theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Flank Steak Marinade June 22, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat — theboxexperiment @ 10:40 pm
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It was taco night and who doesn’t love taco’s? Well we had ground turkey AND we had some flank steak that was calling our names. So we made both and had way more taco fixin’s than 3 people should ever have. The flank steak turned out fantastic. So fantastic only JEM put it in taco’s, AbEm and I ate it on its own without all the extras.  It is so simple to make and so very very good.

Ingredients

  • flank steak
  • 1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbs green onion (optional)
  • tabasco to taste (optional)
Steps
  1. Score the steak.
  2. If you didn’t buy a clean piece of steak you will need to clean it- this means cutting off as much fat, skin, and veins that you can. Not removing as much excess can leave you with a tougher piece of meat.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, olive oil, thyme, lemon, onion, and tabasco.
  4. Put the steak in a plastic zip lock bag (for easy clean up) or into a sealable dish.
  5. Pour in the marinade, make sure the marinade hits every part of the steak.
  6. Store in refrigerator for about 4 hours (or as close to it as possible!)
  7. Grill for 4-5 minutes total (2.5 mins per side). Keep a close eye on it, this is a thin cut of meat and will cook very quickly.
  8. Let rest for 10 mins before cooking. This will help them meat retain some of it yummy juices.
  9. Cut on the diagonal, across the grain, about 1/4 inch slices. This is very important-cutting the meat wrong will lead to tough pieces that you won’t want to eat.
  10. Enjoy
 

Pasta w/ Meatballs! May 8, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Poutlry — theboxexperiment @ 9:18 pm
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. We celebrated the day working on the house and then we headed over to be with JEM’s sister’s family and my in-laws. To help keep the day easy for both mom’s we offered to cook dinner. Keepin’ it easy and yummy we made meatballs, fettucine, and garlic bread. Tonight I used store-bought sauce to save time, but it is better with homemade sauce, though I’ll save that for a future post.

Ingredients (for 6 plus 2 babies)

  • 2 1/2 lbs meatloaf mix (could substitute ground chicken or turkey but the spices might need to be adjusted)
  • 1 box spaghetti/fettucine/linguine/pasta on hand
  • 1/4 of a large Vidalia onion (chopped small)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4-1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tbls dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbls dried basil
  • 1 tbls dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce of choice (we used Spicy tomato and basil)
Steps:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*.
  2. Mix meat, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and all the spices together.
  3. Ball the meat into sizes of your choice I tend to like them bigger, JEM likes small, so we compromise and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350* for 3o mins. Half way through flip them over.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, boil water for the pasta (salt and oil if you want–I always do).
  6. Once the water is boiling add the pasta.
  7. Also while the meatballs are baking, start heating the sauce on med-low.
  8. Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce. Allow them to finish baking in the sauce, if needed, otherwise allow the flavors to combine (I always keep them in there for 10-15 mins).
  9. Once everything is cooked, ENJOY!
 

Fire Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Chili February 24, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 9:52 pm
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JEM and I  both got home early tonight but started right in on doing lots of back up work. We decided to whip up a yummy fire roasted  tomato and red pepper chili. It was a first but definitely has been added to list of family recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and de-seeded
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 Roma tomatoes, halved (Or 1 14-oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 spice y sausages, remove skin
  • 1 13.5-oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8oz can tomato paste

Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar

Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cilantro

Steps

  1. Cut the Roma’s in half
  2. Quarter and de-seed the red pepper
  3. Place cut tomatoes and red peppers (on tin foil) on baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle EVOO on all veggies.
  5. Place under broiler until blackened.
  6. In a large chili pot, add tomatoes, beans, onion and pepper.
  7. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 mins (until the onion is translucent and the beans are tender).
  8. Add sausage (preferably de-cased), tomato paste, garlic and spices.
  9. Simmer until the meat is cooked (**This turns out very thick, so we added ~1 c. water to get the consistency to where we like it)
  10. Enjoy!!

 

Stuffed Bell Peppers February 13, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:29 pm
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Both JEM and I enjoy holidays devoted to love, we both like the idea of a day to show each other, above the norm, how much you love them. But we are in no way attached to date itself.  So we’ve decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or at least the “fancy” dinner part of it, a night early. We’re celebrating with some nice red wine (Imagine by Gadino Cellars) from a local Virginia winery. We go to a wine and polo festival in The Plains every year and found this red that I liked, a rare event (we also found a white that JEM likes, also rare).

Along with the fancy red wine, and perhaps champagne if things get really crazy for a Sunday night, we’ll be having Stuffed Bell Peppers. They are a fantastically easy complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. of cooked rice
  • 1/2 lb of hamburger or meatloaf mix
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion
  • oregano
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 good-sized bell peppers that will stand up on their own (you can also slice little slivers off the base so they’ll stand flat)
  • Italian-y cheese of choice
  • Tomato Sauce

Steps

  1. Prep rice following the directions on package
  2. Heat a skillet, add the onion and hamburger
  3. Season with the spices to taste (probably somewhere between 1/2-1 tsp of each)
  4. Cook the hamburger and onion till the hamburger is brown
  5. Once both have cooked, mix the hamburger mix, the rice, and ~1/3 c. of pasta sauce
  6. Cut the tops off the bells, remove seeds and the ribs. Save the tops (or “hats”)
  7. Pour ~1/2 c. of pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish
  8. Fill the peppers with the rice hamburger mix
  9. Place the peppers in the baking dish. Top the peppers with their hats.
  10. Cook for 20-30 mins.
  11. Remove hats, add cheese and cook for an extra 5 mins or until golden brown (after 5 mins our cheese had melted but there was no goldening, so we broiled them for about 2 mins–highly recommended, just keep a close eye!)
  12. Let sit for a few minutes.
  13. Mangia!

Could easily be made into a vegetarian dish by replacing the meat with eggplant/zucchini/tofu.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew February 5, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 2:47 pm
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Sometimes you want to make an awesome meal with as little work as possible, that’s when you turn to the slow cooker!! JEM and I received one for our wedding, but we haven’t used it for much (2 berry cobblers and a stew). I have these super fond memories of having beef stew as a kid. It was one of my favorite meals when camping. I think the best part was the dumplings…bread soaked with gravy = AWESOME. I suspect this could easily be given a vegetarian twist–replace the meat with root veggies, eggplant, meat-substitute or lentils, something of similar weight and protein content, and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

It’s a gross, damp, cold day here. Neither JEM or are I feeling great. We had furniture delivered so we’ve got a lot on our plates already. That means, if you haven’t already guessed, it’s slow cooker beef stew day!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped

Dumplings

  • 1 1/2 c. bisquick
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sage (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary (optional)

Stew

  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

Dumplings (on top of the Stew)

  1. (about 40 mins till serving)Mix the bisquick, milk, and herbs until just moistened.
  2. Drop by the spoonful on top of the stew.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 25-35 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Serve