One day I had some leftover minced beef and I wanted to make something a little different. I felt like a salad and happened to have some mint and cucumbers in the house. One thing led to another and I ended up creating a Middle Eastern inspired warm beef salad.
I love this dish because it’s an all-in-one meal – it has protein, healthy fats, some carbs, lots of flavours and it’s not too expensive. It’s low-carb but yet satiating and is suitable for those following my 9-week Happy Body Formula program or a Whole30 type program.
Cook’s notes: The spice mix I used is similar to shawarma meat seasoning or other pre-mixed Middle Eastern spice blends, which you can use if you don’t have all of the spices in your pantry. If short on time, soak the cashews for 1 hour but ideally soak for 3-4 hours to get the creamer, smoother texture for the raita. If you can tolerate dairy, feel free to use regular yoghurt in place of cashew cream.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ brown onion, finely diced
- ½ long red chill, finely diced
- 350-400 g (0.8 lb.) grass-fed beef mince
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves (or use mortar & pestle to grind 1 clove or use some Allspice)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups diced cucumber (3-4 medium Lebanese cucumbers)
- 2 tablespoons diced fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- Few whole raw cashews
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- ½ clove of garlic, diced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¾ teaspoon tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of sea salt
- Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and chill on medium heat for 5 minutes, until golden brown and soft.
- Bring the heat back to high and add the beef mince. Separate it with a wooden spoon, add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the meat browns and the liquid starts to evaporate. Add the spices, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Mix through and cook for a further 5 minutes on high heat. The rest of the moisture will evaporate and the beef should brown and caramelise further.
- Combine all salad ingredients, except for mint, in a bowl and set aside until the beef is ready.
- To make the cashew raita, place all ingredients in a food processor or an electric blender and process until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides half way through and add a little more water if it's too thick.
- Combine warm beef with cucumber salad and serve with dollops of cashew dressing, fresh chill and mint on top.
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