Tag Archives: Beef

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican Fiesta, Part 7—Shrimp fried Mexican rice

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This is the last post of my “Stretching your pesos” series, which I essentially wrote because I made too much chicken for Nadia’s cousins and I had to figure out what to do with it.

On a small scale, the series taught me to use my leftovers to their full extent. And that’s important to do, considering people in this world are starving while Americans waste 33 million tons of food annually, according to NPR.

I only had a few shrimp, some Mexican rice and pickled red onion in the fridge by the end of this experiment, and I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I took inspiration from Orange County’s Dos Chinos food truck which fuses Asian and Mexican cuisines.

Enter: Shrimp fried Mexican rice.

I found the blueprint at Epicurious:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leftover pork, chicken, or beef, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed (plus any leftover vegetables you have on hand)
  • 4 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (In this case Mexican rice, recipe here)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The recipe makes four servings, but here’s a couple of ways to make it a little healthier if you aren’t using leftovers like I was: Use 2-3 cups of rice, so each person has less than 1 cup, with 1/2 cup per person being the target–and go brown rice; use low-sodium soy sauce. You can also reduce the oil, but this rice does need to crisp and you’re at less than 1 T per person. Try using 2 T, and add a tablespoon if necessary.

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Follow the link above for the full step by step, but the method is fairly simple and the result far less greasy than any box of takeout I’ve ever brought home.

You start by cooking the egg and the scallions with some of the oil. Then the meat and veggies get tossed in the pan and scrambled around. The rest of the oil goes in to crisp up the rice and you wrap it up by adding a mixture of soy sauce and water to flavor the rice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime, and dig in.

Cook This Now! The 340-calorie cheeseburger and crunchy baked French fries

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Cheeseburgers are my downfall.

Well, bad habits, inconsistency and the failure to prepare for weight loss are my downfalls.

But, also cheeseburgers.

They’re gooey, greasy, meaty … all the reasons you’d love a cheeseburger. But wouldn’t you know it, cheeseburgers don’t really love you back. Unless you make them at home, that is.

As I’ve slimmed down, I’ve noticed how my cheeseburgers have slimmed down too: I used to eat doubles with bacon at fast food restaurants regularly. Over time I left the drive through behind, dropped a patty, and most of the time the bacon too. Mayo never makes an appearance anymore.

I found the blueprint for a skinnier burger in Men’s Health “Cook This, Not That.” In short, the basics of a skinny burger revolve around the type of bun you use and the ratio of meat to veggies.

Men’s Health suggests potato buns, which skew close to the 200 calorie mark depending on brand. I went with a freshly baked small-sized white bun from my local Fuddrucker’s. Four fresh buns for less than $1.50. That’s a deal.

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You want the amount of veggies to be larger than the amount of meat. For the recipe at top, Cook This, Not That’s 340-calorie A-1 Steak Burger, they use 1/4 lb. of ground beef per burger plus a whole lot of sauteed onions and mushrooms.

The burger, a small meatball that you smash on the grill to sear hot and fast,  has a crunchy crust in just a few short minutes with this method. This is the trick to making really great burgers at home without a grill.

Doctor it up with blue cheese, hatch chilies, a slice of bacon … anything you’d want to put on a burger out really. (Read more: Fat Dude’s Grass-Fed Breakfast Burger.)

I stick to about 1 oz. of cheese on each burger (a 100-110 calorie serving size) and ask the guy at the deli to cut the cheese into 1/2 oz. slices. That way, it’s like I’m getting two pieces of cheese, but in a serving size that’s less calories than even one piece of cheese at a regular restaurant.

And because you can’t have a solid burger without fries, you know I had to make those too.

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Fries are simple: If you know know that 150 grams of potatoes is 110 calories, you’ll automatically know the perfect serving size for an order of homemade French fries.

The trick to getting them crispy is to first cut the potatoes (into planks, then into fries) and then soak them in cold water, changing the water once, for about 24 hours. The starch will leave the potatoes, ensuring a crisp result.

To cook, spray with cooking spray, salt and bake the fries at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then at 425 degrees for a final 10 minutes.

You’ll never crave another deep fried spud or calorie-laden restaurant burger again.

Freestyle meal: Arrachera rib-eye with caramelized onions

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I’ve been trying to cut back on the beef lately, but I had a mad craving for a steak last week.

I planned on buying a grass-fed cut but the selection at the market was slim. I picked a thick-ish slab of well-marbled rib-eye from the other side of the meat case and went home to cook it up. But Nadia came home sick and needed soup, so I put it back in the fridge until all the soup was gone two days later.

Instead of searching for a recipe, I created something on the fly. Inspired by the flank steak made by Carlos Salgado at Taco Maria, I Googled up my own arrachera seasoning (which one, I can’t remember), gave the meat a good rub down and let it temper that way. Before I cooked it, I smeared the steak with a thin layer of olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Then, in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, I seared it for 4 minutes per side. Remembering something I saw on Top Chef, I threw a pat of butter in the pan with some fresh thyme, spooning the herb-infused fat over the meat.

Once the meat was done, I deglazed the pan with sherry and caramelized an onion up in there.

Trying something new worked for me, so don’t be afraid to put together some techniques you might know, or some ingredients you have in the kitchen. You might whip up something unexpected and impressive.

Week 16, Meal 1: Beef stir fry with snow peas, tofu and shiitake mushroom

Of the many culinary techniques I know, the art of stir fry isn’t one of them.

Case in point: Prep for this meal didn’t start at stemming and slicing shiitake mushrooms, it started by scraping the last charred bits of whatever-i-ruined-last-time out of my wok.

Thankfully, Chef Brian made the cooking experience for Week 16, Meal 1: Beef stir fry with snow peas, tofu and shiitake mushroom easier with a couple of kitchen tricks that saved the day. Continue reading Week 16, Meal 1: Beef stir fry with snow peas, tofu and shiitake mushroom

Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA! I made stock (for the first time) and then an awesome soup with it!

For the first meal of Week 12, we’re whipping up one tasty bowl of noodles that is as comforting as it is hearty. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese flavors — citrus, spice, heat and fish sauce — this is one dish you won’t be able to slurp down quick enough.

Grab a bowl and some chopsticks, and warm up to Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 1: Pho with oxtail, flank steak and filet mignon

Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos with tomatillo salsa and kimchi sour cream

Our next recipe during fusion tacos week is arguably the most popular one since the food truck explosion began, and I’d argue that our Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos can stand up to the best in class. Honestly, this taco out and out beats some of the food truck fare I’ve had.

Make this when you’re craving Kogi, but don’t want to deal with long lines, heavy-handed slaw use and bad attitudes. Continue reading Week 10, Meal 2: Korean steak tacos with tomatillo salsa and kimchi sour cream

Week 9, Meal 2: Red wine braised beef short ribs over spinach and cauliflower puree

The last time I had short ribs in a restaurant I paid $23 for the plate.

They were great, but I’d argue the ribs I made at home were much better, for much cheaper.

I struggled last week with The Fat Dude Diet, but one bite of Week 9, Meal 2: Red wine braised beef short ribs over spinach and cauliflower puree erased the exhaustion and laziness that prevented me from cooking to my full potential last week.

Let’s get down to business, y’all. Continue reading Week 9, Meal 2: Red wine braised beef short ribs over spinach and cauliflower puree

Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg

Only I would seek out a healthy version of a bacon and egg burger, but it looks like Chef Brian has gone above and beyond yet again with Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg.

Brian says: “When I make a burger it is easy to get carried away with sauces and cheese and tons of bacon. On this one you have compote with a great bacon and onion flavor that the red wine will enrich. The egg takes the place of the sauces and cheeses, which can make the calories get out of control.”

I wrangled whatever the calorie count is down a little while increasing the healthiness of the meat by using grass-fed beef instead (about 250 calories for 4 oz.; Read: Benefits of grass-fed beef). I also went with a reasonably low-cal roll, at 170 calories per piece.

Learn how to prepare this beastly burg after the jump. Continue reading Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg

Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic-marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

I love love love beef and since we started this here blog I haven’t had any.

Surprisingly, I don’t quite feel like this guy, but I was very excited when I saw not only beef, but skirt steak — MY FAVORITE CUT OF BEEF — on the menu.

Meet Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomatoe and fresh mozzarella.

And it ain’t even my birthday … Continue reading Week 3, Meal 2: Whole wheat penne pasta with basil pesto, balsamic-marinated skirt steak, portobello mushroom, cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

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