Steak Salad with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Steak Salad

Yesterday Steve was attacked by Cougars.

Let me explain….

The other day, Steve and I went to this local baby/maternity consignment sale in downtown Beaverton (SCORE!). As we were poking around, we ran across a whole rack of Baby Bjorns (for those of you who have no clue what these are – like me a few months ago, a Baby Bjorn is one of those hands free slings that you can strap on and carry the baby around in.)

Friends….I never knew until that day the kind of power a grown man in a Baby Bjorn has on women of the over 40 set.

As Steve was fiddling with the straps of the sling, I looked over and saw a group of *older* ladies giggling and eyeing him like he was the last krispy kreme in the box. One of the more confidant ladies sauntered over and began assisting him with the straps – being a little more handsy than necessary. (There was lots of lingering involved).

Steve of course was utterly oblivious to the whole thing….and honestly, I didn’t have the heart to step in.

Now, contrary to popular belief, I don’t just keep Steve around because he’s an obvious chick magnet. He’s also a pretty skilled in the kitchen department! Since I’ve been working at the college, he’s taken over dinner duty and been coming up with some really successful dishes.

This steak salad has become one of our favorites. We love it so much in fact, the the first time he made it, I made him make it three more times that week. This was the first time that I’ve been patient enough to actually snap a picture of it before devouring the whole thing.

Steak Salad with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bunch of mixed greens (I love the baby arugala/spinach blend)

1 lb. of your favorite steak (we use either a good sirloin or flank steak)

1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 red onion – thinly sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. cajun seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp. cocoa powder

For the vinegarette: 

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. honey

pinch of salt

2 cloves garlic (minced)

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1. Wash greens and set aside.

2. Trim the excess fat off the steak. Combine the spices and rub the mixture all over the steak. Grill on high heat until desired doneness (we usually do about 4-5 minutes per side for a medium – rare). Remove from heat and let set for about 5 minutes before slicing.

3. Make vinaigrette – Whisk ingredients together vigorously to combine. (We usually put everything in a small jar, top with a lid, and then shake like crazy!)

4. Plate the greens, top with thin slices of steak, crumbled blue cheese, sliced red onion and vinaigrette.

Enjoy!

Summer Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Yogurt-Herb Dressing

I. love. pasta. salad.

Seriously, there is something about eating chilled pasta in the summertime that is just amazingly refreshing.

Here’s the thing, people can get really divided about pasta salad. Some are fans of the mac salad tossed in a mayonnaise based dressing. Others prefer to go the Italian route – throwing in lots of veggies, pepperoni, and tossing it with Italian dressing.

Whatever your preference – I promise you will love this pasta salad. It’s got TONS of fresh herbs, amazingly sweet roasted peppers, and a wonderfully creamy yogurt and feta dressing. And it would be AMAZING with some grilled chicken.

Summer Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Yogurt-Herb Dressing

adapted from Cuisine at Home

Yogurt Herb Dressing:

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1/2 cup fresh parsely

3 Tbsp. fresh oregano

2 Tbsp. fresh mint

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. honey

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

1. Combine spinach, yogurt, feta, herbs, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle in oil and pulse until smooth.

Pasta:

2 1/2 cups dry penne pasta

1 cup roasted red pepper, cut into strips

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Place pasta, peppers, and olives in a large bowl. Pour over the yogurt-herb dressing and toss to combine.

Enjoy!