You can paleo-ize anything. But sometimes it requires a lot of quotation marks. On tonight’s menu: Thai spicy “peanut” “noodles” (one of my favorite dishes), and fried zucchini fritters with an onion-chili “jam”—paleo style.
There are a lot of substitutes for pasta in the paleo world. Cauliflower stands in nicely for rice, and spaghetti squash is a great substitute for—you guessed it—spaghetti. And now I’ve found a substitute for rice noodles. Low calorie, and super low carb, enter: KELP NOODLES!
While they certainly can be heated, they come ready to eat, which made this recipe even easier.
2 12 oz. packages of kelp noodles
1 small chicken breast (optional; I just wanted to add some more protein to the dish)
3 carrots, grated
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
4 green onions, sliced (or snipped—I like to use scissors)
a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
3/4 c. almond butter
1/4 c. cashews (they mimic the texture of peanuts better than almonds)
6 T. + 2 T. rice vinegar
6 T. tamari sauce
2 T. + 1 t. agave
1 T. sesame oil
1/4 c. water
one 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove
2 t. crushed red pepper
curry powder, coriander, ground ginger
olive oil for sauteeing
Cut chicken breast into very small pieces (about 1/2 inch, square) and sautee in oil with curry powder, coriander and ground ginger.
Combine carrots, celery and cilantro in a bowl with 2 T. vinegar and 1 t. agave.
Combine almond butter, tamari, 6 T. of vinegar, water, 2 T. agave, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper and sesame oil in food processor and blend. Add cashews and blend again, but leave small pieces. Mix sauce with noodles, carrot/celery mixture, chicken, and green onions and stir to combine. Voila! This might even be better than the traditional version because it feels so much lighter—like a salad!
Moving on to the fritters with jam. Jam first:
2 large onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 hot peppers (I used jalapenos because that’s what I had, but this would be prettier using red chilies)
2 T. agave
2.5 T. olive oil
Heat olive oil until hot. Add onions and garlic and turn heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool onion mixture, then transfer to food processor. Add hot peppers and agave and pulse until smooth. Return to pan over medium heat and cook for about 10-15 more minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid evaporates, making a jammy texture.
On to the fritters!
3 1/2 c. of zucchini, grated (this is 2 large to 4-5 small zucchini)
2/3 c. hard cheese, grated (Parmesan, pecorino romano, asiago)
2 eggs, beaten
4 T. almond flour
salt and ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying
Drain zucchini by pressing between dish towels. (This is very important. Do it 2 or 3 times—zucchini hold a lot of excess water.) Mix together with cheese, eggs, and almond flour and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover bottom of a skillet (I like cast iron for this) with oil and heat over medium heat. The oil should be hot, but not smoking. Form fritters by rolling approximate 2 T. of zucchini mixture into a ball and then flattening. Fry for 2-4 minutes per side and serve warm with onion-chili jam. (You guys—these are REALLY delicious together. REALLY.)