Asian Inspired Beef Pockets

Most of us have had our eyes focused on one of two things recently: The devastation in Japan, or the NCAA finals. I have no doubt the recovery efforts are well underway, as stories of survival emerge, touching videos of frightened pets are scattered about YouTube, and all of us watch in disbelief at footage of entire towns wash away. For us here in the States, it hardly seems real – as if it only exists on television. But it could happen to us. It has, in fact…New Orleans is still recovering from Katrina after all this time, and just think – we suffered only one tiny bit of the massive destruction Japan faces today. It really makes you think.

Because Japan has been on my mind, I decided to resurface this recipe that was based on a trip I took to Asia nearly ten years ago. It wasn’t from Japan (in fact, I was only in Tokyo for a mere 6 hours on a layover) but, it’s the closest thing I have to a Japanese inspired dish, and is Americanized enough that even the pickiest eaters can enjoy it. Not spicy, not fussy, perfect for a fulfilling lunch or, if you are so inclined, for consuming while watching your March Madness brackets go up in flames.


Asian Inspired Beef Pockets

1 pound ground beef
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 green onion
4 oz. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
4 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Tbsp. Cilantro
3+ Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce (to taste)
2 tsp. Curry Powder (to taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Pita Pockets

Fresh Spinach Leaves

Combine oil, onions and carrots in pan or wok and sauté. Add garlic after vegetables soften a bit. Stir in coconut milk, peanut butter and curry powder until well combined. Add beef and Worcestershire sauce, sprinkle with cilantro when beef is no longer pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

When comfortable to handle, fill pita bread with beef mixture and fresh spinach leaves. Serve immediately.

You may have noticed I used Peanut Butter in this dish. I did, in fact. It goes so well with the beef and the coconut milk, and adds a very rich flavor. Do you have a dinner recipe that uses peanut butter? Then there is a contest for YOU! In the spirit of losing the loaf, the “PB my way” recipe contest is challenging consumers to submit recipes that are anything but a sandwich. For each peanut butter recipe received, Southern Peanut Growers will donate a jar of peanut butter (up to 4,000 jars) to hunger relief organization Feeding America. They’ll also award a one-year supply (one case) of peanut butter to each of the 10 participants whose recipes they like most!

For more information, here’s a link with the full “PB my way: Lose the Loaf” contest details.

And hey – leave me a comment here if you think you may enter…there may be something in it for you! (hint hint!)

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