Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 7: Power Foods........

When a disease like Alzheimer's runs in your family like it does in mine, you tend to take heed of articles that offer a possible prevention to the disease. An article by Nicholas Bakalar in this week's Science section of The New York Times, offers a clue to prevention (Aging:Vitamin D Levels Tied to Dementia Risk). The article references a study which appears online in The Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology; scientists who studied the levels of Vitamin D in the blood serum of a sample of people over the age of 65 showed that those people exhibiting signs of dementia also had lower levels of the vitamin. After reading this, I should admit that I grabbed the car keys and was on my way to the closest health store to buy out all the vitamin D supplements! Not so fast, however. Another article in the Science section of The New York Times by Tara Parker-Hope questions whether vitamins and supplements live up to their reputations (Vitamins: A False Hope?). The article sites several recent studies which have suggested that vitamins in pill form do nothing to prevent disease such as cancer. In fact, some studies have shown unexpected harm from taking these vitamin supplements, for example higher lung cancer rates in two studies of beta carotene use. Another study suggested a higher risk of precancerous polyps among users of folic acid compared with those in a placebo group:

"Scientists suspect that the benefits of a healthful diet come from eating the whole fruit or vegetable, not just the individual vitamins found in it. 'There may not be a single component of broccoli or green leafy vegetables that is responsible for the health benefits,' Dr. Gann said. “Why are we taking a reductionist approach and plucking out one or two chemicals given in isolation?” (Source:Vitamin Pills: A False Hope? By, Tara Parker-Hope. Published February 16, 2009. New York Times, Science section.)

Eating to live rather than living to eat has become a popular mantra among health gurus. In an article in Men's Health magazine, 12 "power foods" were listed. These foods have been proven to: • Build muscle • Help promote weight loss • Strengthen bones • Lower blood pressure • Fight cancer • Improve immune function • Fight heart disease. Most of the foods mentioned are probably already in your fridge or pantry. For example the article sites berries such as raspberries or blueberries as being able to protect your heart, enhance eyesight, improve memory and prevent cravings during the day. They are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and tannins. They fight against heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Throw a handful on top of your yogurt or into your instant oatmeal - which is also on the list. Instant oatmeal that is unsweetened and unflavored has been shown to boost energy and sex drive, reduce cholesterol and maintain blood-sugar levels. Oatmeal provides complex carbohydrates and fiber which fight against heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and obesity. For the complete list check out David Zinczenko's article : 12 Powerfoods: Never Go Hungry.

The trick is to find ways to include these “preventative medicine” foods into your everyday meals – you don’t have to just eat nuts, berries and oatmeal all day. Once you learn how to incorporate these helpful foods into your daily diet, it becomes second nature. One of the recipes I have chosen for this week is out of the "Eating For Life" section of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (www.bhg.com): Spinach-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry Reduction. Spinach is packed with nutrients, promotes immunity and helps to stabilize free radicals. To get the full benefits of the cranberry juice*, make sure to use 100% cranberry juice with no added sugar. This will be a little bitter, but the apple juice will help to sweeten it up. The three other recipes are just as delicious and include many of the healthy foods you'll find on the Men's Health list. I hope that you enjoy making them: Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Cumin Spiced Carrots, Pasta with White Clam Sauce, Corn Cakes with Black Bean Soup.

* Cranberry juice contains a mixture of natural vitamins and minerals (effective in the treatment of urinary tract, bladder, and kidney infections), as well as antioxidants and phytochemical nutrients (helpful in protecting against heart disease and cancer).

Items Already in the Pantry or Fridge:
mayo,cumin, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, honey, salt, black pepper, unsalted butter, Parmesan cheese, flour, dry white wine, balsamic vinegar, dried rosemary, baking powder, sugar, cornmeal, milk, 1 egg, cooking oil, ground red pepper, apple juice

Shopping List**
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 limes
1 bulb of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
6 kaiser rolls
1 medium tomato
1 red onion
Boston or Bibb lettuce
1 bunch of carrots
2-6 1/2 oz cans of minced clams
10 oz of linguine
1 3/4 cups of half and half
1 bottle of clam juice
2 medium onion
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 cup dry black beans
2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch celery
1/2 cup of frozen whole kernel corn
fresh chives (enough to garnish)
1-8 oz container of sour cream
1 pound pork tenderloin
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup of cranberry juice

**Most recipes are for 4-6 servings. If you are making more, or less, you will need to adjust the shopping list accordingly**

Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken Burgers with Cumin Spiced Carrots ( serves 6)

4 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 limes
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp cumin
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of mayo
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
6 kaiser rolls
1 avocado
1 medium tomato sliced
slices of red onion
Boston or Bibb lettuce

Combine the juice of 2 limes, honey, soy sauce, cumin, garlic and black pepper in small bowl. Place chicken into a shallow baking dish and cover the chicken with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the mayo, juice of 1 lime, cayenne pepper and cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.

The chicken can either be cooked on the grill outside, on the stove in a grill pan or in the oven at 400 degree for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Serve on Kaiser rolls and garnish with the mayo mixture, slices of avocado, tomato, onion and lettuce.

Cumin Spiced Carrots:
4 medium carrots cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tbsp of butter (unsalted)
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Place the carrots into a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a bowl. Cook until slightly tender. Drain. In a pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Serve alongside the burgers.

Pasta with White Clam Sauce (serves 4)

10 oz linguine
2-6 1/2 cans minced clams
1 3/4 cups half and half
1 bottle of clam juice
1 medium chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup dry white wine*
1/4 cup Parmesean cheese

Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until tender but not brown. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Add the half and half, 1 bottle of the clam juice. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Stir in the clams, fresh oregano, parsley and wine. Heat through. Serve over hot pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

*Non alcoholic wine is available in some stores.

Corn Cakes with Black Bean Soup (6 servings)

1 cup of dry black beans
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of ground red pepper
4 cloves of garlic minced
8 oz sour cream
chopped chives for garnish

Corn Cakes:
2 tbsp of flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/4 cup of sweet onion chopped
1 slightly beaten egg
3 tbsp cooking oil

To make the soup:Rinse the beans. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine beans and 6 cups of water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. Or place beans and water in a pan. Cover, and let them soak in a cook place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans.

Return beans to saucepan. Stir in two cups of water, the broth, onion, celery, cilantro, salt, red pepper and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 1-1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

Remove approximately 1/3 of soup and transfer to a blender. Holding the lid on the blender down tightly, process the soup until smooth. Add back to the saucepan. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and garnished with chopped chives.

To prepare the corn cakes: In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine add the boiling water to the corn meal, stir to make a stiff mush. Stir in the milk until smooth. Add the corn, red pepper, onion and egg. Add flour mixture until well combined.

In a large skillet heat the 2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium heat. Drop the batter by rounded tbsp into the hot oil, making 6 cakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with the black bean soup.

Spinach-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry Reduction (serves 4)
1 1-pound pork tenderloin
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/4 apple juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Slice the tenderloin lengthwise, almost all of the way through, making a pocket. Set aside.

In a large skillet cook the spinach in a small amount of water just until wilted; drain well. In a small bowl combine the wilted spinach, artichoke hearts, cheese and rosemary. Spoon spinach mixture into the pocket in the tenderloin (filling will be exposed). Place in a shallow roasting pan, stuffing side up. Roast in a 435 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat registers 160 degrees.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan combine the apple and cranberry juices with the balsamic vinegar. Bring to boiling. Boil gently about 15 minutes or until the mixture measure 1/3 cup. Spoon the juice reduction over the tenderloin during the last 10 minutes of roasting. To serve bias-slice the pork. Serve with a garden salad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Week 6, Fat is Fat......

In a country like ours, where healthy food is easily accessible, where our media outlets are constantly feeding (no pun intended) us information on how to live healthy lifestyles, even celebrities have gotten on the band-wagon and are creating websites on how to "nourish the inner aspect". Case in point, Gwyneth Paltrow's "Goop" website. It is a very real concern that the number of overweight children in our country is on the rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese -- a number that has tripled since 1980. In addition to the 16 percent, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight. (Source: "Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004). The rise in obesity among children has a great socioeconomic impact on our country. Obesity-associated annual hospital costs for children and youth more than tripled over two decades, rising from $35 million in 1979-1981 to $127 million in 1997-1999. (Source: "Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.) Experts agree that inactivity and poor eating habits contribute to obesity.

Nearly one-third of U.S. Children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, resulting in approximately six extra pounds per year, per child. Fast food consumption has increased fivefold among children since 1970. (Source: "Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey," Pediatrics, January 2004.) Part of the reason why I think that we are consuming so much more fast food is because we have very busy lifestyles. Both parents work in most American families-it's easier to buy fast food then to make dinner. Also, most people believe that fast food is cheaper then food you buy at the store and prepare yourself.

This is one of the reasons why I created this blog. You have the time to make healthy meals for your family during the week, if you are organized and plan ahead. Not only will you save time, but you will save ample money by skipping the fast-food lines!

As parents we are the greatest role-models for our children. Kids aren't going to eat their broccoli if we don't, and they aren't going to live a healthy, active lifestyle if we don't. Don't think that we are off the hook either. Results from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 66 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. It's just common sense: eat healthy, exercise more.

That being said, every once in a while indulging in a "Big Mac" and french fries or a piece of chocolate cake will only help keep you from going insane!

Get me the step ladder, time for me to get off my soap box and talk about the meals for this week: Chicken and Dumpling Soup, Vegetable and Polenta Lasagna, Slow Cooked Pepper Steak and Thai Chicken.

Items already in the pantry or fridge:
cornmeal, corn starch, salt, black pepper, bay leaves, nutmeg, flour, sugar, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, butter, 3 eggs, milk, soy sauce, olive oil, peanut butter, white wine vinegar, rice

Shopping List:**
2 1/2 pound chicken
2 lbs beef round steak
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 onions
1 bunch of scallions
4 cups fresh mushrooms
5 medium green bell peppers
3 medium red bell peppers
4 tomatoes
1 bulb of garlic
1 bunch of carrots
1 bunch of celery
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh tarragon
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 bunch of fresh dill
1 ginger root
1 cup of broccoli
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1 bag of egg noodles
1 jar of favorite marinara sauce

**Most recipes are for 4-6 servings. If you are making more, or less, you will need to adjust the shopping list accordingly**

Chicken and Dumpling Soup (8 servings)

2 1/2 pound chicken
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
3 cups chicken stock
6 cups of water
1 tbsp fresh parsley choped
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
*black pepper to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 eggs
* 2 tbsp tarragon

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, fennel and a large pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of chicken stock and 6 cups of water, thyme, dill, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the chicken and let cool. Pick off the meat in shreds and set aside.

Combine the milk, butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 of the tarragon in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the flour; stir vigorously until the liquid is absorbed. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, to make a thick dough.

Bring the soup to a boil. Form the dough into large dumplings using an ice cream scoop. Drop them into the soup. Cover and cook the dumplings, without peeking, until they float to the surface-about 10-15 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken meat, parsley, the rest of the tarragon to the soup. Divide among bowls.

Vegetable Polenta Lasagna (8 servings)

4 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups fresh mushrooms, halved
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 medium green sweet peppers, roasted and chopped
3 medium red sweet peppers, roasted and chopped
1 1/4 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the polenta, in a medium saucepan bring 2 1/2 cups of the water to boiling. In a medium bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, the cornmeal, and 1 tsp of the salt. Slowly add the cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling; reduce the heat to low. Cook about 10 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. Pour the hot mixture into a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. (Or cover and refrigerate for 24 hours).

In a large skillet cook onion in hot oil over medium hear for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat; stir in the green and red roasted peppers.

Spread the marinara sauce over chilled polenta. Top with the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the edges are bubbly.

**Note: to roast the peppers, quarter the peppers lengthwise; remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. Place peppers, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until skins are blistered and bubbly. Fold foil around peppers to form a packet; seal. Let stand for 15 minutes to loosen skins. Peel and chop sweet peppers. (Or substitute two 12-oz jars roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped, for the green and red sweet peppers.)

Slow Cooked Pepper Steak (6-8 servings)

2 lbs beef round steak
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
4 tomatoes, cut into eighths
2 large green bell peppers, cut into strips
1/2 cup cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
cooked egg noodles

Cut beef into 3 x 1 inch strips; brown in a skillet. Transfer to a slow cooker. Combine the next seven ingredients; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the meat is tender. Add tomatoes and green peppers; cook on low for 1 hour longer. Combine the cold water and cornstarch to make a paste; stir into liquid in slow cooker and cook on high until thickened. Serve over cooked noodles.

Thai Chicken (4 servings)

2 cups rice
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
3/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup of broccoli
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp peanut butter
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chicken, garlic and ginger and cook 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and add scallions, broccoli, peanuts, soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring well. Serve over a bed of rice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Week 5, For the Kids.....

If you are like me, then the last thing you want to do every night is make several different dinners for all the picky eaters in your house. The worst is when you take time to make a nice, healthy dinner for your family, and then end up opening up a box of macaroni and cheese because your three year old refuses to eat!

I came up with, what I hope, are four "kid-friendly" meals. Sausage and Cheese Calzones, Fish and Chips, Paella, and Carne Asada Tacos.

Don't be afraid to substitute for what you know that your children will like the best. For instance, any pizza topping can be used with the calzone recipe, and instead of flank steak you can use chicken, ground beef or ground turkey for the tacos. You know your family the best! Also, get your kids in the kitchen to help you out! I find that when my three year old helps out, even in the most insignificant way, she is more willing to try and eat her dinner-because she "cooked" it. It also helps teach your kids that healthy food doesn't come out of a box!

Check out these websites for more tips and ideas on how to get your kids in the kitchen:

Cooking with Kids

Kids Cooking Activities

Growing Cooks

Items already in the pantry or fridge:
flour, salt, black pepper, white pepper, 2 eggs, corn flakes, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, chili powder, white vinegar, soy sauce, corn meal, Parmesean cheese, milk

Shopping List**:
3 pounds flank steak
1 1/4 pound of chicken cutlets
1/2 pound of pork sausage
1 1/2 pounds of cod fillet
1/2 pound small, cooked, peeled shrimp
2 limes
1 bulb of garlic
1 large tomatoes
4 large potatoes
2 onions
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz frozen peas
3 cups long grain rice
1 10 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 10 oz bag of shredded mozzerella cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 box of taco shells
1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 jar favorite pizza sauce
3 cups chicken stock
sour cream

**Most recipes are for 4-6 servings. If you are making more, or less, you will need to adjust the shopping list accordingly**

Sausage and Cheese Calzones (makes four calzones)
1/2 pound of pork sausage
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
ground black pepper
8 oz of ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp of water
2 tbsp of cornmeal
1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tbsp of olive oil

Brown the meat in a skillet. Drain and remove to a large bowl. Using the same skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. On medium to high heat saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook on medium heat for an additional 5-6 minutes. Add the oregano, basil and pepper to taste.

Add the onion mixture to the sausage. Add the mozzarella and Parmesean cheese.

Grease the cookie sheet and sprinkle with the cornmeal.

Unroll the dough onto a floured surface, and separate into 4 rectangles. Press each into a 7 x 4 inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Add 1/4 of the sausage mixture to the center of the rectangle, add 2 tbsp of ricotta cheese to the top of the mixture. fold the dough over the filling; firmly press edges with fork to seal. Brush the top of each with an egg. With a fork, prick top of each to allow steam to escape.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Paella (6 servings)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds of chicken cutlets, cut into chunks
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of tumeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup peas (if frozen allow to thaw slightly)
3 cups long grain rice
3 cups of water
3 cups chicken stock
2 chicken or turkey sausage
1/2 pound small, cooked, peeled shrimp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sausage on broiler pan and into oven for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through; set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Place the chicken cutlets into oil and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes; set aside.

Stir in onion and garlic, cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 1 minutes. Add green and red bell pepper, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, tumeric, chili powder and saute for 1 minute.

Pour in the water and the stock, stir well, then simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently to make sure the rice does not stick

Add the peas. Slice the sausages on the diagonal and then add to the rice with the shrimp. Allow to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fish and Chips (4 servings)
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets
4 large potatoes, peeled
2 cups finely crushed cornflakes
Salt and Pepper to season
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 lightly beaten egg
1 cup of milk

Halve the potatoes lengthwise, then cut each piece into 4 sticks. Pour 1 1/2 tbsp of oil into the roasting pan, and place the roasting pan in a preheated 400 degree oven for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the potatoes to the roasting pan. Toss in the oil until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp on the outside but tender.

Meanwhile, season the flour with salt and pepper. In a separate dish beat the egg with the milk. Coat the fish pieces in the flour, then dip them into the egg/milk mixture, and roll in the crushed cornflakes.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet, on medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook thoroughly. Serve with the potatoes.

Carne Asada Tacos (four servings, two tacos each)
3 pounds Flank Steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 box of taco shells, or soft taco tortillas
1 large tomato diced
2 cups shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese for serving
salsa for serving
sour cream for serving
guacamole for serving

Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours. Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Place the desired amount of steak into warmed taco shells, garnish with tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese. Serve with salsa and guacamole. Spanish rice accompanies this dish well.