NO GRILL STEAK

No grill, no problem. I’m going to tell you how to cook a steak indoors that will be just as good as steak on the grill. If you live in a small apartment, like me, your fire alarm will go off (I usually turn mine off before cooking)!

Ingredients:

1 Steak (1 in thick)

Rosemary (fresh or dried, but fresh is always nice if you have it)

1 tbs butter

1 large garlic glove

Salt

Process:

1. Let your steak(s) come to room temp. This step is very important* Letting your steak sit out for an hour is perfect.

2. Generously salt your steak on both sides (like, very generously..)

2. Heat a cast iron pan (mine was a grill pan, but it absolutely does not have to be) on high heat until it’s so hot, sometimes it even starts to smoke.

3. Add the steak to the pan, and press it down a bit so it cooks evenly. Keep heat on high and cook on this side for 2 minutes.

4. In the meantime, get your butter and garlic ready. You can remove the garlic from the skin completely or just lay a knife on it and press down to release it but let the skin remain on (this is what I did).

5. Once the steak is on it’s second side, add in your butter, garlic and rosemary. Tip the pan a bit so all three fall to one side and spoon the butter on top of the steak, continue spooning the butter on your steak until the 2 minute timer goes off.

6. Take the steak off. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. I have my steak on top of an upside down spoon. I read this trick somewhere, it is important because it prevents the steak from getting soggy on one side.

Enjoy!

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GUACAMOLE

Ingredients:

(serves 4)

2 avocados

1/4 onion

1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Process:

Cut you avocados in half, remove the pit. With a spoon scope all of their insides into a bowl. With a fork squish the avocado until it’s smooth. Finely dice your onion. Add to the avocado, the juice of one lime,  cilantro, salt & pepper. Mix all together. Serve.

STUFFED ZUCCHINI

Ingredients:

4 zucchini

1/2 lb of ground beef

1/4 cup of tomato puree

2 garlic gloves

2 tsp dried parsley

fresh parsley and basil

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tbs of olive oil

Process:

Put the burner on high, add your ground beef, chop it up as it cooks. One the meat is chopped up, fully brown, and all the fat and juices have been extracted, strain the meat to remove all of the juices & fat.

Add the meat back into the pan, add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley (dry & fresh) and basil. Add the tomato puree and add a little more sat and pepper. Cover and let simmer on low.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Wash your zucchini, cut both ends off and slice right down the middle (the long way). Once they are halved, core our the middle with a spoon. Be careful, if you push to hard will end up breaking the zucchini.

Save the zucchini insides from one of the zucchini. Chop this up and throw it in the sauce. Stir.

Repeat the same process to the rest of the zucchini. Once they are all halved and cored, place them on a tin foil covered cookie sheet/pan. Brush 1 tbs of olive oil on the inside of the zucchini. Add salt to them.

Put the zucchini in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft.

Once the zucchini are soft, test the sauce to make sure it’s tasty, and fill the zucchini with the meat stuffing. Grate cheese of your choice on top (I used cheddar because that’s what I had). Put back in the oven for 5 minutes on high (450 – broil), so the cheese melts. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

GREEN RICE WITH SAFFRON (SABZI POLO)

This is another classic Persian dish that’s usually served with fish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of parsley

1 bunch of dill

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of green onions

2 cups of basmati rice (serves 4)

tbs of canola oil

Saffron powder

Process:

If you have the time, soak your rice in salted water 2-3 hours before boiling.

Wash all of your herbs prior to using and let them dry.

Chop the parsley, cilantro and dill using a blender or food processor so they’re finely diced. You can also do this by hand. Dice the green onion by hand. Put all of the herbs and the green onion in one bowl and mix them together.

Boil water in a circular teflon pot, once boiling, strain your rice and add to the water. Let boil for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes strain the rice. In the same pot, add a little water to the bottom and a little saffron. Shake the pot around, so the saffron reaches all areas.

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Take spoonfuls of the rice and plop them in the pot. Keep layering the rice, but with each layer add in your green and lightly mix with your spoon so there are not white large white spots. You don’t have to smooth the rice so it’s flat, just let it fall in naturally.

Once you’ve added all your rice back into the pot, drizzle a tbs of canola oil on top of the rice in a circular motion.

Put a paper towel on top of the pot and then place the lid on top of the paper towels.

Put the burner on high heat for one minute, then turn on low and let steam for 1/2 hour.

Once your rice is done steaming, take the lid and paper towel off. Place a plate on top of the pot and flip the entire pot over so the bottom of the is now on top. Place the plate down and remove the pot.

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If you have left over herbs, you can make Herb Fratata (Kuku)

TABBOULEH (TABOULI)

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup of bulgar (simply soaked overnight)

1 tomato

1/2 small white onion

1 cup of parsley

2 limes

Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Process: 

Soak the bulgar in water for 2-3 hours (if you’re in a rush) or overnight. Sometimes I prefer soaking the bulgar for 2-3 hours because I like when the pieces are more defined vs softer. If you’re really in a rush you can add the bulgar to boiling water and let cook it for 10 minutes. Strain well.

Finely dice the onion, tomato, and parsley. Add to the bulgar. Also add the juice of two limes, 1 tbs of olive oil, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well. Let cool in the refrigerator before serving.

HOW TO CUT A PINEAPPLE

Pineapple is one of my favorite tropical fruits and it has amazing health benefits. Pineapple is a natural anti-histamine, congestion mover, and is also known for it’s cancer prevention proprieties. Pineapple also improves digestion, eye, respiratory, bone and heart health. It contains calcium, potassium, vitamin C, B6, manganese, magnesium, beta carotene, thiamin among other beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

If you avoid pineapple (or purchase overpriced pre-cut pineapple) because cutting one intimidates you (this used to be me), here’s a really easy way to do chop it up so you end up with even pieces & a nice presentation.

Step 1: Slice the top and bottom off.

Step 2: Slice the skin off all sides (try to get as close as possible to the edge the skin, but still fully removing it).

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Step 3: Stand the pineapple up and cut horizontally through the middle.

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Step 4: Lay the two pieces flat on the cutting board, core up, and cut vertically right in the center of the core.

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Step 5: Rid the 4 pieces of pineapple of their core.

Step 6: Slice horizontally to create bite-size pieces.

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SPINACH AND CHICKPEAS

Learn how to make Espinacas y Garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas).

Ingredients: 

6 cups of spinach

18 oz of chickpeas

1 tsp turmeric

3 tsp  ground cumin

Dash (or two) of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Process: 

Wilt spinach in a pan on medium heat. You can add a little water if needed (and let it cook off later). Once there is more room in you pan, add the chickpeas. Add the turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, simmer until the flavors are absorbed. Serve warm.

I paired this with eggs for breakfast, but often times I eat this for a snack with yogurt or as a side dish with practically anything else!

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