Grilled Cuban Carne Asada

Happy New Year! As we advance into 2015, I know many of us have the goal to eat healthier and lose weight. The recipe I’m about to share with you today will help you on your weight loss journey and not impede your progress. I actually got it out of one of those Costco cookbooks they pass out for free in December during the holidays. I modified the recipe a bit (the original called for flank steak and I changed a few other ingredients here and there) and I have to say that the end result was amazing! Let’s get started.

Ingredients

Cuban Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

Cilantro Chimichurri sauce:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or juice of one lemon
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
  • 1 dash crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used one that had Pomegranate flavoring)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Carne asada:

  • 1 pound carne asada
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro sprigs
  • A few splashes of lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Cuban dry rub: in a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Set aside.

Cilantro chimichurri sauce: place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Carne asada: using the Cuban dry rub, rub the pieces of carne asada on both side. Place the carne asada in the refrigerator while prepping the onions. Brush the sliced onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the rubbed carne asada on the grill and cook to the desired internal temperature. I used a George Foreman grill and grilled mine until well done for 9 minutes.

Remove from grill and let rest, tented with foil. Add the sliced seasoned onions in the grill. When the onions are tender, place in a mixing bowl. Add a few splashes of lemon juice (or squeeze some fresh lemon on top) to the onions, season with salt and pepper, and add some sprigs of cilantro; toss gently and set aside.

To serve, arrange the carne asada on a platter, scatter the warm grilled onions on top, drizzle with the cilantro chimichurri sauce, and garnish with some cilantro sprigs. I served mine with green beans on the side that I sauteed in a dab of butter, garlic, and salt. Yum!

Enjoy!

carne asada 1 Carne Asada 2

Paleo/Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

What’s the best thing to do with bananas that are getting overripe? Make banana bread! That’s why I absolutely love banana bread — it gives me a way to get rid of my bananas while also enjoying an amazing and easy to make treat! This is another one of Danielle Walker’s recipes (yes, I’m on a roll here!) and once again, it did not disappoint! Words can’t even describe how incredible this turned out: super moist and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You can find the recipe here. In the past two days, I’ve made two batches because it’s just that good. One thing I should mention: I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar, so I left it out, and it was still amazing. So, if you don’t have any, I wouldn’t worry about it, as it didn’t ruin the recipe.

Enjoy!

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Baked Sweet Potato Chips

When you go the gluten-free route, you will probably miss a lot of your favorite foods, but if you’re creative enough or know someone creative, you can relive all your favorite foods, again! This is another recipe out of Danielle Walker’s book that I tried, except I didn’t make her cilantro-serrano dipping sauce that the recipe called for because I was too lazy. Nevertheless, the baked sweet potato chips on their own are amazing, even without the sauce. Your house will be swirling with all sorts of delicious scents when you put these in the oven. Other things I did differently with this recipe: I left out the chili powder that the recipe called for, since I can’t stomach very spicy foods, and added crushed black pepper to it, instead. I sprinkled the chips with salt and pepper before putting them in the oven. I baked them on one baking sheet, instead of two, and broiled the last few minutes to make them crispy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, with skins on
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (I substituted this for freshly crushed black pepper)

Preparation:

Use a mandolin or a very sharp knife to cut the potatoes into even 1/8 inch thick slices. Place the potatoes in a bowl, cover with ice water, and soak for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Rinse the chips and pat them dry. Toss them in the oil, then spread them in an even layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder.

Enjoy this delicious and healthy treat!

Chips

Paleo/Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Thank you, all, for your patience, as I know I’ve been on a hiatus. My pregnancy ended and I now have a beautiful baby boy to show for it. We’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine now, so I can finally squeeze in some time to post recipes on here more often. Also, since I am no longer pregnant, I  can finally stomach gluten-free foods, again, and have been back on a gluten-free diet. I’m not longer strictly on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet anymore but have now broadened my diet to include anything gluten-free. I feel the gluten-free route is just healthier and overall, makes me feel at my best.

A few weeks ago I came across Danielle Walker’s gem of a book, Against All Grain. I knew that if I wanted to truly dedicate my lifestyle to a gluten-free one, that I had to make it as easy as possible on myself, and that meant having a book I could visit for recipes, instead of having to tap into my own creative mind to invent my own or do random Google searches to find recipes. Let me tell you, her book is worth every penny! This week I’ve made half a dozen of her recipes and each one keeps impressing me.

We’ve had some zucchini in our fridge for weeks now and for fear of it not going bad, I decided to make zucchini bread. I opened Danielle’s book and sure enough, she had a recipe in there for zucchini bread. Let me tell you, it’s seriously the most delicious, moistest zucchini bread I have EVER tried. I was completely floored at how heavenly it turned out! Anyone eating it would never in a million years guess it was gluten-free! My mom made it, as well, but used unsweetened applesauce, instead of the banana the recipe called for, and it definitely did not turn out well (she found it was undercooked after she sliced it, so she put it back in the oven, only for the slices to come out slightly charred.) So, if you’re going to make this recipe, I would suggest not substituting anything.

I’ve linked her recipe above for you all. The recipe in her book differs slightly because the book recipe says to pour the batter into a single 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, which is what I did. If you’re going to use a single loaf pan, you’ll want to put it in the oven for 40 minutes. Also, I added 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips to my batter, as well as sprinkled a generous amount on top. Danielle’s recipe didn’t call for chocolate chips but how can you go wrong with chocolate? For those on the SCD, just leave the chocolate chips out.

Seriously, go try this bread, and if you’ve dedicated your lifestyle to gluten-free, like me, I highly recommend you buy Danielle’s book. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy!

zuc 1 zuc 2 zuc 3

Grain-Free Apple Spice Coffee Cake

My sweet tooth has been getting the best of me, lately, so I’ve been on the hunt for a recipe that will satiate it. This past weekend we had friends over, and I made everything from fluffy, moist cupcakes with sprinkles galore and fresh-out-of-the-oven soft, chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, it required a lot of will power not to cave in!

Thanks to Pinterest, I made a delicious SCD legal apple spice coffee cake, which was relatively easy. You can find the recipe here. I didn’t have all the ingredients for the glaze, so, I did without it. The cake itself tastes so rich that I think the glaze would have been overkill, anyway. I also found that it needed about 30 minutes to bake in my oven, as opposed to the suggested 20-25.

Of course, this cake was a hit, just like all the other SCD foods I’ve made! My brother, who is not into gluten-free stuff, helped himself to two slices. It tastes like apple pie but in a more moist cake form. Plus, this cake smells absolutely divine out of the oven; it will fill your whole house with the scent of warm apples and cinnamon. Yum!

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