Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Elimination Diet - Wrapping up week 1 (Steak/Risotto Recipe)

Sammit and I have survived our first week of the elimination diet (suggested by my ND to see if I have any food allergies).  While it hasn't been easy, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it was going to be.

Week 1 - Cons:

  1. I'm still really focused on the foods we can't eat.
  2. Dear god I want a glass of milk.
  3. I miss the taste of butter.
  4. I've avoided a few social engagements because of diet restrictions.
  5. This takes a lot of planning - there is no alternative.  If I forget to pack lunches the night before - I'm late to work - eating out at work is absolutely not a fall-back option.
Week 1 - Pros:
  1. I'm eating way more vegetables than I used to eat - now realizing that I didn't eat nearly as many veggies as I thought I was.
  2. I'm eating different foods (celery root, yams, kale, brown and wild rices, fish, salads, olive oils); there's a variety in my diet that I lacked before.
  3. I'm learning to cook in a way I didn't know I didn't know.  I've always thought I could cook - and while I can make food, I'm not sure if I can cook.  I'm picking up new techniques that are necessary now.
  4. While I don't feel completely different - I have felt more energized a few days this week.  Still inconclusive though.
  5. I've eaten some of the best meals I've ever made this week - and here I'll share one:

Simple Seared Steak with Complicated Asparagus Brown Rice Risotto

I started the Risotto when I took my steak out of the fridge (to let it come up to room temp before cooking).  This particular cut (I wish I had taken a picture prior to cooking it) was purchased at a local market.  We typically get our meat from a local CSA - but the storm last month prevented me from picking up our order.  While I love the idea of our CSA meat - I have some trouble with a few of the cuts and I really enjoyed having a nice trimmed flank steak from the store.  This was a grass-fed, grain-finished cut sans antibiotics.

1 cup brown rice
7 cups HM beef stock (can use boxed stock, but nothing beats this gelatinous nutrient filled goodness)
1/2 cup shredded beef (optional, I had a little left over from a roast a few days ago)
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3rds

Favorite cut of steak - sized appropriately
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 cup HM beef stock


  1. Pull the steak out of the fridge and let it come up to room temp on the counter.  Bring 7 cups of beef stock to a boil on the stove while browning 1 cup of rice in a large pot.
  2. Add a ladle of boiling stock to the browned rice and stir.  Risotto cooks slowly - so keep stirring the rice until all the stock has been absorbed.  Add additional ladles of stock one at a time, waiting until the last has been absorbed before adding another.  Stir stir stir, keeping the pot on medium-low heat.
  3. After 30 minutes preheat your oven to 500 (F) with an oven proof pan inside.  When the oven comes up to temp - move pan (use an oven mitt!) from the oven to a stove burner on high.  Add coconut oil and let it heat up.  Lay the steak in the pan and DO NOT touch it - let it sear and get back to stirring the risotto.
  4. After 2-3 minutes flip steak and allow the other side to sear for the same amount of time.  Once seared on both sides, put the pan and steak(s) back into the oven and cook for additional time.  I prefer 3-4 minutes or so for a  medium steak (145-150(F)).  In the mean time, stir that risotto.
  5. Pull steak out and allow it to rest on a plate for 10-15 minutes (cover in tin foil).  If risotto looks creamy - test the rice to see if it is soft - if soft, stir in asparagus and beef (and a spoon of butter if you're not avoiding dairy).  Turn heat off and cover.  
  6. In the mean time, deglaze the steak pan.  Add 1 cup of beef stock to the hot pan and scrape the delicious little bits from the bottom until everything is loosened.  Bring stock to a high simmer and allow it to reduce and thicken into a delicious sauce - pour over steak and risotto and serve.

My rice was a little undercooked - but after
putting it back on the heat for about 10 minutes - it softened right up.

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