Deliciously Simple Steak (Beef) Salads

            Every now and then (at least 2 days a week) I want EASY for dinner. No I am not talking about the swing by the favorite kosher take out place or fresh from the freezer kind of easy. I’m talking about the how I can make it in less than 20 minutes and still feel like I’m serving something nutritious and delicious and not selling my culinary soul to expediency kind of easy. Since I always have salad stuff on hand I know that adding a protein like beef or chicken or fish to the mix is the best way to round out the “quickie” meal. While chicken is usually the meat of choice I have been using more and more beef.

            Beef? Did she say beef?  Hasn’t beef been a food non gratis for the past couple of years? Why would she say beef?

            Relax, I promise not to steer you wrong (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) Beef, in moderation, is actually very good for you. Beef today is much leaner than in the past due to advances in breeding, cattle feed and the way supermarkets prepare it. Yes, beef contains fat, including saturated fat, and cholesterol, but we all need some fat in our diets. What most people don’t know is that lean, and the key word here lean, beef has eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc and three times more iron than a skinless chicken breast. Chicken has its good points but it’s time to add just a little more variety to our meals.

            The following salads all combine fun combinations of beef, greens and or pasta as well as amazing dressing that will have your family asking you to do beef and easy more often.

NOTE; While I use the generic term steak in most recipes know that I am referring to any cut of beef that can be grilled or broiled and does not need to be extensively marinated to make it tender.

NOTE: You can always substitute bison steak for beef steak if you want an even leaner cut of meat.

 

TEX MEX TACO SALAD
This Tex-Mex version of a chef’s salad is really a meal all by itself.

1 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water
2-3 cups tortilla chips
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 cup dressing*

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup salsa

Make the dressing: In a bowl combine the mayonnaise and salsa. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a skillet saute the beef and garlic together until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Add the water and simmer uncovered over low heat until the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, arrange the tortilla chips on a large serving platter or Individual plates and place the lettuce on top.  Add the beef mixture followed by the onion, tomato, avocado, black olives and jalapeno peppers. Serve the dressing on the side.  Serves 4 to 6.

ASIAN BEEF SALAD

1 lb. steak

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon lime, juice

2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

4 teaspoon minced ginger, root

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Asian chili paste

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

8 cup torn red leaf lettuce

2 cup snow peas

1 sweet red pepper, thinly, sliced

1/2 small English cucumber

1 cup beans, sprouts

1 tablespoon balsamic or rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoon olive oil

Place steak in large shallow dish. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, lime juice, hoisin sauce, ginger, sherry, garlic, chili paste and sesame oil. Whisk to combine and then pour the mixture over the meat, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but you can do this before work in the morning and it will be ready to go when you get home. When ready to prepare the salad place lettuce in large salad bowl. In saucepan of boiling water, cook snow peas for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain and chill under cold running water; drain again and pat dry. Add the snow peas to salad bowl. Add the red pepper. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise; slice thinly crosswise and add to bowl. Add bean sprouts. Reserving the marinade, place the steak on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, 6 inches from heat, turning once, for about 10 minutes or until medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and tent it with foil; let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring reserved marinade to boil; boil gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vinegar and sugar; gradually whisk in olive oil. Let dressing cool slightly. Slice meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices; add to the salad bowl. Pour the dressing over top; toss gently to coat lightly and serve. Serves 4

THAI BEEF SALAD

Just a hint of peanut flavor combined with the chilies makes this salad really special.
 

1 pound steak
scant oil for frying
bag of fancy salad greens
4 green onions, finely sliced on the diagonal

For the dressing
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated root ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon oil
2 red or green chillies, sliced into rings and deseeded
1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint leaves
 

English cucumber for garnish

Lime juice for garnish

Pepper for garnish

Heat a film of oil in a small frying pan and fry the fillet for 4–5 minutes each side until it is well browned on the outside and medium rare in the middle. Cook for slightly longer if you prefer it well done. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Place the salad greens in a salad bowl and set it aside. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well. Slice the beef into thin strips and place them in a bowl, pour half of the dressing over the meat. Toss to coat and set aside. Pour the rest of the dressing over the salad greens and toss to coat. Arrange the salad on 4 individual plates. Lay the strips of beef on top of the greens and sprinkle the sliced green onions over the top. Serve with a cucumber ribbon salad made by slicing a cucumber lengthways with a potato peeler into long, wide strips.  Drizzle with a little extra lime juice, salt and black pepper. Serves 3 to 4

BEEF SALAD WITH POTATO CRISPS

1 medium potato

Nonstick spray coating

Garlic salt, onion salt, or salt

3 tablespoons apricot preserves; or orange marmalade

2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 cups torn mixed greens

6 ounces sliced cooked beef cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 1 cup) (you can use deli meat)

2 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips (1 cup), or 1 cup jicama cut into julienne strips

2   green onions, sliced (1/4 cup), or 2 tablespoons chopped onion

 For potato crisps: Preheat oven to 450. Cut potato into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick coating. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on baking sheet and lightly sprinkle them with garlic salt, onion salt or salt. Bake in a 450 for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from baking sheet. Cool 10 minutes. For the dressing: in a small mixing bowl stir together the apricot preserves or orange marmalade, oil, vinegar, water; and pepper. Mix to combine and let stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes.

 Divide mixed greens evenly among 2 individual plates. Arrange the slices of beef on the plates on top of the greens and then decorate with the potato crisps, carrot or jicama strips, and onion. Stir the dressing and drizzle it over the salads. Makes 2 servings. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

GINGER BEEF SALAD

Beef and slaw combination is really different and really crunchy

Dressing:

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

pepper, to taste

Salad:

8 ounces rare cooked steak or roast beef, thinly sliced

4 ounces cooked/drained vermicelli or spaghetti pasta, broken into 3″ pieces,

1 cup pea pods, halved

1 cup shredded cabbage, red

1/2 cup carrot slices, sliced very thin

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, sliced, drained

In a bowl combine the oil, cider vinegar, sugar, grated ginger and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a salad bowl combine the Combine the steak pasta, pea pods, cabbage, carrots, green onions and water chestnuts. Pour the dressing over salad and toss lightly. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
Serves 4.

SHELL PASTA AND BEEF SALAD

1 pound Orzo, Small Shells or other small pasta shape, uncooked

2 cups roast beef from the deli, cubed

3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 cup chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup finely chopped green onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint (optional)

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste  

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain again. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, beef, tomatoes, zucchini, parsley, onion and mint. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients; whisk well. Toss dressing with pasta mixture. Salt to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8

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