“It’s Not Gourmet, Bro!” – Scallion Thai’d Chiang Mai Cabbage Wraps




When cooking at the Kincaid Grill in Anchorage, Alaska, we had the catering contract for the private jets that would fly “over the hump” from Tokyo to New York City. They’d stop to fuel up on Jet “A” and we’d fuel up their passengers with Alaskan Seafood.

One of the popular preparations was King Crab Merus with whole butter chunks wrapped in blanched cabbage and scallions. The stewardesses would pop these babies in the onboard ovens, the butter would melt, the cabbage would provide steamy moisture and the results were epic.

While we’re not dealing with Alaskan King Crab, today I show you the cabbage and scallion packaging technique. I use it in a slow cooker with a Thai Turkey mixture, but you can use it to wrap just about anything (except Christmas presents). You don’t even have to use a slow cooker. You could easily make this same meal and bake it in the oven at 350º F for 30 minutes with amazing results. The goal is to simply learn a new technique and then use your Ninja Skills to apply it as you see fit!

This video is the first in a fresh batch that we shot two weeks ago. I want to thank Chris Holloman and the amazing, Jesse Kahle for capturing the goods in still and motion picture. While I’m never super impressed with my performance, they do an amazing job, they keep things light on set, and, in the end, we’re like the Three Musketeers (the swordsmen, not the candy bar) turning out fitness foodie features for the masses. Thanks, guys!

(Bear watching just outside of Downieville, CA)

I had an amazing weekend. My in-laws were in town and we went hard on the tourist front. We hit up downtown Truckee, Sardine Lake, Downieville, and Reno. We played cribbage, rowed over 15,000 meters on the new Concept 2, mixed up some fresh Super Radical Rib Rub, cooked a Butternut Squash Lasagna, smoked a pork leg and a turkey in the Camp Chef Pellet Grill, and finished the weekend with a screening of Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ. There was an Easter Service, Legos, a visit from the Easter Bunny, Pokemon cards and characters, Bey Blades, shoe shopping, Costco… We did it all! It’s fair to say that we hit it hard and made the most of the few days of family time that we had together.

The weekend was a reminder that life is really about family and friends and I want to remind you of this. Through the fog of the busyness of life, it is the dinner table, the family gatherings, the parties with friends, and the meters you pull on the rower together that give life meaning.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for times of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

“Keep It Paleo!” my friends.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(With the family, on the couch…)

(Our version of the final scene from The Descendants, but with more happiness and less ice cream.)

“It’s Not Gourmet, Bro!” – Scallion Thai’d Chiang Mai Cabbage Wraps

Ingredient List:

  • 2.5 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and shredded
  • White section of 2 bunches of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced plus 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce (3 for the meat mixture and 1 for braising liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cans coconut milk (15 oz.)
  • 4 lime leaves, torn
  • 2 stalks lemongrass bashed to release flavor and cut into 3” sections
  • 2 Thai chiles, cut in half lengthwise
  • 10 large cabbage leaves, blanched and shocked
  • 2 bunches worth of green sections of scallions, blanched and shocked
  • One handful each, fresh mint, basil and cilantro
  • Drizzle of honey

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Combine turkey, apples, celery, scallions, minced ginger, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, kosher salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Lay out a cabbage leaf and place approximately 6 oz. of meat mixture in the center. Fold cabbage over, tuck in ends and roll up.
  3. Place a blanched green scallion portion on the cutting board and spread it out. Place cabbage roll in the center, wrap with scallion and tie in a double knot. Repeat the process with remaining meat mixture, cabbage and scallions placing each wrap in the crock of your slow cooker as you go.
  4. Top with coconut milk, ginger slices, lemongrass, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and Thai chiles.
  5. Cook on high for 6 hours.
  6. Remove wraps and portion out into 16 ounce containers. Fold fresh herbs into the braising liquid and distribute into the containers with the wraps. Finish with a drizzle of honey.
  7. Share with your friends and enjoy!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (32)

Starting with 2.5 pounds of ground turkey, which in grams weighs 1135g, after cooking it down we end up with about 908g.  Each block equals 28g, so that gives us 32 protein blocks.

Carbohydrates: (8)

Starting with our apple, we know that one apple is 2 blocks, therefore 2 apples gives us a total of 4 carb blocks.  Our scallions, the white section, will probably fill up about 2/3 of a cup once sliced so we are going to count them as 1 carb block.  The 6 celery stalks once diced up will give us about 2 cups so again,  adding one block to the count.   Our two Thai Chiles are going to give us another block as we generally count two peppers as one block.  Our 10 cabbage leaves for serving the wraps will count as an additional block, with the final block coming from the combination of the fish sauce, the ginger, the lemongrass, and the green part of the scallions.

Fats: (80)

All of our Fats come from the coconut milk. Given that a quarter of a cup gives us about 5 blocks, that would mean that in the two cans we use we will use about 2 cups worth per can, so therefore we get 80 blocks from the coconut milk.

Balancing Act:

The recipe breaks down nicely into 10 meals, each with 3 protein blocks, one carb block, and 8 fat blocks.  We are a little high on the fat end, but not super excessive.   Also make sure to add in some additional carbs to either this meal or other meals throughout the day.

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