Tonight I used and adapted another recipe from How Sweet Eats by Jessica Merchant, Beer Marinated Flank Steak Fajitas. I am actually working my way through her post titled, “Menu Planning for the New Year: 154 Lightened Up Meal Ideas” and finding recipes that can be adapted or outright used that suit my family’s tastes and our dietary needs. Tonight’s recipe was easy, and incredibly tasty. As my family sat around the table building our tacos from the family style platters I set out, my fiance commented how awesome everything tasted and smelled and we all left the table satisfied. The only substitutions necessary in the recipe tonight were subbing out the brown sugar for honey, I used butter lettuce instead of tortillas, and I used a kick-ass recipe I found for Paleo “Queso Blanco” from Predominantly Paleo rather than cotija cheese or sour cream. I want to make a special mention of this one, because even my fiance got down on it, and he’s usually not one for my more adventurous sauces. That recipe is going to get used a lot in my house!
I also want to talk about using lettuce as a substitute for buns or tortillas when you are trying to cut carbs. I had tried this in the past with iceberg lettuce. If you have ever tried with it, you know its a messy disaster and it just doesn’t work! One day I started googling “best lettuce for wrapping” and came across butter lettuce. It is softer so it doesn’t crack or split when you wrap it. One really cool thing about it is a lot of grocery stores sell live butter lettuce with the roots still attached. That shit keeps forEVER! Pretty nifty.
Today when listing all my ingredients, adding “already had this” after so many ingredients became really tedious, and I started imagining months of typing that over and over. Ain’t nobody got time for that! In the future, items I already had in my pantry will clock in at $0 for the sake of simplicity.
Instead of grilling my steak and peppers like Jessica did, I broiled everything. I am ashamed to say I am terrified of grilling, and I usually leave it up to my fiance. He can’t be trusted to follow my instructions and not to overcook grilled veggies, though. So I took matters into my own hands.
Tonight’s meal cost $34.90 to prepare.
- 2 pound flank steak (1″ thick) ($15.89)
- 1 sliced red bell pepper ($1.48)
- 1 sliced yellow bell pepper ($1.78)
- 1 sliced orange bell pepper ($1.78)
- 1 sliced sweet onion (already had in pantry, $0)
- 1 sliced red onion ($0.98)
- 8 oz beer ($2.99)
- 1/3 cup of olive oil ($0)
- 1/3 cup of lime juice (limes $0.90)
- honey ($0)
- worcestershire sauce ($0)
- cumin ($0)
- paprika ($0)
- chipotle chili powder ($0)
- minced garlic ($0)
- 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews, soaked and drained ($1.23)
- ¼ cup of tapioca pearls ($0.38)
- can of diced green chiles ($0)
- onion flakes ($0)
- cilantro ($0.68)
- nutritional yeast ($0)
- for serving: avocado ($1.56), salsa ($2.27), butter lettuce ($2.98)
This morning I mixed together 8 oz of Corona, a few glugs of olive oil, the juice of 3 limes, a drizzle of honey and a couple shakes of worcestershire sauce in a bowl, and then threw in half a can of diced green chiles, four spoonfuls of minced garlic, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and chipotle chili powder. Then I sliced up all the bell peppers and onions and threw them in a large ziplock bag, and the flank steak went into another. I dumped the first half of the mixture over the steak, and the rest into the bag with the peppers and onions. I placed these in the fridge, tossing occasionally throughout the day.
Next, for the Queso Blanco, I threw into my Ninja blender the cashews, tapioca, a cup of hot water, the other half can of chiles, a palm full of onion flakes, a palm full of chopped cilantro, nutritional yeast, and some fresh ground sea salt and pepper. I blended all this up and popped the whole pitcher in the fridge until dinner time.
This evening I pulled the bags out and set the oven to 400° and made a couple foil packets for the peppers and onions, seasoned generously with salt, and threw them in for 20 minutes. When they were done, I switched to broil and put the flank steak on a broiling pan, seasoned it generously with salt and put it in for 7 minutes per side.
When the steak came out to rest, I finished by putting the peppers in on a baking sheet, uncovered, until the edges started to char up.
Then I sliced the steak against the grain, threw everything on the table in bowls, and the fam-bam and I went at it like savages.