Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where's the Beef?!?

OK, it's time that I admit something to myself...and to you, dear reader. Despite all my efforts to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet, I am first and foremost an omnivore (that's a meat-eater for those of you that failed junior high health class). Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy all the vegan recipes I've found in the Skinny Bitch books and other vegetarian/vegan websites, but lately I don't know what it is, I've been craving hamburgers and steaks like nobody's business, yo! Maybe it's my body telling me I need more protein. Maybe it's my caveman genes trying to coax me into scrambling down to the Dino Diner for a stegosaurus burger (didn't Fred Flintstone eat those?). I don't really know the reason, but I can ignore the call or let it go to voicemail.

Meat good. Oooga! Ooga!
So, what to do? Well, I have previously spent months at a time eating a primarily paleolithic diet. If you're not familiar with the "paleo" trend, it basically tries to emulate the foods that our ancestors would have eaten back in the paleolithic times. That means organic, grass-fed meat (when you can catch it and kill it), lots of organic fruits and vegetables (when they are in season), nuts and berries (probably foraged by the lady-folk), and healthy fats (from meats like fish or from seeds like flax or from fruits like avocados...yes, it's a fruit, people!).

You'll notice what's missing here is grains. Cavemen didn't farm and didn't harvest wild grains, so that is not on the strictly paleolithic menu...but that's where I diverge for practical reasons. I consciously try to reduce the total amount of grains I eat. I aim for ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, spelt, buckwheat, barley or rye) when they are available, like when I'm cooking at home. I will sometimes eat whole grains or brown rice. And I try to avoid white grains, processed grains, and grain derivatives like High Fructose Corn Syrup (yes, corn is a grain not a vegetable...see how much you're learning today!).

I'll write more in future posts about this type of dieting as I make the transition and explore the effects. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind again and become a fruitarian (those that only eat fruit and nothing else...strange!). In honor of my decision to reintroduce meat, though, I'll leave you with a scrumptious and incredibly simple caveman delicacy.

Grilled Steak w/Blue Cheese, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower & Cherry Tomatoes
I found this recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs: Have Her Over for Dinner. I like Matt Moore's style of simple cooking so much that I own his cookbook and highly recommend it.

I altered Matt's recipe a little, so here's what I did. I bought one big London broil steak. By big I mean enough to serve me, my wife, and my daughter for two meals...BIG, think caveman! I set it out at room temperature in a dish and rubbed it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar while I heated up the broiler. Next, I chopped some broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size florets and got about an inch or two of salted water boiling in my steamer.

The next part happens in a flash, so don't blink. I rubbed some gourmet grey sea salt and cracked black pepper all over the steak, threw it on the broiler tray and popped it in the oven. Then I dumped the broccoli-cauliflower mix into the top of the steamer. I waited about two minutes. Maybe I rinsed my cherry tomatoes. Maybe I opened some Ravenswood Zinfandel...yum! When the two minutes were up, I checked my steak and because the top was browned, I turned it over, sprinkled some crumbled blue cheese on top and back into the oven it went. Then I checked my veggies and found them bright in color, so I dropped the heat to low to keep those puppies warm. When the steak looked done and the blue cheese was just beginning to brown, I pulled it out and let it rest for a few minutes while I tossed the veggies in a bowl with a little butter to melt it and some salt and pepper. Finally, I served up plates with a big scoop of veggies, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a glorious serving of steak. Oh, and of course, a glass of that zin!

Try it. Your inner caveman will thank you!


  1. This was a surprisingly quick meal and absolutely delicious! The flavor of the blue cheese combined with the steak was amazing! Ooga ooga!

  2. Ahhhh, how I miss the "Where's the Beef?" lady. :)

  3. I never noticed before how the old lady from the commercial kind of favors you bro...I am just saying, her hair is oddly the same color as someone else I know.