(Happy-Go-Lucky Memoirs of a Foodie and her Peeps)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Pie

It’s full-swing Autumn here in New England, and you all know what that means – apple season!!

We waited until it was almost too late (read: farms running out of crop and the one we originally planned to go to already being shut down), but over the weekend Hubby and I finally went apple picking at Parlee Farms.  We were relegated to whatever they had left, which was a mix of Cortland, Golden Delicious, Macoun, Empire, Cameo, and possibly a couple others that I cannot remember specifically right now.  Here’s what’s left of our 1/2 bushel-20 pound bag (there's going to have to be more apple recipes in the upcoming weeks):

As you can see most of the varieties look pretty much the same (at least they do to me), so when I made my Apple Pie, I just took a random sampling from the bag that added up to the poundage I needed for this recipe.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-¼ pounds of apples
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, made into a slurry with 2 Tablespoons of cold water
  • Freshly grated Nutmeg, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Combine all the dry crust ingredients in a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your food processor if you have one.  Mix (or pulse the processor) until well combined.
  2. Add in the cubed butter and toss to lightly cover it with the flour mixture.  Then begin to incorporate the butter into the flour by “cutting it in” or pulsing your food processor if you’re using one.  If you don’t have a butter cutting tool as shown in the linked video, you can use two forks for the same purpose (that’s what I did).  You want to end up with something that is the texture of coarse bread crumbs or coarse cornmeal.
  3. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the egg and apple cider vinegar into the well.  Using a fork, incorporate the liquids into the flour mixture until you get a sticky, clumpy mix (the final consistency should feel moist, but not too wet -- you can always add a little more rice flour if you think it’s too wet and/or sticky).
  4. Form it into a smooth ball, wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  5. While the dough is chilling, it’s time to prepare the filling.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 350-degrees.
  7. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  8. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  9. Add the sliced apples and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring to coat the apples with the liquid mixture, until the apples just begin to soften.
  10. Add the cornstarch slurry, and cook for one minute more, stirring gently.  This will thicken the liquids and cause them to coat the apple slices better.
  11. Strain the apples in a colander and discard the extra juices which run off.  Add your desired amounts freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon to the colander and gently mix into the apples.
  12. Remove your dough from the fridge and using either two sheets of wax paper, parchment paper, and/or rice flour for dusting, roll it out so that it’s more than large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie pan.  You want the dough to be no more than ¼” thick, and making it this thickness should allow that you will have enough left to cover the pie, too.
  13. Gently pick up the dough and place it in your greased pie pan, making sure it falls into the corners.  Trim off the excess (there should definitely be some), form the excess into another ball, and roll it out.  This will become the top of your pie.
  14. Pour the apples into the now bottom-crusted pie pan, spread them out to create an even layer, and then use the remaining dough to cover the top (either in one full sheet, or a lattice pattern, or any other design you might endeavor to create).  Just make sure there are a couple of holes/slits for steam to escape while cooking.
  15. Bake for 30 minutes.
  16. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, sprinkle with some sugar, and bake several minutes more (or however long it takes) for the crust to become golden brown and fairly crispy looking.

This was only my second attempt ever at making an apple pie (the first being years ago with regular wheat flour).  It was not any easier or harder this time.  Making pie, as you probably know, is a little time consuming and can be a bit of a pain in the buttocks, but it’s always well worth it.  It was delicious, and well-liked by the non-GF-ers who I served it to, as well.

Here are a few thoughts and suggestions based on my experience with this particular recipe and the ways I went about making it:

First, I want to note that there was no xanthan gum in the crust.  This doesn’t pose any problems whatsoever as long as you are serving the pie cold.  When cold, it slices well and holds together very nicely.  See?

But when we re-heated the pie (in the oven) for serving, the crust easily crumbled and fell apart some when slicing and picking it up out of the pan for plating.  Perhaps this could have been alleviated by slicing it cold, and then re-heating individual pieces in the microwave.  Alternatively, perhaps the addition of a little bit of xanthan gum to the dough might help this issue, and also allow us to reheat it without worry of it turning into an apple cobbler.  (I notice a lot of other crust recipes do include xanthan gum.)  I guess it all just depends on how you like to eat your pie (hot or cold) whether you want to experiment with xanthan gum and/or different re-heating processes.

I found that I had to bake my pie longer than the 30 minutes it should have taken.  I think this was because my dough was too wet.  I should have added a bit more rice flour to the dough before chilling it, and probably also should have dusted my surfaces with some rice flour before rolling out (I had some issues with the dough sticking to my wax paper).  You always see the TV chefs dusting their surfaces every time -- why I didn’t think to do this I have no idea.  Lol.

Finally, I am not going to calculate and give the usual nutritional information on this pie, like I do with other recipes, because, well….it’s meant to be an indulgent dessert, there’s a ton of butter in it, you're probably going to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top anyways, and....does anyone really want to know?  ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Bell Pepper-Bacon Salsa

We have probably about twenty cookbooks in our kitchen, and while we don’t seem to use them as much as we’d like to, we have been making it a point more and more to flip through those pages and try new things.  One of the books we love is by local celebrity chef Ming Tsai.  If you are ever in the Boston area and have a chance, we highly recommend you stop into his restaurant, Blue Ginger.  We’ve been there a couple of times, and have nothing but the utmost praise for everything we encountered.  Just a few of the dishes I can recall off the top of my head right now are: Ginger Ale (with Ginger Candy) homemade from scratch, an incredible Osso Buco, and Chocolate Chip Green Tea Mint Ice Cream (omg).  The menu rotates and changes periodically, using what’s good and in season at the time, and everything is made in-house.  The portions are not overwhelmingly large, but nor are they not too small (they are just the right size that you can have a three course meal and be perfectly satisfied -- you will never go home hungry; and sometimes might even take a little bit of leftovers with you).  There is even an extensive gluten-free menu.  As a bonus, on any given night you can see Ming himself working in the kitchen and strolling through the dining room conversing with guests.  He even quite thoroughly enjoys autographing cookbooks for you if you so desire.  This is one down-to-earth and genuinely pleasant guy.

Today’s recipe is one of Ming’s, which we found in his book, East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai.  This Southwestern-style soup is ready for Autumn -- it's hearty and sweet, but still has some of the zing we love.  And it has bacon, so who can argue with that?!?  :)

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup with Bell Pepper-Bacon Salsa
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 small red onion, cut into a 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into a1/4 inch dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 small white or yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pureed chipotles in adobo
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock or low sodium canned broth (for this particular iteration of the recipe, I used Swanson Natural Goodness 100% Fat Free 33% Less Sodium Chicken Broth)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  1. Cook the bacon until crisp.  Crumble it and set to the side.
  2. Pour most of the bacon fat into a heat-proof container, leaving only enough left in the pan to coat the pan lightly.  Reserve the bacon fat.
  3. Add the onion and red pepper to the same pan used for cooking the bacon, and sauté over medium heat, stirring, until brown (about 5 minutes).  Season to taste with the salt and pepper (I tend to use minimal salt, personally).
  4. Add the crumbled bacon and the lime juice.  Re-season if necessary, transfer the salsa to a bowl, and set aside at room temperature.
  1. Return the reserved bacon fat to the same pan and place over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, onions, and brown sugar, season with the salt and pepper to taste (again, minimal salt for me), and sauté, stirring, until the vegetables are brown (about 5 minutes).
  2. Stir in the chipotle puree and wine, and cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by about three-fourths, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and stock and simmer until the potatoes are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Using a hand blender or regular blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture. Add the butter one piece at a time, blending again after each addition, to thicken the soup slightly. Stir in the lime juice and correct the seasonings.
  5. Immediately ladle into bowls, spoon a portion of the salsa onto each and serve.
We got 6 fairly large servings (about 1.75 cups of soup + 4 tbsp salsa), each with:
  • 284 calories
  • 7 grams protein
  • 26 grams carbs
  • 14 grams fat
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 815 mg sodium
This was a recipe that I had made many months ago, but I am now realizing that we happen to have a lot of these ingredients on hand at home right now (specifically chipotles in adobo that I was wondering how we'd use up), and so I think we should make this soup again very soon!  :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

GF Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies, Version 2.0

Fluffernutter, for those that may not know, is a sandwich made with peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff.  It's apparently a New England thing, and very much a favorite of Massachusetts kids.

Hubby was very excited to find out that Marshmallow Fluff is naturally gluten-free, and emailed this recipe to me which he found on the Fluffernutter website.  All I had to do was swap out the flour for GF flour, and here it is!

You'll notice that I call this recipe "Version 2.0" -- that's because this is my second attempt at it.  The first time around I added some Xanthan Gum in addition to swapping out the flour, because I thought it was necessary.  When I did that, I found the dough/batter to be incredibly thick and sticky and it wasn't spreading in the oven like the recipe said it would.  It made for whoopie pies that were somewhat oddly shaped, and more cookie-like than cake-like in texture.  Here is a picture of Version 1:

Overall, Version 1.0 was good and they tasted great....even a friend at work really liked them.  The filling, in particular, is to die for and absolutely addictive (it would also make a wonderful cupcake frosting).  Personally, though, I didn’t think the cake part of these whoopie pies was quite right.

Fast forward to when I made my Gluten-Free Brownies last week, whose recipe didn't call for any Xanthan Gum at all.  The brownies turned out spectacularly, so I thought: "Maybe I don't need to add Xanthan Gum to all baked goods; maybe it's only essential in breads."  And so whoopie pie Version 2.0 was born.  This is what Version 2.0 looks like: 

I should note that I’ve never made either version of this recipe with regular flour (or any homemade whoopie pies for that matter), so I don’t know how either compares to how the cakes would have turned out with regular flour....and I don't really know whether Version 1.0 or Version 2.0 is closer to how the folks at Fluff intended them to be.  Either way, I prefer Version 2.0 for sure (and Hubby says they're better than any storebought whoopie pies he's ever had, gluten-free or not -- and he's a whoopie pie connoisseur).

:)  Here is the recipe:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups multi-purpose GF flour (I used about half King Arthur Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour and about half Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour, because that's what I had on hand)
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum (only if you want Version 1.0 whoopie pies)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup milk (we always use a lactose-free variety)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


1.  Heat oven to 350 F
2.  In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed beat egg and vegetable oil. Gradually pour in sugar and continue beating until pale yellow in color.  In another bowl, sift together the flours, (xanthan gum if you are going for Version 1.0), cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

3.  In a measuring cup combine milk and vanilla.
4.  Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the egg/oil/sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
5.  Let sit 10 minutes.
6.  Drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with Silpat (I used a melon ball scooper -- spray the scooper with Pam if you are doing Version 1.0 to make sure it lets go of that sticky xanthan gum dough).

7.  The original recipe indicated that the cakes would spread a lot during baking, which was certainly true with this Version 2.0, so make sure to leave plenty of room for that to happen (i.e. don't put more than four pie halves on one cookie sheet).  For Version 1.0, they didn't spread out at all and basically kept the shape they were when plopped onto the cookie sheet.  What this tells me is that the more Xanthan Gum you use, the taller and smaller diameter your whoopie pies will end up.  It's also worth nothing that there was no crumbling problem at all, even in Version 2.0 with -0- Xanthan Gum.
8.  Bake about 8-9 minutes.

9.  Remove to wire racks or waxed paper to cool.

10.  You may find that the cakes seem to stick to the pan or Silpat.  Just dig under them carefully until they release from the pan.  Then, scrape off anything left behind stuck to the pan and move on to your next batch.  (I found it's not a good idea to grease the Silpat/pan because the batter spreads too far and unevenly if you do).


1.  Bring butter and peanut butter to room temperature.

2.  In a medium bowl with mixer at low speed, beat butter and remaining ingredients until light and fluffy. (And try not to eat it all with your fingers before putting it into the sandwiches!)

3.  When the cakes are cool, which they should be by the time you have the filling made, use filling and two cakes to make sandwiches.

You should get about 18 (three-to-four-inch-diameter) whoopie pies, each with:
  • 320 calories
  • 4 grams protein
  • 52 grams carbs
  • 11 grams fat
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 139 mg sodium
Here are a couple more pictures, just for fun....

PS -- I would suggest storing any uneaten pies in the fridge, since the filling contains both milk and butter.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today I am going to move over several of the remaining posts from my old blog, so there will be a bunch of stuff today.  See below, and I hope you enjoy!

Basic Chicken-Lentil Stew

I got this recipe from a forum thread on my calorie tracking website, My Fitness Pal.  It wasn't given it a specific name, so I am calling it "Basic Chicken-Lentil Stew."  It may not look like the best thing you ever ate, but it's definitely tasty, and quite good for you too.

Here is exactly how I made it (as usual, slightly different than the original).... 

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into cubes
  • 1 medium onion - diced
  • 1 red pepper - chopped
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (I used a “No Salt Added” variety) - drained
  • 1½ - 2 cups of cooked lentils (I cooked mine ahead of time from 2/3 cup dry + 1 and 1/3 cups water)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in large pan on med-high heat.
  2. Lightly brown the cubed chicken.
  3. Add onion and peppers – cook until onions are translucent, stirring frequently.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and continue to stir until incorporated.
  5. Add herbs and pepper, stir.
  6. Add tomatoes and lentils, and stir.
  7. Reduce heat to simmer,
  8. Stir occasionally and allow to reduce to desired consistency (about 45 minutes) – my only comment here is that after draining the canned tomatoes as instructed above, there wasn’t much liquid in the pan that would allow it to simmer for much time at all....so I added some water (probably about one cup) so that there would be some liquid in the pan to steam off, giving the dish time to cook the chicken pieces all the way through.  I probably let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes total.
The recipe made 4 main-dish-size servings, each with:
  • 294 calories
  • 31 grams protein
  • 33 grams carbs
  • 5 grams fat
  • 11 grams fiber
  • 72 mg sodium
Some possible variations (courtesy of the thread where I found the recipe):
  • Asian: Add soy sauce instead of balsamic and 5 spice and ground ginger instead of herbs - drizzle with one tsp sesame oil after all ingredients have been added.
  • Tex-Mex: Add hot sauce instead of balsamic and cumin and small quantity of cinnamon instead of herbs. You could also add salsa.
  • Italian: Use oregano and basil instead of thyme and rosemary (or as well as) - up to you.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute 1 can of black or red beans (rinsed and drained) for chicken and add them with the lentils.

Fragrant Moroccan Beef, Date, Honey and Raisin Tagine - Crock Pot

Not too long ago, I tasted a dish made by the husband of one of my co-workers.  It’s Moroccan (as is her husband), but neither she nor her husband had a real name for it, and also didn’t necessarily have a set recipe.  All I know is that it was awesome.  One day, I was on supercook.com looking for recipes to use up ingredients that we had in the cabinet (specifically, dates) and I was pleased to find that this seemed similar to my friend’s husband’s dish.  It doesn’t taste exactly the same as theirs, but it was awesome nonetheless.

The original recipe can be found here.  What follows below is my exact version based on what I had (and didn’t have) on hand – for example, I used raisins instead of prunes, and quinoa instead of couscous.  I realized afterwards that I also had dried cherries in the cabinet – and I bet if I threw them in the pot, too, it would have been great.  I also see no reason why the olive oil is needed in this recipe, as long as you are using a non-stick skillet, but I used the oil anyways.  But being how many servings the recipe makes, omitting the oil wouldn’t reduce the calories or fat in each serving by much at all (only 12 calories and about 1g fat).  Here is the recipe, which makes 10 good-size servings....

  • 3 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of fat & cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb onions, peeled & quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped finely
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces dates, pitted and torn in half
  • 6 ounces seedless raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt (1 teaspoon) & pepper
  • 2 ounces toasted sliced almonds
  1. Par-boil the carrots in boiling water for about 3 -5 minutes.
  2. Preheat a large crock pot to High.
  3. Heat up half of the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the onion quarters over a fairly high heat until charred & colored well. Tip them into the crock pot.
  4. Add the chopped garlic & par-boiled carrots to the onions in the crock pot.
  5. To the beef stock, add the honey & all the dried spices (not the salt & pepper). Pour the beef stock mixture into the crock pot & mix well.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick.
  7. Add the tomatoes, dates & prunes to the crock pot - mix well.
  8. Heat up the remaining olive oil and brown the beef cubes in the frying pan in batches to sear & seal them. As you finish browning them, add the beef to the crock pot.
  9. When you have finished browning all the beef, give the whole mixture a good stir & season with salt & pepper.
  10. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and beef reach your desired level of doneness.
  11. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  12. Serve over cooked quinoa & sprinkle some toasted flaked almonds over the top. It also works well with rice too.

For one serving with a ½ cup of cooked quinoa, we have:
  • 545 calories
  • 36 g protein
  • 67 g carbs
  • 17 g fat
  • 8 g fiber
  • 393 mg sodium
It's delicious, hearty, and satisfying....and your house will smell fantastic all day.  :)

Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

We love going out for Pho, and figured there is no reason we can't make it at home ourselves.  This recipe is at the same time very simple and a little complicated.... meaning that there is a good amount of measuring and prep/chopping work to be done, but once you get past that, it's quick and easy to put it all together.  Certainly worth the effort.

For 3 very large bowls of Pho, each big and filling enough to be a meal in and of itself, do the following:

  1. Soak the noodles in cold water for 10 minutes.  Drain.
  2. In a soup pot bring two quarts of water to a boil.  Add the drained noodles and cook them for seven minutes at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally until they tender.
  3. Rinse the noodles under cold running water and set aside.
  4. Slice the raw beef into thin strips and set aside.
  5. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat.
  6. While you are waiting for the broth to boil, thinly slice the scallions and onions, chop up the cilantro and the red chile pepper, quarter the lime, and prepare the basil leaves.
  7. To serve, divide the noodles among 3 large individual serving bowls.
  8. Arrange the thinly sliced raw beef, scallions, onion, and cilantro on top.
  9. Pour boiling hot broth to cover noodles and serve immediately.  The boiling broth will cook the thin slices of beef.
  10. Pho is traditionally accompanied by bean sprouts, basil leaves, cilantro, lime wedges, red chili peppers and hot chile sauce – which can be served on the side for each person to use as they wish.
Per serving, there are:
  • 439 calories
  • 23 g protein
  • 74 g carbs
  • 6 g fat
  • 1 g fiber
  • 1,066 mg sodium

Turkey Mini-Meatloaves with Roasted Root Veggies

*** this recipe is not gluten-free ***
(but can easily be made as such -- see below)

*** this recipe is not gluten-free ***
(but can easily be made as such -- see below)

This comes from the "Cook Yourself Thin" cookbook.  I amended the recipe slightly using ingredients that I had on hand.  What I am posting here is my version of the recipe (I think the only thing I changed was the bread/bread crumbs).  I have to say that these meatloaves are FANTASTIC -- I could eat them by the dozens!

For the Meatloaves:
  • Arnold - Select Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins, 1 roll (to make this recipe GF, you could substitute your favorite GF bread crumbs, homemade or otherwise)
  • Skim Milk, 0.5 cup  
  • Olive Oil, 4 teaspoons  
  • Onions - 1 medium  
  • Spinach - 5 oz.
  • Turkey - Ground, 1.25 lbs  
  • Cheese - Parmesan, grated, 2 tbsp  
  • Eggs - Whole, 1 large  
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
For the Glaze:
For the Veggies:
  • Potatoes - 431.0 grams (approximately 2 yukon golds)  
  • Carrots - 242 grams (approximately 3 large ones)
  • Asparagus - 66 grams (about 4 stalks)
  • Chives - 1 tsp chopped
  • Olive Oil, 1.5 tablespoon  
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Arrange oven racks to accommodate two dishes being cooked simultaneously.
  2. Grind the bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl, and pour milk over crumbs.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with soaked crumbs. Add the turkey, cheese, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine the mixture with your hands until well mixed; it will be quite wet.
  4. Pack 1/5 of the mixture into each of 5 mini personal-size throw away pie pans (sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake mini meatloaves until cooked through and golden, about 40 minutes.
  5. While the meatloaves are cooking, make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Brush over meatloaves.
  6.  To make the roasted root vegetables: On a baking sheet, toss all the vegetables in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add to the oven along with the meatloaves and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring midway through baking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Each of the 5 servings has:

  • 339 calories
  • 27 g protein
  • 31 g carbs
  • 19 g fat
  • 6 g fiber
  • 578 mg sodium

Giddy-Up Steak with Onion-Date Compote

Simply delicious!

Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira:
Prep Time:  30 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings



  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala 
  • 1 (2-pound) flank steak


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large onions, sliced very thinly
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 dates, pitted and minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for greasing


For the rub:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the rub ingredients, making sure to smooth out any brown sugar nuggets.
  2. Pour half the mixture over 1 side of the flank steak and massage into the meat.
  3. Turn the steak over and pour the other half over the meat and massage in.
  4. Set aside on the counter up to 2 hours to marinate. You could also marinate the meat overnight in the fridge.
For the compote:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering (not smoking), add the onions, a pinch of salt, and stir to coat with oil.
  3. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a deep caramel color, about 45 minutes.
  1. Warm your grill or grill pan over medium heat.
  2. When the onions are caramelized, add the dates, vinegar, and water. Stir and cook, covered, for another 15 minutes.
  3. Pour a little vegetable or canola oil onto a paper towel, and use it to wipe down your grill pan.
  4. Once the grill pan is nice and hot (oil lightly smoking), throw your rubbed-down meat on. It should sizzle upon contact - if it doesn't, your pan wasn't hot enough. This is how you ensure a nice crust on the steak.
  5. After 5 minutes on 1 side, flip the steak over, and cook another 4 to 5 minutes or until the meat reaches your desired doneness (we lie ours medium-rare).
  6. Pull the meat onto a chopping board, and tent with foil; allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Slice the steak thinly against the grain on the bias.
  8. Serve with a dollop of onion compote on top.
For about a half pound of meat (weight before cooking) - and that's quite a good serving size, 1/4 of the the compote, and the broccoli, it comes out to:
  • 669 calories
  • 58 g protein
  • 52 g carbs
  • 25 g fat
  • 5 g fiber
  • 414 mg sodium