Spicy Beef Tacos

Tacos are easy, they’re delicious, and they make a simple, on-the-go weeknight dinner.

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 1  cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream (optional)

Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon until it begins to brown.

Add the chile powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to disperse all the seasonings. Continue cooking until beef is cooked through and no pink pieces remain.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas over a gas flame or on a griddle, turning occasionally, then wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.Place tortillas on plates, top with ground beef, cheese, tomato,onion, avocado, cilantro and sour cream if using. Serve immediately

Soba Noodle Broth Bowl

Serves 4

This deeply satisfying, protein-rich bowl is both fresh and earthy. The addition of the egg adds a creaminess that blends perfectly with the broth and noodles.

  • 6 cups beef bone broth
  • 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound grass-fed sirloin steak
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8-10 ounces dried soba noodles
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame or peas
  • 1 baby bok choy, sliced into quarters
  • 2 scallions, for garnish

Place the bone broth, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook without stirring until they release their liquid and start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender and deeply browned all over, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the pan into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same pan, wipe out any leftover bits with a paper towel, then add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Cook the steak until medium-rare, about 3 minutes on each side. Place the steak on a plate and allow to rest. When cool enough to handle, hold a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle and thinly slice the steak across the grain.

Bring the broth back to a boil and add the eggs, cooking them 6-8 minutes. Six minutes will give you a runnier yolk, while 8 minutes will be firmer. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, run cold water over until cool to touch, peel, and set aside.

Return the broth to a boil, adding the soba noodles, edamame and bok choy. Cook until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the steak and allow to warm in the broth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide the broth, noodles, vegetables, and steak among 4 bowls. Top with the mushrooms. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and add to each bowl. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

Whole30 Smoky Sweet Potato Chili

Thanks to our friends at Whole30 for this easy, healthy, and delicious mid-week dinner. If you start it in the morning in the slow cooker, it will be ready and waiting for dinner. Be sure to look for Whole30-compatible tomato products that don’t have any added sugars.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) Whole30-compatible tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Whole30-compatible crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups Whole30-compatible tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt or regular salt
  • Finely chopped red onion (optional for garnish)

In a large skillet, cook the beef over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Drain off the fat.

Transfer the beef to a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, poblano pepper, sweet potatoes, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, vinegar, chile powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, allspice, cayenne, and salt to the cooker.

Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If desired, top servings with chopped onions.

Carne Asada Sandwiches

Carne asada means “grilled meat,” and it’s normally found in tacos and burritos. Here we’ve turned it into a sandwich with grilled peppers and avocado. So messy, but so good! Note: You can also use flank steak if you prefer.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound sirloin steak

Spread:

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2-3 drops hot sauce

Sandwiches:

  • 2 thick slices red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano chile
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ciabatta rolls, split
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, chile powder, black pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Place the steak in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Mix the mayonnaise, lime zest, and hot sauce for the sandwich spread. Refrigerate. 

Heat the grill to high temperature (450°). Remove the steak from the refrigerator.

Brush the onion slices with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place on the grill for 4 minutes per side. While the onions are cooking, roast the red bell pepper and poblano on the grill, turning as the skin blackens and blisters. When done, place in a tightly-covered bowl and set aside. 

Remove the steak from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness (about 3 minutes per side for medium rare). Remove from the grill and tent with foil to allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. 

While the steak is resting, peel the roasted peppers, remove the seeds, and cut into 1-inch chunks.

Slice the steak thinly across the grain. Cover the inside of the rolls with the sandwich spread, then pile high with sliced steak, roasted peppers, grilled onion, and avocado slices.

Note: If you don’t have a grill, you can also cook the steak in a cast iron pan on the stove and roast the peppers under a broiler.

Spicy beef satay

Spicy Beef Satay

Serves 2-4

Satay, or grilled meat on a stick, is a common street food in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Start with a spicy marinade and finish with the traditional peanut sauce for a taste of Southeast Asia. You can adjust the seasonings to your liking by adding more (or reducing the amount of) the cayenne, and if you think it needs more salt, add a little more fish sauce. If you prefer, you can also use flank steak, skirt steak, or hanger steak instead of sirloin. It’s easiest to cut the meat into thin strips if it’s semi-frozen.

  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral vegetable oil
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1 1/2 pounds grassfed sirloin

Make the marinade by whisking together in a medium bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and oil.

Slice the steak across the grain into thin strips. Place in a shallow glass baking dish and pour the marinade over. Make sure each piece of meat is covered completely. Cover and refrigerate for several hours (up to 24).

Preheat the grill to high.  While the grill is heating, soak as many wooden skewers as pieces of meat for 20-30 minutes. Drain.

Thread each piece of beef onto a skewer. Grill to desired doneness, turning once.

Drizzle with Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe follows) and serve over steamed rice.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

This versatile sauce is good on any kind of satay, as well as on steamed vegetables or even tossed with hot noodles. And you can make it to taste. More salt? Add fish sauce. Too sweet? Add lime juice. More spice? Add cayenne.

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Place the peanuts, water, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and coconut milk into the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more coconut milk. Serve over any kind of satay, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.