I Eat Therefore I Cook

Effortless Cooking for Busy Lives

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How to: Cook Inexpensive Steak Indoors

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One of my favorite cuts of beef is the top sirloin, and luckily it is also one of the cheapest and leanest cuts. After quite a bit of trial and error, I have perfected the technique of how to cook this steak to a perfect medium rare without a grill. While I love a good grilled pieces of meat, living in an apartment does have its restrictions. You could drag a tiny charcoal grill outside, I really try to avoid it because of the unpredictable Texas weather. I joke that our neighbors must be meteorologists because every time they try to grill, we get a huge thunderstorm. This technique works so well that you will not miss the grill at all.

Step 1. Marinate steak for at least 2 hours to overnight

I use Stubb’s Beef Marinade which is soy, garlic and red pepper, but use whatever marinade you want or even make your own!

Step 2.Preheat grill pan to high and cook 3 minutes per side:

Step 3: Cook in oven for 9 minutes @ 400 degrees Fahrenheit:

Step 4: Let Steak Rest for at least 5 minutes:

Step 5: Slice Against the grain

This picture lets you see which way the grain is running

 

My knife is showing you which way to cut and how that is in relation to the grain:

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How to: Cook Inexpensive Steak Indoors
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Juicy beef with at perfect medium rare. Seared outside and a pink middle.
Ingredients
  • 1.8 lb- 2 lb top sirloin steak, about 3/4 inch thick
  • 6 oz. marinade ( I used Stubb’s Beef Marinade)
Instructions
  1. Place steak in a glass dish. Pour marinade over steak. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, flipping over halfway.
  2. Take steak out 15 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature. Preheat grill pan to high heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Place steak on grill pan and cook 3 minutes per side to get a good sear and grill marks.
  3. Take off grill pan and place on baking sheet. Place in oven for 9 minutes.
  4. Move steak to cutting board to rest. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Slice against the grain into thing slices. ENJOY!
Notes
If you want medium steak, cook for another 2 minutes in the oven, for a total of 11 minutes in the oven.

 

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How to: Make Healthy Swaps without Strange Ingredients

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I am all for eating healthy, but some of these  foods are just odd. The occasional tofu, fine. Quinoa, tried it, but it does feel like you are eating sand. Avocado in baking, sounds alright, but I have yet to attempt it. But tempeh, and hemp seeds? That is a bit too far gone for me.

So here are some of my favorite swaps I use everyday that are picky eater approved ( thanks to the boyfriend). You can make these swaps to eat healthier and there is no “milk of a rare mountain goat fermented for a year and then placed at the top of a mountain for another year and then mixed with cave dirt” here.

1. Greek Yogurt for everything- Seriously obsessed. I use this instead of sour cream, heavy cream, as well as butter and oil in baking. Plain is great to have around for everyday use, but if I am baking, I usually use the vanilla variety. You will literally cut the fat in recipes by at least 1/2 if not more.

Greek yogurt cooking conversions

2. Unsweetened applesauce for fats- This is great for baking. You can substitute applesauce for some sugar or for some of the fats in your recipes. Just beware that it will add more moisture to your recipe so balance accordingly.

Baking with Applesauce Conversion Chart - Apple sauce will add moisture and flavor to your baking while cutting fat and calories.

3. Honey for sugar- In Texas, honey is a much loved ingredient. And because it is fairly cheap here, I have stared using it more. Use this as a partial swap for sugar in baking. Not only is it healthier, but you get a secondary floral essence added.

Sugar Substitutions  - good for the #endometriosis #diet - try to use organic honey

4. Whole wheat bread/ pasta/ brown rice for regular- This is probably one of the easiest swaps to make. Whole wheat is so popular now that it is extremely affordable and has this great nutty flavor. I can’t even eat regular pasta anymore because I miss the al dente, nutty flavor that the whole wheat brings to the party. And if you don’t tell anyone, they probably would not notice the difference. As for the rice, it does take longer to cook, but the increased nutritional value is totally worth it.

5. Olive oil for vegetable or canola oil- Other than deep frying (which you cannot make healthy even if you use olive oil), I always use olive oil in my cooking. Yes even in baking, it does not change the flavor. Olive oil is this a fat so use it sparingly, but this oil in a “good fat” meaning it increases your HDL cholesterol level. This is the healthy kind which has some potential health benefits.

6. Avocado for mayonnaise- I have always hated mayonnaise. It has such a weird texture. But my dad seems to love it. He always says, ” how can you not love an emulsion?” Yes. That is a true story. But every since i figured out to spread some mashed avocado on a sandwich instead of mayo, I have loved sandwiches so much more. But you can also use it in chicken and egg salads, and deviled eggs. You name it, swap that mayo for avocado. And of course you can combine it with greek yogurt, but you can combine anything with Greek yogurt…

 

What other swaps do you use everyday? Let me know in the comments!

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How to: Reduce food waste and your grocery bill

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We have all done it. Going to the grocery store and buying all that fresh produce at the beginning of the week and not being able to eat all of it before it spoils. So we throw it out and promise ourselves to do better. The truth is however, that as a nation , we are failing. According to a study by the national resource defense council, the US wastes 40 % of the food produced. Globally, we waste one third of produced food. Those numbers are staggering. Not only are industrialized nations wasting all this food while millions of people go hungry, but the amount of energy and resources that are lost from creating that food is detrimental to the environment.

Luckily, there are a few campaigns out there to help combat this problem. My favorite is Think.Eat.Save. created by the United Nations. This campaign is piggybacking with a few other notable campaigns, notably Save Food Initiative and Feeding the 5000. It is mostly an awareness campaign to get people to really look at what they are buying and what they are actually eating.

As a person always looking for a way to save money, analyzing my grocery usage has helped me cut down on my bill every week.

Here are some tips I use to cut down on food waste and save money:

1. Shop for groceries once a week. 

If you only go once a week, you can easily keep track of what you buy and you must use what you have in the house if you run out. This forces you to use up what you have instead of running to the store to buy those 1 or 2 items you forgot.

2. Make a list (and stick to it)

Plan your menu for the week for dinners, lunches and breakfasts. Write out a list for each item you need. ONLY buy the items on that list. This will keep you from spontaneously shopping.

3. Once you make your list, check to see what items you already have 

I have quite a bit in my pantry and freezer that tends to get buried, so I always double check to see if I already have some of the items on my list ( usually I do). This keeps you from overbuying.

4. Do not go to the store hungry

Not only are you more likely to spend more, you also are more likely to buy unhealthy foods you are craving. So at the very least have  snack before stepping foot in the store.

5. Create meals based on what you have in the house

Have a night where you have to be creative and make a meal around all of those pantry and freezer items. Think of it as a Chopped competition.

6. Have a leftover night, or use leftovers as lunches

I always cook for for at least 2 nights and then whatever is left over I take for a work lunch. Not only is a healthier it is so much cheaper than eating out.

7. Rotate perishable foods. Older to the front, newer to the back.

You eat foods that you can see. If you forgot about those bell peppers in the back of the fridge, two weeks later you are just going to have to throw them out. That is no bueno. When you get new items from the store, put those towards the back and move the sutff from last week’s trip towards the front so that it will get eaten first.

8. Make produce visible

Produce always spoils so fast. The best way to make sure that does not happen is to consistently eat it. Not only are you making the healthy food visible and are thus more likely to eat it, you are saving yourself from food waste.

9. Other ways to save recommended by Think.Eat.Save.

 

Please visit these links for more info.

Think.Eat. Save. Link: http://www.thinkeatsave.org/

Greatist Post with the big picture summary: http://greatist.com/health/think-eat-save-wasted-food-012813?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Greatist%20Daily&utm_campaign=Newsletter%20Feb%202014%20Testing&utm_content=A

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How to: Add incredible flavor to any dish

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Cooking Tip # 1: Triple P

Fondly known as triple “P” in my kitchen, the combination of garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder has changed my life. I put in on asparagus, chicken, eggs, cauliflower, ground beef and everything else I can think of. It is so easy and yet lends so much flavor.

Just sprinkle a little bit of all three on anything you want to add flavor to and voila! Let me know what foods you decide to add this magical combination to!

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