Rib-Eye Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce

AMAZING! Now you don’t have to scroll to the bottom to see if it came out ok. I sat in silence and ate my happy steak dinner for one. Then I proposed to myself.

Ingredients: (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
1 boneless rib-eye steak
1 medium onion
1-2 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup blue cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
S&P

Make sure your meat is room temperature before you cook it, so take it out of the fridge ahead of time. While that’s doing its thing, slice the onion. I used a little more than half but not the whole thing, just my preference though. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pan or pot, add the onions and cook on medium low until browned, about 5 minutes. Next, chop the mushrooms and add those to the onions. Let cook another minute or two. Add the heavy cream and simmer until the sauce thickens. Lastly, add the blue cheese and cook until fully melted.

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20121127-232646.jpg Next, salt and pepper your steak well. Melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan and get it nice and hot. Add the steak and let it cook about 3-4 minutes on each side. I like mine medium rare. Remember, the meat will continue to cook once off the heat. I place mine on a cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting in.

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20121127-233814.jpg Doesn’t that steak look like a turtle? Strange. Anyway, put some of the sauce on the plate and top with your steak! It’s a rich meal, so I recommend having some simple veggies on the side. This was my intention until I got so excited to eat the steak that I forgot to make my broccoli. Oh well! Next time.

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Kale Salad with Ricotta and Pancetta

It’s not often that I put ricotta in my salad, but I like it a lot with my kale. It adds a nice light flavor that goes well with the bitterness of greens. Add some fennel, pancetta, and radish to it and you’ve got yourself a nice little salad!

Ingredients:
Bunch of fresh kale, washed and chopped
1 radish (I used a black radish)
1 lemon
1 fennel bulb
Pancetta
Hazelnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ricotta cheese (I used regular ricotta, but ricotta salata would be nice too)
S&P

Wash and chop your kale, toss it into a bowl. Squeeze half a lemon over it and mix. Place the bowl in the fridge to let the lemon break down the kale a little while you do the rest of the work. Slice the fennel and the radish (forgot radish photo!) then chop and fry the pancetta. Next, chop and toast the hazelnuts. About 2 minutes.

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Remove the kale from the fridge and add the fennel, radish, hazelnuts and olive oil. Toss together. Put in your bowl then add the pancetta and small dollops of the ricotta cheese. Enjoy!

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Barley and Greens

Squash is the best, and there is so much you can do with it! But simply roasting it is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. I had some leftover mustard and collard greens and decided to make a healthy little dinner for myself incorporating some roasted squash.

Ingredients:
1 small acorn squash
1 cup barley, cooked
Collard or mustard greens (I used both)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for dressing
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Parmesan cheese, for topping
1 lemon
1/2 cup hazelnuts
S&P

One of the benefits of getting my CSA vegetables every week is that it makes me learn to try cooking things I might not have bought on my own. Like mustard greens for example. I’m sure I’ve had these at some point in my life, but until they were staring at me from my counter did I realize that I didn’t know these greens very well. I took a bite of it raw- tasted like spicy mustard! I thought it might be too intense as a raw salad, so I decided to sauté it like I usually do with my collard greens. I loved it. Very flavorful but not too overpowering. I can’t wait to see how else I can cook them!

By the way, here is the lovely CSA that I am constantly referring to: http://www.nextdoororganics.com

Now, back to my pre-thanksgiving attempt at eating healthy…

Cut your squash in half and remove the seeds. Slice into half inch wedges. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and s&p. Mix well so that all the squash is coated. Place the squash in a row on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50mins, or until fork tender. Next get your barley cooking, as this will take about the same amount of time as the squash. Add your barley to a pot of boiling water and cook until all the water has been absorbed, about 50mins. 20121122-204747.jpg20121122-204805.jpg20121122-204818.jpg20121122-204834.jpg20121122-204845.jpg20121122-204906.jpg20121122-204929.jpg20121122-204948.jpg20121122-205744.jpg About half way through the squash and barley cooking, wash your greens well and give them a rough chop. Sauté with a little olive oil for about 4-5mins so that they wilt a bit but keep their nice green color. Add the greens to the cooked barley, with the juice of one lemon as well as 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss together and s&p to taste. Next, chop the hazelnuts and toast for a minute or two. Put your barley mixture in a bowl, add the roasted squash, and top with shaved parmesan cheese and toasted hazelnuts. Done! 20121122-210330.jpg20121122-211446.jpg20121122-211457.jpg

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Sweet Potato Cakes with Mustard Green Sauce

I love potato cakes, so when I had a huge sweet potato leftover I decided to make myself a breakfast treat- sweet potato cakes with a lemony mustard greens and cilantro sauce.

Ingredients: (makes enough for 8 cakes total)

Cakes:
1 large sweet potato, diced
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
S&P

Sauce:
Big handful mustard greens, rinsed well
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cilantro
Half lemon
S&P

Other:
Eggs
1 cap full cider vinegar (for cooking eggs)
Butter (for cooking cakes)

Put on a pot of boiling salted water. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Dice it up and add it to the water once boiling. When fork tender, drain and set aside.

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20121110-155146.jpgAdd some olive oil to a pan and cook the onion until translucent. Drop in the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the onions and garlic to the sweet potatoes, s&p to taste. Toss in the turmeric and red pepper flakes as well. Mash the ingredients until it’s a workable texture to create the cakes.

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20121110-160334.jpgGet another pot of salted water boiling. Give the mustard greens a good rinse and add them to the boiling water. Cook about 4 minutes. Strain and squeeze out the leftover water. Add to food processor with sour cream, lemon, olive oil, and s&p. Give it a good mix. Add the fresh cilantro and pulse until incorporated.

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20121110-161100.jpgNext butter up the pan. Form small patties of the sweet potato mixture and add to the pan. Cook until they start to brown, then flip over and brown the next side.

20121110-164716.jpgWhile the cakes cook. Boil some water for your eggs. Once it’s boiling, add a cap full of cider vinegar. This will help your poached eggs to be fluffy! It also helps to crack the egg into a small bowl and pour it into the water. This helps the egg to keep its shape. The small details can make a big difference!

20121110-162805.jpgPlace your cakes on the plate. Add the poached eggs. And top with the mustard green sauce. I added some chopped curly parsley and squeezed a little lemon as well. Enjoy!

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Raw Kale Smoothie

If you haven’t had greens in your smoothie before, then I could see how it might sound strange or unappealing. But it is GREAT! And great for you as well. My sister ordered her own green concoction the other day and it was so delicious that I ran out and bought all the ingredients myself. I’ve made it almost every day this week and notice immediately that it gives me a good boost when I’m feeling “off” at all. Give it a try! You’ll be surprised.

Ingredients:
Big handful raw kale, rinsed
1 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened original, but vanilla is good too!)
1 banana
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
Small handful raw almonds
Small scoop of protein (I used vanilla whey protein powder)

I’ve included other items like goji berries and dates for example. Basically anything that has good nutritional value I’m throwing in there. Using just the main ingredients (kale, almond milk and banana) is just as delicious…so you could always start there and experiment as you go.

Add all the ingredients together and blend away!

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