Grilled Top Sirloin with with Roasted Greens, Shishito Peppers, Fingerling Potatoes + Chimichurri

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For the last few weeks I’ve been primarily cooking over an outdoor fire in Maine. There’s no fire danger there so we grilled whole lobsters, fish, summer squash, oysters, mussels, greens, etc. Cooking over fire is my favorite kind of cooking, it is kind of an extreme event, intense, damn hot, a bit dangerous and the results are so smoky, charred and delicious. Anyway, I came home to my garden just taking off. Everything was quadrupled in size, the sunflowers ten feet tall, lemon balm bushy and bright green, potatoes, kale and parsley all lush and ready to harvest. So, in an effort to recreate cooking over a fire (we can’t have open fire here) I cooked the whole meal on the grill. I’m not sure why I haven’t done this all summer, but it keeps the house cooler and delivers far tastier food. This meal was a pop of green, spicy and fresh and melt in your mouth good.

Grilled Top Sirloin with with Roasted Greens, Shishito Peppers, Fingerling Potatoes + Chimichurri

Chimichurri
2 cups or 1 big bunch fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh oregano
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes-or more for extra spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground red pepper

Combine ingredients and blend until almost smooth, or food process, or you can chop everything very finely and mix. Squeeze a bit of extra lemon juice on top of the finished chimichurri.

Top Sirloin + Veggies
2 lb grass-fed beef top sirloin seasoned with salt+pepper, olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic–at room temperature
10 or so fingerling potatoes, halved
Big bunch of kale, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh sage
1 lb shishito peppers
2 heads romaine lettuce
salt + pepper
Lemon juice
Olive oil + butter

Heat your grill to high. Place the potatoes in a small skillet, sprinkle with oil, salt+pepper, place the kale in another skillet, sprinkling with lemon juice, oil, salt+pepper. Put the skillets on the grill, close the top and cook for a few minutes, opening occasionally to stir. Turn the heat down a bit and continue to cook with the grill lid down. After about 5-8 minutes add the fresh sage to the potato skillet.
When the potatoes + kale have started to crisp, place the kale in the same skillet with the potatoes and add a tablespoon of butter to the now empty skillet. Throw the shishito peppers in, season with lemon, salt+pepper.
Let everything cook down until nicely browned + blackened.
Place the romaine directly on the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side, until just softened and charred.
Make room for the steak and place it on the grill at high heat, cooking for about 3-5 minutes on each side depending how thick the cut is. Make sure to grill the fatty part of the sirloin as well.
Finally, serve everything together, spooning chimichurri on each component, and sprinkling with fresh parsley + oregano.

Raw Cacao Smoothie with Coconut Milk Float

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We’ve been busy painting, building our garden, and playing at the ranch this weekend. And its hot. This drink is so damn good and refreshing and gives me a bit of a boost, kind of like coffee, but really, raw cacao is its own thing. I’ve been drinking some variation of this treat for years, it is both dessert and mid-day, after lunch snack and incredibly simple. I’ve recently started using coconut milk in all kinds of treats, including the obvious-curries-but also in smoothies, ice cream base, key lime pies, and in this drink it acts as both float and main ingredient. Also, the drink itself is not overly sweet. I blend everything together really well first, and then just barely blend the dates in so you get little chewy bites of date sweetness. Avocado is a great addition to this drink!

Raw Cacao Smoothie with Coconut Milk Float

1 banana
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/2 can coconut milk + a few tablespoons for the float (full fat & organic)
4 big handfuls of ice cubes
1/2 can coconut water
2 dates

Add the banana, raw cacao, coconut milk, ice cubes and coconut water to your blender and blend at high speed until consistent. Add more ice/coconut milk/coconut water depending on desired thickness.It should be a bit thick & icy, taste quite rich and a tad sweet.
Adjust to your liking, and then add the two pitted dates. Blend just for a few seconds, so the dates don’t become liquified, but get broken down into little tasty bites. Serve in a glass cup and pour a few spoonfuls of coconut milk on top, so that it starts running down into the drink. Enjoy with or without a spoon.

Lentil + Quinoa Butter Lettuce Wraps with Pomegranate Jelly, Goat Cheese, Kale + Mustard Greens

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After spending a few wonderful and beautiful weeks in Europe I’m happy to be back in my kitchen cooking my own meals. Over Christmas my mom spent hours making lard from the pigs we raised on my family’s ranch. It is high quality and delicious and if you ever have the chance to try cooking with homemade lard I highly recommend it. That said, butter works perfectly fine in this recipe. You can also substitute different kinds of jelly here; an apricot jam would work great, my sister in law’s mom gave me this pomegranate jelly for Christmas and I’m unfortunately out now, it was so delicious. The seasoning is meant to be quite light and mild so that it still pairs well with the goat cheese and jelly. This is a light yet filling meal perfect after a day in the backcountry.

Lentil + Quinoa Butter Lettuce Wraps
with Pomegranate Jelly, Goat Cheese, Kale + Mustard Greens
½ shallot, chopped
3 pieces of dinosaur kale, chopped
3 pieces mustard greens, chopped
½ cup cooked lentils
½ cup cooked quinoa
Lemon juice
Sea salt
1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Tamari
Drizzle Sesame oil
2 tsp Coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp Homemade lard or butter
Butter leaf lettuce
Goat Cheese
Pomegranate jelly

Method:

Place a tbsp of butter or lard in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add the shallots. Cook for a minute or two and then add the kale and mustard greens. Drizzle the greens with lemon juice and a dash of salt, cover and cook another minute or so. Add the lentils + quinoa, drizzle everything with the rice wine vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, and coconut palm sugar. The seasoning should be quite light. Stir well to mix the flavors, and cook until the lentils and quinoa are slightly crisped.

For assembly: rip off a few of the larger butter lettuce leafs and spoon a small amount of the pomegranate jelly on first, follow with a few spoonfuls of the lentil-quinoa mix, add a few pieces of goat cheese and another little bit of jelly, add cilantro if you have it on hand, wrap up the lettuce leaf and enjoy.

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Soba bowls with Roasted Vegetables

I’ve made this dish twice now in two very different ways and it hasn’t failed to really satisfy this sweet and salty and rich and full but light quality I love in my food. The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook inspired me with the soba bowls with tea-poached salmon recipe, so I followed the sauce and soba part of the recipe and then took it in my own direction. That cookbook is absolutely filled with beautifully photographed creations. This recipe tastes better each day and is wonderful cold. I bring it to work for lunch and joyfully sit down in the sun and eat.

 Soba bowls with Roasted Vegetables (inspired by The Sprouted Kitchen) 

Sauce:
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp tahini
1 large tbsp honey
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp tamari
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside

 1 package soba noodles
½ acorn squash, skin removed and sliced
1 japanese eggplant, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 handful green beans
1 handful kale
1 handful shitake mushrooms
1 bunch broccoli
½ jalapeno, chopped into small pieces
1 ear of corn sliced off the cob
Cilantro
Avocado
Sesame seeds
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Method:

Oven 425. Place the butternut squash and eggplant on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive and salt & pepper. Bake for about seven or so minutes. While the vegetables roast start heating up water in a large pot on the stove. Remove the eggplant and squash from the oven, add the onion, broccoli, green beans, corn and mushrooms to the baking sheet (I used two baking sheets) and return to the oven for another few minutes until they look softened and slightly browned. For the last few minutes add the kale and jalapeno to the baking sheets and cook until the kale is slightly crispy.

Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions and drain thoroughly. In a large bowl mix the noodles with the sauce. Place the noodles in the bowls and top with a generous scoop of the variety of vegetables. Finish the dish with a cilantro garnish, some slices of avocado, a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Portabella filled with Farmer’s Market Vegetables topped with Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

This dish is just exciting to me. I mean it combines a lot of my favorite things; it combines my life and food philosophies. It is simple, diverse, local and colorful. It is beautiful and each bite is a new and different combination. You have the umami richness from the mushroom giving the dish this grounded fullness and then you’ll get a crunch of the cucumber and lightness from cilantro and then a crisp piece of kale or the chewiness of eggplant. And then there is the roasted tomatoes and arugula offering sweetness and bitterness. And there is cheese, of course there is cheese, adding that richness, that depth of flavor and decadence. Oh, and corn, there is corn, and peppers and all kinds of different ingredients I picked up on the farmer’s market on Saturday. If you don’t have all of these ingredients, just modify, if you do, or have even more, incorporate them.

 Portabella filled with Farmer’s Market Vegetables and a Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

1 portabella mushroom
1 small red onion, diced
2 small peppers, sliced
1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced
1 ear of corn taken off the cob
A few stems, or about a cup of kale, stems removed
½ cup cooked quinoa
1 handful cilantro
1 handful arugula
1 lemon
sea salt & pepper
olive oil
Good, spicy salsa
cheese: I used jack and goat cheese

Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

¼ cup cucumber, sliced into small pieces
1 big handful of cilantro, stems removed
¼ cup whole milk yogurt, I used Straus.
Sea salt & pepper
Lemon

Method:

First just prep all of the ingredients and turn the oven to 425.

Then heat up a cast iron on medium-high heat, sauté the onions and eggplant for a minute or two in olive oil, then add the peppers, corn, kale and quinoa. Add a drizzle of oil, salt & pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, cover and cook for several minutes.

Meanwhile wash the portabella, remove the middle stem, and drizzle the mushroom with olive oil, salt & pepper, and some lemon juice. Place the mushroom in a mini cast iron, or other small baking pan, and put it in the oven.

When the veggies are slightly browned, turn the heat off. Take the mushroom out of the oven and fill it with the veggies, not all of mine fit so I saved them as leftovers. Next, add a few dollops of salsa on top of the veggies, then add the diced cheese on top of the salsa. Finally, season with salt & pepper, add some tomatoes to the cast iron, and bake for about seven or so minutes.

While the mushroom bakes, make the cucumber-cilantro sauce. Just mix together the cucumber, cilantro, yogurt, salt & pepper and lemon juice.

During the last few minutes of baking, set the oven to broil. Add a handful of cilantro to the pan, and cook for just a minute or so, until the cheese is browned and the arugula is a little crispy and wilted.

I ate mine right out of the cast iron, topped with the yogurt sauce and plenty of extra cilantro for seasoning. I also added a few slices of avocado and a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.