Friday, April 23, 2010

Spicy Southwestern "Steak" Salad, a rainy race day, and a sick puppy

Looks like a wet, stormy weekend has begun. Paul is running the Derby Festival Mini-marathon this morning with about 15,000 of his closest friends. Sadly, I am not running it this year. Stepped in a hole in the back yard on Easter Sunday playing badminton and badly strained my calf muscle. There are more races to come, but this one is special and I hate missing it. Praying that the storms hold off for another few hours and that all the runners finish safely.

***UPDATE ON THE RACE: Paul finished i
n 2:47. This by the man who used to weigh over 430 pounds!! SO proud of him!!!

One of our po
odles, Winston, has been having nosebleeds off and on for the past year. He had a massive bleed on Thursday and scared me to death. The vet can't find a tumor or any other cause for the bleeding. Mostly it has been an inconvenience because he sneezes blood all over the place, but this one was different. He is 12 years old, but is so healthy in every other way. Worries me. I love my fur babies......

Top - my sweet Winston. Above - Winston interrupting Paul's daily crunches.

Okay, on to a brighter note.

Here is the first of at least a couple of recipes that I will be sharing using Delight Soy products. If you have ever eaten vegan General Tso’s Chicken, vegan Beef and Broccoli, or vegan Southwest Steak Salad from Whole Foods’ salad/hot bar, then you are already familiar with these products. I did not know until recently that you can special order them from their deli department. Check these products out at this website:

Here are some observations about these products:
  • I had to order in advance (2-3 days) and in bulk. I ended up with 5 pounds of popcorn chicken and 3 pounds of sliced beef. Both came frozen.
  • The popcorn chicken comes with or without General Tso’s sauce. I originally ordered it without the sauce, but when I got home, I found that they had given me the product with sauce. I wasn’t very happy about that, but I made my own sauce anyway and added it when I made the General Tso’s. It was still yummy. I will be blogging about that recipe on another post, hopefully within the next few days.
  • This stuff ain’t cheap. I paid $8.99 a pound for both the chicken and beef products. It’s worth it, however, if you have a special meal to prepare or just want to treat yourself!
  • I like the popcorn chicken much better than the beef. That isn’t to say the beef isn’t good. In fact, both products are so much like the real thing I have to keep reminding myself that it is not a dead animal! The recipe I am posting this time uses the beef, although I am sure you could use the chicken instead – we had already eaten up all the chicken when I made this and I needed to finish up the beef.
I made two batches of this. Paul loved it and says it’s “ReneĆ© at her very best – tasty, spicy, pretty, healthy, and very filling.” Awww…. thanks sweetie…….

You can substitute tofu, seitan, or even marinated tempeh for the sliced beef. But I recommend trying the sliced beef at least once! Try to make the vinaigrette a day in advance so the flavors can meld.

Spicy Southwestern Steak Salad

16 oz. Delight Soy sliced beef (or substitute of your choice)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
*2 cups roasted corn kernels, fresh or frozen will work
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced, with green parts
8 oz grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 head romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
1-2 heads red leaf lettuce (depending on size), torn into bite sized pieces

Spicy Vinaigrette
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 limes
**½ tsp chipotle chili powder
**½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion granules
1 heaping tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs dried cilantro
2 tsp salt

In a 9” x 13” glass baking dish, combine all the salad ingredients except for the lettuce. Toss to combine well. Set aside.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar with screw-on lid or in one of those make-it-at-home bottles that come with packaged dry salad dressing mixes. Shake vigorously until emulsified.

Pour ½ of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat everything. Reserve the rest for serving at the table. Cover and chill for a couple of hours, if possible. Note: some diced avocado would be fabulous on this. Although I adore avocado, I am severely allergic to it, so you won't see it in anything I make. So sad......

Garnish with toasted slivered almonds. Serve over the lettuce with the extra dressing on the side.

*To roast the corn, preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly spray a baking pan with non-stick spray. Spread the kernels out in a single layer in the pan and roast until brown. It should take 10-12 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t burn! Alternately, roast the corn on top of the stove in a dry cast iron skillet.

**If you prefer less heat, use 1tsp of regular chili powder plus a tiny pinch of cayenne. The chipotle and ancho chili powders, however, give it a wonderfully smoky taste and smell!

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