Monday, February 27, 2012

Work & Travel While Desperately Seeking Paleo Foods

Malai Kitchen, Midtown Dallas
Determination:the process of something typically by calculation or research. 

First & foremost always travel with a plan. When we lived in Mexico if travel plans weren't in place, wild adventures could occur! It is not so different here in the states. On a personal note there is also less self recrimination when you planned for something if it doesn't work out. I for one try and attempt some self restraint & sticking to a schedule, a diet or plan of some type.  Second, if things don't work out then go to Plan B & Carry  On.  (ie: Get back into the swing & keep plowing ahead.)  I had to travel to Dallas last week for work. While traveling with a fellow Crossfit/paleo eating co-worker we thought we would keep each other on track.  We actually did help each other out in many aspects.  It always helps to have someone in your corner who understands why you don't want bread, dairy, rice is a grain, etc..... The first night in Dallas I met two friends I hadn't seen since living in Monterrey, N.L.  We dined at a wonderful Asian restaurant Malai Kitchen in Midtown Dallas. The restaurant is a fusion of Thai & Vietnamese cuisines with several variations similar to other Asian  cuisines. Finding Paleo eats was no problem there and my friend was a dedicated vegetarian of many years therefore; she too had great choices.  The staff was great at accommodating all of our  different dietary needs.  With a menu full vegetable & protein choices it worked for each of us. I had a wonderful Tom Yum Gung with Black Tiger Shrimp which was sheer heaven. There was an eggplant house appetizer which was so good I am still trying to find a recipe for it. 
 The first morning of our trip however was another story entirely.  We are always fed very well at these events so we assumed that breakfast was served  at our destination the first morning. Seriously don't ever assume when it comes to food & travel.  Take control of specific food requirements. After a few days of semi off the grid eating & drinking I was glad to get back into the swing of things at home. Poor food choices on the road make me more determined to eat healthy & plan better the next time around.

Leftover meat, egg & veggies make a quick meal.
This past weekend I was determined to cook our Paleo foods & feel great (*Did I mention I managed to sit next to 2 folks fighting the late Winter Flu in a stuffy conference room the entire trip?) With throbbing head, scratchy throat & my packs of Emergen-C, I carried on.  Wanting to cook, yet spare shoppers my germs;  I sent Mister Tx2Mx to the store for a couple of essentials. One of the dishes I made was reminiscent of the Korean meals a friend of mine used to make in South Florida.  The use of protein & eggs in Korean food is incredible. I always admired her way of cooking  eggs crepe thin & then slicing it up into delicate bits adding such flavor to the meals. I am a very long way from her skill set however I did try & replicate Bi Bim Bap. The very name is meant to imply leftovers or mixed with rice/rice noodles however the Paleo version certainly doesn't rely on rice or noddles. I opted out of rice & doubled up on the veggies. The efforts yielded a very nice protein packed meal using leftover venison loin, cooked egg along with  multiple vegetables. Cooking the dish in a stainless wok made the process super fast. If I'd had a bowl of this for breakfast in the Big D, I'd have been one happy camper.  Next time Plan B may include where to find the Korean food trailer & will certainly include a return visit to Malai Kitchen.

A bowl of  Paleo Bi Bim Bap is a quick fix for dinner.

Paleo Bi Bim Bap

8 oz. Sliced Leftover meat: tenderloin, roast, steak, chicken, etc.
Egg, I used 1 egg
8- 10 oz. of each Vegetable; I used Carrots, Chard, Cabbage & Bell Peppers
Korean Spicy Sauce or chili flakes to taste
1 tsp. garlic
rice vinegar or lemon juice to taste
coconut or grapeseed oil (with a splash of sesame oil for good measure)
dash of sea salt
sesame seeds
Cucumber sliced or grated; used for garnish
*Kimchi is often served with this dish

Slice up all veggies, meats & then scramble egg. Coat the wok or skillet with as few tablespoons of oil as you need, a well seasoned wok won't require much. Cook egg(s) quickly over med high heat, turning to coat the bottom of the wok or skillet. Slice the egg into thin strips & cover to keep warm while preparing the rest of the meat & vegetables. Quickly cook vegetables & garlic adding in the more dense vegetables first to cook them a little longer & finally ending with the chard or leafy vegetables & then adding the meat which is pre-cooked & only needs to be reheated with the rest of the dish. Toss in dash of salt & sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place this in serving dish with eggs over top of meats & vegetables then garnish cucumber and Korean Spicy Sauce* Kimchi or Siracha Sauce. This dish can be expanded easily to accomplish feeding many with very few ingredients. Multiplying the egg or veggies can expand this meal quite easily. There are so many versions of this dish, be creative & add what you have on hand.  This recipe yields 2 large adult portions for more just multiply ingredients. 

*For true Korean Kimchi check at the local Asian Market
**Korean Spicy Sauce can be easily made at home:
5 Tbsp Kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
Mix all ingredients thinning out with water if it is too thick, store remaining sauce in refrigerator.


Angie's Recipes said...

That's something completely new to me. I am really intrigued with the combination of flavours.

Dee said...

Angie, this dish in a Korean restaurant might look very different. It seems there are as many varieties of this recipe as there are possible ingredients. I have no doubt in Germany you could have some great choices of fabulous veggies & meats at your markets.