Monday, 18 September 2017

Picanha Steak with Red Pepper Salsa and Feta

A Brazilian cut of beef, known as a Picanha Steak, served with a crunchy sweet red pepper salsa and salty, creamy feta cheese sprinkled over the top. Beautiful with a side salad, low carb and primal, and totally gluten free. 

I received the steak, along with a small contribution towards the ingredients for this recipe, from Farmer's Choice. Thanks for your support! 

OK so here we have a Brazilian cut of steak eaten with feta cheese. I know that feta cheese isn't very Brazilian, but hear me out. 

Have you ever tried feta cheese and steak together? 

Oh my word. 


Brazilian Picanha Steak with Red Pepper Salsa and Feta


This current obsession started when I went for lunch with my lovely friend Anna, to Wolf in Reading, where they sell pizza, wraps but also salads. And I bought a salad with steak, roasted red peppers, black olives and feta cheese. 

It was SO good. I thought about that salad for days

So when I was looking for a way to cook (and, happily, eat) a Brazilian cut of steak called a Picanha steak, that had been sent to me by the online butcher Farmer's Choice, I just couldn't get peppers and feta out of my mind. 

Crunchy, sweet peppers. Juicy medium-cooked steak. Crumbly, white feta. 

Brazilian Picanha Steak with Red Pepper Salsa and Feta Paleo


The salsa comes from the Argentine salsa we love at home, called Salsa Criolla. Here, I've switched out the garlic and onion to help make this a little bit lower FODMAP for those people looking after that side of things, and added in spring onion for colour and lemon juice for tang. If you have any limes, use the juice of a lime instead, and have some wedges on the table for squeezing over, as you eat. 

I hope you love it. Even my kids love this, and getting them to eat salsa is a plus, because raw veggies. 

Win. 


Brazilian Picanha Steak with Red Pepper Salsa and Feta Low Carb


Picanha Steak 
Serves 2, with leftover salsa
Ingredients
2 medium tomatoes
1 long, pointed sweet red pepper
1 large spring onion
small bunch (about 10g) of fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon, or the juice of 1 lime
pinch of sea salt, to taste
2 picanha steaks, defrosted (I got mine from Farmer's Choice)
pinch of sea salt, for the steak
1 tsp olive oil
a small handful of feta cheese
1 avocado, cubed

Method
First, prepare the salsa. Chop the tomatoes, discarding the jelly-like seeds from the centre, and place into a large cereal-type bowl. Slice the top of the pepper off, and then cut down the centre, vertically. Remove the seeds and then give the pepper a rinse under the cold tap. Chop the pepper up into small pieces and add to the tomato. Slice up the spring onion and chop the parsley. Add to the bowl, and drizzle over the olive oil and the lemon (or lime) juice and season with a pinch of sea salt. Put to one side. 

Dab the steaks with some paper kitchen towel and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Straight away, rub them with a little olive oil and lay them into a hot pan or griddle, to cook for around 3 minutes on each side, for medium rare steak. You might need to cook them separately. When cooked to your liking, lift the steak out of the pan and leave to rest on a plate for 2 minutes or so. 

To serve, get out a sharing board (I use a large wooden chopping board). Slice up the steak (on a separate board) and then arrange over the sharing board, in a line. Spoon the salsa over the top of the steak and crumble over the feta cheese. Scatter over the avocado cubes and finish with a little olive oil, if needed. Serve with lemon or lime wedges to squeeze over as you eat. Great with a side salad or some flatbreads to mop up all the juices from the board. 

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Friday, 15 September 2017

Strawberry, Basil, Prosciutto and Melon Salad

A fresh and aromatic salad with strawberries, prosciutto ham, melon and rocket (arugula). Ideal as a side dish or to eat in a bowl by itself. Great with chicken. 

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I'm pretty much known at home for eating weird things together on my plate. They're not weird, just weird when they're put together. Fruit and meat protein, that kind of thing. You see, they're good for you, and why take time to wash up an extra bowl if you don't need to? All goodness. On the same plate. Raspberries and bacon. Blueberries and salmon (see my ebook for that one). 

I've just become so used to chucking all sorts onto my plate that it doesn't feel weird until one of my kids pokes their head around the back of my chair and goes "Ewwwwww!!" 

But seriously. 

Strawberries and ham is not weird. 



You get melon and ham in posh restaurants as a starter, don't you? And strawberries have a sweet, earthy, complicated flavour that works really well with chicken and also turkey. I love it. 

Although I've tinkered with fruit in my salads before, I decided that I needed a beautiful side salad where everything combined perfectly. I needed sweetness, saltiness, earthiness, bitterness - it all had to work. And I think I've cracked it. 

This works really well with chicken, or take the fruit up a notch with pomegranate arils scattered over. Add a little pomegranate molasses to the olive oil if you like, to make a dressing. Or have it plain with olive oil and a little seasoning, just how I like it. Some chargrilled chicken would be good here, too. 

Let me know what you think. 


Strawberry, Basil, Prosciutto and Melon Salad
Serves 2
Ingredients
2 handfuls of rocket/arugula, washed and shaken dry
8-9 cubes of melon (I used Canteloupe melon)
8-9 strawberries, washed and then cut in half
4 slices Prosciutto ham
small bunch of fresh basil, chopped or torn
2-3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and black pepper, to serve (omit black pepper if you're AIP)

Method
Arrange the rocket/arugula on two serving plates and scatter over the melon cubes and the strawberries. Arrange the Prosciutto slices around in ribbons, across the plate. The salad will taste at its best if you leave it out at room temperature for a little - after even 20 minutes out of the fridge the flavours will warm up slightly and taste stronger and more complex. If you're storing for longer than that, cover and chill in the fridge. 

To finish, scatter over the basil leaves and drizzle over the olive oil. Finish with a pinch of the salt, and the black pepper, if using. 

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Caffeine Free Iced Chicory Coffee Shots

A refreshing caffeine-free iced coffee, made from chicory coffee. Dairy-free and also AIP compliant, too. 

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Summertime vibes. 

We're in the middle of September now, but apart from a few crispy brown leaves rustling about on the ground and a slight chill early in the mornings, the weather's not that bad. It's still warm most of the time and I haven't got my winter coat out yet. This is a good sign. 

And I've been sipping on this: caffeine-free iced coffee. 

OK, it's not really coffee, it's chicory coffee. Chicory coffee is basically ground up, roasted chicory root, and by fantastic chance, it tastes a bit like coffee.  It's mild and kind of sweet and creamy, with a little bitterness. It's credited with some heath benefits, the main one being that it's rich in fibre, which keeps your gut bacteria happy. 



Here, I've made my usual chicory coffee but shook it up with some coconut milk and poured into a glass that I've chinked in ice cubes also made from chicory coffee, for a stronger flavour. If you like though, you can use regular ice cubes for a more subtle taste. 

For a sweetener, you could add some maple syrup, but I generally find I don't need to. The only thing you need to watch for is that when the coconut milk gets cold and mixes with the cold chicory coffee the fats from it can break up into little flake-like bits. I haven't tried it with hemp milk or almond milk, but it would be worth a try. Or, if you drink cow's milk, then give that a try, too. To be honest, I never care about the bits, I just sip away, happily. 😋


Caffeine Free Iced Chicory Coffee Shots
Serves 1
Ingredients
350ml boiling water
1 tablespoon coconut cream, coconut milk or other milk of your choice (see notes above)
1 teaspoon maple syrup, if required (optional)

(3-4 ice cubes, if you're not making your own)

Method
Place the chicory coffee into a jug and carefully pour over the 350ml of boiling water. Allow it to cool. 

Once cooled, pour half the liquid into an ice cube tray and slide into the freezer until set. Transfer the remaining chicory coffee into the fridge. Once the ice cubes are solid, release them from the tray and drop them into a tall-ish shot glass. Stir the cream or milk into the chilled coffee (the coconut milk may solidify here - just give it a good mix or, if you have a lidded container, a good shake). Pour the chilled coffee over the ice cubes and sweeten if needed, with maple syrup. 



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