Asian Steak Sandwiches

Marinating flank or skirt steak can turn an inexpensive piece of meat into a delicious and tender meal. Cutting it thinly on a bias is also great for sandwiches, which is what we decided to do. Utilizing Asian influences makes this sandwich even more flavorful and robust. In addition to the marinade, we also drizzled it with an sesame-ginger dressing that enhanced the overall experience. Since the steak only needs to marinade for 30 to 40 minutes, it makes for an easy weeknight meal that is both satisfying and delicious.

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Cooked Steak

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Skirt or Flank Steak
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Chili Paste (Sambal)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger Root – chopped
  • Sandwich Rolls
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Asian Salad Mix
  • Sesame-Ginger Dressing – store bought or home made
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Chili Paste, Ginger, and Garlic

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the garlic, ginger, chili paste, soy sauce, lime juice, and sesame oil in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly.  Place the steak in a plastic bag and poor the marinade over the steak, ensuring that the steak is completely covered. Let the steak rest in the marinade for about 30 to 40 minutes. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, remove the steak from the marinade and place it in the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and then flip and continue cooking the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes and then cut across the grain into thin strips. Place the steak onto the rolls, top with Asian lettuce mix, and drizzle with the sesame-ginger dressing.

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Whisk the Marinade
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Sear the Steak
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Asian Steak Sandwich with Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 

Philly Cheesesteak

We used to live outside of Philadelphia many years ago and one of our favorite meals were Philly Cheesesteaks. We have tried to get them occasionally here in Colorado and with few exceptions, nothing matches the real thing. Every time we are back in Pennsylvania, we make sure to get an Italian Hoagie and a Philly Cheesesteak, which is what we did a couple of years ago. There are a couple of important things to making a good Philly and that is getting a good, soft, hoagie roll and the other is slicing the meat very thin. We aren’t going to get into a debate as to the best place to get a Philly in Philadelphia, but in our opinion getting one from one of the many food carts downtown is better than most of the famous restaurants. Some people believe that a Philly should be served with cheese sauce instead of real cheese, but we think that provolone cheese is the authentic way to serve a cheesesteak. The only alteration that we made to the traditional cheesesteak was to add mushrooms, which you will find as an option on the food carts, and it just adds a little extra flavor. This recipe serves up to four people and is really delicious.

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Cheesesteak in Collegeville, Pennsylvania (Just Outside of Philadelphia)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Top Round Beef – sliced extremely thin
  • 1 Medium Green Pepper – sliced
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion – sliced
  • 5 to 6 Medium Button Mushrooms – destemmed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 lb Provolone Cheese – sliced
  • 4 Hoagie Rolls
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
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Sliced Vegetables
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Sautéed Meat and Vegetable Mixture

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the vegetables being sure to slice each of them in equal thicknesses. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the green peppers. After the peppers have sautéed for about 2 to 3 minutes and then add the onions. After about another 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until they begin to caramelize slightly (don’t over cook them). Remove the vegetables from the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drain on a paper towel. Turn an oven onto broil at 500 degrees. Salt and pepper the beef and then add the meat to the same pan that you cooked the vegetables and cook until it is just starting to brown (again, don’t over cook the beef). Add the vegetables back to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, just to combine them and reheat the vegetables. Open the hoagie rolls, being sure not to completely separate the halves, and place them on a baking sheet. Add 1/4 of the meat and vegetable mixture to each of the rolls and place cheese over the meat mixture. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Transfer to a plate and serve with mayonnaise. You can add lettuce and tomato if you would like, but that isn’t necessarily traditional.

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Cooking the Vegetables
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Cook the Meat Quickly
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Ready to Serve

 

Eating Healthy when Traveling

Regardless of the length of the trip or the exotic nature of the location, it is always difficult to eat healthy when traveling. Whether it is having to grab a quick bite at the airport or train station, eating a meal while sightseeing, or eating the local cuisine, healthy options are either not readily available or your eyes naturally shift to the more decadent options. Believe it or not, we always weigh ourselves before we leave on a trip and then compare it when we return so that we know whether we need to work on losing any weight we might have gained.

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Lasagna in Rome
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Duck Leg in Florence
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Mussels in Athens
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Salmon Chesapeake in Alexandria, Virginia

Although it isn’t always easy to find healthy options when traveling, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. We love seafood and can’t always get a good variety at home, so one thing that we do is to look for fish or shellfish on the menu and try to select dishes that aren’t necessarily covered in a sauce. Another trick that we use is to share a meal or eat small plates to avoid over eating. Eating healthy doesn’t mean not eating things with flavor, it is more a matter of paying attention to how the food is prepared and whether the restaurant uses fresh ingredients.

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Salmon and Spinach in Frankfurt
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French Onion Soup in Paris
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Rabbit Salad in Pisa, Italy
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Deer with Bread Dumplings in Prague

We try to be realistic and understand that we will want to eat a variety of food some of which is going to be fried, smothered in a rich sauce, or covered in cheese and we are okay with that. As with anything, it is really a question of moderation. For example, just because you are in Italy doesn’t mean that every dish has to be pasta or pizza. We are firm believers of eating like a local, but that doesn’t mean that locals don’t have some healthy choices. What do you do to eat healthy when you are on the road?

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Spaghetti and Meatballs in Rome
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Ceviche in Quito, Ecuador
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Escargot in Heidelberg
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Fresh Zucchini Ravioli in Italy