My labs are normal and I no longer have Grave’s Disease – however I now have Hashimoto’s (?)

I know I haven’t written anything in well over a year, and after reading my last post over again last night I feel really bad cause I said that I was going to be writing more, and it took me 9 months from my previous post to write THAT post. Whoops. So now I have this really guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach, like the feeling I have when it’s May and I still haven’t written out Thank You cards for Christmas gifts. I probably feel that way because I haven’t been writing, like AT ALL, for the past year and the above metaphor isn’t so much a metaphor, it’s very true, I haven’t even written friggin’ thank you cards. (Sorry Aunties and Uncles!) I just haven’t been writing.

But that’s about to change.

You all deserve an update because I’m doing great and I should really be sharing my story. Cause maybe I could actually help someone else save their thyroid too.

If you haven’t been keeping up with my story, 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and Hyperthyroidism and was told by every single doctor I saw, natural or otherwise, there was nothing I could do to help myself and that I had to “kill my thyroid” (that is a direct quote from a Doctor).

I opted not to do that because it didn’t make any fucking sense to me. I went an extreme route and found a medical medium who told me to go on a vegan, corn free diet for a year, and that the virus I had that was masquerading as hyperthyroidism would die off. I did that, and cured myself.

I followed the diet for a year. I AM NO LONGER VEGAN. If you want reasons, you can read my last post. At this time, I follow a primarily organic, vegetarian diet. I do eat cheese and eggs and corn. I also eat fish. I believe the diet saved my thyroid, in addition to me finding my voice, speaking my truth, and healing my 3rd chakra. I 100% believe there is a correlation between thyroid disease and speaking your personal truth. This is something I have struggled with my entire life. I am a recovered bulimic, a perfectionist, a people pleaser, constantly seeking other people’s approval, and not being truthful with my words for fear of not being liked for it. This character trait is DISASTROUS for your thyroid. If you are reading this and you have thyroid disease, I really want you to dig deep right now and ask yourself if you are speaking your truth. Are you living true to yourself? You can heal yourself, I promise you. It all starts and ends with you.

That is what this blog has been about.

Okay so apologies for the horrible photos below but these are my most recent labs, taken December 2015.

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My most recent labs show that my thyroid is producing all hormones within a normal range. However, they also show it is still producing antibodies, even though my other numbers are normal.

The strange thing is that the antibody profile is completely different from the last time I had the test done, which was about 3 1/2 years ago.  I only had it done once before because I didn’t have insurance at the time and the test was really expensive. But that test showed I had Grave’s Disease, and this test shows I have Hashimoto’s. So I don’t really know, my current doctor is kind of confused, as am I. But the bottom line is that even though I feel great now and everything is in range, my thyroid is still basically attacking itself, and I’m not 100% in the clear. I still need to be careful with my diet and everything else because there’s always the chance the symptoms will come back.

Yes, the route I took was extreme, and I cured myself yet I’m still at risk – but I STILL HAVE MY THYROID.  And I feel awesome! And I’ve learned so much about myself throughout this whole illness. If I had to do it all over again, I would do the exact same thing.

So do me a favor, listen to your body! Ask yourself what you can do to help yourself. Have trust and faith that the path you choose is always the right one, no matter what anyone else thinks.

That’s it for now.

Love, Shauna

I really have saved my Thyroid.

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Everyone who thought I was crazy for starting this diet can suck it. Seriously. Sorry, it wasn’t my intention to start off my first post in 9 months with a statement of anger, but I just really wanted to say that. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of doctors, friends, acquaintances, strangers and loved ones who berated me for sticking to my gut and trusting myself, rather than trusting a bunch of doctors who believed they knew my body better than I did. Sure I took the long way around, and yes the method I chose was definitely extreme, but look at me now! After 1.5 years on a (mostly) vegan diet, I still have my thyroid, and most of my numbers are actually IN NORMAL RANGE. Take a look at my newest labs again if you haven’t already.

If you can’t see the photo,

TSH                                              <0.006 uIU/mL

Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum       2.9  pg/mL

T4, Free (Direct)                            1.23 ng/dL

I do apologize that it has taken me so long to write an update. This year has been tumultuous to say the least. The main reason I haven’t posted in so long is because when my relationship ended, so did my health insurance. These are the first labs I’ve had done since February, simply because I wasn’t having any symptoms, and I really didn’t want to pay to get blood work done. Last month I finally got health insurance again through Obama Care, so I can now at least continue to post my future labs.

After my last post, and many situations that evolved in my personal life thereafter, I realized that there definitely is a time and a place for the truth. And sometimes the truth isn’t always the best choice for the moment. At this moment, I choose to be limited with the truths I reveal. So here are my current truths I believe you should know:

1. I am no longer vegan. I am still vegetarian but it is difficult to label my diet. Since I moved in January, a lot has changed. I try to eat as vegan as possible, but dairy has definitely worked it’s way back into my diet. I try not to eat a lot of cream and milk because it bothers my stomach, but I do eat a lot of cheese. I still avoid eggs as much as possible, but every so often, I eat something fried or some kind of baked good that I know isn’t egg-free. I also eat fish once, maybe twice a month. And I definitely eat WAY too much bread. And pizza. Living alone, I cook a lot less. And cooking for one is very different than cooking for 2 or 3. Honestly I’ve gotten really lazy, I hardly cook anymore. I started making a lot of quesadillas, grilled cheeses, salads, reheating frozen stuff, eating take-out…. that’s the truth. I’m not advocating the current diet I’m on in any way though. It’s not how I really would like to be eating. At least my thyroid isn’t suffering. But I would like to make more of an effort to cook more, I miss it.

2. I am no longer working with Anthony William. Simply because he was too busy, and I needed more attention. Through a mutual friend I found an amazing doctor who I have been working with since February named Dr. Sierra Levy. She works out of Maui, Hawaii. I speak to her on the phone, I have never actually met her in person. I don’t know how to describe what she does exactly but she is AMAZING. She is an MD, but works mainly with homeopathy and a technique she developed called Resonance Therapy. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND her for anything and everything, she is one of the most gifted healers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

3. I have Manic Depression. I really hate labels but I feel the need to explain that the last post I wrote was written during a manic episode. I wish I hadn’t revealed everything I revealed in that post, but it’s too late now, it’s out there. And everything I wrote was definitely true. But I read that post back now and I almost feel like someone else wrote it. It’s a really strange feeling.

Anyways.

That’s enough truth telling for 2014.

I still firmly believe I saved my thyroid by going vegan, and speaking my truth. I also believe that if I continue moving forward on a path of health, healing and staying true to myself, I will have a much better chance of staying healthy. I am not cured, by any means. My body is still producing Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) at a very high rate, meaning I still do have Grave’s Disease, and for whatever reason my body is still basically attacking itself. But I am not in any danger at this point. Unless I start to show any symptoms I don’t have to get my labs done again for another 6 months. Even the nurse practitioner who went over my labs with me said, with my numbers at where they’re at now, she wouldn’t recommend any medication, just to watch my gluten intake and to come back in 6 months.

So my advice still remains, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! TRUST YOURSELF! I am saving my thyroid, and so can you!

Thanks for reading.

Shauna

Day 80 – Recipe: M Cafe’s Chickpea & Dandelion Salad (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

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Let me start off by saying that I really hate bitter greens. There are only a few vegetables that I don’t like – one of them is fennel, and the other is the entire bitter greens family (endive, radicchio, frisée, God I hate frisée). Dandelion greens definitely fall into that bitter green category. If you haven’t tried them, well, they are really bitter and pretty disgusting. So why in the world did I make this dandelion greens salad, you might ask?  I really don’t know. I guess it seemed like a good idea when I found the recipe.

I used to eat this salad when I worked at M Cafe in Los Angeles, and though it wasn’t my absolute favorite, I still liked it and ate it frequently. This is probably the only way you could ever get me to eat dandelion greens. The tahini dressing is really nutty and creamy, and the sweet caramelized onions are a great compliment to the bitter greens. It really is a tasty salad, and if you like bitter greens you will like this dish a lot.

Dandelion, albeit gross, is really good for you. It’s one of those cancer-fighting, antioxidant, calcium-rich superfoods. So I kind of forced myself to eat it… and truthfully I picked some of it out. I like everything in this salad but the damn dandelion. Honestly when I make it again I will probably swap it out for some Tuscan kale.

So since I made this salad sound so good, I’m sure you really want to make it now :). But it’s worth a try, it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of chopping. I served it with the Eggplant Tabbouleh I wrote about last week and it was the perfect compliment. So if I haven’t scared you away yet, copy, paste and print (someday I will figure out how to make a print button for these recipes, I promise).

M Cafe’s Chickpea & Dandelion Salad

For Tahini-Lemon Dressing:

  • 2 T sesame tahini
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For Frizzled Onions:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into paper-thin half moons

For Salad:

  • 2 15-ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup red Bhutanese rice (or short grain brown rice), cooked
  • 2 cups celery hearts and inside leaves, sliced thin
  • 3 cups fresh dandelion greens, washed, dried and chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For Tahini-Lemon Dressing:
Combine the tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper in the mixing bowl. Adjust dressing with additional sea salt, black pepper or lemon juice, to taste.

For Frizzled Onions:
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the yellow onions. Fry the onions over medium heat until golden brown and “frizzled.” Transfer to absorbent toweling to drain excess oil. Season with sea salt and reserve.

For Salad:
Combine the chickpeas, cooked rice, celery hearts and dandelion greens in a mixing bowl. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of frizzled onions to bowl. Moisten salad with about 1/2 of a cup of the Tahini-Lemon Dressing and mix well to combine. Taste salad, and adjust with additional dressing, sea salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer salad to serving bowl or platter and drizzle additional dressing, if desired. Top with additional frizzled onions to garnish. Serves 8.

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Pictured with Eggplant and Fresh Herb Quinoa Tabbouleh.

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Day 74 – Recipe: Eggplant and Fresh Herb Quinoa Tabbouleh (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free)

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I’m getting a little confused about which day I’m on but I think it’s day 74. I wish it was day 364. When I’m home or when I’m at a vegan restaurant I don’t mind being on this diet, but whenever I’m out at a restaurant that has amazing smelling meat or pizza or waffles or bacon – you get the picture – I just can’t stand it, I get depressed. I love food so much, and being restrictive in my diet feels so unnatural to me. Sometimes I just want to say screw it and eat some boneless wings. The last couple weeks have been really hard. I’ve definitely eaten some things I shouldn’t have eaten (they were vegan, but processed) and I feel guilty about it. I hate feeling guilty. I wish this diet was easy. It’s not. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing it because I don’t want someone to take a scalpel to my throat and cut me open. God that really sounds horrible.

Anyways, for about 2 months we had fresh basil and mint growing in our kitchen and I rarely used it. About a month and a half into it we started having a severe gnat issue and I couldn’t take it anymore – my boyfriend took the herbs to his parent’s house in Sedona to plant in their garden. Less than a week later I came across this recipe with copious amounts of both fresh mint and basil and was like Damn The Irony! Fortunately we were going to see his parents over the weekend and they brought us a bunch of herbs so I could make the dish. Yay!

So I found this recipe in Shape magazine, I changed it a lot but the original recipe is from Clotilde Dusoulier’s new vegetarian cookbook, The French Market Cookbook. She used whole wheat couscous in her recipe, to make it gluten-free I opted for quinoa. I think it turned out really good. The herbs kind of overpowered the eggplant, mostly because I used spearmint which is too strong for this recipe, I would suggest using Mojito mint which is much milder. Also her recipe called for harissa, which I couldn’t find anywhere, so I used an Asian chili paste instead, I think it worked just as well. So here is my version:

Eggplant and Fresh Herb Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serves 8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Lbs small Italian eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups white quinoa
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T tahini
  • 1 T harissa or Asian chili paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mojito mint leaves, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, sliced

Directions:

  1. Cut eggplant into small 1/2 inch cubes. Place in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt, then toss to coat; let rest 1 hour. Rinse thoroughly. Turn onto a clean kitchen towel, roll up, and squeeze gently to absorb liquid.
  2. While eggplant is resting, mince the onion. Place minced onion, quinoa, 1 tsp sea salt, and 3 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. (To cool faster, spread onto a baking sheet and chill in the fridge.)
  3. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Place eggplant cubes in skillet and toss well, until coated in oil. When eggplant is hot, cover and let steam in skillet for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Eggplant should be very tender. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk tahini and harissa or chili paste. Whisk in lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure it is incorporated before adding more to prevent curdling. Whisk til smooth.
  5. Pour the dressing over cooled quinoa and toss to combine. Fold in eggplant, mint, basil and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Enjoy!

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I served this dish with another Greek-inspired salad that I will post tomorrow. You can serve it with falafels, dolmas, hummus, pretty much any Mediterranean food, or just eat it by itself.

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It has a hint of spice to it but overall is pretty mild. If you want more spice, add more chili paste.

 

Day 72 – Recipe: Tanzanian Green Banana and Yam Stew (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free)

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While flipping through a vegetarian cookbook at a restaurant, I came across this recipe for Banana and Yam Stew and instantly was intrigued. At first I thought it sounded really gross but the more I read I became extremely curious. I must’ve read the recipe over at least 4 times, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Bananas in a stew? I decided I had to make it, even though it is not stew weather at all right now, it sounded so interesting – and I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

Thankfully it turned out really good. And it took less time than I expected, which is always a bonus. My boyfriend wasn’t as crazy about it as I was – he doesn’t really like cloves (which I didn’t know beforehand), and truthfully the cloves were a bit overpowering. When I make this again I will adjust the spices (this is reflected in the recipe below). I can definitely see eating it when it’s cooler outside, it’s a great winter stew, very hearty, warming, and slightly sweet. The recipe makes enough for about 12 people, I ended up freezing half of it because there was so much. I won’t make my boyfriend eat it again though, Mom and Dad I hope you like cloves!

Green Banana and Yam Stew
Adapted From Linda McCartney on Tour

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

  • 2 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 1 large tomato, chopped roughly

  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin rounds

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 green bananas, sliced

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the yams or sweet potatoes and cook until slightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove to a plate or bowl. In the same pot, heat the other tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the jalapeno, cilantro, onion, tomato, carrot, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir in the arrowroot mixture. Add the bananas and yams/sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve alone or with quinoa or couscous. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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Not the most appetizing color, I promise it tastes better than it looks here.

 

 

 

Day 64 – Breakfast for Dinner: M Cafe’s Vegan “Benedict” over rice (gluten-free)

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I was hoping to make this for breakfast on Sunday but unfortunately I didn’t wake up until the morning (and most of the afternoon) had passed. Woops. I’ve had a bad streak of insomnia lately (that I’m currently trying to fix) which has led to me sleeping through most of the day. This is really the only reason we had breakfast for dinner. Well actually it was technically my breakfast, but it was Colin’s dinner. Sorry Colin! I don’t think he minded though.

Anyway, as I mentioned before I used to work at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. I know I have given many of their dishes the title of “my favorite”, but it’s hard not to because all of their food is just amazing. This is absolutely my favorite breakfast item there though, and I was stoked to find the recipe online. I had made a different version of this recipe a few years ago (it was in a book that I bought at the restaurant) and it turned out terrible, it didn’t taste anything like the one I used to eat all the time. Probably because it was the wrong recipe. This is the right one. Yay!

The one I found online was for the Smoked Salmon Benedict, which is the non-vegan version, but I adapted it to reflect the Vegan Benedict (obviously) which is really only different because it is topped with tempeh bacon instead of smoked salmon. Technically it is served over grilled baguette slices, which makes it more like an actual benedict, but I always ordered it over brown rice because that’s how Alicia Silverstone ordered it whenever she came into the restaurant. I’m not ashamed to say that I copied her. But she had the right idea, this is awesome over brown rice. And better yet, gluten-free. So here it is, the Vegan Benedict with rice instead of bread… it is time consuming and you will use more pots than you want to clean but it’s all worth it. GO MAKE THIS NOW!

M Cafe’s Vegan Benedict Florentine with Soy Hollandaise

Ingredients:

Scrambled Tofu:

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained on paper towels
  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance (I used the Soy Garden variety because it was the only one made without canola oil)
  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons scallions, julienned (optional)

Soy Hollandaise:

  • 4 ounces Earth Balance
  • ½ cup Veganaise
  • 6 ounces (1/2 a block) silken firm tofu (Mori-Nu brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco

Tempeh Bacon and Garnishes:

  • 12 ounces tempeh bacon (Lightlife brand)
  • 1 small bunch green kale, washed well, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
  • Brown Rice, cooked
  • Minced chives or black sesame seeds for garnish

PREPARATION

For Scrambled Tofu:
Crumble tofu coarsely by hand. Heat Earth Balance in a medium sauté pan. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes or until translucent. Add carrot and sauté 1 more minute. Add crumbled tofu, turmeric and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Heat through and add a few Tablespoons of water. Let simmer until tofu is thick and creamy, and resembles soft-cooked scrambled eggs. Fold in scallions, adjust seasonings, and reserve.

For Soy Hollandaise:
Melt Earth Balance and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend well to combine. Drizzle in Earth Balance slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon if necessary. Reserve.

For Tempeh Bacon and Garnishes:

Blanch kale in lightly salted boiling water until tender. Keep warm and reserve. (I did this the night before)

Heat tempeh in a large non-stick skillet til hot and set aside.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place 1/2 – 3/4 cup cooked brown rice on each plate and top with 2 slices tomato. Place steamed kale on top of tomato. Spoon scrambled tofu over kale and lay 2 slices tempeh evenly over tofu. Heat soy hollandaise in a double boiler until just warm – do not over heat or sauce will break. Spoon warm sauce over tempeh and drizzle around the plate. Garnish with chives or black sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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I like a lot of sauce 🙂

Since there are so many components I blanched the kale and cooked the rice the night before.

I also didn’t bother warming the hollandaise in a double boiler, everything else was hot so I just poured it over, it warmed on the plate.

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Day 60 – Recipe: Jackfruit Thai Curry with Bell Peppers and Cashews (vegan, gluten-free, corn-free)

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The first (and only time) I’ve ever had Jackfruit was at a little vegan restaurant in Los Angeles called Pure Luck. I read on Yelp that it is now closed, which is unfortunate because that place was such a find. Their entire menu was built around jackfruit, they didn’t have any soy or fake meats, just jackfruit (Just Jack! fruit LOL). I think I had some kind of BBQ jackfruit sandwich… I don’t remember exactly what it was but I know it was delicious.

I started looking for Jackfruit recipes online last week because I’d remembered seeing cans of it at the Asian market. The first recipe to catch my eye came up on about.com, Jackfruit Curry with Bell Peppers, Cashews and Lime Leaf, by Darlene Schmidt. Even though I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers I decided to go for it. I’ve made a few of Darlene’s recipes before and they were all amazing, I figured this one would be too.

So I went to Lee Lee’s Market looking for cans of “jackfuit in water or brine” (which I really thought I’d seen there) and all I could find was “jackfruit in syrup”, which wasn’t the right kind. So I went to the frozen section and after 10 minutes of looking I finally found frozen jackfruit (why is it so difficult to find anything at Asian markets?!). But I found both green jackfuit and ripe jackfruit, and unfortunately had a brain fart and couldn’t remember which one I was supposed to buy so I grabbed the ripe jackfruit. Wrong one. This is why I ended up at the store again the next day, to return the ripe jackfruit and get the correct one. This is what I finally ended up with:

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Completely frozen solid. I put it in hot water to defrost and it was fine after 30 minutes. I ended up using 2 packages because it didn’t seem like there was much fruit in one package. So here is the recipe I followed, it is slightly different from Darlene’s only because I couldn’t find vegetarian fish sauce, but nevertheless it turned out absolutely delicious. I will definitely make this again. I don’t know if it was the brand of jackfuit I used or what but it was different than I’d remembered. This time the texture was more like a canned artichoke heart or hearts of palm, and kind of tasted like that too… but it was still really good.

Jackfruit Curry with Bell Peppers and Cashews

  • 2 packages frozen jackfruit, preferably unripe/green, OR 2 cans prepared jackfruit in water or brine (not syrup), drained

  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 12 wedges

  • 1 large green bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced

  • 1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced

  • 5 dried black mushrooms, soaked in water for 2 hours to rehydrate then drained, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup dry roasted (unsalted) cashews

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • generous handful of fresh basil for garnish

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil for stir-frying

  • white wine (or white cooking wine) for stir-frying

PASTE:

  • 3 large green onions (or 6 small), sliced thin

  • 2 fresh red chilies (or more if you want it ultra spicy), sliced thin

  • 8 whole lime leaves, fresh or frozen, snipped into tiny strips

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos

  • 1 Tbsp dulse, snipped into flakes

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 4 Tbsp tamari sauce

  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar

PREPARATION

  1. First, prepare the curry paste. Place all paste ingredients together in a food processor or mini-chopper and process well. Lime Leaf Tip: Prepare the lime leaves using kitchen scissors to cut out (and discard) the hard central stem. If lime leaves are frozen, you can quickly thaw them by running under some hot water. Set paste aside.

  2. Cut jackfruit into desired bite size pieces, either in strips or cubes/chunks (as you would with chicken). Set aside.

  3. Place 2 Tbsp. oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add a little of the wine (1/2 to 1 Tbsp. at a time) instead of more oil whenever wok/pan becomes dry.

  4. Add the bell peppers. Continue stir-frying another 3 minutes, or until peppers have softened and turned bright in color. Again, add a little wine when wok/pan becomes dry to keep ingredients frying nicely.

  5. Add the green jackfuit and black mushrooms. Stir-fry another 3 minutes and add wine for stir-frying if needed.

  6. Add the paste you made earlier, plus the coconut milk. Stir well to combine.

  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, allowing curry to gently simmer 2-3 minutes, or until ingredients are nicely cooked, but not overcooked. Tip: Try not to overcook this curry, or you will lose the fragrance and taste of the paste.

  8. Just before serving, add the cashews, gently stirring them in. Now do a taste-test, looking for a balance of salty, sour, sweet and spicy. If not salty enough, add more tamari, or a little salt. If too salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime/lemon juice. If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk. Add a little more sugar if too sour.

  9. To serve, either portion out in bowls or on plates, or ladle the curry into a serving dish. Sprinkle with generous amounts of fresh basil, and serve with brown rice or quinoa. ENJOY!

Serves 4 – 6, depending on how much they like curry!

 

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