Thursday, June 26, 2014

Keeping It Light During these Gloriously Longer Days!

It seems it is just so much easier to eat lighter when there is such an abundance of the wonderfully fresh produce that summer provides. The heavy stews and sauces of winter are long gone and we are left with green, leafy vegetables and ripe plump fruit that simply cry's out for us to eat healthier! That's always my plan anyway. (Well, at least it is now!) So, before the Hallmark Channel starts running Christmas movies, I plan to recharge (and reshape) my body with some great taste and some oh, so good for you food!

The best part is, I recently found a salad recipe that brings together my two favorite flavors; steak and Asian infused anything! I have been in to making stir fry at least once a week, and always make enough for two meals. Homemade Asian-style food is so much healthier than the take-out variety, and I've learned so much in my research of this culinary culture. Example - if any recipe calls for rice vinegar, try not to substitute. Its flavor adds so much Asian influence that standard white vinegar simply doesn't work. And, toasting sesame seeds will enhance the flavor with a rich nuttiness, a step that just can't be missed. The recipe below, uses both of these ingredients, and you will be so glad that you added it to your list of healthy summer dinner choices!

1 (12 ounce) rib eye steak
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning, or
to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pinches red pepper flakes
10 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into bite
-size pieces
1/2 large cucumber, cubed
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 carrot, grated
4 thin slices red onion
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1.Season both sides of the rib eye steak with soy sauce and steak seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to overnight. (This is also a great marinade if your not making the salad along with it. Simply add .1/2  tsp of the rice vinegar to the first two ingredients and let sit for a least an hour!)
2.Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
3.Grill steak on preheated grill until firm, reddish-pink, and juicy in the center, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer steak to a platter, sprinkle with lemon juice, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes, then cut into strips.
4.Whisk rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, sesame oil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. Combine lettuce, cucumber, avocado, tomato, carrot, red onion, and steak strips in a large bowl. Pour rice vinegar dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
I must admit, I do not like avocado and simply leave it out of this recipe. I know it's healthy for you and I so wish I liked it, but I don't. So, in it's place. I add mushrooms, which I can eat with almost anything.

Living single can lead to so many nights of eating out, that I've picked up a few pounds. Now, I'm striving to not "diet", which always includes some type of deprivation, but rather to adopt a healthier and lighter lifestyle. And that is incredibly easy this time of year.

My only demand in eating healthier, is flavor, I won't deny myself that, and will search hard and long for recipes that satisfy that requirement. I was recently in Cincinnati where I visited a spice shop with my nephew who also loves to cook. In today's markets, there are such a variety of seasonings and salts that weren't available years ago. And if you don't explore, your missing out on some great flavorings! I bought some mesquite-flavored sea salt that I actually sprinkle lightly on the steak in this recipe before grilling. And since I stove-top grill, it's almost a necessity to achieve that outdoor taste.

I am excited to venture on this healthy journey and will definitely share what I pick up along the way. Stay with me, we have a whole summer of good eats!  

No comments:

Post a Comment