Who doesn’t love a chicken tender?! I used to pretend I was making them “for the kids” all while plotting how delicious they were going to be on my salad or dipped into something fabulous. But, chicken tenders, fingers, nuggets or whatever ya want to call them are usually over-breaded and fried in yucky fats when eaten out — and not much better for you when baked from those bags from the freezer section.
My recipe for Baked Turmeric Almond Chicken Tenders uses fresh chicken breast coated in almond meal for satisfying crunch! The golden color comes from turmeric, a spice beloved not just for it’s hue but also amazing health benefits — I’ve blogged about that a million times. By using almond meal (along with coconut flour for the pre-egg dusting), I’ve kept this recipe gluten-free and paleo-friendly! Read on to get the recipe! Continue reading →
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You probably won’t ever find me sitting in a pub downing Guinness or whisky, but I’ll definitely eat! So today, I’m sharing my crazy, tasty spin on traditional tavern food and Irish Corned Beef Potato Nachos are featured on my menu!
Those lucky Irish, with their abundance of potatoes! Spuds make a super great fuel choice for athletes, the complex carbs provide healthy energy to help nail workout and run goals. I did a whole blog post on this that you can check out HERE. Add corned beef from the deli, sharp white cheddar and a bit of cabbage should you care, and these nachos will have your taste buds dancing a jig. Continue reading →
The best thing about slurping up a big bowl full of my Fast and Fit Steak Pho with Zucchini Noodlesis the overload of delicious meat and veggie goodness sans the traditional noodles (we be low carb-ing it over here). The second-best thing is cracking Pho jokes, puns and innuendos with the family while eating this fast and fit meal. Kids: “Mom, dinner tonight is pho-nomenal, it’s un-pho-gettable! You should take a picture of it, it would be good pho-tography.”Me:“Only the best pho you guys, that’s pho-sure.”
But, no joke, this quick soup is not only “good pho you” it’s weeknight dinner winner when you just don’t have hour after hour to simmer down oxtails, beef knuckles and leg bones and exotic charred spices into the traditional Vietnamese broth. So, I might have broken a few ancient tenets of pho-making here and there – but, then again, I used zoodles (gasp) instead of the thin white rice noodle that my neighbor’s grandmother would more approve of. I’m a rebel who, with my zucchini, is squashing all rules!
‘Tis the season for eating well and enjoying the experience with family and friends. Serving a perfectly prepared beef roast is always a showstopper at holiday celebrations and dinner parties. It can be our little secret, but roasting beef actually requires very little time and effort! I learned everything I need to know from my dad (who does a tenderloin roast every Christmas) and my friends at the Texas Beef Council.
With my easy-to-follow tips that follow, you can transform a large hunk of beef into a delicious roast ready to be carved into succulent slices — there probably won’t be a leftover morsel in sight, so consider making two roasts! Also, if you’d like to test out your skills and don’t have a recipe, try the mouth-watering recipe for Garlic and Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables featured at the bottom of this post.
BTW, if you are on the Beef Team and are still in possession of your holiday Chateau Loin (which is center cut sirloin), it will easily substitute without modifications in this roast recipe.
Tips for the Perfect Roast Beef:
1) Choose the right cut. We’re demonstrating roasting tips with a beef tenderloin roast, but the same process will work with other cuts including ribeye and tri tip roasts and more economical cuts like sirloin and round roasts. The way to ensure perfect outcomes when preparing beef is to pair a cut with the appropriate cooking method – and also your budget. The Interactive Butcher Counter helps take the uncertainty out of selecting the right cut of beef to roast – check it out!
2) You can’t flub a rub. Dry rubs are an easy way to add flavor to a roast and can be as simple as salt and pepper or as complex and spicy as you want to get – chili powder, herbs, brown sugar and even ground coffee beans are all ingredients I’ve seen used in rubs. Really, the only must-do for a rub is to apply it generously – rub in the mixture thickly on the top, bottom and every side (including the ends) and your reward will be a crusty, caramelized exterior that adds flavor and helps to hold in juices. A variant of dry rubs is to massage olive oil, spices and even fresh aromatic herbs into the beef – that’s what we’re doing with the recipe below.
3) Use the proper roasting gear. Actually, very little gear is required for roasting beef in the oven. When it comes to cookware, choose a metal pan with an approximate 2 to 3-inch rim. Metal conducts heat better than other materials and yields a more evenly browned roast. You won’t need a lid, as oven roasting is a dry heat cooking method. Also, use a roasting rack to elevate the meat above the pan so that the heat can circulate underneath. If you don’t have a roasting rack or fancy silicon roasting laurel, simply substitute heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been scrunched up and twisted into a figure-8 shape. A reliable meat thermometer is also needed to ensure you cook your roast to perfect doneness – those inexpensive instant-read thermometers found at most grocery stores will do the job fine.
4) Learn how to tell when your roast is done. If you’re not following a recipe, get familiar with the suggested cooking times and oven temperatures for your selected cut of beef. I like to reference this useful chart on Beef Roast Table Times. Abiding by this chart will ensure you rule the roast every time; however, remember that temperatures vary from oven to oven making cooking times approximate. You’ll know when your roast is “done” for your taste preferences when the thermometer is stuck into the center, thickest part of the roast (but not near a bone) and reads 10 degrees LESS than the time indicated for medium-rare, medium, or well-done. When you take a roast out of the oven early like this, the temperature will continue to rise and cook the roast for a few more minutes out of the oven.For example, a medium-rare roast is finished at 145 F degrees, but should be removed at 135 F degrees. See the chart below for more details.
5) Give it a rest. As tempting as it is to cut into a roast or steak right as it comes off the heat, you must let it rest on the countertop for at least 10 minutes as just mentioned. This allows the juices time to redistribute between the relaxing muscle fibers and ultimately create a more tender and enjoyable eating experience. If you’re not sure if the roast has rested long enough, it should be ready to carve when the temperature drops to 120 F degrees or below.
Are you a roast-cooking newbie — or do you have well seasoned skills? Do you like the food pun? Feel free to share a “funny,” too! A steak pun is a rare medium well done — heehee, another pun! XOXO, Jennifer
Garlic and Rosemary Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
• 2 to 3 lbs. assorted root vegetables (like sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, onions, beets, parsnips)
• 1 large sweet yellow onion
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt
• 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
Preheat oven to 425°F. Massage beef with olive oil and then rub rosemary springs enthusiastically onto entire surface to release aromatic oils. Next, rub garlic paste over tenderloin and then rub in salt and pepper to entire surface. Place rosemary spring on top of roast.
Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover.
Cut vegetables into 1 to 2-inch chunks and place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Chop up remaining rosemary and toss with vegetables along with salt, pepper, and parsley. Spread out vegetables into a single layer. Roast vegetables for approximately 45 minutes in 425F degree oven, stirring and rearranging halfway through cooking.
Roast tenderloin in 425°F oven for approximately 40 – 45 minutes for medium rare (pull out at 135F degrees and will rise to 145F degrees) or 45 to 55 minutes for medium doneness (pull out at 145F degrees and will rise to 160F degrees). Tent with foil. Let stand 10 - 20 minutes until temperature has dropped to 120 F degrees or below.
Slice roast across the grain and serve with roasted vegetables.
Looking for an easy yet elegant salad — a gorgeous plate of early fall flavors that will have co-workers peeking over the cubicle or neighbors knowing at the door? My Steak Salad with Fig, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette will have you running to the grill for some last minute steak-making before Jack Frost rears his ugly head. Honestly, in Austin, the fall is the BEST time of year for grilling!
And, time to break out the compression socks, finally!
Check out my favorite brand, Vim & Vigr — I’m an ambassador for this fun, quirky and super stylish sock company! Their Instagram profile also equally energizing!
This salad features top sirloin steak, a lean cut of beef that packs a great nutritional punch for athletes and active individuals with only about 150 calories and 6.5 grams fat for a 3 ounce serving plus 26 grams protein and lots of iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. The beauty of sirloin is it’s versatility, convenience and (duh) taste – it’s a weekday AND weekend go-to for me. Because sirloin is already a fairly tender cut, there is no need to marinade except to add flavor — my simple pomegranate marinade adds a slightly sweet, super delish dose of that! But, if you are rushed and need to skip marinating, the recipe will still be yummy.
Figs have been so great lately, you may want to make a few more fig recipes before the season is over. Check out the 5 Ways with Fresh Figs from the Simmer and Boil blog at CookingLight.com
Add pomegranate juice, oil, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, and thyme to non-reactive boil and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. Pour into heavy-duty zip-top bag and add sirloin steak(s). Seal top and gently toss a few times to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette by simmering the pomegranate juice in non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup, approximately 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm, stir in the honey, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; set aside to cool.
When ready to prepare steaks, heat grill to 400 F degrees. Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Grill steaks for approximately 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from grill when instant read thermometer reaches 135 F degrees when inserted at thickest part of meat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes while prepping salads.
To prepare salad, divide spring mix evenly among four plates. Top with halved figs, pomegranate arils, almonds and blue cheese crumbles. Slice steak thinly across grain and top each salad with 3 to 4 ounces of beef. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Even though the calendar has turned to September and I still am getting acclimated to our back-to-school routine, it certainly feels like summer every time I step out the door. Officially, it IS still summer until fall arrives on September 22nd and no one can stop me extracting every last kernel of enjoyment from the season. On these last warm-weather weekends, my family will eat our dinners al fresco, practice handstands barefoot the grass and usher in the autumnal equinox with our final trips to the lake.
A fantastic outdoor meals for the end of summer or Labor Day weekend is CaliCornia Shrimp Pizza – this quick, easy and amazingly tasty pizza reminds me of the sunshine state with a laid-back vibe and showcase of Mother Nature’s best bounty. Succulent roasted shrimp, sweet corn and creamy avocado slices blend with melted fresh mozzarella and ranch dressing (I used OPA! by Litehouse™ Greek Style Yogurt Ranch Dressing). A crispy yet soft and chewy crust is easily “made’ with Naan bread or pre-baked crusts. Other convenience items like frozen shrimp and a southwestern roasted corn blend with peppers (found in freezer section), means I spend less time making meals and more time with my feet up on the chaise lounge recovering from the long run or workout of the day. And, if I’m lucky I can get one of personal pizza deliver guys (my sons) to deliver me a piece so I don’t have to move another muscle!
In small bowl, toss together thawed shrimp with olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Place shrimp on rimmed baking sheet and heat up in oven for4 to 5 minutes. Or, skewer and heat up on grill for about the same amount of time, taking care not to overcook. Remove shrimp, but leave oven/grill on.
Spread each crust with approximately 2 tablespoons of OPA Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, reserve remaining to drizzle on top of finished pizzas.
Place slices of mozzarella on pizza and sprinkle with about ¼ up of thawed corn blend. Top pizzas with roasted/grilled shrimp.
Place pizzas in oven or on grill with lid closed and heat up for another 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and edges are turning golden brown.
Remove pizzas and top with sliced avocado and drizzle with remaining OPA Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing.
Married for 24 years and I havent’ killed him . . . yet!
Pulled together this post on the fly, since the sponsored one I had planned is being held up “in the legal department,” or that’s what I was told. I have my own legal department at home, also known as my hubby, which reminds me to let the world know that it is our 24th wedding anniversary. Yes, I got married in kindergarten.
Of course, we had to celebrate with beef – I killed my CrossFit 15.3 WOD today with 1st place age group South Central region. That was 200 wall balls and 701 jump ropes in 14 minutes, so I was totally in #beefmode afterward!
This is a shot of my husband’s delicious dinner from Steiner Steakhouse, he got the sautéed spinach as his side. What you don’t see is the asparagus on my plate that gobbled up before the obligatory food blogger photo.
Eating at a fancy steakhouse can cost a pretty penny, but also am a pro at making restaurant worthy steaks and sides at home. A favorite is the pan-seared, oven-finished filet with balsamic tomatoes I did for BeefLovingTexas.com. I also make some amazing asparagus at home and will be making it frequently now that these fresh spears of spring have sprung up in the market. This vegetable recipe is super easy to make — it’s drizzled with olive oil, roasted in the oven, and topped with almonds, bacon or whatever your heart desires. Way better than mush steamed asparagus, in my opinion!