Eureka! I have found a recipe that is brimming with health benefits for mere pocket change. Cabbage casserole, how did I never come across such a delicious AND nutritious casserole?? In one of my late night Pinterest “How to Install a Natural Water Feature” moments I made one more click to a recipe off on the sidelines. I saw a beautiful, colorful, 7 ingredient recipe of pure healthy genius; an I-have-all-the-ingredients-in-the-fridge-and-pantry meal serving up to six. Click! and my life changed.
I don’t remember the pin. I had to go to bed because the recipes can easily turn me into a wee-hour Pinterest zombie. This is what I remember and it worked out fine…so fine:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil in a deep heavy pot
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 head of large red cabbage sliced in thin strips (you will want to make it again with the other half at the end of the week)
- 1/2 bunch collard greens (about 5 leaves stemmed and sliced chiffonade style
- 1 Tsp Steak seasoning plus a couple of pinches
- 6 oz hand shredded pepper jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°. Dice your onion, slice the cabbage and chiffonade the greens and keep them in separate piles. Heat the oil until it shimmers on the bottom of the pot. Add your onion and cook on high heat until they are clear and beginning to brown. Brown the ground beef with a teaspoon of the steak seasoning. Add the piles of cabbage and greens and simmer until the mixture softens down to about a third its volume. Give it a good stir.
Empty the pot into a 9″x 9″ casserole dish and spread it evenly. Top with your pepper cheese and sprinkle a pinch or two of the steak seasoning around on top sprinkle a little Parmesan to brown the top nicely, then bake for 20 minutes.
It’s fast, it’s delicious, it’s easy, it’s delicious it’s healthy, it’s delicious, it’s affordable, it’s delicious!
Yep, that’s exactly how this salad happened. It’s too easy in summer to eat fresh veggies all the time. Between the things I grow in the backyard, the things people at work bring in, and the things neigbors share, I’m ususlly up to my ears in ears of corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, onions…you name it! Oh, I’m not even complaining. I try very hard to savor the flavors as long as I can.
This salad is one of those right out of the garden works of art. There is no cooking or baking, just cutting, dressing and enjoying. I do make my own dressing which is to say, I add mayo, buttermilk and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch. I like it the best because you make it fresh, and you can clearly taste the difference between it and the bottled stuff.
The vegetables I used were cucumbers in half inch cubes, also tomatoes in that way, a fourth of a red bell pepper and also a fourth of a green one, about a fourth of a red onion, a whole spring onion, all of these vegetables in tiny dice. I chopped some fresh parsley, dressed everything with that yummy ranch dressing…about a third cup. Freshly cracked pepper got cracked on top of everything after it was all tossed together.
Wow! Talk about tasting the sunshine! I love that this salad was basking away in it just the day before. I can’t wait to drag myself through the garden again…only the next time I’ll feel so healthy, I won’t be dragging.
For my 200th post I wanted to prepare something special. Special Suppers often center around a juicy steak. I found two strip steaks on sale at the store along with some leeks and nice big russet potatoes. So meat, a green vegetable, and starch…what a perfect combination. In less than thirty minutes we were dining on the most sumptuous meal.
I started by throwing the potatoes in the microwave. I knew that in about twelve minutes they would be done…they were pretty large. With those going I cut one of the leeks in half, washed the grit from between each leaf, and sliced them into quarter inch slices…maybe a little thinner. I put them in a bowl and sprinkled steak seasoning on them, parmesan cheese, about 1/3 cup flour, a heaping tablespoon of corn meal, (masa) and a dash or two of salt . I added a good splash of water and mixed everything up until the leek slices were well separated and coated in a nice batter. I set this aside and attended to the steaks.
All I needed to do with them was to season them with a steak seasoning blend, throw them on a hot grill, and watch them sizzle. After about three minutes I gave them a quarter turn to make those lovely cross-hatched grill marks. I turned them over after a total of about four and a half minutes. The other side got the same exact treatment. When the potatoes were done, the steaks were nearly there as well. I got out the instant read thermometer and checked for a temp of 145°…the steak mid-rare. They needed to rest a while to insure that they would be tender and juicy in the end. I shut off the flame, covered them in foil, and let them rest right on the grill.
While the steaks rested I went back to my bowl of leeks in batter. With the tongs I grabbed a good lump and placed them in a hot skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil. When the edges began to brown, I carefully flipped them over to brown the other side. It worked! They stayed together in one cute little leek patty.
I must give credit to a fellow foodie blogger by the name Frugal Feeding for these leek patties. I’ve enjoyed this gentleman’s clever and very economical recipes for over a year. When I checked to see what he was cooking up today I found a gorgeous Indian inspired onion dish called bhajis. Nick, of Frugal Feeding made these with red and white onions and with a mixture of Indian spices and graham flour. I did experiment with Nick’s recipe for lunch and it was so good! With my bunch, I need to start out mildly before springing such grown up flavors upon them, so I decided to try this less exciting version for our supper…baby steps. They will be trying bhajis before long. This evening, these leek patties were good, and a good start on getting my family to expand their horizons culturally…and believe me, serving leeks is a stretch. The poor girl at the market was struggling with how to charge me because she had never heard of such a vegetable. What a bubble in which we live…I wish to pop it!
I assembled our plates. Julia and I split one steak and one of the big potatoes, and Jeff got a steak all to himself as well as a potato. He’s been working these double shifts lately and needs to fuel up a bit more than we ladies. Julia tried the leek patty but still found it a bit much on the onion, so I helped her finish. Jeff loved them as well as the steak and he showed promise that bhajis might just be on the “I’ll give it a try” list. My big kids would try anything but these two come from different genes…there are limits. I’ve learned after 200 posts that springing new things on them can more easily be done when a special dinner like this is involved.
I can’t always afford to eat a juicy steak, whether because of the fat and calories, or because of the price. The London Broil steak works because it is quite lean and ridiculously affordable. When it’s cooked right, the taste and texture are as flavorful and juicy as the fancier cuts. I like to slice it thinly and on the diagonal to give everyone a fair amount of nice wide slices, or they could make a lovely sandwich from the leftovers (if there are any).
To begin I make a marinate:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp steak seasoning/Greek seasoning
- a pinch each of salt and freshly ground pepper
I put all that into a gallon size zip-lock bag and shake it all up. The mustard helps it emulsify. I place the whole steak in and press out all the air. I even suck out the remaining air and quickly zip the last inch of zipper shut before air gets back in…it’s a trick and I’m glad I don’t have a photo of me doing this…all I’ll say is, just stop before you suck up any marinate.
I let that stand for at least twenty minutes while I fire up the broiler. I don’t like to use my best baking pans for a job like this. I use my oldest crummiest rack and cookie sheet to catch the drippings. Once the broiler is going, I place the steak under the flame on the upper oven rack so that the meat is about 4 to 5 inches from the flame. Broil for 5 minutes on one side then 5 on the other, leaving the oven door cracked a bit as not to build up too much heat. When the time is up, I shut off the flame, close the door, and let it sit for another 10 minutes in the warm oven.
During this time, I make my side dish. I forego the starchy sides and opt for a skillet simmered dish of onions and cabbage. With just a teaspoon of olive oil, I saute about a half an onion then chop up half a head of cabbage into two-inch wedges then cut the wedges into halves or thirds depending on the size of cabbage. I just love the designs our Creator has given us in nature. He seems to like things that branch out or blossom. So when the cabbage is wilted and getting a golden brown I use the tongs to turn it over and let the top leaves get the heat treatment. I lower the heat to medium and put on a lid for a few more minutes.
Now It’s time to see about that steak! I take it out, let it rest another 5 minutes on the cutting board and begin slicing thin juicy slices for my people who will at this time be hovering in the kitchen ready to pounce on the first crunchy yummy end piece. Usually it’s Jeff, but Julia beat him to it this time.
I have to resist the bread but for everyone else I simply slice off a bit and slide it around in the drippings in that beat up old cookie sheet…better than butter I’m sure…I’ll just watch….I’m OK, I’d rather the bread was sopping with renderings than me. Now we plate up and tuck in!