Thai Beef Salad!! A Delicious Light Gluten-Free Meal!

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During this time of holiday food over-indulgence, a light fresh meal is always appreciated.  This Thai beef salad is a huge hit with my family.  It is a delicious light supper that is salty, sour, sweet and spicy.  It is healthy and makes a great pack able lunch with the left overs if there are any.  Just make sure to drain off the excess dressing before packing into your lunch container and use one that is water tight. I hope you try it out.

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Thai Beef Salad


zest of one lime grated

juice of four limes

3 Tablespoons of fish sauce

1 Tablespoon soya sauce

3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

4 green onions sliced thin

2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh Thai basil

3 hot red Thai or regular hot chilli peppers finely minced

1/4 red onion cut into thin matchsticks

1/2 tsp black pepper


10 ounce rump steak 1 inch thick

2 English cucumbers cut into thin half circles

5 tomatoes chopped into chunks

Mix all ingredients of dressing and set aside for half an hour to soften onions and allow ingredients to meld.  Grill steak on BBQ or in a hot sauté pan medium rare.  Allow steak to cool.  While steak is cooling, place vegetables in the dressing.  Once steak has cooled to room temperature, slice thinly across the grain and place in salad.  Toss all ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Serve.  This is excellent over fresh greens and some steamed rice or cooked rice noodles on the side as a main course, or makes an excellent side salad as well.  It is a wonderful salad to use up left over cooked steak as well.  I hope you enjoy this delicious dish.  Cheers, Michele

Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast!! Aunt Jackie’s Recipe!

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Here is another scrumptious contribution by my Aunt Jackie, a favourite guest contributor.  She has made this dish for us for special occasions.  It comes from America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.  It is a bit time-consuming but well worth every step.  A real wow of a dish to serve to special guests or for your family for a special occasion.  Enjoy.


Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast

Serves 10 to 12
Not all pepper mills produce a coarse enough grind for this recipe. For alternative methods for cracking peppercorns, see “Cracking Down on Peppercorns,” (related content). Serve with Red Wine–Orange Sauce or Pomegranate-Port Sauce (see related content), if desired.
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (6-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine salt, sugar, and baking soda in bowl; set aside. Heat 6 tablespoons oil and peppercorns in small saucepan over low heat until faint bubbles appear. Continue to cook at bare simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until pepper is fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Using fine-mesh strainer, drain cooking oil from peppercorns. Discard cooking oil and mix peppercorns with remaining 3 tablespoons oil, orange zest, and nutmeg.
2. Set tenderloin on sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over surface of tenderloin and rub into tenderloin until surface is tacky. Tuck tail end of tenderloin under about 6 inches to create more even shape. Rub top and side of tenderloin with peppercorn mixture, pressing to make sure peppercorns adhere. Spray three 12-inch lengths kitchen twine with vegetable oil spray; tie head of tenderloin to maintain even shape, spacing twine at 2-inch intervals.
3. Transfer prepared tenderloin to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet, keeping tail end tucked under. Roast until thickest part of meat registers about 120 degrees for rare and about 125 degrees for medium-rare (thinner parts of tenderloin will be slightly more done), 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Remove twine and slice meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve.
Preparing—And Packing On—A Peppercorn Crust
Most peppercorn crusts either bring big crunch or grip the meat—but rarely both. Here’s how we got it right.

CRACK: For a crunchy crust that also sticks, coarsely crack—don’t pulverize—the peppercorns.

SIFT: To remove the dusty bits of ground pepper, sift the cracked peppercorns in a strainer.

GLUE: Rub the meat with salt, sugar, and baking soda to make the surface tacky.
Manipulating Pepper’s Heat and Flavor
For a crust that was satisfyingly crunchy, we needed to use so much cracked pepper that its spiciness overwhelmed the mild flavor of the meat. Simmering the peppercorns in oil before applying them to the roast tamed their heat by pulling out an oil-soluble compound known as piperine. Unfortunately, this treatment also dulled the pepper’s flavor by drawing out three other oil-soluble compounds—limonene, sabinene, and pinene—that together are largely responsible for creating the citrusy, piney notes that give pepper its depth.
To restore complexity to our lackluster pepper, we scanned databases used by perfumists and flavorists to identify aromatic ingredients that might share those dominant flavor compounds. We zeroed in on two: orange zest (95 percent limonene) and nutmeg (58 percent pinene and sabinene). By adding these ingredients to the oil-simmered peppercorns, we created a crust that was not too spicy, but still full of distinct pepper flavor.

SUBTRACT PIPERINE: To tame the peppercorns’ heat, we simmered them in oil, but along with the heat, we lost flavor.

ADD BACK LIMONENE, PINENE, AND SABINENE: By adding nutmeg and orange zest to the crust, we replaced three key flavor compounds lost during simmering.

Red Wine and Orange Sauce

2 tbs. Butter
2 minced shallots
1 tbs. Tomato paste
2 tsp. Sugar
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of red wine
¼ cup orange juice
2 tbs. Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. Worcester Sauce
Sprig of fresh thyme
4 tbs. butter
Melt butter, add shallots, tomato paste and sugar, cook for about 5 minutes till shallots soften.
Add garlic cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add, beef broth, red wine, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce, and thyme.
Simmer for about 40 minutes until thickened and reduced to 1 cup. Strain, working solids to get all the sauce. Return to pan, bring back to simmer, add 4 tablespoons of butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with tenderloin.

I hope you enjoy this delicious beef tenderloin.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Grilled Onion Salad!! Upcycled Recipes Many Ways!

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As I mentioned in the post with this salad, it is a delicious recipe.  It can be used in a myriad or different ways.  Rather than just three options, I am going to be listing off many ways to use up any left overs…if there are any.

Spanish Roasted Onion Salad

6 large onions peeled sliced thickly width wise (red or white onions)

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme

2 Tbsp capers drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large baking pan oiled with 1 Tbsp olive oil, lay out the slices of onion. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar over top. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the onions are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle with capers. This can be served hot as a delicious side dish. You can add more balsamic if the onions are very sweet and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.  Here are some options of how to use these delicious onions.

  1. Use as a sandwich filling with cooked chicken or beef.
  2. Heat the onions up and top grilled meat
  3. Mix into scrambled eggs.
  4. Add the onions chopped to soups and stews.
  5. Mix with steamed vegetables (broccoli or snow peas) for a delicious side dish.
  6. Add to risotto or any pasta dish.
  7. Serve on a toasted bagel with cream cheese.
  8. Put warmed onions on a toasted English muffin and top with poached eggs.
  9. Serve cold with steamed or grilled fish. Or with smoked salmon.
  10. Use your imagination!

I hope you enjoy and try out these suggestions of uses for this delicious grilled onion recipe.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Steamed Broccoli!! Upcycled Recipes Three Ways!

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We love broccoli in our house and I will often steam it or sauté it for supper.  Make sure to cook your broccoli until it is just al dente.  I have some recipes for uses of the left overs.  So here goes.

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Broccoli and Mushroom Soup

2 Tbsps of olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

2 stalks of celery finely chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

1 clove of garlic minced fine

3 cups of sliced mushrooms

3 cups of steamed broccoli

6 cups good chicken or vegetable stock

2 mushroom stock cubes

1 tsp pepper

salt to taste

In a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onions, carrots and celery with olive oil until wilted.  Add mushrooms and garlic and cook 5 minutes more.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer on low for 15 minutes.  You can purée half of the soup and add it back to the pot or just leave it chunky.

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Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

1 onion finely chopped

2 stalks of celery finely chopped

2 cups cooked chicken cubed

2 cups cooked broccoli florets

1  1/2 Tbsp of gluten-free flour

1 cup milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Oil a casserole pan, and place chicken and broccoli in it.  In a sauce pan, cook onion and celery with olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Once soft add gluten-free flour and stir until roux forms.  Add milk, mayonnaise, curry powder and seasonings.  Stir until sauce thickens.  Pour over chicken and broccoli and cover with cheese and bread crumbs.  Bake until bubbly and crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly and melted.

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Broccoli Salad

3 cups of steamed broccoli

1/4 red onion finely minced

1/2 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts

1/2 cup of raisins

6 slices of bacon sliced and cooked crisp

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsps of white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes to let flavours combine before serving.

I hope you enjoy these recipes for upcycling left over broccoli.  Try them out and let me know what you think.  Cheers, Michele

Beef And Broccoli Stirfry!! Another Delicious Gluten-Free Recipe

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Tonight I am “three for three” with this Beef and Broccoli Stirfry.  My husband says it is even better than the last two nights if that is possible.  It is a super quick recipe and the only real time consuming bit is the chopping of the vegetables and beef.  I hope you enjoy!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

3 cups cooked rice

1 pound flank steak sliced into thin strips on the diagonal to the grain of the meat

2 Tbsp corn starch

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried ginger

3 Tbsp vegetable oil divided

1 medium onion sliced into thin strips

5 cloves of garlic minced fine

3 Tbsps of fresh ginger minced fine

1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

4 cups of broccoli florets

1 red pepper sliced into strips

1 cup of snow peas ends cut off


1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp cornstarch

5 Tbsps of oyster sauce

2 Tbsps of soy sauce

1 tsp black pepper

1 green onion minced

3 Tbsp water or beef stock

Place 2 Tbsps cornstarch, dried ginger and garlic powder in a bowl.  Toss the beef slices in and coat. Set aside.  Heat 2 Tbsps of oil in a fry pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook til slightly browned.  Add beef, shaking off the extra powder back into the bowl.  Sauté til beef is lightly browned.  Remove onions and beef from pan.  Add 1 Tbsp of oil into fry pan and add the broccoli, red pepper and snow peas and sauté until peas are still lightly crisp.   Add garlic, fresh ginger and hot pepper flakes and sauté while stirring for 1 more minute.  Add sauce ingredients and the beef and onions back into pan.  Simmer til sauce thickens and meat and vegetables are well coated.  Serve with rice.  Serves 4.

I hope you like this beef and broccoli stir fry.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Grilled Steak!! Three Upcycled Recipes!

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Last night we had grilled steak for dinner, very delicious.  But my husband always seems to buy the hugest steaks and unless our future son-in-law Chris is over, it doesn’t all get eaten, so I usually have at least one steak left over.  If I can keep it away from my husband who loves leftover cold steak, I can make a multitude of recipes from the Plan Overs.

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Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

3 large carrots finely chopped

4 celery stalks finely chopped

2 pounds mushrooms sliced

8 cups beef stock

2 mushroom stock cubes

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups cooked steak chopped into bite size pieces

In a heavy Dutch oven, heat olive oil and cook onions, carrots and celery for 10 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are soft.  Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes more  Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1 hour on low.  The barley will soak up a lot of the stock, so add a little water if it gets too thick.  I like my soups thick, so I don’t add the water.

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Steak Fajitas

8 small corn tortillas

2 cups of beef steak sliced into thin strips

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 large onions sliced into strips

2 large peppers, seeded and sliced into strips

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup sour cream

2 avocados sliced and dressed with the juice of 1 lime

2 tomatoes cut into strips

Heat olive oil in a fry pan and sauté onions and peppers until slightly browned and wilted.   Warm tortillas in the oven.  Once onions and peppers are cooked, add meat and just heat through.  Serve on tortillas with the accompaniments.  An easy way to use up cooked steak.

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Thai Beef Salad (My husband, Will’s recipe)

2 cups of thinly sliced cooked steak

1/2 cucumber sliced into strips

3 tomatoes cut into bite sized pieces

2 green onions with the tops sliced

1/4 red onion thinly sliced into strips

thumb sized piece of ginger finely minced

4 garlic cloves finely minced

1 small hot red pepper finely minced

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp Brown sugar

juice and zest of 2 limes

1/2 cup finely shredded cilantro leaves

Assemble all ingredients in a bowl, mix well and let sit to let flavours combine.  Serve on a bed of mixed greens with a side of steamed rice.

I hope you like these upcycled recipes for left over grilled steak.  Let me know your left over dilemmas and I will see if I can help.  Cheers, Michele

Spaghetti Bolognese!! A Delicious Gluten-Free Recipe!

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My husband chose that we have this for supper tonight, so I am going to share this recipe with you.  It is delicious and so easy.  It is better if it is allowed to simmer so make it earlier in the day to be enjoyed for dinner. Enjoy.

Michele’s Spaghetti Bolognese

2 Tbsp olive oil

5 slices of bacon finely sliced

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 onion chopped

4 carrots finely chopped

5 stalks of celery finely chopped

1 pound of mushrooms sliced

1 red pepper chopped

5 cloves of garlic finely minced

1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup red wine

2 bottles of tomato sauce

1 pound gluten-free spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook til softened and render out a bit of the fat.  Add beef and pork, cook until no pink remains.  Remove meats from pan and place in a bowl.


Place carrots, onions and celery in pot and cook til softened, add meat back into pot.  Add chopped peppers, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.


Add rest of ingredients and simmer over low heat for 1 hour until sauce has reduced a bit or place cover on pot and put in a 325 degree oven and cook for 2 hours. Once sauce is well cooked, boil salted water and add pasta.  Cook according to package directions.  Serve pasta and sauce and sprinkle cheese over top.  The longer the sauce cooks the better it is.  Hope you enjoy.  Try this recipe out and let me know how it is.  Cheers, Michele