Nothing signals Christmas Eve like a night at the movies and Chinese food...if you are a Jewish New Yorker, that is. Who can resist a good flick and quality family time bonding over egg rolls and vegetable lo mein? While the ritual is full of fun, tasty food and good fortune cookie fortunes, it is also full of toxic food additives like MSG and soybean oil. In order to preserve both my health and this not-so-sacred tradition, I decided to come up with my own spin on Chinese takeout, minus the metabolic offenders.
Did you know that soy sauce is made with wheat and contains gluten? Many dishes like sesame chicken, are coated in white flour, deep fried and then tossed with soy sauce and sugar. MSG is another food additive that makes dishes taste good but is also a known carcinogen, excitotoxin and endocrine disruptor. That means it can cause cancer, mess with your brain chemistry and alter your hormones. Not good. Here is a recipe for beef short ribs adapted from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook. Whether you celebrate the holidays with a Feast of the Seven Fishes, a bûche de Noël, a sliced ham or a poo poo platter, we wish you a Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!!
4-5 lbs bone-in grassfed beef short ribs
1 pear - peeled and cored
1 Tbs fresh ginger - peeled
4 garlic cloves
½ medium onion (red or white)
¼ C fresh cilantro
¼ C gluten-free tamari (regular or low sodium)
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce - Red Boat brand is gluten-free
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ green cabbage - sliced thinly
Preheat broiler on high and place the plain ribs under the broiler for 5 minutes on each side and place in the slow cooker.
In a blender or food processor, puree the pear, ginger, garlic, onions, cilantro, tamari, rice vinegar and fish sauce. Pour evenly over the ribs in the slow cooker.
Add the chicken broth, cover and cook on high for 6 hours.
Add the shredded green cabbage to the slow cooker and submerge the cabbage into the liquid as much as possible. Cover and cook for another hour (total cook time is 7 hours).
Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro before serving.
Leftovers Tip: separate the meat from the bones and make coconut wraps the next day with avocados and crunchy lettuce!
Try to use non-GMO and organic products whenever possible. Enjoy!