Paleo Loco Moco

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This dish doesn’t win any awards for being pretty, but it sure is good! Loco Moco is one of those things I loved and converted to gluten free, but then gave up grains and figured it was out, but this one is completely grain free, as well as paleo-friendly, gluten free, and dairy free.

I love the show, Hawaii Five-0; the new one. My husband teases me he thinks it has more to do with the guys in it than the show, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t part of it. I’m woman enough to admit it, and hey, it’s not my fault! I swear it’s got to be in those actor’s contracts for at least one of them to be wet and shirtless in every episode! But, hey, they’re in Hawaii, right? Seriously, though, it is a good show. It’s got some great mysteries and it’s a cop show, but it’s got a good storyline too and it’s overall pretty clean. Not as bloody as some of the others where you’ll see someone…wait, this is a recipe posting. You get my drift. One of the reasons I like it is it’s one of the few evening dramas I can watch from the DVR the next day with my 2-year old in the room!

We love Hawaii and my husband and I honeymooned there. The show reminded us of our love of Loco Moco. Ever heard of it? It’s a very Hawaiian breakfast dish. Here in Southern California you go out for breakfast and every place you go has some form or another of a breakfast burrito; Hawaii has Loco Moco. Traditionally, it is two hamburger patties over a bed of sticky rice topped with two over-easy eggs and smothered in gravy. It’s a breakfast that sticks to you, let me tell you! It is so good. The egg yolks and gravy get soaked up by the rice and it was a dish we enjoyed at a local joint down the street from our hotel before busy days of sightseeing and fun in the sun. Part of my love for the dish is probably the memories from it as much as the dish, but it is quite yummy and doesn’t have to be bad for you. (I make mine with homemade bone broth, all-natural beef, and coconut oil. It’s still a treat, but not a guilt-ridden one.)

It was very easy to make gluten free. I just used a basic gravy recipe, using gluten free flour or arrowroot starch over wheat flour and making sure I used a gluten free broth. I never buy broth anymore and the other day I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and had a pound of hamburger in the fridge. Next to it was a head of cauliflower and it hit me! We love cauliflower rice; even my husband who eats grains will often choose it over actual rice, so why not make a grain free version? I always have homemade bone broth around so that part was easy. It turned out great and both hubby and the little guy gobbled it up.

I decided to share the recipe with you and I hope you enjoy it. We made it for dinner, even though it’s a breakfast dish; we like heartier dishes like these more for dinner, but it would be a fun brunch dish served with tropical fruit.
Season your beef and gravy according to your family’s tastes and if your tummy handles rice ok I recommend that way as well. Use the sticky sushi rice – it’s best that way. I’ve read in some circles white rice is an acceptable paleo starch, but I haven’t tried it yet. My first reintroduction of grains didn’t go well, so I may wait and try it after my gut has a little more time to heal. I made us all one hamburger patty because I only had a little hamburger thawed and I made two generous-sized patties for us and a smaller one for the little guy, and it’s a little bit much meat for me, but traditionally it is served with two.

On to the recipe! Aloha!

Paleo Loco Moco
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower
1 pound ground hamburger
8 eggs
2 cups bone broth or stock (whatever kind you have on hand is fine; if it’s store-bought make sure it is gluten free)
1-2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
Sea salt, pepper, garlic, and ground ginger to taste (I used to use a little red pepper too, but have had to cut it out since it is a nightshade, although it is good if you tolerate it; just a pinch)
Coconut oil or ghee

Instructions
1) Make cauliflower “rice”: Clean cauliflower and separate into florets. Place in a blender or food processor and pulse to chop the florets. You’ll be able to tell by sight when it’s done – it really looks like rice! You can also do this by hand with a grater if you don’t have an appliance to do it. It works fine, but takes a little muscle! Place your “rice” in a medium saucepan with a little bit of coconut oil or ghee for the bottom of the pan and add a tablespoon of two of water. Heat to a simmer then reduce the heat, cover, and keep warm.
2) Season your ground beef with sea salt, pepper, garlic and ground ginger – or any other spices you like. Mix well and form into patties. If you’re feeding four hungry adults you may need a little more hamburger than this or depending on if you want to serve it with the one patty or two. Heat a little coconut oil or ghee in a large saucepan and fry to desired doneness. (You can also do this stage on the grill if you want. I did mine on the stove so I wouldn’t have to keep going back and forth. One of the things I like about this dish is all cooks and simmers at the same time so it cooks up pretty quick.)
3) While your burgers are cooking start your gravy. Heat your broth in a small saucepan on the stove to a light simmer then put in a blender and add arrowroot starch, 1 Tablespoon at a time, whipping it until you reach your desired consistency. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
4) Remove hamburgers from heat and crack eggs into frying pan. I cooked mine in the very same pan, using the oil from the burgers to cook the eggs. You can use a fresh pan oiled with some more coconut oil or ghee but I don’t like to dirty more dishes than necessary. You could poach them too if you wanted them to look prettier. Fry just a couple of minutes on each side to over-easy, or however you like them.
5) To serve, place a good-sized mound of “rice” on a plate. Top with hamburger patties, add eggs, and cover in gravy! It’s that simple. We like steamed greens on the side or just fruit – we had fresh pineapple the other night. Enjoy!

Mahalo,

Emily

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