Happy Friday lovelies! This week has been super crazy, but I can’t wait to fill y’all in on everything that’s going on next week. For this meal plan Taylor and I decided to make a little heartier meals that would be great for not only yourself, but any guests you might be cooking for. We added one red meat that is so so yum and a great chicken salad that you can pack for lunches. I hope you enjoy this meal plan, it’s been so much fun finding new foods to bring to your home every week. So let’s get cookin’!
GRILLED FLANK STEAK with SUN DRIED TOMATO ORZO & SPINACH SALAD
Serves 1 (dinner tonight & leftovers another night)
Serving Size: 2 – 3 oz. flank steak + 1/4 – 1/2 cup orzo + 1/2 cup spinach salad
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing (enough to cover & marinate the steak)
- 1/2 cup dry orzo
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated per package directions & chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh dill
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons diced yellow pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or more if preferred)
- The night before cooking (or at least 5 hours before), add flank steak to a shallow baking dish (7” x 7” dish will work) along with 1/2 cup Italian dressing, making sure steak is fully coated in the dressing. Allow steak to marinate in the dressing.
- When ready to cook, preheat outdoor grill or grill pan (medium heat) – the key to flank steak is marinating it to make it tender and grilling it “low & slow”.
- Once the grill is hot, add the flank steak and cook about 20 minutes for medium – rare. When steak is cooked to desired doneness, remove from the grill and allow to rest to finish cooking and to allow the flavors and juices to settle throughout the meat.
- While the steak is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium – high heat.
- Add the shallot to the pan and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the orzo to the pan and “toast it”, stirring for about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth to the pan, bring to a boil over high heat, and then decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the orzo has softened and absorbed most of the liquid, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Once the liquid is absorbed into the orzo, stir in the cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper
- While the potatoes are cooking, assemble the spinach salad on your dinner plate by adding 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, the diced pepper, diced tomato, and finishing with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top.
- Slice steak against the grain and add about 3 – 4 ounces to the dinner plate.
- Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked Sun Dried Tomato Orzo to the plate and Enjoy!
LEMON BASIL SPINACH SALAD
Makes 1 salad
- 3 cups fresh spinach and / or spinach – arugula mix
- 2 hardboiled eggs, diced
- 1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 5 individual cherry tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup chickpeas, (aka. garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon low-fat feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon infused olive oil*
- 1 teaspoon basil olive oil*
- *If you do not have these ingredients, substitute with 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 cup chopped basil
- If using fresh basil & lemon juice, vs. the infused olive oils, combine regular olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped basil in a small bowl stirring to mix well and let sit while you assemble the rest of the salad.
- Fill the bottom of a serving bowl with spinach and / or mixed greens.
- Top greens with the hardboiled egg, tomatoes, chickpeas, mushrooms, and feta cheese.
- If using the infused olive oils, drizzle the lemon olive oil and the basil olive oil (or drizzle the previously mixed olive oil, lemon juice, basil mix) over the salad and toss with salad tongs to combine all ingredients.
- Drizzle the basil olive oil over the salad and toss with salad tongs again to combine all ingredients.
- Serve with warm oven baked ciabatta bread or fresh fruit and enjoy!
NOTE: Basil infused and lemon infused olive oils are not necessarily a pantry staple; however, they can be a super easy way to spruce up dinner with entertaining! I love using these olive oils in salads and dressings but I also love adding to to a summer Caprese salad (especially great when I don’t have basil on-hand), or drizzling in a shallow dish along with some aged balsamic and serving to guests with crusty french bread right out of the oven. So yummy and it feels fancy :)
HOW TO BOIL AN EGG??
- In a medium – sized pot, add your fresh eggs.
- Fill pot with water, just enough to cover the top of the eggs.
- Add about 2 teaspoons olive oil to the water.
- Bring water to a boil, then cover, remove from heat and allow to sit for about 15 minutes.
- Drain eggs and allow to cool.
- Remove the shell and store in the refrigerator for later or dice / slice and serve!
GRILLED FLANK STEAK SANDWICH
Makes 2 sandwiches
- 1 small loaf or 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread
- Remainder of flank steak (about 6 oz?)
- 1 cup sliced onions (sliced into half-moons)
- 1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced into about 1/4 inch thick slices (should make about eight 1-inch slices)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Dill Aoili
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Make the Lemon Dill Aoili and set aside.
- Place your bell pepper, whole, in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes until the pepper has charred and softened. Once pepper is done, remove from oven and cover in foil or put in a sealed plastic baggie and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice bread in half lengthwise, creating a top and a bottom. Scoop out most of the “bread filling” so that the sturdy bottom and tops remain. You will use this hollowed-out space as a place to put your delicious veggies and steak!
- Once charred and cooled, remove the pepper from the bag and remove the skin (should peel right off with ease). Once peeled, remove the core with seeds and cut pepper into thin slices. Place back in baggies to remain warm.
- Preheat a medium skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook until soft and caramelized (turned dark and caramel colored), stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer cooked onions from the skillet to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Next, add the mushrooms to the skillet. Cook stirring occasionally until begin to “sweat” (start to lose their water) and become soft, about 10 more minutes.
- Transfer cooked mushrooms to the same plat as the onions and cover to keep warm.
- In an oven, broil the bread for about 5 minutes, until starts to turn golden brown. Make sure the inside is facing the broiler (the part you hollowed out).
- Now it’s time to assemble the sandwiches!
- Spread 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of the Aioli onto top slice of bread.
- Add 3 – 4 ounces of flank steak to the bottom bread slice.
- Add the onion, followed by the mushrooms, followed by the grated cheese, followed by the bell peppers, followed by the arugula.
- Top the sandwich with the top piece of bread and press down with hands.
- Using a bread knife, slice into two equal sandwiches.
- Serve & Enjoy!
LEMON DILL AILOI
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
- 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped dill
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk well with a wire whisk or from to combine.
- Aioli may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 – 5 days.
SUNDRIED TOMATO ORZO BOWL
Makes 1 serving
- 1 cup leftover Sun Dried Tomato Orzo
- 1/2 cup quartered button mushrooms (or you can use chopped Portobellos if you have left over)
- 1 cup fresh spinach & arugula, mixed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (if needed)
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add spinach-arugula mix and mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until mushrooms have softened and spinach has wilted.
- Meanwhile reheat the Orzo in a microwave – safe bowl or in a small pot over the stove (may want to add a little chicken broth to add moisture, if needed).
- Once mushroom and spinach-arugula mix are done, add to the orzo and stir well to combine.
- Serve Orzo in a regular serving bowl and enjoy!
- May top with extra flank steak, chickpeas, or chicken if you have it.
CONFETTI CHICKEN SALAD
Makes 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
- 3 cups roasted boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.7 – 2 pounds raw boneless, skinless chicken breast)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper +more to taste
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt (Greek or regular)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup dried chopped cherries
- 1/2 cup chopped orange bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Drizzle the chicken with 2 teaspoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and about 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until no longer pink inside, juices run clear, and the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- While the chicken cooks, combine the yogurt, honey, orange juice, tarragon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Store the dressing in the refrigerator to keep cold.
- Once the chicken is cooked, chop and place in a large bowl to cool.
- Once chicken has cooled, add the dressing to the chicken and mix will to combine.
- Add the celery, peppers, and cherries, and mix well again to combine throughout.
- Cover salad and store in the refrigerator to chill.