This all-in-one salad meal of spicy ground beef with cucumber is very popular with my readers. It’s high in protein and low in carbs, so perfect for both paleo and keto diets.
One day I had some leftover ground beef mince 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 paleo and keto plans.
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.
For the beef
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 brown onion finely diced
- 1/2 long red chill finely diced
- 350-400 g ground beef 0.8 lb. grass-fed mince
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 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
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the cucumber salad
- 2 cups cucumber 3-4 medium Lebanese cucumbers, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander cilantro, diced
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- A few whole raw cashews
For the cashew raita dressing
- 3/4 cup cashews raw, soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- 1/2 clove of garlic diced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 teaspoon tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of sea salt
- Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and chilli over medium heat for 5 minutes until golden brown and soft.
- Bring the heat back to high and add the ground 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.