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Thinking of lunch while under the influence of the food blog mothership and my leftovers, led me to this Saturday meal for just my teenager and me.

These people, teenagers I’ll call them, start out as babies accepting their foods from us as jarred amalgams and willingly eat combinations like peas & beef or carrots & turkey or broccoli & chicken & potato salad. Then they learn to talk. I believe my daughter’s first words were “gross, my carrot stick touched the edge of my hotdog and now it’s all ruined and disgusting!”

From then on you do your best to keep the poisonous germs from an apple slice from even so much as looking at a chicken tender much less coming into contact with it. You spend the toddler and tween years compartmentalizing the kids’ food with divider plates, bowls and barricades – a kind a separation that even the Sunnis and Shiites would appreciate until the one day when your child accepts, and god-willingly, likes an omelette with cheese or pizza with onions. Of course, this would happen at their best friend’s house whose mom is a better cook than you, but the introduction of food combinations has occurred and you don’t care how it started.

Kendall was willing to try the steak salad. Her version is below. Easy to make with mine by eliminating the vegetables that she’s not so keen on. She can take the higher calorie foods, so we added on goat cheese too. Success. Note: if Griffin, still a tween, were joining us, I’d have divided the nation of foods and forced them to their own corners of the plate. By combining the core ingredients in ways the younger diners can tolerate, everyone wins and everyone eats well.

Lean beef, in moderation, power packs iron and protein. Adding it to the vegetables in a salad with a light but flavor-intense salad makes for a very healthy lunch.

healthy steak salad with steakhouse vinaigrette (recipe):

single serving

Prep Time – 15 minutes

2-3 oz. leftover steak (lean and hopefully, organic and grass-fed)

cherry tomatoes


sliced cucumbers

sliced red onion (I used pickled)

thinly sliced mushrooms

mixed cherry tomatoes add color and interest

pickled onions boost the flavor

Zap the steak for 30 seconds in the microwave to bring to room temperature and to revive the juices. Combine ingredients and in portions you prefer for your salad. Toss with vinagrette.

Steakhouse Vinaigrette adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2-3 servings

1 T wine vinegar

1 t dijon mustard

1/2 t worcestershire sauce

1/2 t honey

2 T olive oil

s&p to taste

Combine the first three ingredients. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.


dr. april notes

The American Heart Association definition of a “portion” of meat is a 4 oz serving-about the size of a deck of cards. I too eat steak to which you’re saying “a cardiologist, eating Steak?!?!?!” wasn’t steak banned in the 70’s??” Truthfully, much grocery store steak is high in saturated fat-the building block for that lousy LDL cholesterol. We look for grass fed steak. Cows fed grass-their natural real food-have higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids which are actually found in grass itself. Small portions, and the right cow=healthy real food.


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