Grilled Flank Steak

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This dinner could not have been easier, and was finished start-to-finish in less than 30 minutes (after marinating).

Grilled Flank Steak:

  • enough flank steak to feed your family, mine was maybe 2 lbs?
  • your favorite salsa

Pour some salsa in a large dish, add steak, toss to coat with salsa and stick in the fridge to marinate 4-6 hours.

Heat grill to high heat and grill steak 3-4 minutes each side for rare, longer on each side if you prefer your steak more well-done.  Remove from the grill and let rest on a platter 10 minutes.  Slice on the diagonal in thin slices.

If you don’t have a grill, heat the broiler in your oven, place steak on a rack over a cookie sheet, and place under the broiler, 3-4 minutes each side for rare, longer on each side for more well-done.

I served this with roasted cauliflower and a salad of spring greens, sunflower seeds and sliced carrots, topped with balsamic vinaigrette.


Chicken Bites

This recipe is based on a recipe for steak bites, another family favorite.  It is easy, quick, and requires few ingredients.

Chicken Bites:

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs-enough to feed your family (I use 1-2 lbs)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee

Cut up your chicken in bite sized pieces.  Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  My family likes a lot of flavor on these, so I usually use quite a bit of my favorite seasoning on them.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan.  A crowded pan will steam the chicken, rather than brown it.  I usually do at least two batches, keeping the first batch warm on a foil-covered plate while the second batch cooks.

Cook 3-5 minutes or until browned, then toss to brown the other side.  Cook another 3-5 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove from skillet and serve with roasted veggies, add to a stir fry, toss with a salad or along side spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.

Refrigerates well to have on hand for lunches through the week.


Cumin Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is a True Winner, which means it meets my top three criteria for week-night meals:

1. It’s all real food.

2. It’s less than 15 minutes of hands-on prep time.

3. Most (meaning 3 out of 4) of my kids eat it without complaint.

Now I face the challenge of not making it too often….because I’ve learned that when I make a True Winner too often, it quickly turns into a loser.  Two or three times a month seems to be just about right.

Cumin Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes                                                                                          

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/2 lbs)

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbs olive oil (or coconut oil, bacon grease, butter)

3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together cumin, coriander and salt in small bowl. Rub the spices over all sides of the tenderloins, covering the surfaces of each one, creating a thick layer.

Heat olive in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloins about 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove pork from pan. Add sweet potatoes and onions to the pan, covering the bottom. Place the tenderloins on top of the vegetables.

Cover the dutch oven and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the tenderloins are cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.

Slice the tenderloins and drizzle pan juices over slices and sweet potatoes.

Enjoy!


Honey-spiced Chicken Thighs

This is my new go-to recipe for batch cooking.  Super yummy and easy to make a large batch to have on hand for the week.  Even my kids like them. Well, a few of them did.  With four kiddos it’s rare to please all of them all at the same time, but at least two of them liked this dish which is a huge win for me.

This is based on Holly’s recipe…..and if you haven’t checked out Holly’s blog, you should.  It’s a great resource for easy, real-food recipes, many of which are paleo/primal-friendly if that’s your bent.

Honey-spiced Chicken Thighs:

2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or as much/little as you want to make)

4 teaspoons chili powder

3 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1  teaspoon ground cumin

cayenne pepper

9 tablespoons honey

3 teaspoons cider vinegar

 

1.  Preheat your broiler to high

2.  Mix next 5 ingredients in a small bowl (chili powder through cumin)

3.  In a large bowl, toss chicken with spice mix until evenly coated

4.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cookie/cooling rack on top.  Place chicken on rack, sprinkling with cayenne pepper to taste (I skip the cayenne for my kids, but I love it….try it!)

5.  Place baking sheet in oven for 5-6 minutes.  Remove from oven, turn chicken thighs, and return to oven another 5-6 minutes.

6.  Meanwhile, whisk together honey and cider vinegar.  After the second 5-6 minutes in the oven, brush honey mixture over chicken.  Return to oven 1-2 minutes, turn thighs, brush with more honey, then back in the oven another minute or two.

These are great sizzling hot right out of the onion, and also served cold, thinly sliced over a salad.

You could also grill the chicken…..toss with the spice mix, then grill as you normally would, brushing the honey mixture on the last few minutes on the grill.  YUM!

 

 


Chicken Tacos

We love tacos at our house and they show up almost weekly on our menu.  I’ve shared my steak taco recipe before…..below is its close cousin, chicken tacos.  Yum!

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless chicken breast (4-6, or enough to feed your family and have left-overs)

Taco seasoning (this recipe is perfect)

1-16ounce jar of salsa (red or green)

Directions:

Pour jar of salsa into the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning and stir well.  Add chicken breasts and toss to coat.

Cook on low 8-10 hours, or on high 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken about 30 minutes before serving and let simmer in juice.

Serve in your favorite taco shell, tortilla, over chips, with cauliflower spanish rice or in a lettuce wrap.  Enjoy!


Easy Chili

This chili makes a regular appearance each fall and winter at my house, both for dinner and in my kids’ lunches.  It’s easy, can sit in the slow-cooker all day, and can be changed up to suit your tastes. Plus, it’s served with Fritos and grated cheese…..you can’t go wrong with that!

1-46oz can/jar of tomato juice (not V8, just plain juice)

1 or 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, browned

1-14.5oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce (more or less to taste)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low all day.

Alternatively, place all ingredients in a large pot on the stove, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Serve with grated cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, colby jack all work well) and top with Fritos.

I usually make up a batch of cauliflower rice to add to the bowl when I serve it.   I also like to add 1/2 an onion to my ground beef while browning.

This freezes well so make a double batch and stash some in the freezer for another day.

Enjoy!

 

 


Tomato Sauce

This is a simple and yummy sauce I almost always have on hand.  I use it for spaghetti, spaghetti squash, chicken parmigiana, or any other italian-flavored dish.  It freezes well so I usually make a double batch.

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small to medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cups red or white wine (optional)

3 cans (14.5oz each) crushed tomatoes

Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until softened.  (skip to step 3 if not using wine)

2.  Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half.

3.  Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer 20-30 minutes.

If you like a thicker sauce you can add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste while simmering.

Most tomato sauce recipes call for 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.  I prefer a more tangy sauce so I don’t add the sugar, but you certainly could if you prefer a sweeter sauce.

If I’m making a meat sauce I brown the ground beef or pork (or a mixture) in a separate pan, drain any excess fat, then add the beef to the sauce to simmer the last 10 minutes or so.