Tag Archives: butter

Mexican Spiced Flank Steak and Chipotle Caesar Salad

I have to apologize. I lied to you guys. I said I was going to cook up some meat recipes for you this summer even though they aren’t what I eat so that you could see what it means to eat “greener” meat (“green” eggs and ham anyone?)… but I’ve failed. I gave you guys one chicken recipe that wasn’t even all that wonderful and then I pretty much wiped my hands of the idea of cooking up some “green” meat. I apologize. This blog is so that I can hopefully have even one person try to cook a little bit more eco-friendly than they might be doing right now and I couldn’t even spend the time to teach all of you non-pescetarians how to grill up some meat. This recipe, however, is sure to make you forgive me. My dad said it was quite delicious and I’ll give you tons of tips on how to eat your beef and not feel all of the guilt I’ve been heaping on you. And I’ll even give you the recipe for a delicious Mexican-style caesar salad.

Mexican Spiced Flank Steak

  • Flank Steak
  • 1 small box Vegetable Stock
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced as small as possible
  • fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Cumin, ground
  • dried Mexican Oregano
  • Chili Powder

Poke holes in the flank steak with a fork. Place the veggie stock (which gives the tomato flavor so present in many Mexican dishes) with the lime juice and all of the yummy Mexican seasonings in a plastic bag with the flank steak. Let marinate completely covered (you may need more lime juice or veggie stock if you’re feeding more than 2 people) for at least an hour (but the longer the better!). Then grill the flank steak for about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side (my dad likes his closer to medium rare so if you’re a medium-> well type go for a little longer). Slice the meat in 1/2 inch strips against the grain. It should be super tender and full of the flavors of Mexico. 🙂

I don’t know if you guys have figured this out yet, but I’m a HUGE fan of Mexican food. Maybe it’s the whole living in Southern California thing (and having worked at a Mexican restaurant) but it’s definitely my cuisine of choice when I can’t decide what else to eat. This salad is inspired by a recipe I found in a Mexican cookbook I got while I was in Baja, Cocina de la Familia and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. I hope you guys like it too.

Chipotle Caesar Salad (Ensalada Cesar con Chile Chipotle)

Serves 2 as a Side or 1 as a Meal

  • 2 Hearts of Romaine, torn and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Stale French Bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 can Anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 canned Chipotle Chile en adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1/2 tbsp. Peanut Oil

Preheat oven to 275 F. Warm the 1 tbsp. of EVOO and 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, add the bread and toss until just starting to brown as well. Then place the bread cubes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Turn while they are cooking to toast evenly.

Meanwhile, place the anchovies, garlic, cheese, mustard, and the chipotle chile, vinegar, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. (If needed add more chile). Pour in the 3 tbsp. EVOO and 1/2 tbsp. peanut oil while motor is running. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix together romaine leaves, croutons, and dressing to coat then toss the salad.

I hope that the recipe makes up for my lagging on the eco-information about beef. If not, here’s some real tips to keep your foodprint as small as possible even when you’re craving red meat.

  1. Because meat, especially cow and pig, has such a huge foodprint I can’t stress this enough: ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC. Opt for organic, grass-fed and especially local if you can find it! Organic meat means organic feed means no harmful pesticides or gross antibiotics or growth hormones. Local means less transportation. Grass-fed leads to less cow flatulence leads to less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s better for you, better for the environment, and some people say it tastes better.
  2. Choose a meat such as flank steak that can be sliced (and in this case is meant to be). Then give everyone a smaller portion of meat and a larger amount of sides. Less meat= greener, however, you still get the protein you’re craving.
  3. Since you’re getting meat, pay attention to what else you’re serving. Opt for local and organic produce, quick-fix grains (such as bulgar wheat or quinoa), less dairy, and meat and sides with less packaging (recyclable packaging is best).
  4. Eat less beef. Make the days you do eat it count and then cut back on how often you make it. This recipe is perfect for that. Super yummy so you’ll be satiated until your next beef-fix. If everyone cut back a little bit on their beef intake, there’d be a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. If you were to cut back on 2 oz of meat a day, you’d save 819 lbs CO2 a year. If you were to cut back on 16 oz of meat a day you could save 6,548 lbs CO2 a year. That’s HUGE! –Go Green Get Lean
  5. In Go Green Get Lean, it shows that it takes: about 7 lbs of corn and 2, 500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb or body weight on cattle, more than 200 gallons of fuel to raise a 1,200-lb steer on a feedlot, about 5 times as much water to grow feed grains as it does to grow fruits and veggies, and roughly half of all irrigation water in the US goes to livestock… so think about the changes. I’m not saying stop eating meat. I’m just saying think about cutting back a little. Cows take a lot of land, water, and food. Even if you don’t believe in the “green” movement, think about the fact that that could be going to humans.

eco-benefits

  1. This meal used a lot of the techniques stated above to “green” up the meat. Smaller portion of meat to a larger portion of a side dish, organic grass-fed beef raised in CA (which is local for me), organic local salad ingredients, etc.
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Seared Scallops and Penne in a Marsala Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

Thank goodness it’s back to the blog for me! I finally found the inspiration to get back to the kitchen (complete with a busted oven–>my mom found that out the hard way when she was trying to bake cookies and coffee cake) and continue informing you all about “greener” and a lot of the time healthier (not so much today) ways to cook.

Seared Scallops and Penne in a Marsala Sun-Dried TomatoCream Sauce

Serves 2

  • 1/2 box Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 10 large Scallops
  • 1/2 Shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • Pinch of Saffron Threads
  • 5 Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Basil, sliced, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Parmiggiano-Reggiano, grated, to taste

For the sauce: Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until translucent. Add the Marsala and cook until reduced by half. Add the saffron, sun-dried tomatoes, and cream and lower to a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile: cook the penne in a pot of boiling salted water. Melt the rest of the butter (2 tbsp.) in a pan and saute the scallops until lightly browned. Top pasta with sauce and scallops. Then add the basil and Parmiggiano-Reggiano (if used).

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Scallops come in many varieties and are an acceptable fish to eat, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch List.
  2. Using organic heavy whipping cream means that the cow the cream came from is eating an organic diet: no pesticides are entering the water or permeating the ground since they are not used in organic farming!
  3. Basil is easily grown at home or found locally. Less food miles means less gas is being used to get the product to your table! Hooray for reducing your carbon footprint!
  4. Whole wheat pasta is better for you and the earth! It does not need as much refining as it’s bleached white alternative. Plus there are less chemicals used and sent into the environment.
  5. Check out the packaging you’re getting your pasta in as well. Many pastas now come in recyclable cardboard packaging.

Irish Soda Bread

So I really like fresh homemade warm-from-the-oven bread. And I had a huge craving the other day. It led to me looking up Irish Soda Bread recipes and what I found was that they were all made with all-purpose bleached white flour, eggs for days, and refined sugar. So I did a little recipe enhancement to make this easy-to-make recipe a little more eco-friendly. Here’s what I came up with:

Irish Soda Bread

  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Bleached White Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/6 cup (just do half of a third cup) Refined Sugar
  • 1/6 cup All Natural Unrefined Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Butter (I recommend Vegan Margarine but I didn’t have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Combine dry ingredients: flours, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda. In a a separate bowl, mix the egg, milk, and lemon juice. Combine dry and wet together. Then add the melted butter. Mix it all up and put it in the oven for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Voila.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Halving the refined sugar and bleached refined flour and making the other half whole wheat flour and unrefined sugar decreases your foodprint while still allowing for the same flavor.
  2. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so rather than making an extra trip to the grocery store I improvised by mixing the milk with the lemon. It’s a great substitute that improvises an ingredient not commonly used with some you’ll probably have on hand. Less gas!
  3. Using one egg still allows for binding but cuts out some animal byproducts!
  4. Vegan margarine would’ve been another great way to cut out animal byproduct, however, it isn’t worth the extra gas to go to the store to get just that.