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.

Cheesy Quinoa Salad

cheesyquinoaA few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”

This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
  2. While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
  3. After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
  4. Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir.
  6. Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
  7. Serve as a side dish at room temp or cold.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage

Balsamic_ChixFeeling kind of lazy to make dinner one day. So I went on fastpaleo.com and found this recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage. I adjusted it a little because there was just so much liquid in the end, it was like soup. Anyway, the dish was a hit for the whole family! This gluten-free and low-carb meal was so flavorful from the spices.

RECIPE

  • 4-6 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 6 fresh Italian sausages
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 14.5 oz cans of diced or plum tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (1 teaspoon of each: Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor.
  3. Lay the sausage on top of the seasoned chicken.
  4. Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next. Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
  5. Top with a second round of seasonings, use the remaining portions. Again, don’t mix this up.
  6. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.

I served it with a side of brown rice pasta and steamed asparagus to keep it guilt-free. The next day, for left overs, I topped the chicken on a bed of greens to make a delicious salad. Yummy!

Balsa_Chix2

Stuffed Avocado

Last month, while on a road trip, my family and I stopped at a small town to get some lunch. I browsed through the menu and saw “Stuffed Avocado with Tuna Salad.” Mmm! That sounds good. No pictures, no description. I just figured it was an avocado stuffed with tuna salad. Well, to my surprise, it was a gigantic pile of salad greens (the cheap stuff) covered with mounds of grated cheese, a handful of bacon bits, a sliced hard boiled egg, 4 slices of tomatoes, 15 slices of red onions, and about 6 avocado slices. Then on top of THAT heap was a scoop of tuna salad. You couldn’t even see the plate! And as loaded as this salad was, it was NOT appetizing at all. I felt ripped off, believe it or not. So after our trip and we were back home, I made it my mission to come up with my OWN version of Stuffed Avocado. It basic and simple yet appealing and tasty. And you can even see the plate! 🙂

RECIPE

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of diced chicken (packaged, canned or leftovers from a rotisserie chicken; or you can also use albacore tuna)
  • 2 tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. of diced celery
  • 1 tbsp. of diced onions
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit and peel (that is if you catch it at the right time where you can easily peel the skin off in one swoop.) Set aside.
  2. Mix all the rest of the ingredients above. (Feel free to add other spices like garlic powder, cumin or paprika, or mix in diced apples or grapes)
  3. Put a scoop of chicken salad in the center of each avocado half. Top with sliced almonds if you wish.
  4. Enjoy your delicious low-carb, gluten-free meal!

Sesame Vinaigrette

Happy Leap Year! Did you know that Disneyland is open for 24 hours today?

My Swiss cousin created this delicious, gluten-free, agave-sweetened Sesame Vinaigrette. I love the flavors and its aromatic sweetness! She uses this dressing literally every day on her dinner salad, and since she’s introduced this salad dressing to me, I’ve eaten it almost every day as well (lunch or dinner) because it’s THAT good. Sometimes I’ll drizzle it over steamed vegetables. So guilt-free good!

RECIPE

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil (the dark kind with the strong sesame aroma)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Put it all in a jar, cover it and give it a good shake. It should thicken and coat your greens* very nicely.

(*The secret to this salad is the kind of greens you’ll be pouring this dressing on. Make sure you toss in chopped cilantro and chopped green onions to whatever salad greens you’re using. It just enhances the flavors in the dressing.)