Balsamic Marinated Steak with Roasted Vegetables

IMG_6133

Midterms are over.  I actually think I can hear angels singing right now…

It’s nice having a life after major tests are over.

To celebrate Halloween (and Nevada Day!) and the end of midterms, some of my family and I went to Disneyland.  Which was super fun and amazing and Disneylandish.

IMG_6024

ariel

ariel2

Me and my mom’s Halloween costumes in Disneyland!  Can you guess who I am?

Lately, my roommates and I have gotten into the bad habit where about once every week or two, we stay up too late drinking craft beer (or cranberry vodkas in my case) and doing ridiculous things.  Last night we ended up getting nerf guns at Wal Mart at midnight so we can ignore our priorities and hide behind corners to shoot each other with little styrofoam darts.

College, right?

IMG_6128

Luckily, I still do things that most college kids don’t do.  Like voting, caring about important issues, making nice meals…

I haven’t given up yet guys.

However, let me tell you now: It gets dark around Reno at about 5 starting in October, so the prep pictures are pretty dark, and this meal is not the prettiest.

However, it does look very comfy and winter-y and I promise you, it’s so good.  And it only takes about 30 minutes of actual work.  The rest is marinating/cooking time.  It’s worth it.  I swear.

IMG_6131

Serves 2

Marinade:

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 tsp. Dijon, to taste

2 tsp. dried rosemary

1/2 Tbs. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Salt, to taste

Ingredients:

2 thinly cut sirloin steaks (or whatever steak you prefer)

1 zucchini, cut in larger chunks

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 red potatoes, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Garlic powder and Onion powder, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

IMG_6100

In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients.

IMG_6101

Add 4 Tablespoons to steaks.  I put my thin steaks in ziplocs with 2 Tbs. of marinade each, and let them marinate for 2 hours.  You can do overnight if you like, but definitely do at least a couple hours!

IMG_6102

Cut zucchini into larger chunks.  I cut them into four spheres and then cut those into fourths.  If that makes sense?

IMG_6103

Slice red bell pepper.  Remove seeds!

IMG_6104

Mix veggies in a bowl with remaining marinade.  Let marinate for a couple hours also.

IMG_6106

When you’re ready to prepare dinner, dice potatoes into thin chunks.

IMG_6108

Preheat oven to 400* F.  Place potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  *The reason I did not marinate the potatoes with the rest of the vegetables is because they did not get crispy when I marinated them.  You could try to mix them with marinade to make it easier.  Totally up to you!*

IMG_6110

Remove veggies from marinade and place on baking sheet.  Discard remaining marinade.  Bake veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

IMG_6113

About 8 minutes before veggies are done, pan fry your steaks to desired doneness.  This is for thinly cut sirloin steaks.  If you use regular steaks, allow yourself more time to make steaks.  Alternatively, you can grill them.  Which I would have done if it wasn’t 45* outside.

IMG_6130

Serve steaks over roasted vegetables.  You can cut the steak into strips if you want pretty steak, or you can just leave it whole to make it easy.

IMG_6126

Balsamic + Steak + Roasted Vegetables = So good and so healthy.  I was a happy Sara.

Until next time, my friends.

XO Sara

*Song of the Day*: Low Light Assembly–The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Advertisements

Black Bean and Corn Guacamole

DSCN4192

“Hey, Sara.  Why are you taking pictures of that guacamole?”

“Errrrrrr, uhhhhhm, weeeeelllllllll…..”

I feel like that just summed up my life in two sentences.

That was a quote from one of my roommates.  Sometimes it takes a while to openly admit that you’re a food blogger.  Not that I’m ashamed.  Just that it’s not something that just comes up all the time.

Until your roommate walks in, practically smacking you in the head with the front door while you “rap squat” with a camera pointing directly at a bowl of guac.  Don’t know what the “rap squat” is? Check this out here.  That should sum it up for you/give you a good laugh.

DSCN4188

Anyways, yeah, guac.  I’m pretty sure that I’m allergic to avocados considering I never feel all that great after eating them, but I don’t care.  Because they’re worth it.  Why are they so good?!

This guac has corn and black beans in it, like that really great salsa, except that it’s in guacamole!  Yes, please and thank you.

But Sara, doesn’t regular guacamole have tomatoes and onions in it?

Uhm, don’t you have something better to do?  Shouldn’t you be watching Netflix or something?  I recommend It’s Always Sunny. (No, Netflix is not compensating me for that comment.  But I am interested Netflix.  Need a cute little redheaded spokesgirl?  Sorry, was that conceited?).

But for real, the answer is yes.  But I hate raw onions and I forgot tomatoes at the store.  You may add them if you want.  I just did not have the necessary ingredients with me.  Sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

1 avocado

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 drops Tobasco, or to taste

1/4 c. corn (fresh, frozen, canned, your choice)

1/4 c. black beans (I used canned.  Make sure to drain and rinse!)

DSCN4181

Cut your avocado in half, around the pit.  Jam your knife into the pit and yank it out.  Just twist a little, it’ll come out.  Don’t cut your hand!  You can do this guys.

DSCN4182

Put the avocado in a good mashing bowl with your garlic, lime juice, onion powder, salt and pepper, and Tobasco.

DSCN4183

Smash it with a fork!

Screw the fork, this is taking to long.  Use a potato masher.

Oh yeah, I don’t have a potato masher.

DSCN4184

The fork works.

DSCN4185

Stir in black beans and corn!

DSCN4186

Serve with these!  They’re way healthier than regular corn chips and they’re way more delicious!

Again, not being compensated.  Again, interested.

DSCN4187

This should serve 4 regular, healthy sized portions.  But we all know you’re going to eat half of it like me.  Don’t be like me, kids.  Do yourself a favor.  Learn portion control.

DSCN4190

You know what, avocados are really good for you, eat however much you want.

And let me know how that goes.

Tips:

1. To find a good avocado, take the little stem off.  If it’s green, it’s ripe!  If it’s creamy white/tan, it’s not ripe.  If it’s dark brown or black, it’s bad!

2.  To keep guacamole from going brown and goopy, cover it with water.  Then just dump it out and stir whenever you want to eat it.  Kind of sounds gross, but it’s not (it’s just water) and it’s better than brown clumpy guac.  The reason it works is because food can’t oxidize in water!  Yeah, science bitch!  (Breaking Bad, anyone?)

XO Sara

Song of the Day: Honestly?–American Football

Healthy Dirty Rice

DSC02655

I know, it’s been like, a month.

But on the bright side, I got great grades from all of the finals I was studying for.  When I say that, I mean that somehow I got a full 100 on my calculus exam.  If you’re sitting here stunned, just know that I have been feeling that way since I found out two weeks ago.

I seriously don’t know how that happened.

Another plus is that I’m doing great in my three week mini class.

Three weeks, three credits.  No biggie.

(Kind of a biggie).

DSC02656

On the bright side, I have definitely not forgotten all about the blog.  I actually have a bunch of great stuff coming up for you guys.  And in approximately a week and a half, I will be completely off of school and lots of great stuff will be coming your way!

But first, let’s start off with dirty rice.  I can recall a few times when I was little where my mom made the boxed Zattaran’s stuff on super busy nights, but we realized pretty soon after that we were not huge fans of the boxed dinners.

Luckily, dirty rice is super easy to make at home and tastes 10x better than Zattaran’s.  This is easily a 30 minute meal (excluding the rice prep but still…).  And, if you didn’t already expect this, the recipe is healthy.  Shocker right?

*Disclaimer:  This is NOT traditional dirty rice.  Traditional stuff uses chicken gizzards and livers and other leftover chicken parts.  Now, I know that they’re just some chicken parts, but they are just chicken parts I can not wrap my head around eating.  So therefore, I went the Zattaran’s route and used ground beef.  Also, this recipe was created completely according to taste/whatever I had in my kitchen so the spices may or may not be traditional.  End of disclaimer.*

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked long grain brown rice

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper, or to taste

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. dried mustard

1/4 tsp. dried marjoram

1/2 tsp. parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/4 c. hot water

DSC02642

Cook rice according to package directions.  Set aside when finished.

DSC02645

Chop up veggies!  Yes, those are dried onions.  Yes, I forgot to buy a real onion.

DSC02647

Saute the veggies until soft.

DSC02650

Brown the beef.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  (Blurry picture alert.  Whoops!)

DSC02649

Oh yeah, and dissolve that little guy.

DSC02651

Add rice and spices to the mixture.

DSC02653

Mix it all together and add beef bouillon mixture.  Let simmer until the liquid is absorbed!

DSC02658

Serve to a group of very happy peeps.

Also, please note that you should adjust spices as needed for your tastes.  I decided to not use much salt since I used a beef bouillon cube.  Just taste and adjust accordingly.

DSC02665

Serve this with a nice little side salad and you have a delicious dinner that will make the whole family happy!

*Vegetarian/Vegan: Replace ground beef with zucchini, tofu, eggplant, and other veggies.  Replace beef broth with veggie broth.

*Gluten Free: This recipe is gluten free

*Paleo: Replace rice with cauliflower “rice”.

XOXO Sara

 

 

 

Garlic Herb Pork Tenderloin

DSC02421

I am soooo tired today.

I seriously could have slept all day.  The worst part is that I don’t think it’s even because of Daylight Savings.  I think it’s just called being a college student.

Although it is fun to blame my sleep deprivation on something besides homework, exercising, cooking, cleaning, and the list goes on and on.

Excuse me while I count down the days until Spring Break (5!!!)

DSC02413

A few weekends ago I had my boyfriend over for dinner.  Typically for nice dinners, I like to do steak but lately I’ve been a little steak-ed out.  I know, is there such a thing?

(There is).

And the perfect part about pork tenderloin is that it is affordable and seems fancy.  Which is awesome if you’re having a ton of people over or something.

The best thing about this meal is that the actual prep time is only about 30 minutes, but it comes out so nicely that people might actually think you spent all day in the kitchen.

I won’t tell them you didn’t.

It’ll be our little secret.

DSC02416

Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin (I bought one of those packages of 2 and froze the other)

1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh thyme

2 Tbs. fresh rosemary

2 Tbs. fresh parsley

2 Tbs. fresh tarragon

1 Tbs. lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2-1 Tbs. honey (depending on how sweet you like things)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim fat off of pork.  Place pork tenderloin in a freezer bag.  Whisk the other ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour over pork tenderloin.  Marinate for 4 hours-overnight.  I prefer overnight to really let the flavors meld.

Preheat oven to 350* F.  In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil until it is rippling and slightly smoking.  Remove pork tenderloin from the marinade, leaving on herbs that cling.  Sear pork tenderloin on all sides until it develops a slight brown crust.

Place in a greased casserole dish.  Bake until the internal temperature reaches 145* F, about 30 minutes.

Let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve!  Serves about 4.

DSC02417

I just love how pretty the herbs are.  Fresh herbs are the best, especially mixed together with some garlic.

DSC02410

And it makes great leftovers too!

(Another bonus: pork tenderloin is a very lean meat!  Healthy, easy, and fancy?  I’m so in.)

  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Although this is definitely not a vegetarian/vegan dish, the marinade would be very good on veggies such as zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, and peppers.
  • Paleo: This recipe is paleo.
  • Gluten Free: This recipe is gluten free.

XOXO Sara

Homemade Hummus

DSC02521

Mmmm hummus.

It’s one of my faves.  But I do not love the store bought stuff.  How do you make something so healthy taste so chemical-y?  They find a way, I’m telling you.

So I made my own!  Homemade tahini and everything.

This is perfect with fresh veggies and whole wheat toasted pita bread.  I could go eat some right now, and I just might.

DSC02519

I even accidentally stabbed myself with my blender to make this stuff, so sacrifice was involved.

That’s how good hummus is.  I’m willing to give some blood for it.

But somebody’s gotta do it, ya know?

Oh, did I mention how easy it is to make this?  Even homemade tahini is so simple!  Just blend up the tahini, scrape it out and make the hummus right away.  No clean up involved.  It only took me about 30 minutes, and I was on my way to Greek food heaven.  Maybe gyros will happen this weekend?  It’s so possible.

Follow the directions like this and you will have a perfectly smooth hummus!  Any other way might not end up with the best results.  Go with your gut, but keep in mind, this is my recommendation 😉

DSC02500

Spoon tahini into a blender.

DSC02501

Add fresh lemon juice…

DSC02503

Blend away!  Let it just blend for a good two minutes.  Scrape occasionally.

DSC02504

Add a bunch of chopped garlic!

DSC02507

And some salt.

DSC02508

And some paprika!

DSC02509

And don’t forget about the olive oil.  My favorite of all the oils.

DSC02512

Blend it up!  I actually used a little too much paprika so mine looked kind of reddish orange.  You do not have to make my same mistakes, but you can if you want.

DSC02515

Add chick peas and blend until smooth and creamy.  (At this point, it will be thick, so add some water to get it to the desired consistency).

DSC02522

Have I ever mentioned how good hummus is with warm whole wheat pita bread?  It’s da best.

DSC02524

Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas

2 Tbs. tahini

Juice of 2 lemons

8 cloves garlic (you may use less, I recommend this many though)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/4 c. olive oil

2-4 Tbs. water, to thin (I needed 4)

Drain chickpeas and rinse in cold water.  Set aside to drain all of the water out.

Spoon the tahini in a blender and squeeze as much lemon juice as you can in with the tahini.  Blend together for about 2 minutes, scraping occasionally.  Add garlic, salt, paprika, and olive oil.  Blend for a few more minutes, scraping sides occasionally.

Add chickpeas about 1 1/2 cups at a time.  Blend thoroughly so that the hummus is nice and smooth.  Add water to thin to desired consistency.

Makes about 4 cups.

DSC02525

Delicious.

*This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free!

*Paleo: Replace chickpeas with roasted eggplant or roasted cauliflower.

XOXO Sara

Chicken Apple Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

photo

I’m finally back! 

*Hawaii* was the best vacation I have ever, ever been on but now I’m back, unpacked, and ready for a relaxing few days before I move to Reno.  

This summer, when I’m not out of town, I have been obsessed with salads!  They’re perfect for light summer lunches (and little bikini waistlines).  

With all of the fresh produce available in the summer, there’s so many possibilities to delicious, easy salads.  Plus, the ingredients are inexpensive and go a long way.  

Another bonus is that making salads will help you avoid turning on the hot stoves and ovens (although I did bake 8 dozen cookies yesterday.  Steamy kitchen anyone?)

So, since there’s only a few weeks of summer left (sigh) break out your cutting board and chop up some fresh ingredients for a nice summer salad.  Start with this one, and then down it with a few homemade cookies (;

*Look for a post in a few days about my trip to Hawaii!  I will show you the best things to do and the prettiest places to go*

 

Ingredients for Salad:

1 c. mixed spring greens

1 c. baby spinach

2 Tbs. feta cheese

4 oz. chicken breast, cooked thoroughly 

1/2 apple, diced (I used Gala)

3 Tbs. walnuts, chopped

 

Ingredients for Dressing:

1/2 heaping cup frozen raspberries, thawed slightly

3 Tbs. canola oil

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. honey dijon

2-3 Tbs. honey, to taste

2 tsp. poppy seeds, toasted

Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

To make dressing:

Combine raspberries, canola oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon, honey, and salt and pepper in a blender.  Blend until completely smooth.  Strain the dressing through a sieve to remove any chunks or seeds.  Stir in poppy seeds.

 

To prepare salad:

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle 2 Tbs. of dressing on the salad and enjoy!

 

photo (1)

 

The dressing in this salad rocks!  Tangy and fruity all at once.  

I hope you guys enjoy this delicious summer salad.

 

Alternatives:

Vegetarian:  Replace chicken with extra veggies or fruit.

Vegan:  Replace chicken with veggies or fruit.  Replace feta with vegan cheese or exclude altogether.  

Paleo:  Replace cheese and walnuts with veggies or fruit!

Gluten Free:  This recipe is gluten free!

XOXO Sara

 

Chipotle Spiced Chicken Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

IMG_6577-2

IMG_6583

Hi guys!

I’m writing this post late in the night purely because there’s a good chance I’ll be on a small hiatus for the next few weeks.

Why?

Because I’m moving!  Yep, the past week all I’ve been doing is packing away.  We even got a 26 foot trailer to pack it all in.  Crazy!

So, about these tacos.  I’ve been craving Mexican food so badly the past few weeks but have yet to get it.  And even though what I’m really craving is deep fried chips with salsa, and globs of gooey cheese over shredded beef, this was a pretty good sub for a healthy dinner.

And just in case you’re wondering, my brother (and I quote) said these were “the best tacos he ever had”.  A nice compliment if I do say so myself.

The best part?  They’re sooo easy!  They only took me about 1 hour to make from prep to dish-washing, and some of it can be made in advance if needed.

Keep reading for the best tacos ever 😉

IMG_6578



XOXO Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Beach Demon by Wavves