Skirt Steak Stir Fry.

Last week, I picked up a pound of grass fed skirt steak and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I had some coconut aminos in my fridge so a stir fry seemed like the obvious choice.

Stir Fry Ingredients:
1 pound grass-fed skirt steak
4 large carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 hot cherry pepper
6 mushrooms of choice
1 head baby bok choy
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbs. seasame oil, for frying

Sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbs. coconut aminos
2 tbs. almond butter
1 tbs. lemon juice
red pepper flakes
1 tbs. arrowroot powder to coat steak*

Garnish:
slivered almonds
chopped green onion

Directions:
1. Rinse steak and pat dry.  Cut steak into thin strips and coat with arrowroot powder. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. *Arrowroot powder is not necessary, but it does help to thicken the sauce and coat the meat.
2. Julienne four large carrots, bell pepper and hot cherry pepper. Sliced the mushrooms and baby bok choy. Place carrots and bell peppers in one bowl, mushrooms and bok choy in another. Chop green onions and set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet and add sesame oil. Add steak in two batches (or according to the size of your skillet), cooking until the steak is just browned. This should take from 3-5 minutes for each batch if your skillet it hot. Remove steak from pan and set aside.
4. Add carrots and bell peppers to skillet, adding more oil if necessary. Saute for about five minutes, until the carrots are starting to soften, and add the mushrooms and bok choy.
5. Add garlic, coconut aminos, almond butter, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes to the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the vegetables are evenly coated.
6. Add steak to the vegetable mixture and cook another 2-3 minutes, until steak is cooked through. Remove the stir fry from the skillet and into serving bowls. Top with silvered almonds and green onions.
Serves 4.

Although I really enjoyed the flavor of this dish, the steak was seriously tough. As in, I kind of couldn’t even chew some pieces. I read after making this dish that skirt steak generally is tough but that the toughness can be reduced by marinating the steak. Next time, I will definitely do that. In the course of my research, I also happened upon this hilarious and extremely sexist website. Any tips on skirt steak that don’t play into the gender bias?

And of course, Happy Halloween! My little sisters had a trunk-or-treat last Saturday and I thought they looked awesome! Lady Gaga and a crazy creepy skeleton. Kara (the skeleton) even offered me her Starburst when she got back.

What will you be for Halloween? I’m being a cashier at Whole Foods Market ;)

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Filed under dinner, grain-free, paleo-friendly, recipe

First Successful Homemade Mayo.

Successful is the key word here. I’ve tried my hand at homemade mayo half a dozen times by now and it never turned out right — that is, until yesterday.

Up until now, I’ve always been impatient. Gotta use a machine, make it fast, don’t wanna hand whip… It never worked. And let me tell you, I had a revelation yesterday. The hand whip works. It may have taken me over an hour of whipping. But it worked! The emulsion didn’t break. (And I didn’t accidentally use a whole egg instead of just the yolk like last time!)

To make this mayo, I used one egg yolk, a half cup of organic olive oil and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. I mixed together the yolk and the lemon juice and then proceeded to add the olive oil one drop at a time, whipping in between. I’m honestly surprised the emulsion didn’t break because I did at one point whip out the Vitamix. And the food processor. But then I returned to the hand whipping method and the rest is history.

Mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper. The mayo still tasted a little funny to me but perhaps that’s because I’m not used to an olive oil-based mayo.

I used it to emulsify-ha! a batch of curried cherry chicken salad. It worked wonderfully. Of course, before I destroyed my mayo I had to show my dad and stepmom how beautiful it was. I was seriously freaking out.  I will never again subject my homemade mayonnaise to the whirring blades of a Vitamix. It may take me two hours, but it will be well worth the wait.

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Filed under lunch

Breakfast on a Saturday.

A Saturday? Yes, that’s right. I’m not working. I’m not at school. I’m off on a Saturday! This has not happened in literally months. So I stayed up extra late last night –just because I could– and slept in extra late, a little too late, this morning. It’s been so nice to get up and not have to rush around. I do have some errands to do today, but first, breakfast.

This morning I served up my last two slices of pain de campagne topped with butter and jam and an egg, slightly scrambled.

I usually just drink my coffee black but when I have heavy cream on hand, especially the quality kind (thank you Trickling Springs!), I use it up in my coffee. Delicious.

How do you prefer your eggs? I like mine scrambled and just set so that they’re not entirely dry. My boyfriend hates semi-wet eggs though and often prefers them fried!

Enjoy this beautiful fall weather!

 

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Filed under breakfast, bubbaloo, coffee drink love

Simple Sunday.

It’s been quite a while since my last post. The transition from summer to school is still in progress and it’s left little time or energy on my part to blog. It’s so easy to fall out of the habit of blogging but I don’t want to do that completely. Hopefully as I continue to adjust to this new routine, I’ll be back a bit more. Until then, dinner on a Sunday night.

Caramelized onions (in apple cider vinegar and maple syrup) with a sliced chicken apple sausage and a side of sauerkraut. Simple but still delicious. After a day of homework, it definitely hit the spot.

It’s become so crisp and cool around here lately. I look forward to the changing of flavors that autumn introduces. In fact, soup is on the menu for this week. I’ve been a fiend for soup lately, especially since I had cold last week.

What are your favorite fall foods?

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Filed under dinner, primal, yum

Blackberry Crisp.

Now that I’m finally coming down from the craziness of this week and weekend, it’s time to share this little gem of a dessert that kept my sweet tooth satisfied throughout a stress-filled, overloaded week.

(Excuse the instagrammed photos; my phone is still having “storage” issues.)

When I was younger, my grandparents would take my sister and I blackberry and blueberry picking every summer when we came to visit them in Virginia. Out of the buckets and buckets of berries we collected, my grandmother would make pies for weeks, even months on end from the fresh and then frozen and thawed berries. Out of all the pies she makes, blackberry remains a favorite of mine for the sour, sweet burst of flavor it provides.

I decided to make two single serve blackberry crisps after I picked up two half pints of blackberries (for $2.99!) at a small Asian market last week. They were too sour to eat by themselves and they were going bad too quickly to keep in the refrigerator, so as I made and enjoyed the first blackberry crisp, I placed the second half pint of berries in the freezer.

This recipe occurred purely by coincidence, based on what I had in my pantry. I’d recently made a modified batch of Elana’s grain-free granola using dates, pepitas, sunflower seeds and cashews and figured it would make a great crumbly topping. I was right.

For this recipe, you will need:
at least a half-cup of grain-free granola
1 half pint blackberries
1/2-1 tbs. maple syrup, to taste
1.5 tbs. coconut oil, preferably melted
yogurt or ice cream, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a small ramekin with a small amount of the coconut oil. I often try to melt coconut oil by putting it in a small dish and submerging in in a larger bowl filled with hot water, but I’m often not patient enough to let it melt entirely.
3. Place blackberries along the bottom of the greased ramekin, making a second layer as necessary.
4. Pour maple syrup over blackberries. You might not need sweetener if your blackberries are naturally sweet, but unfortunately mine were not.
5. Mix together granola and remaining coconut oil in a small bowl, and place over top of the blackberries. I had a bit of trouble getting all the granola I used to fit inside the ramekin, so it’s good to pat it down!
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Make sure to check on the “crisp” part to make sure it’s not burning. You could potentially cover the crisp with tin foil but I was too lazy to do that and therefore got a few browned, but still completely edible spots.
7. Let cool for ten minutes. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!

I got two servings out of this recipe, but could’ve easily eaten the whole ramekin in one sitting. I love how the heat really brings out the flavor and juiciness of these berries; it’s the perfect treat with which I say goodbye to summer.

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Filed under grain-free, nutritious treats, paleo-friendly, recipe

Back to School.

Today is my first day back to school. I’m already done classes for today, as they were three in a row back to back. So far, things have been pretty good. I’m already getting the sense that this semester will be a lot less enjoyable than the last (no English writing courses), but I’m willing to make the best of it. Unfortunately, I’m stuck at school right now because I still have work to get through, which starts at five thirty. My school is about five minutes from work so it would be pointless to go home. Not to mention a total waste of gas.

In approaching the school year, I decided that I would start batch cooking my dinners and breakfasts to make the transition from summer a bit easier. With homework, class and work I will have little time during the week to cook and so I’ll (hopefully) be cooking my breakfasts and dinners for the week every Sunday. What I ate today is essentially what I’ll be eating all week, with variation among sides and snacks.

This week on the breakfast menu is a crust-less mushroom and onion quiche, which will last me four days.

To keep it from getting boring, I’ve been switching up the sides. Yesterday I had quiche with avocado salad; this morning I had quiche and a banana!

For lunch this week, I finally cracked open my can of Bar Harbor Wild Caught Herring Filets in Cracked Pepper and made herring salad for herring salad sandwiches. Yes, I am eating bread again. Every few weeks I’ve decided to indulge in a half loaf of sourdough bread, as I have no gluten intolerance and have found no bad reaction from reintroducing it into my diet. Plus, I really missed toast. Like, a lot. I plan to continue following the paleo principle of consuming a whole foods based diet, but I’ve found that labeling myself as “paleo” is too restrictive for me at this point in time.

Herring salad made with celery, onion, a small pickle, greek yogurt and mustard, topped with fresh sliced tomato. To drink I had some diluted 100% cranberry juice. On the side I enjoyed some fresh cherries and cucumber slices. Yes, I am that girl with the extremely stinky fish sandwich. No, I don’t care.

For dinner this week, I made a huge batch of chili. My phone’s been really weird lately and won’t let me take pictures (it says the storage is too full even though I know I have space left, since I’ve deleted apps and everything), so unfortunately you only get a crap-quality picture of all the ingredients that went into my delicious and extremely spicy chili.


Recipe coming soon!

Have a great Wednesday!

8 Comments

Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch, wiaw

Garbage Dump Dinner.

Sometimes, like last night, I have lots of leftovers but no idea how to make a coherent meal out of them. Sometimes it’s best to forget conventionality and simply everything together in a pot. At least that’s what I told myself last night.

I had leftover chicken, roasted pee wee potatoes and some produce in the fridge that needed to be used. So I chopped up an orange bell pepper, an onion, two cloves of garlic and a bit of fresh rosemary and threw it all in a pan with olive oil. I sauteed this mix until the onions were translucent. Then I added the chicken and potatoes, adding more olive oil as necessary and stirring until the potatoes and chicken were warmed through. Dinner was served. And it was delicious.

I had leftovers of my leftovers for lunch today, which I topped with some fresh basil. For some reason, it tasted better today. The sweet onion taste really pulled through and the basil provided a nice bite. The flavors really melded together overnight. Weird how that happens.

Luckily, I have one more serving of this delicious bowl awaiting me tomorrow. Now I’m off to cook things for the rest of the week, as I’m looking at an extremely busy schedule. I literally will not have time to cook this week since school starts this Wednesday. I’ll have to balance that with a full schedule of work since I picked up an extra shift! I’m excited but overwhelmed at the same time. Enjoy your Monday!

P.S. Can you see me in the spoon? Gotta love the head popping in on the first picture. :)

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Filed under dinner, recipe