Recipe: Gluten-Free Thai-Style Noodles with Turkey

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Studious readers will remember that I moved to a new apartment only two months ago. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be - the basement leaked and I believe the house is riddled with mold and other environmental contaminants. Within two weeks of moving in, I was dealing with a constant headache, congestion, a burning throat, swollen glands, foggy headedness and fatigue. My Lyme and Babesia symptoms were flaring up, and I was starting to suffer anxiety attacks. I could barely function at work and had no energy left when I returned home at the end of the day. I finally resorted to spending as much time away as possible, housesitting for two weeks, camping for 5 days, and staying with friends for 2 1/2 weeks. Inevitably, after being away from the house for a few days, I would experience a total clearing of the additional symptoms. When I would go back, the symptoms would return. I knew I had to get out of that place for good; I've worked too hard the last 3 1/2 years to get to this point in my health, and I can't let my living situation drag me down. After negotiating with my landlord (and calling over the city inspector), I broke my lease and moved out. Now all my stuff is in storage and I'm staying out in the 'burbs with my aunt and uncle.

This experience has opened my eyes to the importance of having a safe place to call home. I dreaded going back there each day, knowing that it would make me feel sick. Although staying other places made me feel physically better, it wore on me emotionally. I yearned for quiet, for privacy, for my normal pattern of cooking dinner and working in my garden and being able to rest whenever and where ever I wanted. After being on the move for the better part of two months, I am worn down and feeling drained. My lack of pattern made it hard for me to eat the way I need to and stick to my rigorous and ever-changing schedule of medications and tinctures and supplements. This wore me down even further, and made me realize that no matter what I need to put my health first and do whatever I need to do to stick to my patterns. 

Adding insult to injury, I ruined my MacBook two weeks ago. I poured water on the keyboard and fried the electrical system. My laptop is 6 years old and just barely does what I need it to do, so investing the large sum of money necessary to fix it seems ridiculous. After being computer-free for two weeks and unable to complete loads of important professional and personal communication, I finally broke down and called the Apple people to order a new laptop. Although I am super excited to get a new machine, I am feeling bummed about throwing down the money right now. 

Truly, through this all, I have felt incredibly grateful. When my friends and family heard of my troubles, many of them offered their couches and spare bedrooms. I ended up spending nearly 2 1/2 weeks at my friends' house, sleeping in their 6-year-old's bunk bed. Now I am staying with my aunt and uncle, who offered to take me in while I look for a new place in the competitive Minneapolis rental market. I feel incredible blessed to be able rest on the kindness and generosity of others during this transitional time; my friends and family gave me a home when my own made me sick. Without this support, I'd be sleeping in my car somewhere (seriously). 

Now that I am settling into my aunt and uncle's house, it feels good to know I can stay there for a while. I have been craving the ability to settle in a cook a real meal, and on Tuesday night I finally had my chance - I hadn't really cooked in weeks. I was in the mood for the fresh taste of Thai food, and whipped up my own version southeast Asian noodles. I found stability and comfort in the familiar actions of chopping and stirring and seasoning, making a home in muscle memory and instinct. 

I hope you make yourself at home, where ever you are, and sit down with people you love to enjoy this meal. 

Thai-style Noodles with Turkey

yield 4 large servings

  • 12 oz. rice noodles (I used Jovial brand brown rice cappellini)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast or thigh
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce 
  • juice of 1 lime

Cook pasta according to instructions on package.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sesame oil. Once hot, add garlic, onion, and chili and saute until onion is soft. Then add turkey and about 2-3 tablespoons of water - the water helps to break up the meat. Break up turkey, and saute until the crumbles are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. 

Drain and rinse pasta, then add back to pot. Add turkey mixture to the pasta, along with fish sauce, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Toss lightly to combine. Serve with additional fish sauce, cilantro, or lime juice, as desired. 

Leftovers are also good cold or room temperature, served with sliced cucumber. 


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