Tag Archives: lime juice

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.

Halibut and Scallop Ceviche

I have been cooking up a storm lately, however, it seems that I continue to have a sort of writers block. So I’m going to let this delicious recipe talk for itself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Halibut and Scallop Ceviche

  • Wild-caught Pacific Halibut
  • A couple of scallops for added flavor
  • 1 cup Lime or other citrus Juice (I actually mixed lime and grapefruit)
  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Jalapenos, diced (add more if you really like it spicy)
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, and Mexican dried Oregano, to taste
  • 1/2 Avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped, to top
  • Cilantro, to top

Put the fish into a nonmetallic bowl and cover with the citrus juice. Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Drain off excess juice and an hour before serving, stir in the tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos. Add enough olive oil to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and oregano, and return to the refrigerator until just before serving. Taste for seasoning and mix in the avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Eco-Benefits

  1. My dad’s friends son was staying with us for the summer and actually went to Alaska and fished. The halibut that I used was one of the fish he caught. Non-commercial catching of fish is much healthier for the environment because there is no damage done to the ecosystem such as with nets and dredging.
  2. Pacific, wild-caught halibut is a sustainable fish according to Seafood Watch. Other types of halibut, are not sustainable so be careful what you’re buying.
  3. I used left-over scallops in this and ceviche really is a great way to use any excess fish you may have on hand.
  4. Buying seasonal and local vegetables helps allow for a greater flavor in this dish and it is more sustainable to not have to get ingredients transported large distances.
  5. Ceviche needs absolutely no cooking. Your gas bill and the environment will thank you.

And if you happen to be worried about fish parasites or other nasty no-cooking diseases, I recommend that you freeze your seafood for at least two days and then thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. The freezing will get rid of anything on the fish.

Po’ Boy

I don’t know how many of you are in California, but this summer is bumming me out! Ever since I’ve been back from the South, it’s been gloomy and cold!  In some ways, however, it’s been a blessing as I now have a ton of time to cook with no distractions (like the beach)… which is nice because then I’ll be able to have some recipes pop up while I’m in Baja for two weeks (because I won’t be doing any blogging while I’m down there).

Ever since New Orleans I’ve been reminiscing about all of the delicious food and thinking about ways to make it a little bit greener. While I was there, my mom and I went out for po’ boys, however, as I said before, the BP oil spill in the gulf has made a lot of the seafood disappear from New Orleans. Our search for po’ boys took us to a couple of different shops before we finally found a place that still had the catfish and oyster po’ boys on their menu. They were deliciously crispy and oozing with goodness. Because of the oil spill disaster, and the overfishing problem that already exists, I decided to redo this Southern favorite with a tofu vegan version. It was super delicious and I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! In this recipe I used a great spice blend that I actually bought in New Orleans. Since I’m doubting you have it in your spice rack, a good alternative would be a mixture of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, allspice, and dried thyme.

New Orleans Style Tofu Po’ Boy

Makes 2

  • 1/2 pack Extra Firm Tofu, sliced in triangles and down the middle, drained, and pressed (place a heavy book on top of the tofu until excess liquid comes out)
  • 1/2 cup Soy Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp. Joe’s Stuff (or mix of spices shown above)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Coleslaw, recipe below
  • Bread of choice

While the tofu is being pressed, mix the soy milk, cornstarch, and lime juice in one bowl and the cornmeal, Joe’s Stuff, and salt and pepper in another bowl. Once the tofu is pressed, heat oil in a pan and dredge the tofu slices in the wet mix first then the dry mix. Heat for about 3 minutes a side, or until golden brown. Top the bread with the tofu and coleslaw and enjoy a vegan take on a New Orleans classic.

Vegan Coleslaw

  • 1/2 cup Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 Carrot, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp. Joe’s Stuff (or mix of spices shown above)
  • 1 tsp. Dried Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Mix ingredients together. (If you like a sweeter coleslaw, I recommend adding agave nectar to sweeten it up).

Here’s a picture of Joe’s Stuff (since I’m obviously obsessed) 🙂

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. A completely vegan take on a normally heavy-on-the meat/animal byproducts recipe.
  2. Making your own coleslaw means picking your own ingredients–>organic, local products anyone?
  3. You save a lot of food miles if you make New Orleans classics at home instead of going there to try them. (Though I’m not one to talk).
  4. This isn’t an eco-benefit, however, this Po’ Boy recipe is about as healthy as Po’ Boy recipes come. Most times, going green means getting healthy!

Tostada

I’m going to start out by telling you a little about my Louisiana–>New Orleans trip: there’s definitely a reason it’s said that they are the masters of fried food… and believe me I ate a lot of it :). I figured I could treat myself with Cafe du Monde beignets since I do normally eat healthy (my mom and I have since made a pact to eat only salads for a couple of days just to counter-act the grease and not-so-healthy foods we ate while in New Orleans). Basically we ate, walked, and did all of the normal touristy things 🙂 (I have a ton of pictures to prove it). Sadly, we did not make it to the coast because most people we asked about it said that most of the beaches would be closed and that you can see everything better on the TV anyways. Even in New Orleans, however, the devastation of the oil spill has started to have its effects. We may have been there one of the last weeks that we could still have seafood at all (for awhile at least). Many restaurants had stopped serving seafood dishes (and in a town that is known for its seafood this will have effects on other things such as tourism). The people in New Orleans are still waiting to find out if the oil will travel into their town, but the effects have definitely already spread. My mom and I had a great time there though! Here are some pictures from our trip:

Char-Broiled Oysters from Dragos->theres a reason it's a New Orleans institution. I actually have a cookbook with the recipe so I'll green it up and post it someday.

I'm pretty sure if you're in New Orleans you HAVE to get a beignet and a chickory cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde. We got them twice!!

There's still a lot of work to be done from Hurricane Katrina. Only ~380,000 of the million people that used to be in New Orleans are back.

I loved this quilt! It shows some of the all-time jazz musicians.

We tried to be healthier with this vegetarian pasta... but because we were in New Orleans where there's such a strong French influence, the delicious sauce was super buttery.

A 100 year old shrimp creole recipe. Sooo good. And how pretty is that kale leaf? I've never seen kale those colors.

 

No trip to New Orleans is complete without bread pudding!

 

This ad is actually in Nashville but I find it so funny and you should eat mor chikin than beef if you want to be "greener" so it was appropriate :).

Since we’ll be eating salads, I decided to spice it up by making a tostada in a tribute to the south-of-the- border country I will be in soon (I’m going to be researching whale sharks in Baja, Mexico for the end of July).

Tostada

Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1 can Black Beans, warmed
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • A dollop of low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt per tostada
  • A dollop of Homemade Guacamole per tostada (see recipe below)
  • Shredded organic Mexican Cheese
  • optional, top with more Cilantro

Fry the whole wheat tortillas in EVOO until crispy and hard. Top with beans, shredded lettuce, guacamole, plain greek yogurt (or sour cream), cheese, and tomato.

Homemade Guacamole

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 big clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Cholula (or other Mexican hot sauce)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste (I like a lot!)
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until blended and the correct texture.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Organic veggies! Local if you can find them. Most farmers markets have tomatoes and lettuce year round 🙂 (though in summer while they’re in season you can get them from local growers not using hot-houses). But make sure you get the Hass avocados while they’re in season during summer!
  2. Whole wheat tortillas have less energy consumption than refined bleached white flour tortillas.
  3. Beans are an awesome source of plant protein so you can avoid animal proteins for a meal :).
  4. Organic cheese means organic produce for the cow! Same as when you eat organic this means no pesticides entering water systems!
  5. I used Plain Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream due to the amount of protein found in greek yogurt! Super good for you!

Fish Tacos

So. I know I’ve beat the fish issue into the ground. For that reason, and because I have a paper to write and a house to clean (we threw a party last night and our apartment was trashed… but it was fun!–>I’ll give you some green party tips at the end of this post) I’m not going to tell you the same things again. If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to eat fish check out my other posts about it: Fish: What Practices are Actually Sustainable and Overfishing. For now, I’m just going to give you another delicious sustainable fish recipe. Fish tacos! And believe me… this is absolutely delicious.

Fish Tacos

  • USA Farm Raised Tilapia filet (not a carnivorous fish, safe)
  • 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
  • Herbs, chopped (I chose rosemary and thyme because I found them organic and they’re my favorite)
  • Paprika
  • A splash of cheap Beer (leftover from your kegger?)
  • 1 tbsp Vegenaise or Canola Mayonnaise (if you prefer non-vegan)
  • 1 tbsp Organic Salsa
  • squirt of Lime or Lemon Juice
  • Cabbage, shredded
  • optional: Organic Cheese
  • Whole wheat tortilla

Either chop the tilapia into bite sized pieces, or leave it as a whole filet. Mix flour, herbs, and paprika. Add just enough beer for the mix to become gooey. Dredge the fish in the beer mix. Pan fry the fish. Meanwhile, mix the Vegenaise, Organic Salsa, and citrus juice. Heat tortilla until warm via any means you want: stovetop, microwave, oven… Top the tortilla with the fish, cabbage, salsa mixture, and cheese if wanted. I realize it’s not the healthiest thing I’ve made… but I promise it’s a family favorite at my house. Use organic and vegan options for the ingredients, and it can be eco-friendly too!

“Green” Party Options:

  • Just remember I’m talking about a college kegger. Not a classy dinner party here. So I’m sorry ahead of time… I’m just a college student.
  • Buy a keg! Kegs are reusable, and do not involve all of the packaging that comes with multiple thirty racks. No cans!
  • If you have red cups for your beer, put them all in the dishwasher when the party is done and clean them up for next time–>washing dishes in a full dishwasher load is way better than hand-washing that many dishes.
  • Recycle any cans, handles, or red cups (that are beyond cleaning). Recycling is one of the most important things you can do for the environment!
  • Even better would be to ask people to bring their own cups to parties (but that’s not really an option at college).
  • No smoking! Aside from health effects for you, they have huge environmental impacts! Check out these sites to find out more about how cigarettes cause deforestation, water pollution, and the effects of your cigarette butts. And if you didn’t know, cigarettes are the #1 most littered substance.