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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Stormy Chocolate

stormy_hotchocA very good friend of mine shared this dairy-free, gluten-free Stormy Chocolate drink by Stormy Large. It sounded so good (and hilariously written) that when I read it on her Facebook page I had to try and see if it was true AND if I wanted to punch somebody. 🙂

RECIPE

  • 2 Tbsp Pure cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of your sweetener of choice (Stevia, Xylitol, Agave Nectar, etc.)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Coconut Milk
  1. Place two heaping tablespoons of cacao powder in a mug.
  2. Sprinkle generously with cayenne and cinnamon.
  3. Add 1/4 cup boiling water to make a hot chocolatey paste.
  4. Add sweetener and then slowly add hot coconut milk “until you want to punch somebody. It’s so freaking delicious.”

Yes, it was so deliciously creamy and rich that I forgot it was guilt-free. So perfect on a rainy morning with breakfast or a cold day out camping.

 

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.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Toast with peanut butter and honey. One of my favorite bad breakfasts in my “past life.” And then I would dream about sprinkling chocolate chips on top of THAT bad boy! I’ve learned to put aside those peanut butter-chocolate cravings but then I saw this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins from glutenfreefix.com. OMG… These muffins hit the spot! The smell is outrageous while baking! And, they’re not overly sweet like a cupcake. They’re just right for breakfast to call them “muffins,” and go very well with a cup of coffee.

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional: 1 bar of 70% (or higher) dark chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Melt together coconut oil and agave nectar in the microwave (about 20-30 seconds.)
  3. Whisk in cocoa powder and peanut butter until smooth.
  4. Whisk in eggs and baking soda.
  5. Add in chopped chocolate pieces (if using).
  6. Pour into lined or greased muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes. (Makes 12 muffins.)

Caveman Crunch Cereal

I have been avoiding eating breakfast cereal for years since there’s always too many carbs in them and it’s always sweetened with sugar. Well, breakfast came alive again for me when I found this recipe called Caveman Crunch Cereal on fastpaleo.com. (I made a couple of adjustments so I’m not sure how “paleo” this is now.) This cereal is full of nuts and fiber, and lightly sweetened with agave nectar so it’s guilt-free for me. Best part… My kitchen smelled delicious while this was baking in the oven. I couldn’t wait to eat some topped with coconut milk! So not only is this the perfect cereal, it’s also a great snack when you want something chocolately for your sweet tooth.

RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 cups slivered or sliced almond (or 1 cup almonds and 1 cup old-fashioned oats)
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any other oil)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a spatula.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, coating the nuts thoroughly.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on to a tinfoil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes then pull it out and mix it up with a fork. Then bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. Let the pan cool which allows it to get crunchy. Break it all up as you remove it from the foil and store in an airtight container.
  8. Enjoy with your favorite type of milk or eat as is.

Pots de Creme (Chocolate Mousse)

OMG! If I ever have to choose my last dessert while living, this would be it: Pots de Creme (based on healthyindulgences.net’s Chocolate Mousse recipe). I don’t even care if it is guilt-free, gluten-free and with no refined sugar. This baby is to DIE FOR! It’s rich, smooth, creamy and luscious… I’m going to run out of adjectives. Just make it! And what’s fun is using little tiny containers like espresso cups or even shot glasses. I used a shot glass from my wedding. Too cute!

RECIPE

  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese*

(*For dairy-free options, replace the cream with coconut cream, and replace the cream cheese with 2 tbsp of coconut cream and 2 tbsp of coconut oil.)

  1. Microwave the coffee and cream in a mug for about 50 seconds, or until it starts to bubble.
  2. Place heated coffee mixture, agave nectar, chocolate and vanilla in a blender. Blend for one minute or until chocolate is melted.
  3. Add eggs and cream cheese, and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour from blender into ramekins, shot glasses, tiny cups, tea cups, etc.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to set.
  6. Serve. Top with sugar-free sweetened heavy cream or a few berries.

Agua de Melon (Fresh Cantaloupe Juice)

I used to love ordering a BIG glass of aguas frescas (or fresh fruit juices) at Mexican restaurants. Typically they had tamarindo (tamarind), cantaloupe or watermelon. At Salvadorean restaurants (where my husband’s family is from) they had jamaica (hibiscus punch) or marañon (cashew apple juice). Very flavorful and refreshing, but oh-so-full of sugar. To satisfy my craving for aguas frescas, especially on a super hot day, I just make my own guilt-free Agua de Melon at home. Usually if the cantaloupe is sweet enough, then I don’t bother adding sweetener. Otherwise, if your cantaloupe isn’t sweet (that happens sometimes) I add a splash of agave nectar to give it the right sweetness it needs.

RECIPE

  • half a cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Optional: 1 tbsp of agave nectar or coconut palm nectar (or stevia equivalent)
  1. In a blender, put in cantaloupe, sweetener and ice cubes.
  2. Blend it all together. You may have to work it down with a wooden spoon or add a little water to get things moving. Make sure you get all the ice cubes crushed so it’s like sipping a Slurpee.
  3. Serve in a fancy glass so you think you’re on a tropical island.