1 protein – 2 vegetables
Not too long ago, I was out with some friends and we started talking about my blog. One friend laughed and told me, “It all looks good, but anything with more than five ingredients freaks me out!” Turns out that her own fear of ingredients has prevented her from trying many of my recipes. I look at it this way: If you can put five ingredients in a pan, you can put 10 ingredients in a pan; and if you can put 10 ingredients in a pan, you can put 15 ingredients in a pan…and so on and so on. If you are intimidated by recipes, try following these simple steps:
1) Before you do anything, read the recipe all the way through. This way you can be sure to have all of the ingredients and tools you need in advance. Most recipes are written with the ingredients listed in the order they will be used.
2) Learn the basic cooking techniques called for in the recipe before you get started. If there is some technique or term you do not understand when you review the recipe, take the time to look it up before you start. Knowing the difference between a mince, dice and chop can relieve a lot of anxiety.
3) Tackle the recipe one step at a time, making sure that you have completed each step before continuing to the next.
4) Learn to understand the sounds and smells of your food, as those senses can often tell you more about whether or not something is cooking properly than your eyes. With steak in particular, how it feels when pressed is a good indication of doneness.
5) Taste while you’re cooking. Taking a taste here and there will help you know what seasonings to adjust so that you can balance flavors to suit your taste.
Measurements are important, and I always suggest to people that they prepare a recipe as written the first time, and then adjust the ingredients to taste once they are comfortable with it. The more you do this, the more you will begin to understand how the ingredients work together, and then you can create your own repertoire of specialties that you can cook with your eyes closed.
This week’s recipe is a delicious and simple recipe that any novice can prepare successfully, but that someone with a sophisticated palate will enjoy. I prepared it with some thinly sliced potato sautéed with a little bit of cooking spray, salt and pepper until they became crisp on the edges and tender in the middle. A quick and tasty dinner for two.
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. “measures like sugar” Splenda®
- 1 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 4-oz. sirloin steaks, trimmed
- Zero-calorie cooking spray
- 1 C. asparagus spears, trimmed
Preheat grill (or grill pan) to high heat.
Combine red pepper, green onions, apple cider vinegar and Splenda in a small saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon Morton® Lite Salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
While relish is cooking, sprinkle steaks with half of remaining salt and pepper. Spray both sides with cooking spray. In a bowl, spray asparagus spears with cooking spray and season with remaining salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Arrange asparagus spears on grill next to sirloin steaks. Close lid (or cover) and grill for 3-4 minutes. Turn steaks and asparagus, close lid, and cook for 3-4 minutes more depending on desired doneness. Note: Your asparagus may require less cooking if it is thin, so keep an eye on it. Remove everything from grill. Let steaks rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly against the grain of the meat.
Divide asparagus between two plates and top with sirloin slices. Top with red pepper relish.
Makes 2 servings