Meat

Mexi Steak Salad

mexican salad in large wooden bowl with avocado cilantro dressing

 

Truth be told, if I wasn’t so blatantly Irish, I would probably assume I’m of Mexican descent. ‘Cause daaaaaaamnnnn do I love to make some Mexican food.  What I love about Mexican cuisine is that the ingredients are always so fresh, colorful, flavorful…and oh my lord CILANTRO.

Let’s just get this out of the way now…I.LOVE.CILANTRO.  I know there’s some weird genetic thing that you either have the cilantro-loving gene, or you think it tastes like soap.  Well…my deepest condolences for all those aboard the cilantro soap train, because this herb tastes like magic!

 

mexican steak salad in wooden bowl with belle peppers on white table

 

Now with that being said, I’m sure it comes to no surprise that this delicious Mexican Salad is topped with a cilantro-avocado dressing!  I’m a huge fan of making my own dressings so I know exactly what’s in it.  That way, nothing unwanted sneaks into my meal (like added sugars, inflammatory oils, or unnatural chemicals).  Make in small batches, so not to waste any, because natural ingredients tend to be more perishable.

What’s great about this salad is that it uses simple ingredients and requires little hands on time from you!  There are three main areas of focus, veggies, steak, and dressing.  Everything else just needs to be dumped on at the end!

 

mexican salad in wooden bowl with mini bell peppers and lime on white table

 

VEGGIES:

  • I use different colored mini bell peppers and a red onion, cut thinly with a mandoline
  • Coat in oil and spices…I’m a huge fan of using paprika and garlic on my mexi veggies

STEAK:

  • Marinate your top sirloin in oil and garlic cloves for as long as you can.  I’ve done up to 24 hrs before.
  • Grill until cooked to your desired temperature, or cook on stove top over medium heat (high heat will burn the outside while leaving the inside uncooked).

DRESSING:

  • Take all fresh ingredients and add to a blender.  Blend until well combined!
  • Avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime, oil, and spices.

Chop your romaine lettuce, rinse a can of black beans, and as always…add a little somethin’ somethin’ for the CRUNCH!  Feel free to have fun with this and mix up the ingredients as you please!  Adding some cheese, quinoa, or different veggies can definitely add a fun twist to this Mexi Steak Salad 🙂

 

mexican steak salad with avocado cilantro dressing in large wooden bowl on white table

 

Mexi Steak Salad

Mexican sirloin steak salad filled with seasoned veggies, black beans, crunchy tortillas, and topped with a homemade avocado cilantro dressing.  A healthy, easy, and gluten free dinner recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado, cilantro, dinner, dressing, fajita, gluten free, healthy, mexican, salad, steak
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lbs top sirloin steak free range or organic
  • 4 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup mini bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed

Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro remove leaves from stems
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free chips I use Food Should Taste Good Gluten Free Multigrain Tortilla Chip

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp oil and chopped garlic.  Using a brush or spoon, rub garlic oil on front and back of steak.  Wrap in tinfoil and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • Using a mandoline, thinly slice mini bell peppers (hold from top at the stem and start slicing from bottom), and red onion.
  • Take sliced veggies and dump into a broil safe baking dish.  Mix in 2 tbsp oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Broil for 20 min, mixing midway through.
  • While veggies are baking, grill steak to your desired temp, or cook on stovetop.  For a medium steak, cook on medium heat for approximately 5-6 min each side.
  • For dressing, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined well.
  • Rinse and chop romaine lettuce and place in large serving bowl.  Take a can of black beans and rinse.  You can leave as is, or heat up on a skillet with oil.
  • Once steak is finished cooking, cut into thin slices and lay on top of romaine. Top romaine with remaining ingredients...veggies, beans, and crushed chips.  
  • Drizzle dressing on top and serve!
Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

black skillet with eggplant lasagna on white table, spinach and sweet potato pictures next to skillet

 

Public service announcement: NO NEED TO BE A VEGETARIAN to totally fall in love with this eggplant lasagna!  If my meat-lover husband can devour this lasagna in one sitting and not notice the meat is missing, then that tells me we’re in good shape for the blog!

My idea behind this dish is that I wanted to make it simple and healthy.  So let’s start with simple…

I used raw ingredients, that only required slicing, and baked them all together in a skillet (or casserole dish).  There is no need to pre-cook anything or get out a million pots and pans (which means less dishes…yay!).

For this recipe, I would highly encourage the use of a mandoline to slice your “layers”.  It is one of my favorite kitchen appliances, and can cut you a whole veggie in about 30 seconds flat!  (click the link below for more information on mandolines!)

 

 

cutting board with sliced eggplant, sweet potato, and chopped onion

 

I used a mandoline to thinly slice a sweet potato, and then a sharp knife to cut the eggplant approximately 1/4 in. thick width wise.  Chop an onion, grab some spinach, mix spices, and layer as follows:

  • sweet potato
  • eggplant
  • spices
  • onion
  • spinach
  • sauce
  • cheese

(repeat one more time) 

 

black skillet on white table, with eggplant lasagna
Lasagna before baking

 

Second, I didn’t want to use meat, or pasta, because I love eggplant and strongly believe it should get its time to shine every now and again!  Therefore, I substituted pasta with sweet potatoes, and meat with our star of the show…eggplant!  

The sweet potato acts as a low carb substitute for pasta and gives the lasagna structure, while the eggplant provides high fiber content and is rich with nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants).  Instead of using traditional mozzarella, a cheese derived from cow’s milk that causes inflammation, I used goat cheese crumbles which contains less lactose and is typically easier to digest.

 

eggplant lasagna in a black skillet surrounded by green spinach

 

Once all of your layers are assembled, cover in foil, bake for 50 min, then remove foil and bake for another 25 min.  You can serve as a single dish, or with a side salad!    

 

eggplant lasagna in a skillet on white table with spinach in background

 

 

eggplant lasagna in a black skillet surrounded by green spinach
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan

A one-pan, healthy, vegetarian, eggplant parmesan made with sweet potato, spinach, onion, and spices!  Creamy goat cheese used in place of traditional mozzarella, on top of a basil marinara sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: eggplant, gluten free, parmesan, sweet potato, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large eggplant skinned
  • 1 large sweet potato skinned
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 36 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a large skillet or baking dish.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix all spices and set aside.
  • Using a mandoline, slice sweet potato into round, thin pieces and set aside. Using a knife, cut the width of the eggplant to approximately 1/4 in. thick, set aside. Chop onion and set aside.
  • Take greased baking dish, and line the bottom with half the amount of sweet potato slices. Then layer half of the eggplant pieces directly on top.
  • Take spice mixture, and evenly sprinkle half the amount over eggplant.
  • Take half of chopped onion, and 1 cup of spinach and sprinkle over eggplant. Spread half of marinara sauce overtop and spread using a spatula.
  • Evenly sprinkle half of goat cheese over top marinara.  Repeat the same process again, starting with a layer of sweet potatoes.
  • Wrap tinfoil over top and bake for 50 min.  remove tinfoil and bake for another 25 min.  Let cool, garnish with extra herbs (if desired), and serve!
Appetizers

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl with chips

 

The weather in Ohio gets a little bit warmer (and when I say warmer, I actually just mean the sun came out), and my mind immediately goes to…SALSA.  Fresh raw veggies, light flavor, and a healthy, munchy snack!  Which makes me proud to announce…its time for us to say bye to seasonal depression, and hello to good-vibe salsa season!

The best thing about making salsa, is that you can make it different every single time.  For me, it depends entirely on whats in my fridge.  While rummaging through my inventory this time, I had a couple of thoughts…

  1. I have a heck of a lot of colorful bell peppers
  2. I have a beautiful whole, ripe pineapple 
  3. I have some shrimp in the freezer

Alas, my inspiration for this PINEAPPLE SHRIMP SALSA!

 

colorful pineapple shrimp salsa in a white bowl

 

This recipe turned out so-so delicious…and also super colorful (which I’m always a huge fan of)!  What I love about this salsa though, is that you can eat it with chips, OR use as a topping on baked chicken, or fish!

I ended up bringing this salsa to my friends house the other night, when she hosted us for a fish taco dinner!  I’m telling you…the sun comes out once in Ohio and everyone defaults to Mexican cuisine lol

How to make this recipe?

The most time-efficient way to make this recipe is to cook your shrimp first, so you can chop veggies during the cook time.  Cook the shrimp on stovetop over medium heat, with oil, and garlic.  Once the shrimp is finished cooking, remove from heat, mix in lemon juice, and let cool.

Take all of your chopped ingredients (peppers, onion, cilantro, pineapple, shrimp) and add to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and then mix into salsa before serving.

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips surrounding bowl

 

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room…how the heck do I cut up a whole pineapple?

First things first, don’t let it scare you!  There is truly nothing more delicious, then a fresh whole pineapple!  I think it tastes SO much better, than precut pineapple you’d find in the grocery store.  So lets take it step by step…

  1. Using a large, serrated knife, chop the top off the pineapple.
  2. Stand it up straight (exposed flesh facing up) and begin to cut the skin off.  Start your knife at the top end, where there is open flesh.  Cut a thin layer all the way down, to remove the tough exterior skin.  Repeat this until all exterior skin is removed.
  3. Similar to an apple, pineapples have a tough core.  You’ll want quarter the pineapple (from top to bottom), by slicing off a large chunk on all four sides around the core.  
    1. Sometimes you can see where the core is, or you’ll know because it will be harder to run your knife down the length of the pineapple.  Ripe pineapple flesh is very easy to cut through.
  4. Take your four large chunks of pineapple meat (they will be different sizes) and cut into smaller chunks for serving.  Or for the purpose of this recipe, cut small pieces that are similar sized to your chopped peppers.  

How can I tell if a pineapple is ripe?

There are two indicators of a ripe pineapple.  First, look out for yellow skin.  A yellowish colored skin indicates ripeness, vs green indicates it isn’t ready yet (similar to bananas).  

Second, it smells sweet.  Seriously!  If you smell your pineapple skin and it smells sweet, it means its ready to eat!  How cool is that?!

I know cutting up a whole pineapple can be intimidating, but it is hands down worth it!  It’s so juicy and flavorful, you’ll likely never go back to pre-cut pineapple.  I like to store mine in the fridge and eat throughout the week, or add to salsas or smoothies!

 

pineapple shrimp salsa in white bowl with chips in background

 

Pineapple Shrimp Salsa

Healthy and flavorful salsa made with ripe pineapple, lemon garlic shrimp, and bright, chopped veggies! Garnish with cilantro and serve with chips, or use as topping to your favorite fish or chicken!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: healthy, pineapple, salsa, shrimp
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • 1 cup shrimp chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • In a small to medium saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and minced garlic to medium heat.  Sauté for 2-3 min, then add shrimp.  
  • Cook shrimp until pink all the way through, approx 7-9 min. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and mix around.
  • While shrimp cools, chop bell peppers, pineapple, onion, and cilantro.  Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare dressing by adding all dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl, and whisking together until combined.
  • When shrimp have cooled, chop into small pieces and add to large mixing bowl with veggies.
  • Drizzle on dressing, mix together, and serve.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.