Hanger Steak w/ Orange-Oregano Chimichurri

How is it already the middle of November?  I can’t handle it!  Totally over the darkness I now have to drive home with.  BOO!

In an effort to brighten up your week, I wanted to share this Chimichurri recipe with you.  It’s a citrusy, delicious way to top off your steak, chicken, or really anything!  We tried this recipe back when we did our first round of the Bon Appetit Cleanse and both Dave and I just loved it.  The sauce is easy to make too, give it a try soon 🙂

Also, I can’t type “Hanger” steak without thinking of being “Hangry”… hmmm…

tinafey

Hanger Steak w/ Orange-Oregano Chimichurri
(4) Servings
Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

1½ lb. hanger steak, center membrane removed, cut into 4 pieces
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. vinegar (red wine, cider, or white wine)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided

Directions:

  1. Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Combine garlic, oregano, and orange zest in a medium bowl; using the back of a spoon, crush with ¾ tsp. salt until fragrant. Mix in parsley, orange juice, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified; season chimichurri with salt and pepper.
  2. Season steaks all over with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add steaks and cook, turning once, until browned and medium-rare, 4–6 minutes per side. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve steaks with chimichurri.

So good!  Enjoy!  I served this steak with Sweet Potato wedges and a spinach salad.

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Eggplant Bolognese

Well hello again, my friends.  It’s almost been a year since my last post!  I have been extremely busy with life and my good old little food blog got away from me.  New job, got married, bought a house, you know, the basic things that keep you away from a computer once you’re finally home!

I can promise you though, that I have been spending that last year building up a repertoire of tons of fun new and exciting recipes to share.  As life is starting to settle down for the moment, I made it my goal to bring those recipes to you and start writing again.  So, here we are!

I wanted to start us off with a really solid, versatile recipe that you can really do a lot with.  Take out the beef and make this meatless for your Monday, or for your favorite vegetarian!  Don’t like eggplant?  Swap it out with Zucchini or Squash!  That really is the best thing about cooking, you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT!  BUT, if you do like eggplant, and you are a carnivore like myself… please do yourself a favor and try this one out, you won’t be disappointed!

Eggplant Bolognese
Recipe Adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Large Sweet Onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided + 1 Tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, divided
1/2 lb Ground Beef, I used 85%
1.5 lbs Eggplant, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Red Wine- I used Pinot Noir so I could drink some while I cooked 🙂
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
10oz Whole-Wheat Fettuccine
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and beef; cook 10 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble beef. Add eggplant, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 20 minutes or until eggplant is very tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes too. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and red wine vinegar.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 1 tablespoon kosher salt to cooking water. Drain.
3. Toss pasta with sauce; sprinkle with basil leaves.

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Well, that’s all for today, goal of posting in October ACCOMPLISHED!  Huzzah!  Now, go comment, like, share… do it!

Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic, & Poblano Ragu

I feel like I’m living in an episode of Seinfeld or Friends.  You know… when something happens and then something else happens and then a third thing happens that somehow ties it all together.  I’m pretty sure some recent events are really just my subconscious is trying to tell me that I’m losing my mind.  Literally.

friends

I’ve always had this panic thing where I really think I lose my cell phone and once I start the panic mode, I find it under my leg in my seat in the car, in a fold in a blanket, or under the dog.  This happens like, literally all the time.  At least once or twice a day.

What’s going on with my recent misplacement of really important belongings isn’t this panic-mode.  It’s real.  I don’t know what’s going on (with the exception of me losing my mind)… but in the past two weeks I have somehow managed to misplace not one but TWO jackets, leave my car keys in my Mom’s car, and forget my purse in a restaurant.  WTF?!

Rather than just thinking I’m a moron, I’m going to take this as a sign that I need to take a step back and relax.  Take a minute and breathe and STOP LOSING ALL OF MY CRAP!

In an attempt to go back to my normal routine, I decided to make dinner last night.  It’s been rare since Dave and I got engaged… life has just been too crazy and busy to make fun dinners.  I was inspired by the surplus of Grape Tomatoes in the house and wanted to try to make my own tomato sauce.

This sauce is so good… I almost could not believe myself.  Don’t leave out the roasting of the veggies in this recipe… it gives the sauce such a rich flavor.  It’s very easy to do!

Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic, & Poblano Ragu

Ingredients:

1.5 pints Grape Tomatoes

1 Head Garlic

1 Poblano Pepper

8oz Lean Ground Beef

1 Green Bell Pepper

1/2 Large Sweet Onion

1 can Diced Tomatoes 

1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Cumin

1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley (or 1T fresh)

Directions: 

1.  Roast the Veggies:  Preheat the oven to 400.  On a baking sheet COVERED with foil and prepared with cooking spray, spread the tomatoes.  Put the poblano on the sheet too.  Cut off the tip of the garlic exposing the tops of the cloves.  Wrap the garlic in a small piece of foil and pour a few drops of Olive Oil in and close.  Put the foiled garlic on the baking sheet too.  Either drizzle or spray the tomatoes and poblano with just a bit of Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt, and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Flip the poblano halfway through and remove if the skin becomes charred.

2.  Cook the meat:  While your veggies are roastin’, cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.  If frozen, scrape into small pieces or chop if fresh.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Remove from pan.

3.  Cook the veggies:  Chop the pepper and onion and saute with cooking spray in the same pan the beef cooked in.  Cook for 5-10 minutes then set aside in the same bowl as the beef.  

4.  Make the sauce:  When the tomatoes are a little browned ontop and nice and soggy looking, remove them from the oven.  Unwrap the garlic and let cool.  Cut the poblano in half and scrape out the seeds.  Scrape off the skin too, if possible.  Chop half of the pepper and reserve the remaining half for another use.  Using the back of a spoon, press the bottom end of the garlic until the cloves slide out.  Place the chopped poblano, 1/2 of the garlic cloves, and all of the tomatoes in a blender with the rest of the seasonings, the can of diced tomatoes, and fresh basil.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  

5.  Eat the Sauce!  Combine the tomato mixture from the blender with the beef, pepper, and onion.  Heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat until warm.  Serve over spaghetti and top with a little bit of fresh parm.  Enjoy!

Everything in the blender and ready to whirl!

Everything in the blender and ready to whirl!

Cookin' up the pepper and onion.

Cookin’ up the pepper and onion.

Sauce!

Sauce!

The sauce all ready to go

The sauce all ready to go

beautiful!

beautiful!

So delicious.

So delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maple & Soy Glazed Steak

Lately, I’ve been trying to change things up with our typical dinner routine.  I don’t think we’ve eaten the same dinner three times since we’ve moved into our new place in Philly.  I am having so much fun trying new recipes from my magazines, friends, and other bloggers.

I wanted to try a new recipe with steak, remembering that my Dietitian told me I could absolutely add certain cuts of red meat into my repertoire.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light and wanted to try it out with a leaner cut of beef.  I made this Flank Steak recipe with Top Round Steak and it turned out fabulously.  It was such a nice change to be able to eat some steak.  I would imagine as it gets warmer, I’d love to try this out on the grill… mmm!

Maple and Soy Glazed Steak

Ingredients:

1 lb Top Round Steak (or other lean cut), trimmed of any excess fat

3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons 100% Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Mirin or Sake

1 teaspoon Grapeseed Oil (or other oil)

1 teaspoon Hot Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce

Black Pepper & Sea Salt

Green Onion for Garnish, optional

Directions:

1.  Salt and Pepper the steak.  Place the steak in a large ziplock bag with the rest of the ingredients, turning and sloshing around to mix.  Let the steak marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes up to a few hours.

2.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the steak on the heated skillet (reserving the marinade) and cook for about 4-5 minutes.  Flip and cook until it reaches desired degree of doneness.  I tried to take mine off when it reached medium-rare since it would cook a little longer once removed.

3.  Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a rolling boil in a separate pot.  Cook while the steak is cooking, then brush the steak with the remaining glaze during the steak’s last minute or so of cooking.

4.  Remove the steak and let rest for five minutes before cutting diagonally against the grain, into very thin slices.  Top with a sprinkle of green onion and serve.

Steak's ready to rock and roll!

Steak’s ready to rock and roll!

photo 3 (8)

photo 2 (8)

I really enjoyed the combination of sweetness, saltiness, and even the bit of spiciness that this marinade brought to the steak.  We happened to buy the steak the same day I made my very favorite Shaved Asparagus Pizza & Cauliflower Pizza Crust, so this dinner was a HUGE hit!
Need more inspiration?  Check out these other yummy marinade recipes to try.
Sweet & Spicy Citrus

Sweet & Spicy Citrus

Wasabi Marinade

Wasabi Marinade

Emily's Chicken Marinade

Emily’s Chicken Marinade

 

 

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Sweet & Sour Brisket

I have been a busy busy girl the past week or two with the holidays and some other things going on.  Dave and I split our holiday time between our two families so we got to celebrate Passover sedar twice!

I was so excited when my Mommom told me I could make something to help out this year.  I was back and forth as to what to make but finally decided to take on the responsibility of making the Brisket.  This would be a risky choice, having never made it before… but I was up for the challenge.  With the assistance of my crockpot and my handy-dandy Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I made one hell of a brisket!  Yay!

I realize Passover is OVER for this year, but there is always time for a good Brisket.

Sweet & Sour Brisket

Ingredients:

1 4-5lb Brisket (mine was 5.25)

1.5 teaspoons Sea Salt, plus some more for seasoning the meat

Black Pepper

1 cup Beef Broth

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

4 teaspoons Paprika

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Tablespoons Onion Powder

Directions:

Step 1:  Cook Brisket.  Season the meat with Salt and Pepper on both sides.  Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Place the meat in a slow cooker, pour the sauce over it, and set it to cook on LOW for 10 hours.  Your house is going to smell phenomenal.

Step 2:  Rest Brisket.  Resist the urge to eat the brisket… it’s going to get better with time.  While the meat is still hot, scrape off any large fat pieces on the edges.  There was a TON on mine.  Transfer the brisket into a baking dish, making sure to keep all of the sauce too.  Chill in the refrigerator for anywhere between a few hours to a whole day.  

Step 3:  Re-Heat Brisket.  An hour before you need to eat the brisket, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Remove the grease that has hardened on the top of the meat and sauce (or not, but it’s really nasty so I recommend it).  Remove the brisket from the dish and place on a large cutting board.  Slice while cold and transfer back into the saucy baking dish and spoon the sauce over the meat.  Bake in the oven until heated through, the sauce should be bubbly on the edges.  Serve immediately.

Recipe from:  the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Note:  The original recipe includes directions for cooking in the oven.  Briefly… Cook the meat in a 350 degree preheated oven in a dutch oven or in a baking dish tightly covered with foil.  Bake for 3 hours.  

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Had to stuff this bad boy in there!  It's amazing how much it shrinks though... so much fat to remove.

Had to stuff this bad boy in there! It’s amazing how much it shrinks though… so much fat to remove.

Gettin' Saucy!

Gettin’ Saucy!

This is all I had to dirty while making the brisket... love it.

This is all I had to dirty while making the brisket… love it.

I was SO nervous about this silly brisket!  I really wanted to make something big and new and exciting and I didn’t want to screw it up.  To add to my new recipe anxiety, I was stupid and didn’t read the cooking time until I had already started at 6:30pm on Saturday.  If I did it the right way, that would have meant to take it out at 4:30am.  LOL.

Lucky for me, Dave was out at a bachelor party and I was already waiting for him and awake at 2:30 to finish the brisket up.  Lesson learned:  read directions first.  Duh.

Cooled brisket with the grease scraped off.  Ready to be sliced.

Cooled brisket with the grease scraped off. Ready to be sliced.

It's easiest to slice the brisket when it's cold.  You'll get better slices whereas when you cut it after it's reheated it'll be more fork tender and fall apart.

It’s easiest to slice the brisket when it’s cold. You’ll get better slices whereas when you cut it after it’s reheated it’ll be more fork tender and fall apart.

Once the brisket is cut, I transfered it to my dutch oven to heat up for dinner.  Don't stress if the slices break a little... those will be the best bites!

Once the brisket is cut, I transfered it to my dutch oven to heat up for dinner. Don’t stress if the slices break a little… those will be the best bites!

 

What a great spread... brisket was so good.

What a great spread… brisket was so good.

Despite my nerves and anxiety, the brisket was awesome.  It was so easy to make and turned out absolutely perfect and delicious.  The brisket was so moist and flavorful, it was also the perfect combination of sliced pieces and the fally-apart pieces that sop up all the sauce.  MMM!

I do have to pat myself on the back once more and mention to you that my Dad who has NEVER tried Brisket in my lifetime not only tried this one… but really liked it.  Whatttttttttt?!

It’s a good thing when there are no leftovers, right?  I’d say next time I’d make a bigger one but this 5.25 lb baby hardly fit into my crockpot!

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Leftovers

Slow-Cooker Asian Beef

I am so excited to tell you that I used my slow-cooker for the VERY FIRST TIME yesterday!  Well- that is… the very first time to make something other than Chili.

All my favorite bloggers and friends are all wintered-up, talking about their slow cooked meals that are easy as pie and ready when they come home for work.  I was starting to get jealous.  I was determined to find an awesome recipe for a hunk’o’meat and try this whole thing out myself.

The recipe I found was from the blog Foodie w/ Family and obviously got my attention since my boyfriend Dave and I LOVE two types of food:  Spicy & Asian.  This recipe happens to be both.  Not too bad!

Dave and I stopped by the Italian Market over the weekend and picked up a 3lb Boneless Top Round Roast from the butcher.  I made the marinade Monday night and put it in the refrigerator in a container so it would be all ready for me on Tuesday.

Scenes from the Italian (Market... not restaurant!)

Scenes from the Italian (Market… not restaurant!)

We're loving the plethora of fresh and inexpensive produce just a 5 min drive away

We’re loving the plethora of fresh and inexpensive produce just a 5 min drive away

Tuesday afternoon, I stopped home to let the dog out and put the meat & marinade into the slow cooker.  Pressed “Low”… and waited.  And waited.  Okay, so I “waited” while I drove back to work, finished my work day, worked out for 2.5 hours, and THEN came home for it to be ALL DONE and waiting for me to devour it!

There are some other steps in between, but you can read about that down here…

Slow-Cooker Asian Beef

Recipe adapted from:  Foodie w/ Family

Ingredients:

  • 1 3-4 pound Boneless Top Round Roast (or you can use bottom)
  • 1 cup Beef  Broth
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Honey plus 2 Tablespoons for later
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sriracha Sauce (depending on how hot you like things)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a knife.
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of Ginger, lightly smashed with the side of a knife or sliced.

Directions:

1.  Place the beef in the slow cooker.  Drop in the garlic and ginger around the beef.  Mix the broth, vinegar, 1/4 cup of honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sriracha sauce and pour the entire thing over the roast.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 (I did low and slow!).  The beef is done when it is fork tender.  … go ahead and just stab it to see!

2.  Remove the beef from the crock and place on a cutting board.  Carefully take the juices from the slow cooker and place into a saucepan (I used a ladel- the crock was VERY hot).  Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of Honey to the sauce and boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce as much as you’d like for a thicker sauce.  *I was starving when I got home so I only reduced it for about 10 minutes, probably by about 1/4.  It was still VERY thin… next time I’ll try to be more patient for a thicker sauce!*

3.  Meanwhile, shred the beef using two forks.  You can mix the sauce directly in or pour over each individual serving.  

The finished product

The finished product

The beef and sauce went great with the stir fried veggies and organic quinoa

The beef and sauce went great with the stir fried veggies and organic quinoa

This looked so yummy too- I might have to try a sandwich next time.

This looked so yummy too- I might have to try a sandwich next time.

The beef turned out soooooooo yummy!  It just melted in your mouth and had such good flavor from the marinade.  It wasn’t too spicy but it also wasn’t too sweet, it was sorta just perfect.  Dave and I went low-carb cooked up some Quinoa and a Veggie Stir Fry on the side (Onion, Carrots, Celery, Jalapeno, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Green Beans, and Tomatoes). We decided to sauce our plates ourselves so we were able to pour it all over the entire plate… mmm!  Our roommate Adam even dug in and ate the beef as a sandwich on soft potato rolls… they looked amazing!

The Slow-Cooker verdict is:  Thumbs Up!  Both of the boys asked for me to make this beef again, and to use the slow cooker more often.  Considering how easy this was… I absolutely will!  

You should really check out these other fab recipes:

Quick Beef w/ Yogurt Sauce (a Weight Watchers Recipe!)

Quick Beef w/ Yogurt Sauce (a Weight Watchers Recipe!)

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Quick Beef & Yogurt Sauce

Along with my new Weight Watchers App comes a whole slew of new recipes to drool over.  You’d be surprised, there are so many that actually sound REALLY good.

I was on my own for dinner last night.  What to do?  My first instinct is to make something with Shrimp or Mushrooms (two of the only things Dave doesn’t eat!)  but this recipe came up on my WW app and it was calling out my name.

The best part about this recipe is that I only had to buy 1 thing from the market- fresh mint.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing some kind of fresh Mojito recipe or some other minty things coming soon!

Quick Beef & Yogurt Sauce

Recipe Adapted from:  Weight Watchers
Makes:  1 Cup Beef & 1/4 cup Yogurt Sauce per Serving (5 Points)
Ingredients:
1/2 lb uncooked 93% lean Ground Beef
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
3/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt & 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper & 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper, divided
1 cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt, plain
1/2  cup Cucumber, diced
2 Tablespoons fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
Directions:
1.  Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add beef, garlic, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Cook, stirring and chopping often until browned.  *You can use fresh or frozen beef.  I used frozen and shredded the cooked portion with 2 forks, and then flipped the patty over and repeated until it was completely chopped*
2.  In a small bowl, stir together Yogurt, Cucumber, 1/4 teaspoon Salt & 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper.  Stir 1/2 of the Mint in also.
3.  Serve beef topped with yogurt sauce and sprinkled with remaining mint in a mini-whole wheat Pita or tortilla. (I used Thomas’ Pita Pockets, add 2 points)

The reviews on WW on this recipe complain that it’s not spicy enough or too plain.  Personally, I thought it was a nice break from my typical super-spicy meals.  I really liked this recipe, and had the 2nd serving for lunch!

This is what the app looks like! It’s so clean and nice.

In my adaptation of the recipe, I only made 1/2 the meat (instead of 4 servings) but made the full amount of sauce.  I definitely didn’t use the full 1/4 cup of the sauce for each of my servings but I wanted to have some leftover for dinner or lunch later this week.

MMM!

I also sauteed up some Yellow Squash to eat alongside this dish.  It was so yummy!  I cut up 2 squashes, sprayed a pan with Cooking Spray, and sprinkled with salt & pepper.  I let it cook over medium-high heat flipping occasionally until they became soft and browned on both sides.

Stelly found a dropped piece of Squash and ate it! She was guarding it so I wouldn’t take it away