Asian-Inspired Flank Steak Marinade

flanksteak

I bought some flank steak and was going to just salt, pepper and throw garlic on it but then I was inspired seeing my friend make dinner one evening. She was grating ginger into some soy sauce for a marinade. It smelled really good! Too bad she didn’t invite me for dinner. :) I built on that idea, did a little research, then created an Asian-Inspired Marinade for my flank steak*. My kids ate this up! I was really shocked because my kids are not beef eaters.

(*This marinade works on other beef cuts, ribs, chicken, pork, fish, tofu etc..)

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T of honey (or agave nectar)
  • a juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T of olive oil
  • 1 T of sesame oil
  • 1 T of chopped garlic
  • 1 T of chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger (fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds of beef flank steak
  1. Combine all the ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Coat the steak with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (the longer the better!)
  3. Grill for 7-8 minutes per side (for medium rare).

Serve with steamed broccoli with a touch of sesame oil or sautéed mushrooms for a delicious low-carb meal. So yummy! If you have any leftovers, this would be perfect as a steak salad for lunch the next day. Toss it with my Sesame Vinaigrette dressing.

Salmon with Dill Sauce

salmon_dill

Here’s a tasty fish dish for lunch or dinner: Salmon with Dill Sauce. This low-carb, gluten-free meal is part of my clean eating challenge to each better and healthier by avoiding processed foods and hidden sugars that are found in many prepackaged sauces. This dish is simple to make and you can serve it with a side of veggies or brown rice.

RECIPE

  • 2 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed, fresh (preferred, but dried is fine)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp white rice vinegar
  • 1/2 T green onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces salmon
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat grill or broiler.
  2. Prepare dill sauce by combining yogurt, dill, pepper, mustard, vinegar, and onion.
  3. Brush salmon with olive oil and grill. Serve salmon topped with dill sauce.

Stuffed Bell Peppers (or Tomatoes)

bellpepper

My fitness guru, ShaunT (Insanity guy), posted this recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers on his Facebook page. It’s gluten-free, low in carbs, and absolutely delicious! I think I made it 3 times in a two-week period. :)

Since I’m not a big fan of bell peppers (they give me heartburn), I used giant beefsteak tomatoes instead. Worked perfectly! As for the kids? They loved it too, especially topped with cheese. Family fit dinner (or lunch) at its best!

RECIPE

  • 1 lb of ground lean turkey
  • Franks red hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • lemon pepper and black pepper to taste
  • 3 large bell peppers (or 6 beefsteak tomatoes), washed
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups of cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • Olive oil spray
  • grated cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Sauté onions and hot sauce in a pan with olive oil. Add ground turkey.
  3. Season with lemon pepper and black pepper. Keep browning until the meat is completely cooked.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Mix and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooked rice/quinoa with the meat.
  6. Cut the bell peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove all seeds. (If using tomatoes, cut the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh and seeds and save for a salad or for later use.)
  7. Place bell peppers/tomatoes in a baking dish.
  8. Spoon the meat mixture into each bell pepper/tomato. Fill as much as you can.
  9. Pour the rest of the chicken broth on the bottom of the baking dish.
  10. Optional: Put a little grated cheese over each bell pepper/tomato.
  11. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 minutes.

Enjoy!

Restaurant Style Salsa

salsa

I love Restaurant Style Salsa. It’s so good! Especially with the warm chips… Mmmmmm! Too bad store bought salsa in a jar just doesn’t cut it. And I don’t want pico de gallo. I want salsa, like what they have at Chevy’s. So after searching for a recipe on Google and altering what I found, I finally came up with something that I really love! My husband likes it HOT and I like it medium. Tastes good with regular chips or my favorite, Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean-Infused Tortilla Chips. Perfect snack!

RECIPE

  • 1-28 oz. can of whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1-10 oz. can of Rotel brand diced tomatoes and green chilies or just a can of green chillies (mild, original or hot, whichever is your preference)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 whole jalapeño, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 limes

In a food processor or blender, combine whole tomatoes, Rotel (or diced chillies), onion, jalapeno, garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. Taste and adjust as needed, if you need more salt or lime juice.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

Pistachio-Crusted Cod

pistachio_cod

I love pistachios! And if it’s used to “crust” something, I’m game! It’s Lent for us Catholics and so Fish Fridays are here until Easter. The original recipe used halibut but I had cod on hand so the recipe is now called Pistachio-Crusted Cod. But you can use any kind of flaky fish such as tilapia or salmon.

Low-carb, light and gluten-free. It’s such an easy dish to make for lunch or dinner. It has dijon mustard so it’s got “bite” that goes straight up your nostrils like Mater did when he ate the “avocado ice cream” (or wasabi) in Disney’s Cars 2. Lol. :)

RECIPE

  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • Four 4-oz. raw cod fillets (or halibut, tilapia, salmon, etc.)
  • ¼ cup raw, unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. corn meal or almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine mustard, lemon peel, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel and lay in an over-safe baking dish.
  4. Spread mustard mixture evenly on the top side of each fillet. Set aside.
  5. Combine pistachios, corn/almond meal and parsley in a medium bowl.
  6. Press pistachio mixture evenly into top side of each fillet.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until halibut flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serve with grilled vegetables and brown rice. Delicious!

Zucchini Brownies

zucchinibrownies

What?! Zucchini Brownies? It doesn’t sound appetizing but I can tell you that it is very good. It’s moist, rich, super dark, not too sweet, and yes, guilt-free (gluten-free, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, nut-free, and wheat-free). My 9-year old daughter loves them. My 4-year old son won’t try anything with the word “zucchini” it in no matter how chocolatey it is. If you’re lucky, it’s a great way to get veggies in your child or husband’s diet. :) Perfect for dessert or a snack.

The recipe is from cookingalamel.com but I made my own changes because I want it EXTRA DARK!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Peet’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar, added to the dry ingredients)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, shredded
  • One (1) 3.5 oz. of 85% or higher dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and liquid stevia together, until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini, chocolate pieces, and nuts.
  6. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

eggplantBake

I love Italian food and I’m a sucker for anything eggplant. The other day, my Swiss cousin said she making millefiore. I asked, “What’s that?” She explained it to me and my mouth just watered. We happened to be texting at midnight (which was about the time she was waking up) so I went to bed hungry. The next day, I ran to the grocery store and bought my ingredients for this tasty dish. I wish I could have eaten this for breakfast, but I waited till dinner before serving. And leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day!

She doesn’t put the ricotta-spinach layer so I couldn’t really call this millefiore. Instead, the best thing to call this dish is Roasted Eggplant Lasagna. No pasta, no flours, no sugar. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian, and cheesy good! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

RECIPE

  • 2 large eggplant, sliced thinly (about 1/4″)
  • 1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach (or use fresh spinach, chop first)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • salt / pepper
  • 1 lb of ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/2 c of grated parmesan and/or romano cheese
  • 1/2 grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce (I used half a jar of Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce.)
  1. Preheat oven at 350*.
  2. Slice eggplant. and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Salt eggplant and roast in oven till they turn brown. (About 15-20 min.) Set aside.
  3. While you are roasting your eggplant, you can sauté spinach with olive oil, garlic, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Let it cool. Then mix the spinach in with ricotta cheese, parmesan/ricota cheese and egg(s).
  4. Grease the bottom of an 8×8 square.
  5. Layer like a lasagna (eggplant, sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.
  6. Top with more tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake covered in foil for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.