Sesame Korean Beef Bowl

So after recovering from the blogathon that was the Sugar-Detox Challenge, I am finally back again with new recipes! This rainbow of a meal is light and fresh, but filling. My favorite part has got to be the caramelized beef. It's sweet and savory thanks to tons of fresh ginger, pressed garlic, a splash of soy sauce and a touch of coconut sugar (more on that below). I spoon this meat mixture into a bowl of crisp lettuce along with a little rice, crunchy red cabbage, sweet carrots and yellow bell pepper. Just top it all off with some sesame seeds and Sriracha and you have yourself a pretty kick-ass salad.  
The health rundown:
  • Protein: Beef is very high in protein (building muscles) and good source of iron (transporting oxygen to brain and body). Regrettably, beef is high in fat and cholesterol so eat it in moderation, like in this salad, and opt for the lean version (90-95% fat free) when you can.
  • High in fiber: The lettuce, carrots, cabbage and bell pepper are all high in fiber, which keeps you full longer, regulates blood sugar and is important for your digestive and heart health. The fiber ensures you have more time to digest and absorb nutrients and helps you eliminate toxins and waste from your digestive system more effectively!
  • Great source of Vitamin A & C: The veggies are chock-FULL of this stuff. Think beautiful skin (cell repair), a strong immune system and eye health.
  • Carotenoids: Your parents were actually right. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin found in carrots promote eye health.
  • Phytochemicals: Thanks to the indoles, dithiolethiones, isothiocynates and sulforaphane found in cabbage, this meal also helps protect you from cancer! They help fight damage from free radicals and carcinogens.
I also want to take a minute to talk about coconut sugar. Seeing as how I just finished my Sugar Detox, using "sugar" in my very first recipe post following it may seem a little...well hypocritical. But now that I've kicked my intense sugar cravings in the butt, I do like to include natural, unrefined sweetners in my diet. To read more about what natural sweeteners are great options, read this post by the Food Babe (so proud that she is from my hometown!). Coconut palm sugar is obtained from drying the sap from the coconut palm. Because it is not bleached it is full of vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be stripped away in processing. Food Babe explains: "It is naturally high in amino acids – has 10,000 times more potassium, 20 times more magnesium and 20 times more iron than conventional sugar." While they are not the most nutritious calories you will ever consume they are certainly not empty and the best part is you can use them in the same ratio in baking and cooking as regular sugar! Because it’s glycemic index is half of that of regular sugar, switching to coconut sugar lowers your risk of developing diabetes and makes sugar cravings less likely.

Sesame Korean Beef Bowl
Serves 4
Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 10 min.
2 cups cooked rice (2/3 cup uncooked)
500 g lean ground beef 
2 T. coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2-3 inches fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated or chopped
2 cloves garlic
3-4 T. soy sauce (to taste)
1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper ( adjust to taste)
1 small head lettuce
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 T. sesame seeds

Juice 1 lime
1 tsp. soy sauce
3-4 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. coconut sugar (optional)

1. Add ground beef to a large nonstick pan on medium heat and cook until the meat begins to turn brown.
2. Add coconut sugar, ginger, soy sauce and crushed red pepper and cook until all the meat is brown. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.
4. To prepare each bowl, place a few lettuce leaves inside a bowl so that they form a little basket. Then add in roughly 1/2 cup of the rice, beef, carrots and cabbage and 1/4 of the chopped bell pepper.
5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, drizzel on the dressing and add some Sriracha and cilantro for an added kick!

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