Summer Solstice Surf & Turf

Last night Bobby and I celebrated the end of this week + the summer solstice with a delicious home-cooked surf & turf dinner. And I even made it to yoga beforehand (Friday Night Flow @ Pure Yoga).

surf-n-turf

I posted this on Instagram (@magpie707) last night. It’s a small piece of filet migon (right), scallops & shrimp, and a side of kale + shiitake mushrooms. The recipes were all super simple. They aren’t even recipes, really.

Filet Mignon:

  • olive oil
  • steak (this one was small – 3.5 ounces. it’s about 2cm thick.)
  • butter (optional)

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Drizzle your steak with olive oil on both sides, and also put a little in the pan. Cook the steak ~3-4 minutes on each side (3 on each side is medium; 4 on each side is done – I did about 3.5 on each side). Done! Serve with a pat of butter on top (optional).

Shrimp & Scallops:

  • big scallops (I did 5)
  • big, cleaned shrimp (6)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and put some olive oil in the pan. Cook the shrimp & scallops about 2.5 minutes on each side. Done!

Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms Asian Style:

  • olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 head of red kale
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar (I used a cherry infused one)

Wash and dry the kale. Chop the mushrooms and kale. Heat a wok to high heat and add the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and sesame oil (2-3 teaspoons). Add the mushrooms and kale. Add garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn it to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender (stirring occasionally). Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir it around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more salt, if it needs it.

All told, this meal cost about $31 from the grocery store. (Filet mignon = $7, scallops = $14, shrimp = $3.50, organic kale = $2.50, organic mushrooms = $4.) A little pricey for 2 people, but much cheaper than it would be at a restaurant! I’m not including the cost of the pantry items I already had (olive oil, salt, etc…).

Bobby had the steak (I had a bite) and we split the rest, but I got an extra scallop. He was a very happy husband ­čÖé

Do you like surf & turf? What’s the most expensive meal you cook at home?

Fun Food Friday

Time for some Friday Fun Foods!

Here is a vegetarian breakfast:

  • pita + tomato + avocado + cheese (grilled)

A vegetarian lunch:

  • pita French toast (whole eggs + almond milk + cinnamon), honey, cream cheese
  • spinach sauteed in butter + cream cheese

And a pescatarian shrimpalicious dinner:

  • 2 sweet potatoes cut into fries with coconut oil and ketchup
  • shrimp and spinach cooked in butter and peanut dressing

Sometimes I think my blog should be called “Better With Butter”. Do you have funny blog-name ideas? (For your blog or for mine.)

I am off for some R&R. And Burn Notice.

Happy Friday! (I have a bunch of great Saturday Links for tomorrow, so come back in a day.)

Recipe: Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Don’t forget about the hot sauce discount and the free yoga mat giveaway. Now…

One of my favorite meals is what I call a “hot-cold salad“. It consists of a raw lettuce base and it’s topped with some stir-fry variation. This is the one I made a few nights ago.

Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • handful of alfalfa sprouts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cups sprouts (I think they are soy bean sprouts; I get them in the Asian market)
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup frozen shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter OR PB2
  • dressing – hot sauce and hoisin (wish I had Korean red sauce), chipotle ranch dressing
  • base – 1 head of romaine for me; white rice for Bobby

Method

  1. Chop the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts. Set aside.
  2. Heat the peanut oil (other oil is okay, but peanut has a wonderful flavor) over high heat in a wok. Cook the chopped onions for about a minute. Add the soybean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, and cooked shrimp (I use frozen). Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the OJ (optional), soy sauce, and peanut butter. Cook until the OJ evaporates.
  4. Remove from heat and toss in the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.
  5. Top with any dressing you want (hoisin, Korean red sauce, Chipotle ranch, etc…).
  6. Serve over rice (Bobby) or lettuce (Maggie).

I loved it. So yummy! I ate more of it than Bobby did, and my mom was actually up in the city taking care of us (last week when we were sick) and she tried it too (and liked it a lot).

This hot-cold salad is very good for you – peanut oil is a healthy fat, shrimp are lean protein, tons of veggies provide fiber, and it’s colorful. A trick my old ballet teacher taught me is that in order to eat a balanced diet, eat a variety of colors.

Do you ever make hot-cold salads?

P.S. I’ll give you that update I owe you tomorrow… ­čÖé

Vietnamese Food Favorites

Two huge things happened this week.

One: I finally got over the flu.

Two: I have more time to blog again. Maybe daily. And maybe even comment on all of your beautiful blogs.

Anyway, I’ll explain more later. Here are my eats for the day (this first picture is from last summer’s juice days):

Breakfast was a green juice with lemon and ginger from The Health Nuts. Yes, this juice is $5.99 (a large), but that’s actually cheap when you consider the fact that The Blueprint Cleanse is about $75 per day (6 juices – one of which is simply water, lemon juice, agave, and cayenne pepper).

After breakfast I did a killer kickbox workout from Netflix (you can work out when you’re sick as long as the cold is just in your head – this made me feel better). It’s called 10 Minute Solution – Kickbox Bootcamp. The workout was good, but I didn’t like the instructor that much.

After I did this one I did a few minutes of Crunch: Super Slimdown which I really liked. I’ll definitely finish it tomorrow. It’s a combination of yoga and pilates (so far). This instructor, Ellen Barret, had a gorgeous figure.

Both of these videos are free with Netflix streaming. We have an XBox hooked up to the television so I can stream them right to the tv. We don’t even get cable anymore because Netflix is easier and cheaper. (And cheaper than a gym membership.)

Lunch was a salad ordered out from Cafe Metro: romaine base, smoked tofu, egg whites, avocado, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, mandarin orange, mushrooms, onions, roasted peppers, sliced beets, and sprouts. I got it chopped with dressing on the side – Chipotle Ranch. It also came with a whole wheat bun, which I had a little later.

Lunch dessert – these chocolate powerberry things from Trader Joe’s. Just a handful. Or two.

For dinner we went out to Thai Son in Chinatown, which is actually Vietnamese. I got the papaya salad – green papaya, shrimp, peanuts, and the Vietnamese dressing with fish sauce. I had some of Bobby’s beef pho as well. This is my ultimate favorite meal.

Dessert – Chinatown cherries. Two pounds for $3. Now they are gone.

My brother is coming into the city tomorrow to get lunch so that should be fun. I also scheduled a facial now that I’m over the flu.

If you had to eat one meal forever, what would it be? Mine would be papaya salad. I don’t even think this would be a hardship for me.

Recipe: Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

For vegans, sub in tofu for the shrimp. Yes, it’s that easy.

(Instead of eating out last night according to the plan, we ate in.)

After this meal Bobby said, “I guess we don’t have to go out for Vietnamese anymore.” This meal was better than most Vietnamese restaurants we have found in the city. It cost about $5 for everything (that’s overestimating), which is much cheaper than eating out in New York.

As an alternative dressing you can add on a peanut sauce – mix together peanut butter, hoisin, rice vinegar, and fish sauce – heavy on the peanut butter – and you will have a really fabulous topper. We used that in addition to the dressing below because I prepared the peanut dressing for a side dish.

Maggie’s Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce (romaine is fine too), chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 servings Asian noodles (I used ramen – real ramen, not the dorm food) (vermicelli are great too)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1.5 cups frozen cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped

Dressing ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or lime)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Make the dressing by stirring all dressing ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan on high heat. Add the garlic and onions; saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the shrimp and saute for another minute or 2. If the shrimp is uncooked, cook until they are done through. Remove from heat.
  3. Cook the noodles as directed on the package, then rinse with cool water until they are room temperature. Drain, but not too much (sometimes noodles can dry out depending on what kind you used).
  4. Mix together the lettuce, cilantro, scallions, and noodles; top with the shrimp mix. Add the dressing.
  5. Eat!

I served this with spring rolls (recipe will come tomorrow). Here is my old spring roll recipe.