Blood Orange Salad, minus the blood oranges

I’ve been wanting to try this Blood Orange Salad, but I missed blood orange season. But I decided it was worth a try with a regular orange. George is going to be home on the late side tonight, so I could get away with just a salad for dinner. The little guy just asked for a second helping of bell pepper slices, so apparently he was in need of some veggies too!

The salad is good. Great?  Maybe, with a more flavorful orange and crisper endive (bought the endive over the weekend, and it didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked).  I definitely will try it again with blood oranges, since I love the color combo – but until then, I’m not sure I’ll make this one again. I do love the fact that it makes dressing for one, though. I almost never buy salad dressing anymore, since homemade is SO much better – but homemade dressings just don’t endure in the fridge very long. I need to find more dressing recipes that I can easily cut in half or thirds! Suggestions, anyone?

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Steak Frites

Tonight’s menu: marinated flank steak and sweet potato fries rather than traditional steak frites – but still yummy. It’s COLD here, so the flank steak was broiled, rather than grilled – but the marinade had a nice, summery flavor so we could pretend! I got the following recipe from Our Best Bites: Sweet and Savory Flank Steak.  The sweet potato fry recipe came from here: Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

First, the fries. I’m always trying to find a good sweet potato fry recipe. They just never get crispy enough before the ends turn too black. I saw one tonight on My New Roots that I really want to try – it calls for tossing the sweet potatoes in cornmeal – but I didn’t have any handy and couldn’t find any at the closest grocery store, so those will have to wait for another time. Tonight’s turned out pretty well – still a little black in parts and soggy in other parts, but some turned out golden and crisp, just the way I hoped. Charlie ate every one one his plate, which is a HUGE victory at our house where my kid regularly skips entire meals.

The steak was good too – but a bit too sweet for my taste. My mom made a chuck roast when we were growing up that had similar ingredients, but I don’t recall whether it had any brown sugar – and I don’t remember it being overly sweet. I liked the way the sugar bubbled under the broiler and added some crispness to the steak, but it was just too much. I think I’d cut the sugar a lot if I were to make this recipe again. But again, Charlie ate every little bite of the steak I cut him. The only thing on his plate he didn’t eat was the jasmine rice, which is fine with me, since that has the least nutritional value of anything I served.

Conclusion: I think we’re going to be eating a lot of baked sweet potato fries around here. I love that something as full of vitamin goodness as the yam is also something my son eats without the least complaint. Not to mention that they’re baked, rather than fried, and that there are lots of spices I can add to vary them a bit.

As for the flank steak, well, I’m going to eat the leftovers for sure, but I think I’ll try a slightly more savory recipe next time.

A little more on the vegan recipes…

So the wheat berry salad was delicious!  It’s sweet, but not overly so, and the textures are great. I will be making it again very soon – I think it would be great to take to work for lunch.

The butternut squash soup was very good too. I think I would try it again with different spice combinations or more curry – I would have liked it to have a little kick or a bit of crunch or something.

Starting fresh

One of my goals for 2013 is to try at least one new recipe a week. As a full-time working mom with an almost 5-year-old who prefers chicken nuggets to all other foods and a husband who has discerning tastes (I didn’t say picky!), I have fallen into a rut of cooking the same stuff week after week. Putting something new on the table only to have it panned or totally avoided (Charlie) is a bit discouraging, but I’m ready to start fresh and force the issue – at least once a week!

I’ve also been struggling to find a way to save the recipes I like.  I tried one of those pinning websites for about 5 minutes, but the social networking aspect was overly distracting. I just need a way to log what I’ve tried, whether it’s worth making again, and any changes I’d make.  A recipe blog seems like a good way to log my successes and failures, so here goes!

Recipe #1 – Caramelized Brussels Sprouts from Eat, Live, Run: http://www.eatliverun.com/caramelized-brussels-sprouts/

Last night, George was out and Charlie wanted leftover pasta – so I could try something just for me. I’m trying to up my vegetable intake and eat a little less meat, and this recipe seemed hearty enough that I could skip the main course.  A dinner of sides works for me!

Pros:

  • Chopped sprouts!  I realized I far prefer brussels sprouts chopped.  Sometimes the whole or halved ones can be a little mushy in the middle, even when roasted – but these were fresh, green and crisp.
  • They were hearty – they’d make a very filling side course, and were great on their own. The pecans added good protein and a nice crunch.

Cons: They were far too sweet for my taste.

Make again?  Yes, definitely.

Recipe variation?  Next time I will be cutting the sugar in half – and I expect to love the result.