As many of you may know, one of my many passions is discussing food/drink with my followers. An element of this blog, at times, has been used to review restaurants and places of fine dining. But don’t you think it’s time we developed some culinary skills of our own.
Regardless of cooking experience, we have all tried, at one point to recreate that one dish we always order in our favourite restaurant, or even try to awaken the dormant mixologist within ourselves, by thinking we can produce that signature cocktail.
Well, what if I told you that this can be possible? Take your favourite meal…break the elements down…identify the necessary ingredients…balance the flavours…but most of all, do it within a reasonable budget. Sound difficult? It’s not.
So without further ado, I will guide you through making a dish that I have come to adore preparing since moving to Toronto. It’s not only exceptional in taste, but also cheap to purchase, easy to put together and ready in no time at all.
I give you the Green Garden Beef & Mushroom Salad. Aspects of this meal have been inspired partly by numerous restaurant menus, as well as my own imagination and tastes.
All you will need are the following ingredients (Serves 2 People):
1) 6-7 Leafs of Green Curly Leaf Lettuce
2) 150-170g of Lean Beef Strips Cut Thin or Cubed (NOPAC MEAT, ON, Canada)
3) 1 Tablespoon of Sliced Green Olives (SARDO FOODS, ON, Canada)
4) 9-10 Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
5) 1 Clove of Garlic
6) Half of a White Onion
7) 4 White Mushrooms Uncooked (BELLE GROVE MUSHROOMS, ON, Canada)
8) 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce
9) 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Natural Basil
10) Montreal Steak Seasoning
So as mentioned before, the preparation process is quite simple:
STEP 1) After washing all of your produce, thinly slice the curly green lettuce. After this cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and then move onto cutting the 4 white mushrooms into medium-thick slices. Place all prepared produce into a large bowl, and add in 1 heaped tablespoon of sliced green olives to the salad mix.
STEP 2) Now that this is done, you need to carefully cut the beef strips into smaller pieces or cubes, if this is not already done for you. Lightly season raw meat with 1 teaspoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Refridgerate until later.
STEP 3) Now dice half an onion and slice 1 clove of garlic. Add both of these to a non-stick frying pan, with a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sauté. After this is completed, removed the previously seasoned meat from the refrigerator and add it to the pan. On a medium heat, occasionally turn to ensure the meat is cooked through. This should only take 2-3 minutes, due to the small amount of meat required.
STEP 4) TIME TO PLATE UP! Place the prepared salad onto a plate; followed by the beef, onion and garlic mix, which will be placed on top. However, no salad is complete without a dressing. With just 2 tablespoons of olive oil (Basil infused) and 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce, evenly mix the two together. By lightly drizzling on top of the dish, you have created the most complimentary condiment for your beef and mushroom salad.
STEP 5) GRAB A FORK, TUCK IN & ENJOY!!!
So what did I say? Easy to do? Of course it is!
Now, I enjoy dining out as much as the next person. However, the majority of us; myself included, are on a budget and this luxury is not always affordable. But with this simple recipe, you can bring fine dining to your very own kitchen. Whether you use it as an afternoon snack or as a starter when guests are around…it will not fail to impress.
But most importantly, it is delicious and something you can be proud of. The colours, tastes and smells seem impossible with such simple ingredients, but it works wonderfully. To make the savouring process even more enjoyable, this healthy, appetising alternative is only 288 Calories per serving. So maybe this dish is a true exception to the statement that “Everything that tatstes good is bad for us.”
An important part of this salad is the ingredients; specifically the mushrooms and olives. I myself am a huge fan of mushrooms, ever since I was a child. Therefore I always look for the best quality, but still at an affordable price. This is why I continue to choose BELLE GROVE MUSHROOMS time and time again. They are packed full of B vitamins and antioxidants, as well as being low in carbs. Mushrooms surprisingly make you feel fuller for longer, which quickly disperses the opinion that hunger cannot be simply satisfied with salad. Belle Grove Mushrooms are grown entirely pesticide free, which relieves many of our health conscious society in Canada. These particular Mushrooms can be purchased in all Metro Stores.
The olives on the other hand are great for hair growth, skin quality and, most importantly, contain oleic acid, which has been associated with improved heart health.
As a person whose cholesterol likes to creep up and scare them from time to time, these 2 ingredients are the most beneficial additions to any dishes I create. So there you have it folks… A cooking lesson and a health analysis rolled into one blog. How lucky are you?
Let me know how you get on with this recipe, and I hope you enjoy your culinary experience. Happy cooking my little fairy followers. xxx.