Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

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Spooning chimichurri sauce onto grilled flank steak.

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell

Description

Simple grilled flank steak seasoned with a dry rub of cumin, chili powder, garlic and oregano and topped with the bright, fresh flavor of Argentinian Chimichurri sauce makes for a simple flavor-packed meal.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


Ingredients

  • Flank steak: An average serving is 1/2 to 3/4 pound per person. Make enough for dinner tonight with 2 pounds left over for tacos on Day #2.
  • Olive oil, to rub lightly on both sides of the steak
  • Grilled Flank Steak Dry Rub
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chimichurri Sauce

Instructions

  1. Rub each side of the flank steak with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Rub both sides with a generous amount of Flank Steak Dry Rub, coating the steak completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the steak to your preferred level of doneness on an indoor or outdoor grill. Medium-rare (140-145 degrees) will take approximately 6 minutes. Medium (155-160 degrees) will take just a couple of minutes longer. Try to remove the steak from the grill a right before it reaches the desired temperature because the steak will keep cooking for a bit after you remove it from the heat.
  4. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board to let the juices settle. Carve and serve with Chimichurri Sauce.

Simple Black Beans

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Beans cooked in a slow cooker

Simple Slow Cooker Beans


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 - 6 hours
  • Total Time: 4-6 hours
  • Yield: 6-7 cups 1x

Description

Cooking dried beans in a slow cooker produces richly flavorful, tender beans that will save you money and taste better than anything you’ll ever find in a can.

Slow cooker beans take about 4 hours on high and 6 hours on low.

This recipe yields 6-7 cups. You’ll want approximately 1 & 1/2 cups for and 3 cups for Vegetarian Chili on Day #3. Freeze leftover beans in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.


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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 lb) dried beans: black, pinto, or kidney – OR any combination of varieties
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 8 cups water, or chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Pour beans into a colander and rinse in the sink for a minute or so. Pour into your slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients plus 8 cups water, or chicken or vegetable broth. Stir to combine, put the lid on the slow cooker and let cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Perfect Sautéed Vegetables

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Sautéed red peppers and green beans

Perfect Sautéed Vegetables


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell

Description

Sautéed vegetables are just about the easiest, fastest way I can think of to add more vegetables to a meal, other than just putting out some pre-cut carrot and celery sticks. The trick to perfectly sautéed veggies every time is to slice them uniformly and then cook them quickly in a very hot pan with a minimal amount of oil.

Cooking vegetables over low heat, or cooking them too long, or in too much oil, results in soft soggy vegetables – not very appealing, in my opinion. For bright veggies that are tender-crisp, cook them quickly in a very hot pan, using the minimum amount of oil necessary to keep them from sticking.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


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Ingredients

  • 6 red bell peppers (or any color bell peppers)
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 pounds of asparagus.
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • a lemon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut into 1-inch wide slices. Peel the onions, cut in half, length wise, then cut each half into 1-inch wide slices.
  2. Snap the asparagus in half, allowing them to break wherever they do naturally. Discard the tough bottom half of the stalks.
  3. Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a sauté pan or wok over high heat until the oil is just beginning to smoke. If using a 12-inch pan, add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of vegetables to the hot oil. If your pan is smaller or larger, adjust accordingly. You want to be able to spread the vegetables into an even layer across the bottom of the pan so that each pieces is touching the pan. If they are stacked on top of each other, there are too many in the pan at once.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, spatula, or tongs, toss the vegetables around in the hot oil for a few seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to toss until they are crisp-tender and blackening in spots. This will happen quickly. Have a fork ready beside the pan so that you can quickly remove one pice and bite into it to test.
  5. Immediately remove from the pan to a plate or serving platter. Repeat with remaining veggies.
  6. If desired, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the cooked vegetables and toss. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Chimichurri Sauce

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Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri Sauce


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes

Description

Chimichurri sauce is a magical green sauce that’s one of the best ways to instantly brighten a dish with fresh flavor and color. Aside from being totally delicious, it’s healthy, versatile, and super quick to prepare.

This recipe makes a lot of chimichurri sauce – enough to spoon it over Flank Steak in Day #1 and top Vegetarian Chili on Day #3. Reserve Chimichurri Sauce in a covered container in your refrigerator

Depending on the size of your food processor, you might need to make this in two batches. 

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • 2 cus fresh cilantro
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 23 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust to the level of spice you prefer)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  – 1 cup olive oil

Instructions

Add all ingredients plus 1/2 cup of the olive oil to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Check the consistency and taste for seasoning. Add as much olive oil as you like to achieve the consistency you want.

Notes

Chimichurri sauce can be made in a food processor or blender. I usually make it in a food processor because the blender creates a very smooth sauce and I prefer a more “chunky” consistency. Likewise, add as much olive oil as you like to achieve the desired consistency. If you want your chimichurri sauce to be thin and pourable, add more olive oil. If you want it to be more of a salsa-like consistency, add less.

Grilled Flank Steak Dry Rub

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Grilled Flank Steak Dry Rub


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Oregano

Instructions

Stir all ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Store at room temperature, covered, for up to 6 months.

 

Pico de Gallo

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A bowl of homemade fresh Pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 8 cups 1x

Description

The following ratios reflect my personal Pico de Gallo preferences. Adjust as desired. There’s no one “right” way to make Pico de Gallo.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and diced (you want about 1 & 1/2 cups diced onions)
  • 12 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 fresh jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • The juice from 2-4 limes
  • 23 tsp sugar
  • 1 &1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt, sugar, or lime if desired.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vegetarian Chili

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Vegetarian chili with pico de Gallo, chimichurri sauce, and fried tortilla strips.

Vegetarian Chili


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes (not including prep time for the toppings)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

Vegetarian Chili packed with beans, onions, poblano peppers, red bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes that are simmered in a spicy red wine broth, then topped with chimichurri sauce, fresh Pico de Gallo, and fried tortilla strips.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. For the original recipe, including ideas for what to do with leftover chili, click here.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 poblano peppers (see note)
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and stem removed and diced into very small pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium sized zucchini: trim the ends, slice in half length-wise, then slice each half into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • One 14-oz can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 34 cups beans, any variety or combination of varieties
  • About 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (more to taste)
  • About 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more to taste)
  • Optional Garnishments: Chimichurri Sauce, Pico de Gallo, grated cheese, sour cream, and fried tortilla strips (see note below for how to make fried tortilla strips)

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat the broiler in your oven. Lay the poblano peppers on the baking sheet and broil until the skins of the poblano peppers are at least 90% black. Turn the peppers over and broil until the peppers are blackened on the other side. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel the blackened skin from the peppers, removing the stems and the seeds. Dice the peppers and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, and tomato paste.  Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeño, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chopped red pepper and sliced zucchini to the pan and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the garlic-spice-tomato paste mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine, and cook, stirring frequently, until much of the liquid has evaporated – about 5 minutes.
  5.  Pour in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomatoes. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. (While the chili cooks, make fried tortilla strips – directions are in the notes below.)
  6. Stir in the beans and cook a minute or two longer to heat through. Add the lime juice and cilantro. Taste, and add more lime, cilantro, or salt if you like.
  7. Serve with any or all optional garnishments: Chimichurri Sauce, Pico de Gallo, grated cheese, and fried tortilla strips (see note below for how to make fried tortilla strips)

Notes

  • You can substitute an 8 ounce can of chopped green chilies for the poblano peppers if you prefer.
  • If you want to cook a batch of dried beans to use in this chili (as opposed to canned), follow the instructions in this recipe for Slow Cooker Beans.

How to make fried tortilla strips:

  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near the stove along with a small dish of salt.
  2. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to come up the sides of the pan about 1-inch, and place over hight heat. Cut corn tortillas in into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Add a small piece of corn tortilla into the hot oil to see if it’s hot enough; if it immediately begins to sizzle, with bubbles of oil forming all around it, the oil is hot enough. If you have a deep fry thermometer, which can be super helpful, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  3. Fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil in a couple of batches, being careful to not over crowd the pan. When the strips are a deep golden brown, carefully remove them from the hot oil with tongs and immediately sprinkle with some salt.

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Pico de Gallo

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Flank Steak Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Grilled Flank Steak Tacos


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: About 15 minutes
  • Total Time: About 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (3 tacos per serving) 1x

Description

Strips of seasoned, grilled flank steak and sautéed red peppers & onions are layered inside warm, soft corn tortillas and topped with the bright, fresh flavor of Pico de Gallo.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.


Scale

Ingredients

  • About 2 lbs Grilled Flank Steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 red peppers and 1 large yellow onions, sliced into strips and sautéed according to these instructions
  • About 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 812 corn tortillas (23 per person)
  • Fresh Pico de Gallo
  • Sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Reheat the steak, peppers, and onions that you prepared on Day #1 in the microwave, or in a 350 degree oven. (If you haven’t cut the steak, slice it as thinly as possible across the natural grain of the meat.
  2. Brush both sides of a corn tortilla with a light coating of corn oil and place in the center of a damp paper towel. Brush only one side of a second tortilla with a light coating of corn oil and place oil side up on top of the first tortilla. Continue with however many tortillas you plan to serve. Cover with a second damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and feel into the center of the stack to see if it’s warm. If not, microwave for a bit longer.
  3. Serve tortillas with sliced flank steak, sautéed peppers and onions, Pico de Gallo, and sour cream, if desired.

Pasta in a Lemon Caper Sauce with Sausage and Spring Vegetables

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A bowl of pasta with sausage and vegetables.

Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

Egg Fettuccini Pasta is coated in a Lemon Caper Sauce and tossed with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan, Pine Nuts and fresh herbs. 

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into three pieces
  • 4 oz non pareil capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 12 oz fresh or dried egg fettuccini noodles
  • 2 lbs ground Italian Sausage, hot or sweet
  • 2 cups sautéed asparagus
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 16 oz)
  • Optional toppings: chopped basil or more chopped parsley, shaved parmesan, pine nuts (toasted or raw)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the diced shallot and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add broth and lemon juice and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup (about 5 minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until fully melted and incorporated. Stir in capers and fresh parsley. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta: Fill a large pan 2/3 full with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente (cooked through but still firm when bitten into). Refer to the package for approximate cooking times. The goal is for the pasta to be just slightly underdone because it will keep cooking after you remove it from the heat and toss it with the warm lemon-caper sauce. Homemade fresh pasta, will cook very quickly – in about 2 minutes – so watch carefully.
  4. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink and return it to the pot it was cooked in. Pour the lemon-caper sauce over the pasta and toss. Cover to keep warm.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the ground sausage and cook until no pink remains in the middle of the pieces of sausage. *Reserve half the cooked sausage for Cornbread Salad on Day #5.
  6. Add the cooked sausage to the pasta along with the sautéed asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine.
  7. Serve along with any or all of the optional toppings.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Salad with Italian Sausage and Fresh Tomatoes

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A bowl of cornbread salad.

Cornbread Salad


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread tossed with Italian sausage, cherry tomatoes, and spinach in a quick vinaigrette.

Plenty of other vegetables would be delicious tossed into this salad. So, if you have a few stray veggies in your refrigerator that you’re not sure what to do with, toss them in, sautéing them first if you like.

*This recipe has been modified for this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 heaping cups of large cornbread cubes – about 1/2 a pan of  Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
  • 2 tbsp + 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 heaping cups spinach
  • 1 lb cooked ground Italian sausage, sweet or hot
  • 16 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts sliced thin (discard dark green parts)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the cornbread into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks and spread out on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cubes are a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  2. While the cornbread is in the oven, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach. Let stand for a minute allow the bottom layer of spinach to wilt. Then, use tongs to gently toss the sponge in the hot oil, letting it cook for another minute or two until all of it is wilted. (If all 5 cups won’t fit at once, add half, allow it to wilt in the pan, then add the other half.)
  3. Add the cooked Italian Sausage to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is heated throughout, about 1 minute. Dump the sausage and spinach onto a plate or a bowl and set aside.
  4. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to a large bowl along with the sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro.
  5. In a small bowl, add the 1/3 cup olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to combine and then pour over the tomato mixture. Toss to coat the tomato mixture with the dressing.
  6. Add the cooked sausage to the tomato mixture and toss to combine.
  7. To serve, add 1 cup of cornbread cubes to a plate and top with sausage tomato mixture.

Notes

  • If you have any leftover, store the cornbread and sausage-vegetable mixture in separate containers, the cornbread at room temperature and the sausage-vegctable mixture in the refrigerator. Bring the sausage-vegetable mixture to room temperature by zapping it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so at half power. Stir, test the temperature, and cook a few seconds longer if necessary.

The Pepper Blossom with Gin, Grapefruit, Jalapeño & Basil

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Pepper Blossom Cocktail

The Pepper Blossom


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell

Description

Gin, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, sliced Jalapeño, and fresh basil come together for a deliciously balanced and refreshing blend of spicy, sweet, and sour.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3 or 4 slices jalapeño, seeds removed
  • 4 or 5 large basil leaves
  • 1 oz St Germain
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • Club soda (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the gin, jalapeño slices, and basil leaves to a liquid measuring cup and muddle a bit to release the flavor of the jalapeño and basil. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Wet the rim of a glass with grapefruit juice and coat with sugar (optional). Fill with ice.
  3. Strain the gin into a cocktail shaker and add the St Germain and grapefruit juice. Stir or shake to combine and pour into the ice-filled glass.
  4. Top off with a bit of club soda (optional).