I’m really not a cold leftover sort of girl usually but for this I make an exception.

You will need:

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass (you can get this in jars if fresh is not available).
2 small red Thai chillies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
40g grated fresh ginger
1.4kg pork mince
1 red capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
160ml lime juice
5 shredded kaffir lime leaves (again, I used some from a jar)
2/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
4 spring onions sliced thinly
8 large iceberg lettuce leaves

Heat oil in a large non stick frying pan or wok. Add the lemongrass, chilli, garlic and ginger and stir until the fragrance wafts through your kitchen – about 2 minutes.

IMG_0949

Add the pork and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes. Add the capsicum, and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

IMG_0950

Add the fish sauce and half the lime juice and cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining lime juice, herbs, onion and lime leaves in a small bowl.

Take the pan off the heat and pour over the pre-mixed juice and herbs.

IMG_0951

On each plate, form a bowl by placing two lettuce leaves together.

IMG_0947

Place 1/4 of the larb in each bowl of leaves.

IMG_0952

And you’re done! This is a meal on its own and it’s perfect if you follow a high protein, low carbohydrate regime.

And, as an added bonus, you wont need to call everyone to the table. They have been sitting there waiting for you since the aroma from the kitchen brought them in 10 minutes ago.

Enjoy!

low carb lasagne

By using thinly sliced eggplant and zuchinni you can have lasagne with virtually zero carbs.

300 g Minced lean beef
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 Cup Beef stock (low salt)
1 Large Eggplant
2 Large Zucchini
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp Tomato paste
2 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs, dried
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 Cup Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F

Heat a saucepan and spray with olive oil. Cook garlic and onion until soft. Add the meat, sprinkle with half the Italian Herbs and cook until brown, then stir in the tomatoes.

Add the tomato paste, beef stock, fresh oregano and basil. Season with fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes until the juice has reduced and thickened.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the eggplant and zucchini longways then place on a lined baking tray. Spray lightly with olive oil. Season with the rest of the mixed Italian herbs. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes, turning once. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes.

Grease a small, square oven-proof dish and place the eggplant in it so it completely covers the bottom. Top this with a layer of meat sauce. Next, top with a layer of zucchini slices then again with the meat sauce. Keep layering until sauce is finished and finish with a layer of eggplant. Top with the cheeses.

Place foil over the top of the dish and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes at 200c.

Remove foil and grill for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a large garden salad.