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Flank Steak Sandwiches

Red meat.  I have a hard time understanding the big appeal of red meat.  Couple the higher saturated fat content with the fact that I just don’t like it… nah, I’ll pass.  However, this blog is all about moderation, and as long as red meat is consumed in moderation, it can be enjoyed without guilt or worry!  Don’t forget, you’re also getting a good dose of protein and the form of iron that is most readily absorbed by the body.


Flank Steak Sandwiches– slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 4

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup canola or olive oil mayonnaise

1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tbsp. fresh)

1 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 tbsp. fresh)

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound flank steak, trimmed of all visible fat

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 (12 oz) French bread baguette

1 cup mixed greens

Instructions:

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave at high 2 minutes or until boiling.  Stir in chopped onion.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Combine mayo and next 4 ingredients (through garlic).
  4. Rub steak evenly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place steak on grill rack* for 5 minutes on each side or until done to your preference.  Remove from grill, let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak into thin slices.
  5. Cut baguette in half lengthwise and in quarters horizontally for the 4 portions. Hollow out the top and bottom of the bread. Lightly grill the bread on the grill rack for added crunch.
  6. Drain the onion mixture and discard the liquid.
  7. Arrange the steak evenly over bottom half of each baguette slice.  Top each with 1/4 of the mayonnaise mixture, onions and mixed greens.

* Just a quick nutrition note: Grilling red meat is known to release chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) and heterocyclic amines (HCA’s).  These compounds are carcinogenic, meaning they promote cancer growth.  The good news is, there are things you can do to minimize the release of these chemicals.  One is to marinate the meat before it is grilled, and another (as in this case) is to move the coals to the sides of the grill and cook the meat in the middle to avoid the meat having direct contact with the high heat that causes the formation of the compounds.  Cooking low and slow is better then fast and hot.

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Cinco de Mayo Black Bean & Beef Quesadillas

This Cinco de Mayo was very lame as it was the Saturday before finals, but I love having a holiday as an excuse to make a themed dinner.. so I took a break from studying and did just that!  I ate mine without beef, but since I figure I probably have some readers that eat and enjoy beef, it might be nice to share a non-vegetarian, poultry, or seafood based recipe for once.

Cinco de Mayo Black Bean & Beef Quesadillas

Serves: 5-6 (I made 7 quesadillas with beef/black bean and 3 just black bean)

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 lb  90/10 ground beef

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro (optional- I personally hate cilantro, so I omitted)

1 1/2 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning, divided (1/2 packet went in with the beef and 1/2 into the bean mixture)

10 8″ flour tortillas

suggested side: low-sodium yellow rice (doesn’t offer much nutritional value- but went with the theme!)

Instructions:

  1. Drain the can of beans and rinse.  Place in bowl with corn and mix.  No need to thaw the corn.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and cheese to bowl with beans and corn.  Toss with 1/2 taco seasoning packet.  Set aside.
  3. Heat non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add ground beef, cook until brown and cooked through.  Once brown, add 1/2 taco seasoning packet with 1/4 cup water.  Mix well and remove from heat.
  4. If making all beef/bean tacos, combine with filling now.  If not, keep separate.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of beef/bean mixture to one half of each tortilla.  Fold tortilla and cook over medium-high heat on non-stick pan a few minutes per side (until slightly browned).
  6. Cut each cooked tortilla in half with a pizza cutter and serve.