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.

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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.

Frozen Banana with Peanut Butter

banana_PBWhen you’re craving ice cream and you really shouldn’t have ice cream, I go for this Frozen Banana dessert treat. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. So simple to make. I usually have bananas in my freezer because sometimes I buy too many bananas. And instead of tossing them out or if I don’t have time to make banana bread, I peel them and put them in a zipped bag and save them for future use. For this frozen treat, I cut up a frozen banana and drizzle all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter all over it. It tastes like you’re eating real ice cream! Hits the spot (and I’m eating clean.) You can also use almond butter, cashew butter, any other nut butter of your choice. Even sunbutter if you’re allergic to nuts.

Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade

straw_van_lemonadeMy daughter and I had a free Saturday one day while my husband and son went on a hike. I asked her what she wanted to do and she requested to have a tea party at home. Just the two of us. How sweet. She said she didn’t want to drink tea. She wanted “fancy lemonade.” My parents’ lemon tree happened to have an abundance of lemons that week so I happened to have a zillion lemons on hand. I also happened to have some strawberries in my freezer that I save for making smoothies. Together, we made a sugar-free Strawberry Vanilla Lemonade. Served in champagne flutes, my daughter definitely enjoyed her fancy lemonade on our Mommy & Daughter Tea Party.

RECIPE

  • 4-5 lemons
  • 1-2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of powdered Stevia extract (or other sweetener)
  • 6-8 fresh or frozen strawberries, washed, cleaned and cut in half
  • water and ice
  1. Juice the lemons and pour in a pitcher.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Fill with ice and water.
  4. Add Stevia (or other sweetener). Add more to your preferred sweetness.
  5. Add the strawberries and let them soak for an hour before serving so that the strawberry flavor enhances the lemonade.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

choc_avocado_mousseI was watching Top Chef one night, and it was a healthy food challenge. One of the contestants made a dairy-free chocolate dessert using avocado. That perked my attention, not only because I love avocado, but because it’s dairy-free. So I played around to come up with my version of Chocolate Avocado Mousse. It is just as rich and creamy as the real thing. You don’t actually taste the avocado so if you don’t like avocado but you want a healthier version of a chocolate mousse, then you should give this recipe a try.

I also started experimenting with Xylitol. I was a little worried about using this sweetener because I thought it was a man-made substitute. It’s not. “Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine.” It tastes just like sugar and with no after-taste. You can use it in the same proportions as sugar (1:1) and it is actually good for your teeth. The  catch is it is quite expensive. So I use it sporadically. If you consume too much in a day, your tummy won’t like it. (I haven’t had this problem.)

You can use Xylitol with this recipe or another sweetener of your choice. It’s still delicious.

RECIPE

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream, chilled
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp of Xylitol or agave nectar, coconut palm nectar (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • Optional: Add a tsp. of peanut butter for a richer, more decadent mousse.
  1. Cut the avocado in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl (or in a blender or food processor).
  2. Add coconut cream, cocoa powder and sweetener.
  3. Mash with a fork (or blend/process) until smooth.
  4. Serve chilled.

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

braziliantruffles I saw this post on FastPaleo.com, and although I have no idea what Brazilian Chocolate Truffles are, I was already intrigued when I saw the words “Chocolate Truffles.” 🙂 What perfect timing since Valentine’s Day is almost here. Enjoy this gluten-free, refined sugar-free, lower-carb (and can be dairy-free) dessert with your Valentine!

The recipe seemed simple enough, just lengthy since you have to make your own guilt-free condensed milk (JACKPOT!) and that takes two hours. But don’t be discouraged. The end result is totally worth it! Even the condensed milk alone is a winner. I followed the method that was posted but it didn’t turn out right, so I had to improvise. No worries because the truffles came out perfectly! (I love it when that happens.)

RECIPE

  • 1 can coconut cream or milk
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar or coconut palm nectar
  • 4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free option)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix the coconut cream/milk, vanilla and the nectar in a sauce pan.
  2. Stir under medium heat until simmering.
  3. Lower the heat as low as it goes and let it cook for 2 hours. Stir every few minutes and keep an eye on it that it doesn’t boil over. You’ll know it’s ready when it has the consistency of condensed milk (thick and syrupy).
  4. Add the butter/coconut oil and half of the cocoa powder under medium heat.
  5. Stir and add the remaining cocoa powder. Keep stirring until liquid separates from the chocolate mixture. Remove from heat.
  6. Drain and toss the liquid.
  7. Cool the chocolate (while in the pan) in the fridge for about 2 hours. It is important it is cool before you roll it. It should have a similar consistency as clay.
  8. Line your hands with coconut oil and start rolling the chocolate into balls. You might need to add more oil to your hands in between a few rolls.
  9. Cover each ball in cocoa powder (or cocoa powder and cinnamon), shredded coconut or chopped nuts. You can also hide a whole hazelnut or almond in the middle for a surprise crunch.

K-Cup Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino

capuccinoSo we got a new “toy” in the kitchen and as fun as it is making these individual K-cups of coffee, I decided to play around and find a quick way to make a Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino.

RECIPE

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk (coconut, almond or soy)
  • 2-3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • coffee
  1. In a mug, heat the milk and vanilla syrup for 30 seconds in the microwave. Then froth with your magic wand. (If you don’t have a frother, it’s okay. It’ll taste just fine.)
    milk_frother
  2. Place your mug (with the heated frothy milk in the mug) under your K-cup brewer and select the 6 oz. cup size.
  3. BAM… Guilt-Free Vanilla Cappuccino!

Feel free to use other sugar-free flavors. Sometimes I add sugar-free caramel syrup with the vanilla to make a caramel macchiato. Other times, I’ll pour my cappuccino over ice in a blender and make a frappuccino. The possibilities are endless!