Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Beachy Steak Salad

 Don't Worry Baby by The Beach Boys
The recipe I'm sharing today came along at just the right moment - and SAVED me!  Yes - saved me! And as it's a fresh-mex beachy kind of dish, who else could I invite to the occasion but The Beach Boys.  My oldest daughter was the one who narrowed it down to this particular song of theirs.  It is a song of comfort - of soothing.  Which is exactly what happened the moment I ate this for the first time - and every time since.

Who knew salad could be 
a comfort food?!
I always thought comfort 
from food had to include
some sort of velvety
sauce and squishy textured
food that sort of melted
into all the recesses of your mouth.
But apparently not!

So we're over the Rice Krispie
Treat stage - and might I add that 
they all turned out fabulous
and were well received!
But through it all,
I have STILL been doing
that AIP diet.
I am in the reintroduction phase
and it's a slow one so I still won't be
having any grains or legumes until June/July.
Still no tomatoes, potatoes,
cheese, or corn.
Some of those are 
coming up soon though!

Eating out has been interesting.
I can usually find something
wherever we end up going.
And that something is
usually a salad.
And I have become quite
a salad snob.

It's so disappointing when
I order a salad and I'm 
served something that
somebody just shook out of 
a plastic bag back in the kitchen.
This kind of salad
Like I'm being punished.
I can't adorn my salad
with juicy tomatoes yet.
Or dress it up with a
delectable sharp cheese.
Nuts are problematic, I've found.
But can't we make the foundation
of a particular dish the best
it can be?!?!

Well, I found a place that does.
Or at least it tastes like it does.

I went to Costa Vida with my 
family a few months ago.
If you haven't been there,
you go down a line similar to a Subway
and you get to choose what you
get in your particular dish.
It's a mexican cuisine
which features fresh ingredients.
So I start out:
I'll have a salad - a LARGE one.
No - neither a corn nor flour tortilla.
Cilantro Lime Rice?  No tomatoes?  YES PLEASE!!
I'll have grilled steak.
No tomato salsa.
No pinto beans, or black beans.
No cheese of any kind.
No crispy tortilla strips.

At this point the kid
looks back at me as sadly
as I feel I must be looking at 
all the "NO" ingredients.
He says he feels bad -
"I gotta give you SOMETHING!"
So I ask if he has some cilantro.
Yes!  I can have that!
He offers the mango salsa.
I see tiny bits of tomato
but it's mostly mango -
which is a big YES!
So I ask for that
and call it good.

I pay and head to the table
ready to partake of yet
another sad salad meal.

I stir up the ingredients
and bite into
I seriously thought I was 
going to cry!
That salsa absolutely
married everything
in that tin plate
into a perfect union!
The rice added some starch
so I didn't miss the tortilla.
The steak gave the salad
a hearty staying power.
The flavors were vibrant.
The lettuce was crunchy!
And I could hear
"Don't worry, baby.
Everything will turn out alright."
If I could eat a salad
like this, I could endure
this long road.

And I've eaten this salad
many, many times.
It makes up fast for me
as I tend to cook up a batch
of rice just to keep on hand.
Turning it into Cilantro Lime Rice
is super easy.

So you're actually going to get
three recipes today -
Pineapple Mango Salsa
(different than the one I 
gave with the tilapia post),
Marinated Sirloin Steak,
Cilantro Lime Rice.

You're welcome!

Beachy Steak Salad
serves 4 
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, drained, and sliced
2 top sirloin steak filets
1 - 6 oz can of pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon avocado oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pineapple
4 small mangos
1/4 red onion, small dice
1 lime
kosher or sea salt
1 cup cooked rice
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped.

For the steak - pt 1:
Place the pineapple juice, avocado oil, and garlic in a large ziplock baggie.  Add the steaks and close the bag, pressing out as much air as you can.  Squish around the ingredients and then place in the refrigerator for about 8 - 12 hours to marinate.

For the salsa:
Peel and core the pineapple and chop into small pieces.  Peel and core the mango and cut into pieces the same size as the pineapple.  Place both in a bowl with the diced red onion and squeeze half the lime over.  Season with salt to taste.  Set aside.

For the rice:
In a small saute pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the cooked rice and stir to coat.  Continue to heat until the rice is heated through.  Squeeze the other half of the lime over the rice and season with salt.  Stir in a handful of the cilantro.  Set aside.

For the steak - pt 2:
Remove steaks from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 - 40 minutes.  Remove from the marinade and pat dry.  Drizzle with avocado oil and season with some salt.  Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.  Add the steak and cook until done to preferred doneness, cooking both sides.  Remove and let sit for about 5 - 10 minutes, covered with foil.  Slice thinly.  

To serve the salad you can toss it all together in a bowl and serve immediately
 or do it buffet style like they do at Costa Vida.  Start with the rice in the bottom, 
then the steak, then the lettuce, then the salsa.  

Top it off with more cilantro.  Enjoy!

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