Archive for January, 2011

Italian Chip Steak Skillet

In the interest of maintaining my Sugar-Free Challenge commitment last week, one of the additional changes was to drastically reduce my intake of grains. This means I had to increase my intake of meats, eggs, fish, veggies, and dairy. Fruit I saved for special treats, since it was my only sweet. One thing I’ve found about grain-free eating is that it tends to get expensive for me. I don’t stick to an exclusively grain-free diet, but I do try to eat a lot less grain than the average American (2-4 servings per day, rather than the 6-11 recommended by the Food Pyramid).

But I can keep it cheaper. The last time I visited Hedgeapple Farm to buy more local, pastured beef, I stocked up on cheap cuts of meat. They were having a sale on rump roast (think pot roast) and chip steaks (think Philly cheese steaks), so I got 2 5-lb. rump roasts, 4 packs of chip steak, and some of the bulk 5-lb. packs of ground beef. Chip steaks are especially wonderful because they thaw relatively fast, are cheap, cook really fast, and offer a nice variety rather than eating ground beef all the time.

There are, however, only so many bread-less Philly cheese steaks a person can eat. So I mixed it up a little. This week, we’re having chip steak, three ways. Tuesday night, I made an Italian-inspired chip steak skillet meal. It cooks in one skillet, has no unfamiliar ingredients, and is delicious and hearty.

Italian Chip Steak Skillet
2/3 lb. of chip steak (also called sandwich steak, or use thin-sliced beef of another type)
Ghee or clarified butter (coconut oil for dairy-free)
salt and garlic powder
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 can organic diced tomatoes (get the no salt added kind!)
1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (optional, omit for dairy-free)
Lay the beef out on a plate and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Be liberal. Let that soak in while you slice up the veggies. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and melt your fat. Toss in your veggies and cook for a few minutes, until the onions soften slightly and begin to pick up a bit of color. Remove them and set aside. Add the meat to the hot pan and let it brown. When the meat starts to brown, add the veggies back in, along with the entire can of tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer, make sure all the meat is poked down into the sauce, and turn the heat to medium-low. Let this simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through, the veggies are tender, and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve it up, over rice or pasta if you want, or on its own for a hearty grain-free meal. Top with grated cheese. Makes 2 generous, grain-free servings. Could probably stretch to 3-4 servings if served with rice or pasta.
This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet.

Illness and Comfort

One of the reasons for my various long hiatuses (hiati?), besides my stressful day job, is that I have gotten sick twice in the last two months. First, I returned from Brazil with a stomach bug; then, I found myself with a terrible flu during my Yule holiday. Well, I admit, I did resort to some Advil to bring my fever down while I had the flu, but I also made sure to eat plenty of nourishing foods.

The best of the nourishing sick foods is probably soup. Nourishing soup is made with homemade bone broth. I had both chicken and duck broth in my freezer, and was particularly stocked because I had cooked both a chicken and a duck within a week of getting sick. Since we eat a lot of beef, and I don’t purchase many beef bones, this was a wonderful coincidence.
For my get-well soup, I boiled some soba (buckwheat) noodles and steamed some kale. I simmered the broth with some tamari and sliced ginger. Then, I put noodles, kale, and chopped leftover chicken in a bowl, topped them with raw green onions and garlic, and ladled the hot broth over them. I forgot to take a picture of this, but a hard boiled egg is a wonderful way to finish it off.
How is your cold and flu season going? I hope this soup finds you in good health, or brings you back to it!
(This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop)

Sugar-Free Challenge

So I joined The Nourishing Gourmet’s Sugar-Free Challenge. And Kimi put up a link to my blog with my name on the list, so I figured it would be a good idea to blog about it a little. Yeah… sugar. I like sugar. I actually consider myself to have a rather large sweet tooth, though I don’t indulge it as often as I’d like. But, I have decided that over-indulgence in sweets is the reason I put on a little weight in 2010, so I’ve decided to cut back.

The challenge comes at a good time. I got a nasty flu over my holiday vacation, and I’m just now starting to get my appetite back, so I don’t feel the need to snack as much as I used to. I’m getting better at making meals that satisfy me. But I do still indulge in the odd piece of candy from the candy jars all around me at work. And, even when I’ve avoided sweets all day, my one vice lately is a cup of Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa after dinner.
So, it’s only a week. I can cut out my cup of hot cocoa, and focus on eating only wholesome, nourishing foods. I’m also trying to transition as close as I can to a lacto-paleo way of eating, at least for most meals, so this will help support my sugar-free efforts. Perhaps, this will lead to another Whole30 challenge later in the year; we’ll see.

Eat The Egg Yolk, People!

So many places I turn I see people eating egg whites, supposedly in the name of health. My younger sister used to even buy the expensive Omega-3 eggs, and then throw out the yolks because she didn’t like them. So I just wanted to post a rant and try to convince people to eat those yolks. No, I’m not going to cite studies, although they do exist, that say that the dietary cholesterol in eggs is not a risk factor for heart disease. Nor is the saturated fat. Nor am I even going to cite information that says that egg whites prevent the absorption of biotin.

What I did do is put the nutrition information for eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites into my nutrition software. Guess what? A large egg contains 6g of protein, 27% of the RDI of vitamin B12, 22% of riboflavin, 13% of vitamin D, and even some vitamin E. Just the white of that egg? It has just over 3g of protein and 13% of the RDI of riboflavin. Yes, people, almost HALF THE PROTEIN in an egg is in the white. And virtually all of the beneficial nutrients. And if you look at equal volumes of egg white versus whole eggs, the whole eggs actually have MORE protein than the egg whites.
Eat the egg yolk. If you’re on some diet where you avoid fat at certain times, save the egg yolk and eat it later, when you’re not avoiding fat. If you’re avoiding fat all the time, stop. Egg yolks are practically the whole reason for eating an egg anyway.