Are you surprised that I posted a steak recipe? True, most of the Eat With Zest dishes are plant-based. However, there's a critical distinction between what you do most of the time and what you enjoy occasionally. Below, I gave more detail about the pros and cons from a nutrition perspective.
What I really want to say is that healthy eating is not perfect eating.
All too often, I work with women who take an all-or-nothing approach - as if a handful of potato chips means that all efforts to eat well are out the window and they might as well eat the whole bag. Have you ever had a bite of something "bad" and then said, "F-it; there's not much left, I might as well eat the whole thing"? I am as guilty of this as anyone - enough to know how awful it feels 20 minutes later.
Imagine instead, allowing yourself the grace to be human. Imagine letting it be ok to eat imperfectly and treat yourself occasionally - just because. A little kid does not need to justify why they deserve to enjoy a homemade cookie and neither do you. Food is one of the great pleasures in life and you deserve to enjoy it.
Guilt does not make you feel better; self-care and acceptance does.
So, yes, there are pros and cons to eating meat. It is not a "perfect" food. It does, however, provide a lot of nourishment and can be delicious.
I LOVE the term "plant-based" because it is so inclusive. It focuses on what you get to eat more of without cutting out other foods that may also play an important role in your life.
Meat, in general, is extremely nutrient-dense. Really. It is packed with not just protein, but also oxygen-delivering iron, immune-boosting zinc, energizing B-vitamins and the list goes on. In the Greek Zucchini-Noodle recipe, I talked about my struggles with iron-deficiency, very common among female runners. Instead of iron supplements, which cause constipation (Um, no thanks!) and are less effective than real foods, I have chosen to give my body what it needs by eating more meat.
There are absolutely some can't-be-overlooked draw-backs. For starters, it is true that charred or blackened meat can have carcinogenic compounds. Solution: Eat extra antioxidant-rich fresh fruits & veggies to fight off those free-radicals.
Secondly, The type of fat in most meat is also the "bad" kind linked to heart disease. Antidote: Choose lean cuts like white meat without the skin. Here is the Mayo Clinic's Guide to selecting lean cuts of beef.
Second antidote: Choose grass-fed and organic, meaning the animals got to happily tromp about eating grass. The resulting meat is leaner and has more of the anti-inflammatory, heart-protective omega-3 fats - the "good" stuff. Check out this guide on choosing full-fat vs nonfat dairy.
Lastly, this recipe has another powerful ingredient: Ginger!! Want to learn more about the health benefits of the spicy and delicious root? Check out this article!
Onto the recipe in 3 easy steps:
- 2 lean, grass-fed sirloin steaks, 1/4-1/2" thick
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Dry spices*: 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp salt
- Ginger-lime herb sauce: 2" piece of peeled ginger root, 4 green onions - use the white and green parts, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, 1/2 tsp salt
1. Rub the steak with garlic and spices
- In a bowl, mix together all of the dry spices*
- With a pairing knife, make ~10 small slits in the flesh of the meat so that the garlic and spices can penetrate
- Rub the meat with the garlic and spice mixture
*(The dry rub not only adds awesome flavor, but also creates a buffer between the heat and the meat to prevent the scary carcinogenic compounds from forming. Pretty cool :)
3. Grill the steaks
- Grill steaks over high heat 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.
- When done, transfer to warmed plates and let rest for ~10 minutes. This extra step takes patience, but allows the meat to absorb the juices so it does not dry out or get tough. Well worth it.
Drizzle sauce on top and dig in! Happy Summer grilling!
With Love & Zest,