30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil (with healthy for the environment Carbon-Farmed Beef) | Fresh Planet Flavor

30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil (with Carbon-Farmed Beef) | Fresh Planet Flavor

This quick and tasty 30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil is my first recipe introducing carbon farmed beef. What is carbon farming? The TL;DR version: it’s a style of farming that removes carbon dioxide from the air through agriculture.

How it works involves a quick science lesson: all agricultural production involves the process of plant photosynthesis, which uses sunshine to combine carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air with water and minerals from the soil to produce plant material, both above and below ground. However, common agricultural practices, including driving a tractor, tilling the soil, over-grazing, using fossil fuel based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, result in significant carbon dioxide release. As much as one third of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in climate change today originates from land management practices that cause loss of carbon, as CO2, from our working lands.

Land management is the second largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions on planet earth. Click To Tweet

This sounds dire, but there’s a solution. Carbon can be stored long-term (for centuries or longer) in soils in a process called “soil carbon sequestration.” Carbon farming involves implementing practices that are known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or soil organic matter. Carbon farming is successful when carbon gains resulting from enhanced land management and/or conservation practices exceed carbon losses. I love this light-hearted interpretive illustration about the process below!

Carbon Monster

The meat for this 30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil is sourced from a local farm that not only raises its livestock in a clean and humane way, but is also on the cutting edge of carbon farming practices that leave the land in better shape than they found it. The 700-acre Stemple Creek Ranch in West Marin, along with the Carbon Cycle Institute, is working to create and implement a “carbon cycle protocol.” The protocol refers to grazing patterns and composting cycles to encourage perennial grass growth that capture carbon at a greater rate than it’s released by farm operations.

30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil (with Carbon-Farmed Beef) | Fresh Planet Flavor

I’m lucky that this innovative beef is available just a half hour walk from my apartment. I visited the Ferry Building farmer’s market in San Francisco to score a pound of this carbon-farmed beef from Stemple Creek Ranch yesterday morning, and created this quick little riff on the classic Thai beef with basil to showcase it! Enjoy. 🙂

30 Minute Thai Beef with Basil

Preparation 15 mins 2017-12-16T00:15:00+00:00
Cook Time 15 mins 2017-12-16T00:15:00+00:00
Serves 2     adjust servings


  • 1 large carrot, shredded or julienned
  • 4 baby bells peppers, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp coconut aminos, divided
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp ginger juice
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or shredded
  • Extra basil, toasted sesame seeds, chili flakes, cauliflower rice, and edible flowers, for serving (optional)


  1. Combine the carrot, peppers, green onions, fish sauce, honey, lime juice, and one teaspoon of the coconut aminos in a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside.
  2. Heat a large wok or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil and once hot, add the ground beef. Brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. If necessary, drain off the grease from the meat before seasoning.
  3. Add the ginger juice, chili garlic paste, salt, black pepper, and 1 cup of fresh basil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the basil is wilted (about 3-5 minutes).
  4. Divide the beef evenly among serving bowls over caulirice (optional), top with equal amounts of the carrot and pepper mixture. Garnish with fresh basil, toasted sesame seeds, and chili flakes, if desired.


3 reviews
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 503kcal Calories from fat 229
% Daily Value
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 928mg 39%
Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 11g
Protein 48g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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