There Will Be Beef

My relationship with beef is interesting.   Why?  Well, here are five cute facts for you:

  1. Moooooooo!!!!

    I spent about six months not eating red meat because I was in college and thought that eating copious amounts of turkey burgers, as opposed to every once in a while eating a good, juicy real burger, would make me skinny.  Needless to say, I was wrong.  (I’ve seen vegans eat french fries with every meal, and I know that not everyone is on the Skinny Bitch plan, but guys, diets don’t work.)

  2. Ryan loves beef.  It’s actually a joke around the house.  Sometimes, Ryan will sigh and say something like “do you think I eat too much beef” and I will say “no, but if you are worried about it, eat more chicken”.  To which he replies “but I just love beef so much” and the conversation ends pretty quickly.
  3. I was going to buy this Money Tree, but I couldn't afford it.

    I hate spending extra money on food unless it’s produce, which makes perfect sense to me, although it may baffle you.  I’ll drop ten bucks on gorgeous local, organic strawberries but I don’t want to pay more than six dollars a pound for dead animal, or twelve dollars a pound for fish.  I will, however, pay whatever the fishmonger demands plus my hand in marriage for a brilliant piece of sushi-grade Ahi tuna.  Anyway, beef can get expensive if you are like me and absurd/have food quality standards that send you to more expensive butchers.  I don’t know, I guess I feel like I get all the hormones and antibiotics I need at restaurants, and I don’t need to bring them into my home just to save a few bucks.

  4. Sometimes, I feel pretty scrawny and weak.  Nothing makes me feel as alive as a slab of savory, saturated fat, all charred and brown and pink.
  5. I’m sorry, did I really not eat red meat for half a year!?  That’s absurd.  It’s one thing if you’re a vegetarian and that’s what you believe in.  It’s another to just have stupid ideas about food.  You only live once—eat your cheeseburger!

Linguini and Meatballs, cooked!

Anyway, I’ve been a bad blogger this past week.  I have been eating meatballs and chicken salad, both of which have already been discussed here on Lauren’s Little Kitchen, so whatever.  But I do finally have a picture of Mommy’s Super Easy Meatballs, and the little guys aren’t raw in this one!

Okay, onto the beef.

Now, this dinner addresses factoid number three in particular.

Ha! I made Ryan buy me these at Vons the other night. I got two of the fishy ones, but only after I walked back and forth between the cash register and the display four times, trying to decide if the puke-green themed dinosaur plate was ugly. And yes, it was ugly.

See, I hate spending a lot of money on meat.  I’d rather eat a PBJ and buy something ridiculous, like that cute little plate for a child I “needed” (see image to the left).  So, you might wonder, how did I bring myself to throw down the dough for some beef?  Well, I didn’t.  My parents bought it for Ryan and me when they were in Los Angeles.  They stocked up our freezer with so much food, and I love edible gifts!  Mom and Dad took us to Costco and we loaded up.  It’s amazing what a market can command— here in West Los Angeles, Costco sells La Brea Bakery breads and organic ground beef.  (My parents also bought me a lifetime supply of Kashi granola bars.  Daddy, nobody else goes through two boxes of those a week, okay?  Okay.  Love you.)

Let’s talk dinner, which was…


Flank Steak marinated in Garlic & Lime, with White Rice & Black Beans with Red Pepper and Onion. And Green Beans, just because.

So, we had some flank steak in the freezer with my name all over it.  Flank steak is a really good cut of beef because it’s thin, tasty, and remarkably lean (for a steak, that is.)


For about 1.5 pounds of meat.  Also great with chicken.  This marinade is adapted from the fajita recipe in the Joy of CookingIt is great for all things Mexican & Spanish.  It is zesty and bright and the citrus really tenderizes meat, which is so important with frozen and/or “budget” cuts of meat.  (“Budget” being a relative term, of course.)

Marinade Ingredients. (Not Pictured: Safflower Oil. He was having a fat day.)

  • Juice of one big lime, freshly squeezed, with passion!
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion.  Or like, 1/3 of a small onion, or something.  Pretty much, if you have some leftover onion, that’s good.  This isn’t a cake and you can do whatever you want.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  (I use Safflower.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or less, if this freaks you out.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro if you like to save money and/or don’t grow cilantro.  Lots of chopped fresh cilantro if you spend freely.

Pretty, isn't it?

Okay, now combine it all and pour it into a big plastic bag to marinate.  Or, into a big dish.  But cover it well, because your fridge will absolutely reek of garlic if you are not careful.  Marinate for at least six hours, or overnight.  Then have your boyfriend grill the steak, which should take about four minutes on each side.  We cut the steak in half because it was enormous.


Black Beans and Stuff

  • Well, the white rice was easy enough.  I followed the instructions on the bag—how interesting!  I would’ve preferred to serve this with brown rice, but Ryan prefers white, and I eat so little of it, it really doesn’t matter.  Also, while white rice on its own is pretty much devoid of nutritional benefits, it really shines with its superfood partner, the bean!
  • Beans are awesome!  So much protein and fiber, and no fat!  Woo!  Anyway, I just rinsed a can of Organic Black Beans and sauteed some onions, peppers, and garlic, and then simmered the beans with the veggies.  Plus a dash of cumin and oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  And cayenne pepper, for a little bite!  Woo!  Next time, I’ll soak some dry beans and do it right.


  • I’m kidding.  I boiled them, I drained them, I ran them under cold water, and then I reheated them when I was ready to eat.

So, that’s that.  I got my steak, and it was good.  And we have the second half to cook… um, steak sandwiches anyone?  Yum!  Anyway, it was a pretty simple but good dinner, and hopefully there will be something interesting cooking in my little kitchen this weekend.  If so, you’ll certainly be hearing about it!  I have what I need to bake muffins, except I keep eating the apples I buy instead of baking with them.

Wait, I need to talk to you about something.

Off With Their Heads!

So Ryan isn’t eating his bananas (too sweet) and there were four in the fruit bowl, ready to eat.  Ryan and I were sitting at the kitchen table late last night and I was looking at these bananas and I thought, these are going to ripen too quickly if I’m the only one eating them.  So I tried to separate them at the stem, so that the bananas wouldn’t further ripen each other and I could freeze some of them for smoothies.  Well, I separated them all right, and in the process, I ripped two bananas open.  I screamed and laughed and made them little plastic-wrap-bandages for their wounds.  Now, I just can’t take a hint.  I kept playing with the two unharmed bananas, and guess what I did?  Yep!  I tore them open, too!  I swear, it really was an accident!  This is why I can’t have nice things, people.  I can’t even keep my hands off a stupid banana.

Well, it’s Friday!  I’m meeting my old best friend from high school, Jules, for lunch, and then driving (ON THE FREEWAY) to the Valley for an appointment.  Then Ryan and I are going to Poquito Mas for some tacos (so good and so cheap) and then who knows… Happy Weekend!


5 Responses to “There Will Be Beef”
  1. I know why you have the cute little kiddie plates. It’s because you can’t keep your hands off the banana. Ha! Zing!

    I have a weird relationship with beef too, I don’t like to touch it (wow. inappropriate.), I was a vegetarian for about 14 million years and I am only just now learning how to cook meat. The antibiotics and creepy shit in most beef turns my stomach but I have a fantastic farmer at my farmer’s market whom I love and trust but it’s super expensive. I am (like yourself) willing to shell out serious money for high quality beef but it only makes up about one meal a week around here.

  2. Monet says:

    Yeah! I’ve been waiting for another entry all week. I wish that I liked beef…I don’t eat it, but only because it makes my stomach feel yucky! And I’m so glad you made Ryan buy those adorable trays for you. I think you need to make him buy me some of those adorable trays 🙂
    Much love sweet friend!

  3. Mary says:

    What a wonderful looking meal and what an enjoyable read. This is my first visit to your blog, but it won’t be the last. Lot’s of good stuff here. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  4. Mom says:

    I am just reading the entry for today. Beef is so good when it is good! It is salmon here tonight as your grandfather is coming for dinner and he needs his fish oil!

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  1. […] so we had half of that flank steak left over, and it was time to make use of it.  We were pretty sure we wanted to take it in the […]

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