Steak Additions: Lemon Garlic Marinade and Cilantro Chimchurri Sauce

Wow.  I love steak.  And this took it to a whole new level.  It made me real happy!!  I had never heard of chimchurri sauce (I’m still learning!), but I can’t believe what I was missing!  Especially CILANTRO chimchurri sauce!!  Right Mamma?!  Holla!  😉  My mommy loves cilantro to a point where it is concerning…  Sound dramatic?  I’m not exaggerating, I promise.  There were so many instances where my brothers and I would skip up the stairs to catch her in the kitchen, smashing cilantro leaves between her fingers and sniffing them haha!! If someone walked in that didn’t know her well enough to know how amazingly sweet and innocent she is…or didn’t know that it was cilantro in her hands…they’d probably be concerned, or calling for an intervention haha!  However…I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Just the sillyness that makes her “mommy.”  So instead of calling Cilantrohaulics Anonymous…I am going to share this recipe in her honor.  I’m sure she will be printing it in no time 😉

This is in keeping with my revelation that I just mentioned in my Salmon with Grapefruit Relish post.  To make a new, exciting entree, you don’t have to come up with a crazy new seasoning or cook it in a way no one has thought of before (though those are good things to do!)…you simply need to cook your meat and top it with some sort of yummy sauce/salsa/chimchurri something!!  And it makes you look fancy!

Adapted from the lovely http://www.sagerecipes.com

Enough jabbering.  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lbs Grilling Steaks

Marinade:

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Chimchurri Sauce:

  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro (Just the leaves)
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (Mr. Rodgers’ favorite!)
  • 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. A few hours before (or preferably the night before) season your steaks with salt and pepper.  Mix together all marinade ingredients.  Put steaks in a large Ziploc or bowl, pour marinade over, seal, and toss in your fridge until you are ready to grill.
  2. About half an hour before you want to eat, take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  3. Now make your chimchurri sauce.  Now, I kinda cheated on this part!  You were supposed to chop this all and mix it together in a bowl.  Well.  I was short on time.  So I used a food processor, and I thought it worked pretty great!!  Add the garlic and onion to your food processor and pulse until they are starting to look minced.  Add everything but the cilantro and pulse a few more times to combine.  Now rinse your cilantro leaves and add them and pulse until you have a salsa-looking sauce.
  4. Heat your grill and cook your steaks about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending how thick it is and how “well done” you like it.
  5. Place on a plate, let sit, then top with your magical cilantro sauce…and devour!!

 

Mix together your marinade ingredients.

Chimchurri Steak 1

 

 

Place steaks in a bowl or Ziploc bag and pour on the marinade.  Ziplocs work best but I was out!  Rub the marinade into the meat.  If you have a Ziploc you can zip it up and massage it through the plastic!  Put it back into the fridge over night (or at least a few hours!)
Chimchurri Steak 2

 

 

About half an hour before you want to eat, take your meat out of the fridge and let it sit.  Now start your chimchurri sauce!  Place your half onion and garlic cloves in a food processor (it won’t look like as much as mine…I doubled it and had SO MUCH EXTRA! Haha.)  Pulse until they are starting to look minced!

Chimchurri Steak 4

 

 

Add everything else other than the cilantro…Chimchurri Steak 5

 

Pulse to combine…

Chimchurri Steak 6

 

Now rinse your cilantro leaves…

Chimchurri Steak 7

 

and pulse again, until it begins looking loosely like a salsa…

Chimchurri Steak 8

 

 

Now grill your steaks!  Funny thing is…we had just been given a grill and my husband was desperately trying to put it together in enough time to grill these outdoors.  Unfortunately it was more complicated than we thought…I made this meal, ran out to a dance stage rehearsal…and when I came back the poor fella was still trying to get the darn thing together!!  Anywho…if you have an outdoor grill…I reccommend using it, but if you don’t, or it’s -20 degrees outside (which actually happens here) then go ahead and bust out your grill pan!

5-7 minutes per side 🙂

Chimchurri Steak 9

 

Let sit for a good 10-15 minutes…then slice, plate, and top with chimchurri sauce!!  Yummyyyyyy!  Such a nice bold, tangy flavor.  A nice change from A-1!  (I know, all the guys just yelled at me.  Haha.)

Chimchurri Steak 11

 

See that tasty sauce?

Chimchurri Steak 10

 

 

Beautiful!!  Yummy!!!Chimchurri Steak 12

Broiled Salmon with Grapefruit Relish

Yum.  This is one of those “I look really fancy” meals.  As I grow in cooking, I am realizing something quite amazing.  All these different fancy recipes…not a lot of them are crazy different seasonings on your meat, or some new “unheard” of cooking method…its simply taking a meat, sprinkling some salt and pepper, cooking it until its done, then topping it with some yummy sauce/relish/salsa/chutney.  The variety is in the topping!!  Not in every case, of course.  But that discovery was such a relief for me.  The thought of coming up with a new, unheard of sauce is a lot less daunting to me.  Big sigh.  🙂

This relish…was yummy.  Cause I loooooove grapefruits.  I think you’ll like it.  So read on. 🙂

Adapted from http://www.wholeliving.com.

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 lb Salmon Fillets
  • 3 Large Ruby Red Grapefruits
  • 3 Tbsp Agave
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (Yes, this makes it a little spicy…we like that :))

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Start by preparing your first two grapefruits.  You may want to scroll down to my pictures to see how I did it, but I will try and explain it in a way that makes sense.  First, slice a tiny bit off the top and bottom, so that all the peel and white stuff is gone in that area.  Then, take your knife, start from the top and cut down to the bottom in a curve, separating the peel from the grapefruit.  You want to remove as much of the white stuff as possible.  Then separate the segments over a bowl (to catch the juice) and set them aside.  Using a knife helps!  Squeeze the peels over the bowl to squish out as much juice as possible.
  2. Juice the third grapefruit.  You need about 1 1/2 C juice.
  3. Start your relish!  Get a small pot and pour in your juice, agave, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes or more, until its thick and syrupy.  It should reduce a LOT, the original says to have about 1/4 C when it’s all said and done.
  4. Pour half of the “syrup” out into a small bowl and set aside, and return the pot to the oven.
  5. Add the grapefruit segments to the pot (if there is more than 1 C, you can reserve some to serve with it on the plate as a garnish :)).  Bring to a boil and let it cook until the segments have broken down so that it goes from “syrup” to “relish.”  Should take about 12 minutes.
  6. Preheat broiler.  Put your salmon fillets on a lined baking dish (or sheet) and salt and pepper them.  Brush fish with the reserved grapefruit “syrup” and plop in the oven on the top rack.  Cook until it flakes easily with a fork, about 6-7 minutes.
  7. Plate your fish and top with relish, and serve.  Yummmm!!!!

Start by prepping two of the grapefruits.  Cut a thin slice off the top.  I should have cut down farther so that all the white is gone of the top.  I nailed it on my second grapefruit 😉

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 1

Take your knife and cut from the top to the bottom in a curve, so that you are separating the peel from the fruit.

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 2

See?  Continue around the whole grapefruit.

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 3

Perfect!

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 4

Separate the segments (using a knife helps) over a bowl so you catch as much juice as possible.Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 5

 

Juice third grapefruit, you need about 1 1/2 C of juice.  You can also squeeze peels over the bowl to get extra juice if you need it.

Put your juice, agave, and red pepper flakes in a small pot on the stove and stir.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 or more minutes, until it is syrupy and has reduced to about 1/4 C.Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 6

Pour out half of the syrup and set aside.  Put the pot back on the stove.

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 8

Toss your grapefruit segments in the pot and stir.  If you have more than one cup of the segments, you can save them to garnish later.

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 7

Boil until the segments have broken down and become more of a “relish” texture, about 12 minutes.

Preheat broiler.  Place salmon on a baking dish lined with foil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Brush reserved syrup on the fish and pop in the oven on the top rack for about 7 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 9

Look how good it looks already?!!  Now place on your serving plate (or in my case, the Tupperware you and your husband are going to eat out of on the way to church), top with relish, and DEVOUR!  Sweet, tart, crispy, moist, salty…how can it be all those things at once?  Sooooooo good!

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 10

See?  My fancy Tupperware!  This is served on top of cauliflower “fried rice,” which was also super amazing and I can’t wait to share with you!

Salmon with Grapefruit Relish 11

Reliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!

Let me know how you like it!!  What is your favorite sauce/relish to top meat with?!

Maker’s Diet Tomato Basil Soup

Tomatoes and I…are not best friends.  In fact, growing up we were more like enemies.  But I decided to be brave and try this soup.  And it caused me to decide that I should give tomatoes another chance, cause it was real tasty!  It’s pretty simple too, and creamy even though there is no dairy!  You know any soup that causes you to reconsider your entire view on a vegetable (or fruit?  I get so confused when people argue if its a fruit or veggie)…has to be something pretty special. 🙂  If you like tomato soup…you should try this.  Even the smell is worlds better than the stuff from a can!

I made this the first potentially summery day this year.  There was still a chill in the air, so the warmness of the soup was a wonderful touch to the day.  However, the freshness of the soup also made it feel summery and added to the celebration that was happening inside of me because “the winter is over and the time of singing has come!”  Yaaaaay.  When you live in Northern New York, you appreciate the coming of the sun much much more .

Adapted from perfectweightamerica.com…only because, as always, I had double the amount of garlic, haha!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 C Basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 Large Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 6 C Chicken Stock

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until beginning to soften.  Add garlic and saute another minute or so.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add basil and vinegar.  Blend with an immersion blender or in a normal blender, in batches if necessary.

Melt coconut oil.  Saute onions.  Add garlic and saute another couple of minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes, then add stock and simmer 10 minutes.

Add basil and vinegar.

Tomato Basil Soup 1

Bleeeeeeeend to make it nice and creamy!

Tomato Basil Soup 2

Pour yourself a cup, put on a sweatshirt, and go play outside!!

Tomato Basil Soup 3See my pure glee at the sunshine?!

Tomato Basil Soup 5Such a good day, I actually did my hair, got to play outside with the baby (GOSH I MISS HER), made a healthy lunch, and got to soak in some vitamin D from its original source instead of a supplement, yaaaay!!!

Tomato Basil Soup 6Wouldn’t this face make your day a good day too?  SO stinking precious.  All morning she was almost in tears begging me “ouside? ouside? ousiddddeee!!?”  Sweet girl.  Do you like my scary chalk T-Rex?  😉

Tomato Basil Soup 4Beautiful day.  Beautiful baby.  Beautiful soup.  I feel like this is a soup you could play with too…a good base for artistic license 🙂  I topped it with shredded parmesan at one point…that was delicious.  I bet it would be good with croutons too.  But that would take away the whole “Maker’s Diet” super healthy aspect.  🙂  Let me know how you like it!

Simple Warm Lentil Salad

This is what I made to stand beside my Marinated Garlic Herb Chicken Breast.  If you read that post, you will know that it was a week night, and I didn’t want to spend tons of time on dinner, but still wanted to treat Mr. Rodgers to something tasty.  Well, the chicken was SUPER easy.  I didn’t want to spend tons of time on the side dish either…and this was perfect!  Filling and hearty to compliment the lightness of the chicken 🙂  Try it out!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 lb Lentils, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Tbsp Minced Onion (The dry stuff.  You can use a real onion too, I just didn’t have one!  Probably about 1/2 an onion)
  • 1 1/2 C Frozen Mixed Veggies
  • 1/3 C Chicken or Beef Broth
  • 1/2 T Dried Chives
  • 1/2 T Savory Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare 
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Follow the directions on your lentil bag to get them started cooking.  Set your timer for just a couple minutes less than the recommended cooking time.
  2. In a large pot melt your butter.  Toss in the onion and mixed veggies and saute until tender.  
  3. Add the lentils and stir to combine evenly.
  4. Add the broth and seasonings, stir, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop on your plate, and top with a delicious protein.  🙂

 

Simple.  Warm. Comforting.  Delicious.  And fast 🙂

 

Lentils and Veggies

 

Lentils!  Such a wonderful food!  I love them and I didn’t even know what they were a year ago!  🙂  Check your package and cook them just a couple minutes shy of the recommended time.

Lentils and Veggies 2

 

Measure a cup and a half of frozen veggies.  You can use fresh if you want!  But as I mentioned before…the groceries were low so I was using things from the caverns of the freezer and pantry. 🙂   Usually I prefer the flavor of fresh veggies, but for a busy night when you can’t spend time chopping and slicing these work great!!!  

Lentils and Veggies 3Melt the butter in a large pan.

Lentils and Veggies 3.5Add your frozen veggies and minced onion and cook until they are tender.

Lentils and Veggies 4Add lentils and seasonings.  If you don’t know what Herbamare is…here ya go…its a tasty version of salt, and it’s pretty healthy!!

Grilled Chicken Chickpea Salad 1

 

Add your beef broth and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Scoop on your plate, top with a protein, and devour!!!!  Yummy!!!Lentils and Veggies 5

 

 

Marinated Garlic Herb Chicken Breast

You may have noticed that in my salads and other vegetables I make…I have a sort of “vinaigrette” that I just LOVE to use.  It may not be exactly the same every time, but it is often similar.  Because I just love it so much.  Anyways.  Up till this point I had only tried it on veggies.

Well.

I tried something different, and I am so glad that I did.  It’s not often that I make a entree entirely original without getting inspiration from an existing recipe.  But it was a weeknight, I was at the end of the grocery supplies…and I didn’t want to take a ton of time prepping for dinner because I wanted to go on a walk at my favorite nature trail.  I whisked this marinade up in minutes and was on my way, and only had to toss it in the oven when I returned a few hours later.

A version of my favorite vinaigrette as a chicken marinade!  Yeahhhhh!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Franks, but prefer Sriracha)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried Rosemary
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme, leaves stripped and minced

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Get your chicken marinating anywhere from 2 hours to all night.  I tend to believe that the longer the better 🙂
  2. Whisk together everything but the chicken.  Dump it over the chicken in a large bowl or Ziploc baggie and let sit for however long you have.
  3. About 40 minutes before you want to eat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cook chicken for 30-40 minutes, until juices run clear 🙂
  4. Enjoy this super simple weeknight recipe that will make everyone super happy!!!

Whisk together the marinade and dump it over the chicken and let marinate, preferably over night, but even a couple of hours will infuse some good flavor.

Garlic Herb Chicken 1

40 minutes prior to eating, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cook chicken until juices run clear 30-40 minutes. 🙂

Garlic and Herb Chicken 2Sooooo good.  And probably the easiest chicken you will ever make 🙂

Asian Inspired Green Beans

Yummy.  I love green beans.  For real.  Especially with garlic and ginger.  So this recipe made me happy, happy, happy.  Beautiful side dish for any kind of protein.  One of my favorite things about starting the journey to health is the fact that I have discovered that there are SO many different ways to make vegetables…so many flavors you can use, and so many different ways to cook them!  It blows my mind and makes me so excited!  I think a lot of people who say they “hate vegetables” or “don’t do green” just don’t know that veggies don’t have to be boring.  In fact…it’s pure injustice if you let them be.  Because they are worth so much more than that!!  This recipe is a perfect example of a green living up to it’s potential.  Try it out!!!

Adapted from www.foodandwine.com

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lb fresh Green Beans
  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (Soy Sauce Substitute)
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

And here’s how you do it:

  1. In a large pot of water, bring water to boil and salt it.  Toss in the green beans and boil until tendercrisp, about 4 minutes.
  2. While beans boil, prepare a bowl of ice water.  As soon as beans are done, toss them into the ice water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, probably about 30 seconds.
  4.  Add ginger and red pepper flakes, then green beans and amino acids.  Toss together and saute for a few more minutes.  Serve and enjoy!!

 

Asian Inspired Green Beans 1Don’t they look good?  They were!  They were slightly reminiscent of Garlic Ginger Peas, but I thought somehow this flavor was even better.

Here it is next to a steak and chicken breast my husband grilled for me…we had just been given the grill a few days prior for his birthday, but hadn’t had a chance to try it out yet…so even though we were busy all day, he ended up being so excited to try his man grill that we grilled at 11 at night, haha!  The beauty of being young, impulsive, and childless 😉  These beans were the perfect green side for the tasty main course.

Asian Inspired Green Beans 2

 

Try it out, make it your own, and let me know how you like it!!!