Steak and Watercress Salad

Steak & Watercress Salad

Tip Steak was on sale for $4.49/pound yesterday. Combining that with the sale on watercress, I was able to make this delicious salad for just over $4.00 which is a great price for steak and salad – particularly when it’s this tasty.

First I heated the skillet to medium and added 1/2 TBSP of olive oil. I tossed on the tip steak and added some fresh ground black pepper and salt. I let it cook for about 3 minutes on one side, turned it and let it cook about 2 minutes on the other. This was a thin steak and I had to take care not to overcook it. I removed it to the cutting board and let it rest. After it rested, I cut it into strips. Resting is important to keep the juices in the steak – keeping it moist, but also preventing the juice from dripping all over and making your salad messy.

While the steak cook, I sliced of one slice of red onion and chopped it up, making about 2 TBSP of chopped red onion. When I removed the steak from the skillet, I put the onions in to cook. There was still plenty of oil left so I didn’t need to add more.

In a bowl, I added 1.5 TBSP of olive oil, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, 1 TBSP of vinegar, the juice from 1 fresh lemon and fresh ground pepper and salt. I stirred it up and when the onions were done, I added them to this for a hearty and tart onion vinaigrette.

I rinsed the watercress, dried it and cut off the stems. I layered it on the platter, spread the slices of steak on top and then added the onion vinaigrette. I shaved a few pieces of parmesan on top to add a bit of mellow flavor.

It was delicious. The Worcestershire sauce in the vinaigrette toned down its tangy bite. That with the parm were a great balance to the dressing and the watercress while the beef was rich in flavor and very tender.

I decided to cost it out. The two main ingredients were only $2.65, but with the fixings for the dressing, etc. it came to $4.20 – more than I first thought, but still a great price for a delicious and fulfilling lunch.

$1.40 Steak
$1.25 Watercress
$0.06 Red Onion
$0.25 Olive Oil
$0.85 Lemon
$0.13 Worcestershire Sauce
$0.20 Parmesano Reggiano
$0.06 Vinegar
$4.20 Total


Pear, Bresaloa and Chevre with Onion Vinaigrette and Garlic Spears

Salad with Pears, Dried Beef (Bresaola) and Garlic Spears

This was an easy layered salad that took just 5 minutes to make. This is a recipe for two salads as I had company.

I took one pear and sliced thin wedges and layered them in the bottom of a small bowl. On top of that I placed a layer of sliced air-dried beef (Bresaloa). This is from Roget’s Meats in Hubbard, Oregon, and a gift from a friend of mine, but any large city should have it on sale somewhere or you can order it online. It’s more common on the east coast than on the West Coast. On top of that I crumbled a bit of chevre. I cut the tops off two garlic spears. I then cut the spears in half lengthwise and chopped the long stem into 1/4 long pieces and sprinkled on top.

I had some onion vinaigrette that I made a few weeks ago and dressed the salad with that. I took the tops of the garlic shoots, cut them in half and removed the inside and used the outside for garnish.

The sweet pear, garlic and onion vinaigrette were great balances to the rich, heady taste of the dried beef and the chevre. It was an easy, delicious salad that took very little time to make and made a strong visual and flavor impression

Salad with Pears, Dried Beef (Bresaola) and Garlic Spears

BBQ Beef and Warm Brussel Sprouts Salad

BBQ & Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Almonds & Dried Cranberries

Shredded 10 brussels sprouts and tossed into 1 TBSP of heated olive oil. Added fresh ground pepper, freshly grated nutmeg and kosher salt. Stirred in a small handful of toasted chopped almonds and about 2 TBSP of dried cranberries. A delicious vegan side dish.

The BBQ is simply sliced up  leftover sirloin tip roast reheated on the other side of the saute pan with a couple TBSP of Ray’s BBQ sauce.

Prep time from start to finish – 15 minutes, most of it shredding the brussels sprouts. I toasted the almonds while I was shredding.

Mushroom Red Pepper Ravioli with Steak

Sirloin Steak with Mushroom and Red Pepper Ravioli

I love a good steak every once in a while and thought a ravioli side would go well with it.  I started out by putting a bit of pepper, salt and garlic powder in a tbsp of olive oil and rubbing it on the steak.

Meanwhile in another pan I chopped up 1/2 onion, a clove of garlic and a pinch of oregano and set them to cooking in a TBSP of olive oil on medium heat. When the onions turned transparent, I started heating a small pan to cook the steak in. I wanted the pan hot before adding the steak so I could get a nice sear. I gave it a short squirt of olive oil spray to lightly coat the pan to avoid sticking. I put the steak on and cooked about 5 minutes per side, using a spoon to put the butter back on the steak over and over. I removed from the pan and set on the plate to rest.

Back to the pasta, I sliced two mushrooms and one-fourth of a roasted red pepper and tossed them in. I put a pan of water on to boil for the ravioli. When the mushrooms and red peppers were about done, I added 1 TBSP of mustard and stirred it in and tossed the ravioli in the pot. The ravioli was done in about 5 minutes. Strained, I stirred it into the mushroom, red pepper sauce and served with the steak, grating a bit of parmesan on top.



Beef & Mushroom Tortellini with Salad

Beef Mushroom Tortellini and Salad

I love to cook up a beef roast since I can cut it up for lots of quick little meals such as this Beef & Mushroom Tortellini. My best friend brought me a huge roast from her stockpile. She and her husband buy a whole cow each year directly from the farm and have it butchered for them, guaranteeing that they get grass-fed BGH-free beef at a reasonable price. I am an occasional benefactor and have to say, it’s much tastier than from the supermarket.

I started by sauteing onions and garlic. I think I start everything this way. I used about two 1/4 slices of onion and 1 clove of garlic. I then chopped up 1 large crimini mushroom and 3 ounces of roast beef which gave me roughly equivalent amounts of beef and mushroom. I tossed them in and added 2 TBSP of mustard and about 1 TBSP of water and put the lid on.

Meanwhile I started water boiling and added 1 cup of tortellini. When it was done, I strained it and tossed it in with the beef and folded it in. It was ready to serve.

While the tortellini cooked, I cut up a few romaine leaves, chopped up some olives and added about an ounce of feta with some of Girard’s Greek Feta Vinaigrette. I swear by that dressing. It is so delicious and tangy. I don’t use it just for salad. Sometimes I will dress cooked veggies or pasta with it.

Beef Noodles & Salad

I took three slices from the beef roast I made the other night and cut into chunks – making about 1 cup of 1/2 square chunks. I tossed them into a quart saucepan on medium heat. There’s enough fat in the beef that I did not bother adding any cooking oil. I added 1 TBSP of diced onions and heated until softened. Adding 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of milk (made from nonfat dry milk) and 1 cup of dry egg noodles I brought to a boil. I added a handful of frozen green beans, 4 sliced up fresh mushrooms and 1 TBSP of  flour mixed 2 TBSP water and salt, pepper and oregano. I stir it in slowly and let is simmer. I don’t add sour cream because I don’t buy sour cream. I don’t use it quickly enough and it just spoils. I put a lid on it and let is simmer for about 15 minutes.

I served with thinly sliced radish on romaine with some raspberry vinaigrette.

Cauliflower Soup, Roast Beef & Pickled Carrots

I put a beef roast in the oven at 350° with some pepper rubbed on the outside of it. Then I got to work on the soup. It has basically three ingredients plus whatever spices you might wish to add.

  • 2 TBSP butter (or olive oil for vegan soup)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups of cauliflower florets (about 3/4ths of a small cauliflower head)
  • 3 cups of water.
  • I added a few threads of Persian Saffron.

Soften the onions in the butter at a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the florets and 1.5 cups of flower and cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir and use the spoon to break down the florets into smaller pieces. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of water. If you want to add saffron, this is a good time.  Cover and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.With olive oil, the soup will be slightly more tart than the soup made with butter.

Turn the roast and let it cook some more. When the roast is done to 140° pull it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes which is the perfect amount of time to puree the soup. Make sure it has cooled off some so you don’t burn yourself. This is the voice of experience. I don’t have a food processor or a blender, but I do have a Magic Bullet. You have to fill the Magic Bullet three times to whip it all up, but it will be lovely. Reheat to serve and, if you love nutmeg as much as I do, sprinkle a dash of nutmeg on top.

The soup will be light as air and smooth as silk. It will have a very subtle bite because cauliflower is such a strongly flavored vegetable if you treat it nicely. Slice up some roast and serve with the soup. I added some olives and pickled carrots to give the meal some bright color. I recycled the vinegar dressing from my cucumber salad to make the carrots.

Remix: Mjadra and Cucumber Salad Reworked

Taking the last of the beef roast and slicing it up into nice bite-size pieces, I mixed it in with the mjadra and reheated it all in a skillet to give some nice crispness to it. I took the cucumber salad I made and added sliced baby carrots and served up the remaining veggies. There’s plenty of spicy vinegar sauce left over that I will use to pickle some carrots for tomorrow.  Hmmm, if I had some fresh broccoli and cauliflower, I would make a pickled salad. Oh well, some other day.

Beef/Olive Sandwich, Cucumber Salad and Pineapple

I made the cucumber salad early this morning because it needs to marinate a bit to begin tasting as good as it can. I sliced one cucumber as thinly as I can. (I don’t have a mandoline.) I also sliced up about 1/8 of a medium onion. I layered the cucumber slices with onion and salted it and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I added white vinegar almost to the top of the stacks of cucumber (about a cup) and 1 TBSP of sugar, and one crumbled up dried red chili. Use the smallest dried chili you have so it doesn’t overwhelm the cucumber. In a few hours, the chili will be soft and tender and the flavor will have married. The cool, fresh cucumber contrasting with the heat of the chili is tasty!

For lunch I was hungrier than usual as I ate breakfast at 6 AM and then didn’t make lunch until 2:30 PM. A bad idea when you’re diabetic. I put two thin unbuttered buns on the griddle to toast. I don’t like bread to overwhelm my food so I love the thin buns. I sliced up about 2 TBSP of onion, sliced up about 3/4 cup of beef roast. I put a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, added the onion and let them soften. I then added the beef. While the beef cooked, I chopped up 15 olives and 1 slice of cheese. I added the olives and stirred them around before adding the cheese and letting it melt into the mix. I put the Beef on the toasted buns and plated with fresh pineapple chunks and a serving of the cucumber salad.

Roast Beef with Red Cabbage & Apple Salad

Of course you cannot roast beef in single portions, so I like to make my beef roast quite simply with just some garlic and pepper rubbed into it before roasting. I roast on a circular roasting pan that rests on a base that catches all the fat. I roast at 350 and watch the time carefully, taking the roast out when it reaches 140. I will be reheating it so it cannot be overdone.

For the Red Cabbage and Apple Salad, I made enough for four meals. It is made with two cups of red cabbage chopped fine and one crisp, tart apple. This one is a Gala apple, but many other apples would work as well. The sauce is made from 1 TBSP olive oil, a teaspoon of mustard, 2 TBSPs of white vinegar, a dash of sugar and salt and some poppy and celery seeds to taste. This keeps well so you can make a little more and not have to eat it for every single meal. Normally I would use caraway instead of poppy seed or celery seed, but I was out. I contemplated using anise seed but chickened out, but next time I think i will go with the anise seed because it needs a stronger flavor than celery seed.