Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who Says It's Left Overs?

It was a clean out the cupboard kind of evening. My veggies from the week were getting wilty and I needed to use the stuff I had. This happens every so often and usually I come up with something that not only makes me happy to eat because it’s yummy but also that whole past life from WWII. Waste not want not! So my end of week veg list consisted of baby kale greens, mixed greens, two ears of corn, ¾ tomato and two scallions. Clearly I was having salad! But I’m a protein eater, so I wanted some kind of meat. Lucky for me I had half a giant hanger steak in the freezer from Stillman at the Turkey Farm. Yes, grass fed! So after defrosting, I put the steak in a Ziploc with fig balsamic vinegar and left it overnight.

When I was in Kentucky last, I stopped into this place called Stuartos Olive Oil that specializes in vinegar, olive oil and salts. While there, I picked up this amazing espresso coarse salt. I figured that would pair really nicely on the grill with the fig balsamic. DO NOT ask me how I come to these decisions. Sometimes they come out great, other times, not. But the answer is always no if you don’t ask the question. So I tried this out.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Mixed greens
Baby kale
2 scallions, sliced
1 red tomato, or in my case ¾ tomato
2 ears of corn
Fig balsamic vinegar
Espresso salt
1lb hanger steak

After marinating the steak in vinegar overnight, I pressed a liberal amount of espresso salt onto both sides of the steak. Then cranked the grill until it was screaming hot and grilled the steak about 5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, I stacked up my veggies onto salad plates. The corn I boiled for 13 minutes. Not 12, not 14, trust me, 13 minutes. Then I cut it off the cob and mixed with about 1 tbsp of butter. Yup, I said it! I spooned the buttered corn over the salad. After letting the meat sit for about 5 minutes to redistribute the juices, I sliced it thinly on the bias. This is important for the proper texture, especially for hanger steak. Otherwise its a chewy mess, yuuuuck! Top the whole thing with pieces of the steak.

Because of the amazing coffee tasting salt and the butter, you will not need additional dressing for this salad.

It was pretty outstanding! I especially liked the charred ends of the steak which were nutty and complex! I suggest this for a quickie meal and with the exception of a teeny bit of grass fed butter, it’s healthy! It was definitely different, but my taste buds were totally on board and yours will be too!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Cows

Who says all the happy cows live in California? At High Lawn Farm in Lee, MA, the cows are happy as clams. And why shouldn’t they be? They are treated with the utmost respect and care. And in fact, the name “High Lawn Farm” came about due to the large green lawns that cover the hills surrounding the farm where the cows are left to graze. What does that mean? Simply, grass fed dairy, which we all know produces higher quality milk.
Another contributor to that high quality is the cows themselves. At High Lawn, they only milk 100% Jersey cows, which come from the Isle of Jersey off the coast of England and naturally produces rich full flavored milk that contains 20% more calcium and 17% more protein than standard dairy cows. Additionally, the milk contains higher amounts of B vitamins and beta carotene. And you can taste the difference.
In fact, last year at the Boston Local Food Festival, a representative of High Lawn Farm explained to me that the lower fat milks actually taste richer due to the milk solids produced only by Jersey Cows. These cows do not produce as much as other dairy cows, but what they do produce is a much higher quality.
Because High Lawn Farm is the last dairy in the Berkshires area, it is important to them to preserve the land and educate on the importance of local farming all while producing a high quality product you can feel good about consuming. High Lawn does not use antibiotics, pesticides or growth hormones, going so far as to test every batch of milk for antibiotics before it even goes into production. Let’s face it, we don’t know what’s going into some of the mass produced milk we find at our grocery stores and knowing that the cows and the environment are as important to High Lawn Farm as they are to me is quite comforting.
At High Lawn Farm, it is equally important help keep their community green and maintain sustainable agriculture. They currently work in partnership with Berkshire Grown and Buy Local Food in order to further the push to local sustainability.
As a fourth generation family business, High Lawn is preserving an over 100 year tradition of providing the best quality milk you can find and sustaining a local presence: a tradition they hope to carry on for another 100 years and are taking the steps to do so.
High Lawn Farm will be at the Boston Local Food Festival on October 7, 2012, at the Rose Kennedy Greenway from 11:00am until 5:00pm. Here’s your chance to check them out if you’ve never tried the yummy milk, or support them if you’re like me and already love what they’re doing!
Cheers to our happy cows right here in Massachusetts!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Green Eggs & Ham BESB Style!

I’m hooked watching the Democratic National Convention this week so I’m offering a small recipe that is not only delicious but packed full of veggie at a meal we rarely eat a lot of vegetables! What meal is that? Breakfast. Not too long ago in an attempt to get some more substantial veggies at breakfast time I looked in the fridge to see what I could put with eggs. What did I find? Asparagus. Welp, that was the only choice so I did what I could.

It was a little bit made up with what was fast and what I had. But the combo of asparagus and eggs would obviously be better with bacon, right? Isn’t everything?

Here’s the breakdown for one person:

5 stalks of asparagus
2 eggs
2-3 slices center cut bacon
Coconut oil

Fry or bake your bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towel and cut into small pieces, bacon bits, if you will. Then cut the asparagus into small pieces (1/2 inch long pieces). Sauté the asparagus in a little bit of coconut oil in a pan for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. In another pan cook two eggs over easy. Over easy is just a couple minutes on the first side and then when I flip the egg, I normally turn the heat off a few seconds after flipping and let sit until cooked. The key is to keep the yolks runny. To plate this, put the asparagus down first, then the eggs, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and finally sprinkle the bacon bits on top.

This was really delicious and I usually pair any breakfast with Amazing Grass brand Green SuperFood mixed up in a glass of water, juice or almond milk, so this was veggie laden! Which not only makes me feel great, but also fueled me for the morning without getting hangry before lunch!!! Try it even if it scares you, I bet you’ll love it!