Saturday, November 11, 2017

Taco Salad with Edible Cheddar Bowls

Inline_Taco Salad 1Taco salad made from seared steak, avocado, tomato, shredded lettuce, and creamy chipotle dressing is delicious without any embellishment. But if you happen to have cheddar cheese in the refrigerator and a few extra minutes to grate it and bake it, then why not make an edible cheddar bowl?

Cheddar bowls are crispy and salty and fun to eat. They can be big or small, for main course salads or appetizers. Best of all, these bowls are made from just one ingredient: cheese. If you tolerate dairy, then cheese bowls (or chips) are a tasty occasional snack.

Although cheddar is most often used (especially since it goes so well with taco salad), it’s definitely not the only cheese you can grate and bake. Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano (a raw sheep cheese high in CLA) are terrific substitutions.

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Ingredients

grated cheese 1

  • 10 ounces grated cheddar cheese (or other types of cheese) (284 g)
  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak (454 g)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (2.5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (15 ml)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, end trimmed off, leaves thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocados, sliced or chopped
  • A large handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup Primal Kitchen Chipotle Mayo (240 g)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

grated cheese 2

Preheat oven to 400º F/205º C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or Silpat.

To make large cheese bowls, sprinkle thin layers of grated cheese on the lined baking sheet in circles that are 6 inches/152 mm in diameter. Leave space between each circle.

To make smaller, appetizer-sized bowls sprinkle thin layers of grated cheese on the lined baking sheet in circles that are 4 inches in diameter. Leave space between each circle.

Bake about 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Out of the oven, let the cheese set for a minute or two until it starts to solidify, then lift the cheddar rounds off the baking sheet with a wide spatula.

For large bowls, drape the circle of warm melted cheese over an upside down cereal bowl. Let the cheese cool into the shape of a bowl.

For small bowls, set warm cheese circles in a muffin tin, pressing the cheese down gently into the muffin tin to form a small bowl. Let cool. The cheese bowls can be made a few hours ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Season both sides of the steak with cumin, chile powder and salt. Heat avocado oil in a wide cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the skirt steak.

Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the steak is nicely browned on one side, then flip the steak over. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Skirt steak is usually thinner and should be done cooking at this point. Flank steak can be thicker and may need an additional few minutes in the skillet. Or, finish the flank in the oven (already preheated to 400º F/204º C from the cheese crisps) until done.

Either way, let the steak rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain (perpendicular to the striated lines you see in the meat) into strips no thicker than ½ inch/12 mm thick. So the steak fits into the Cheddar bowls, slice the strips into small, bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, toss Romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro and steak.
In a small bowl, whisk together Primal Kitchen Chipotle Mayo and lime juice.

Pour dressing over salad, tossing lightly.

Portion the salad out into the cheddar bowls right before eating.

Taco Salad 2

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One Week of Breakfasts from Designed to Fit Nutrition

Let’s talk about breakfast this morning. Some say it’s the most important meal of the day, and I personally think it sets the tone for your entire morning and beyond, so I always make it a point to eat a nutritious one. I mean, if I eat a crappy breakfast, there’s a good chance the rest of my food (and even exercise) choices will follow suit. For me, a healthy breakfast is pretty much a necessity in my day.

But, most mornings, as a working mom, I barely have time to eat breakfast – let alone cook one – so I’m all about make-ahead meals. If breakfast is ready and set to go, I don’t have to think about it, which I’m especially thankful for since my mornings typically involve walking Murphy, getting Quinn ready for school, and myself ready for the day. Most days, our morning routine works out just fine, but, other days… I don’t even know. It’s like herding cats to get everyone ready and out the door on time! This, of course, means that meal prep, especially for breakfast is a priority for me. Otherwise, a healthy breakfast is just not happening!

When it comes to Sunday food prep, I know that staying successful – for myself and many of our clients at Designed to Fit Nutrition – means keeping things relatively simple and manageable. This is super important and the main reason for our 3-day approach to our meal plans. Providing just three days of meals gives our clients enough variety, so they’re not bored eating the same thing over and over again, but it also keeps them from prepping 7 different breakfast, lunches, and dinners. Spending this much time cooking, every single day, is unrealistic for most people. Obviously, it’s time-consuming, but, beyond that, it usually requires a lot of different ingredients, which can be expensive and wasteful.

When it comes to breakfast, our clients only prep 3 meals and alternate them throughout the week. Personally, I only prep 2, just to keep things simple, and I don’t mind the lack variety. But, of course, after a week of eating the same couple of things, I’m ready to switch it up – just like our clients, who get a whole new batch of recipes the following week to keep their meal plan exciting. With that, here are 3 recipes to plan into your meal prep for next week. I hope you enjoy them as much as our DTFN clients do!

Blueberry Oatmeal Cheesecake Bars

Makes 6 servings

Macros P 10 C 43 F 6

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1.5 cups Frozen Blueberries
  • 1.25 cups Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (Pure)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray/oil. (Use a smaller baking dish if you prefer a thicker oatmeal). Combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the blueberries. (Coating them prevents the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the oatmeal.) Stir in the milk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and yogurt. Transfer oatmeal mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into bars.

Butternut Squash Breakfast Bake

Makes 6 servings

Macros: P 20 C 5 F 21

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 tbsp Sage (Minced)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash in butter/ghee and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft and browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cook breakfast sausage in medium saute pan over medium heat. Break breakfast sausage into small pieces and cook until no pink remains. Add red pepper and cook until soft. Whisk together eggs then add in breakfast sausage, butternut squash, peppers, minced sage along with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into greased baking dish, top with extra sage leaves, then place in an oven for 30-40 minutes, until no jiggle remains. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into 6 pieces.

Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

 

Makes 1 serving

Macros: P 16 C 24 F 3

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Rolled Oats – CUP
  • 1/2 cup Strawberries, Chopped
  • 1 Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt (Cheesecake)
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions: Place all ingredients in Mason jar or container with a lid. Mix well and place in fridge until ready to eat. Serve hot or cold.

Question of the Day

What’s your favorite make-ahead breakfast? 

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