Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grilled Thai Beef Salad

Of all the Ellie Krieger recipes I've tried so far, this one is HANDS DOWN my favorite. Dare I say it? The perfect summer meal.

I modified the recipe a bit (as usual) - I added more veggies, used scallions instead of shallots, put a little sesame oil and rice vinegar in the marinade/dressing, and threw some rice noodles in to give it a bit more heft so it would be more of an entree type dish.

The original recipe is here.

And this is what I did:

Thai Beef Salad (adapted from Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger)

1 pound top-round London broil or flank steak, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 head green leaf lettuce (about 6 cups)
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
1 cup rice noodles

Make it:

Rinse and pat the meat dry. Place in a sealable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated, to dress the salad.

Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.

Soak rice noodles in boiling water till softened, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water to halt cooking and bring noodle temperature down.

Combine lettuce, scallions, red pepper, carrots, rice noodles, cilantro, basil and beef in a salad bowl, reserving a few scallions for garnish. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates and garnish with reserved sliced shallots.

A few notes:
- As always, USE FRESH GINGER. Store what you don't use in the freezer in an airtight container.
- Next time I make this, I may go a little lighter on the basil. It was a little overpowering for my taste.
- Cucumber would be lovely in this salad.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Fried Zuchinni Fries

Does anybody else have zucchini coming out of their ears?

I guess it's that time of year. I hate to let it go to waste, but if I bake and eat another loaf of chocolate zucchini bread...well, let's just say it won't be good.

I remember a long time ago I used to get fried zucchini at Red Robin. They were basically like tempura spears of zucchini served with marinara. YUM.

But, I don't deep fry - for two reasons - I don't like my house smelling like a fast food joint and, though delicious, deep fried foods aren't good for you... I know. No one ever told me that either. HA HA.

I found a couple of baked zucchini fry recipes and tinkered around. I decided to make mine in rounds, rather than spears.

Why? Cause I'm lazy, that's why.


2 zucchini
1 egg white
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
jarred marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 2 zucchini into 1/2 inch rounds. Whisk egg white in a small bowl, and add 1⁄4 cup milk. Combine 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan and 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs and the herbs in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini sticks into egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place zucchini on sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with marinara for dipping. Makes about 32 fries.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Broccoli Cranberry Salad

Yes, I will admit that broccoli salad is very church potluck-y. Kind of like green bean casserole and ambrosia salad.

But come on. It's really good.

No, really. The dressing is so tangy, the broccoli is crunchy, and there's bacon. BACON. Do I need to say anything else? Bacon.

I made this the other day for a family get together and came home with no leftovers. So I would say that's a good sign.

Also, it couldn't be easier.


1 lb broccoli florets (do yourself a favor and buy the bagged kind - I won't tell)
1/2 cup chopped red (or purple) onion
6 slices bacon, crumbled (turkey or regular)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup regular or light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add the broccoli, onion, bacon and cranberries. Toss gently. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.