Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner

Mixed Green Apple Salad
Steak with Pan Seared Tomatoes
Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar
Paleo Brownies with Mixed Berry Sauce and Rasberries

Get ready for tomorrow. This steak dish is outstanding! I found it online at and modified it. You can put it together in half an hour. I tried it out last night and previewed the flavors. The fresh herbs and tomatoes compliment the heavier taste of the steak and fried garlic. You can substitute any cut of steak that you like the best. (The thicker, the better.)  The recipe, of course, is for two people. All the recipes are below:

Mixed Green Apple Salad

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
½ large apple, cored, cut into thin slices
8 walnut halves, chopped

Arrange greens on plates. Top with apple slices and walnuts. Mix vinegar, oil, and agave nectar or honey and spoon over salad.

Steak with Pan Seared Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Porterhouse steaks
1 teaspoon of sea salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
1 container of cherry tomatoes (multi-colored if you’re impressing someone!)
3 large thyme sprigs
½ cup coarsely torn basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat until it shimmers.

Meanwhile, pat steaks dry and sprinkle with salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Sear steaks 1 at a time, turning once, until well browned. Transfer steaks to a shallow baking pan (do not clean skillet) and cook in oven until almost desired doneness. Transfer to a platter and let stand 15 minutes. Steak will continue to cook for several minutes.

Pour oil out of skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add tomatoes and thyme to hot oil (be careful; oil will spatter), then lightly season with salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, just until tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in any meat juices from platter, then scatter basil over tomatoes and spoon over steaks.

Grilled Asparagus

12 Asparagus
1 tsp olive oil or olive oil spray
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt

Heat a skillet on stove. Brush or spray asparagus with olive oil. Grill until tender and lightly charred. Spoon on balsamic vinegar and a little sea salt.

Coconut Brownies

8 ounces almond butter
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (Running it through the food processor first will make the brownies easier to cut into squares.)
2 eggs
8 ounces unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional for a sweeter taste)
1½ teaspoons. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

*Optional: Defrost some frozen mixed berries. Cook them on the stove with a tiny bit of agave nectar, mashing the berries as they warm. Cool.

Grease an 8x8 pan. (Line with parchment paper if you have it.) With mixer, blend all ingredients together. Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes. Test to see if brownies are done by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, the brownies are done. These are better if they are slightly undercooked.

Let brownies cool completely. Slice and serve. Spoon over berry sauce if desired, and top with a few fresh rasberries.

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