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My favorite kind of dinner

I’ve been wanting to share this healthy supper with you. It is quick to do as well, taking 45 minutes or so, from start to finish.

On debate night, this past Monday, I made the following dinner. One plate, eaten in front of the TV.
Sirloin steak salad with snow peas, sweet potato, daikon radish, yellow pepper, cherry or grape heirloom tomatoes, scallions and homemade salad dressing with Dijon mustard, Sherry vinegar, and extra virgin olive oilThis really is my kind of dinner. I love salads. I eat one every day for lunch and I really think there is something to eating raw foods. I think they provide a very different kind of healthy eating. Heat must surely transform the vitamins and minerals and eating anything that you can in its purist form, raw, must be healthier for you.

We once met with a prospective client who was trying to introduce a raw health bar into the marketplace and wanted our help in packaging and marketing it. Carol Alt, the famous fashion model, was a big devotee of this. So maybe, if I eat enough raw food, I’ll look like her???
Sirloin steak salad ingredients including snow peas, yellow pepper, scallions, and cherry or grape heirloom tomatoes on a wooden cutting board.I hope you enjoy this. And don’t forget to add LOVE while you’re making it. After a day like Thursday, the world certainly needs a lot more love and you can add to it by making and serving nourishing, healthy meals, filled with love.

SIRLOIN STEAK SALAD
- serves 2

1/2 – 3/4 of a head of Boston lettuce, washed and spun dry, or use as much lettuce as you like
1 handful of snow peas, cleaned and blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, drained and cooled in ice water and then drained and patted dry
3/4 – 1 lb. boneless sirloin steak
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes, tossed with 1 tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes
1-1/2” piece of daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
1/2 of a yellow pepper, cut in thin strips
10 cherry or grape heirloom tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
2 scallions, cleaned and thinly sliced

SALAD DRESSING
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbs. Sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Prepare your sweet potatoes and get them in the oven. Meanwhile, clean the snow peas and blanch, drain, put in an ice bath to stop the cooking, drain again and pat dry. Wash and dry the lettuce and chill in the refrigerator. Prepare all the other vegetables. Now your potatoes should be tender and done. Keep them warm.

Wash and dry your steak and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Turn broiler on high and broil 4-5 minutes per side to your liking of doneness.

While the steak is cooking, make the salad dressing. Whisk together the mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in droplets until all is emulsified and combined.

When the steak is done, remove it to a platter and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes.

Lay out the lettuce leaves on the bottom of two plates. In a circular fashion around the edge of the lettuce, distribute the snow peas, sweet potatoes, yellow pepper and tomatoes. Tuck the daikon radish slices underneath the lettuce on the outer edge of the plate. Thinly slice the steak and lay out in the center of all the beautiful vegetables. Drizzle the salad dressing on top. Finish with a sprinkling of sliced scallions.

Birthday dinner!

Crab cakes and lettuce on white dinner plates.

Crab cake on a Boston lettuce leaf with organic watercress and chipotle mayo

Birthdays are always very special in our house. I am happy to cook a magnificent meal of the celebrated’s choice, served at the dining room table with china, crystal and sterling. However, this year, my oldest son requested a surprise. Dinner was to be of my choosing, so here’s what I made:

Appetizers:
A cheese board with a variety of cheeses, dried apricots and walnuts

First course:
Crab cake on a bed of Boston lettuce and organic watercress with chipotle mayonnaise (search this blog for the recipe)

Main course:
Center cut pork chop with a grape and tarragon sauce (a Food and Wine recipe)
Homemade gnocchi with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a Food and Wine recipe) – this was divine!
Roasted asparagus with olive oil and fresh mint (my simple recipe)

Dessert
Vanilla pots with fresh strawberries (a Mark Bittman recipe)

Food and Wine's pork chop, gnocchi and roasted asparagus on a white plate.

Our evening was just great – a special time for just us to catch up on each others lives, watch funny You Tube videos together and of course it ended with viewing the return of Mad Men.

You know, it’s always wonderful to do a special dinner for just your family. When the kids were young, we used to do this every Sunday night. My husband insisted on this tradition, saying that we often entertained our friends specially and why shouldn’t we do it just for us. It gave us a time to regroup before starting the week and taught the boys how to behave at an elegant dinner. The conversation was slower and more interesting, providing a time for all of us to unwind. I hope you do this with your family, creating wonderful stories and memories along the way.