Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Who Wants Beef! January 19, 2011

Filed under: beef,dinner,lunch — freerangenurse @ 9:04 pm

Chipotle Rubbed Flank Steak
Eating healthier has me eating mostly fish and chicken, but once in a while, you need some meat! I have picked up a few new cooking magazines to give me inspiration and was happy to see a recipe for chipotle rubbed flank steak with a apricot whiskey glaze in my Cuisine Lite Magazine. I grilled the steak on my cast iron grill along with a mushroom medley of portabello, crimini, and baby bella mushrooms. I sliced it thin and made a sandwich using Oroweat Sandwich thins, spinach leaves and an ounce of brie. It was the perfect midnight dinner for my night shift at work, but I’d bet it would work any other time, too.

Chipotle rubbed Flank Steak
Of course, I started to photograph it for the blog, but then was in a hurry to finish it up before work and didn’t get a picture of the finished sandwich, but I think the meat speaks for itself.

Total Weight Watchers points: 13

What I used (adapted from the Cuisine Lite recipe)

  • 1 1/2 pound trimmed flank steak (non tenderized)
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle chili powder (or minced chipotle in adobo)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Oroweat sandwich thins
  • spinach leaves
  • brie, one ounce per sandwich

Combine whiskey, preserves and chipotle powder (or chipotle chiles), set aside.  In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Rub flank steak with spice/sugar blend until well coated.  You will use nearly all of the rub.  Grill the flank steak over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn and grill the opposite side for 3-4 minutes.  Brush top side of steak with whiskey sauce and grill two minutes more, then flip and brush the opposite side with glaze and grill two minutes more to caramelize both sides of the steak.  Remove from heat and tent with aluminum foil while steak rests.  Grill mushrooms over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Slice meat thinly across the grain and arange 3 ounces on sandwich bun, top with mushrooms, brie and spinach leaves.  Enjoy!


Beef Fajita Salad and Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing March 11, 2010

Filed under: beef,lunch,salad — freerangenurse @ 4:54 pm

(This is a picture from a previous attempt, I like it better with flank steak that has NOT been run through a tenderizer)

A friend recently asked if I had a recipe for creamy cilantro dressing.  Unlike last time, I didn’t tell a lie.  I said no and proceeded to look up a recipe online.  I tried a couple of different recipes and went with  this one.  I feel it is a nice, tangy compliment to the beef and not so heavy that it drowns the salad.  It is also low carb, so my friends on South Beach can enjoy it and one of my friends even likes it plain, on tortilla chips. (more…)


Lasagna, layer by layer March 9, 2010

Filed under: beef,dinner,pasta — freerangenurse @ 12:32 pm

Got a minute?  You won’t have time to make this dish.  Got five hours?  Okay, now we’re talking.  You may be asking yourself why anyone would want to spend five hours in the kitchen.  The answer is because I enjoy the process (and the results).  If I have the time, I love making recipes the old fashioned way – sauces from scratch, slowly simmered, fresh ingredients.  I want my food to taste homemade, it doesn’t have to look perfect, but I do want it to reflect the care and time I took to prepare it.  Do I have time to do this every day?  To quote Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles, “No way, Jose!” (more…)


Well, I don’t *hate* it… January 27, 2010

Filed under: beef,dinner — freerangenurse @ 12:01 pm
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Long before I started this blog, I would post pictures or leave status updates on facebook about what I was cooking.  I guess I left so many that people started thinking I knew what I was doing and started asking me for recipes.  One day, I got a message in my inbox from a friend who was in her third trimester of pregnancy and was craving meat.  Specifically, she requested a recipe for meat loaf.  She said she just knew I’d have a good one.  Did I mention I am a nurse in a NICU and I have experience dealing with pregnant women and postpartum women?  I know enough not to mess with one!  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I don’t like meat loaf, therefor I don’t have a recipe that I’ve tried for meat loaf.  I lied.  I’m sorry, Amy, but you were in a delicate state.  Your baby wanted meat, and I wanted to give your baby what it wanted.  It’s in my nature, it’s what I do.  I wrote back to Amy and sent her a recipe that I found in a cookbook that I love along with modifications I would make if I were going to make it.  She wrote back, excitedly saying, “Girrrrl, now that’s what I’m talking about!”  I crossed my fingers and hoped she liked the results. (more…)


Braised Short Rib Heaven January 25, 2010

When winter comes around, I always seem to have a craving for meals of substance.  Stews, casseroles, braised meat.  It doesn’t even matter that this is Texas and winter sometimes means it is 75 degrees outside.  I think it must be some throwback survival instinct.  The need to bulk up to survive the winter, only…I so don’t need to bulk up.  Lately I have been craving braised short ribs.  Slow cooked all day, rich beefy sauce, mashed potatoes and rolls.  I saw three different recipes that I wanted to try.  One was from Pioneer woman, one from David Lebovitz and one from Tom Colicchio.  I went to the store and purchased the ingredients to make all three, but instead, combined elements from each.  The result was just what I craved. (more…)


Murphy’s Law of Teriyaki Steak January 8, 2010

Filed under: beef,dinner — freerangenurse @ 12:24 pm

Sometimes, when you’re pressed for time and you need everything to go right, it just….doesn’t.  That was the case Monday.  I had worked Sunday night, which meant sleeping was on the agenda for Monday day.  First, I had to go to the store and get the ingredients for the recipes scheduled for Monday and Tuesday night’s dinners.  After working 12 hours overnight, I went to Whole Foods and waited around for half an hour for them to open.  I wandered sleepily through the store picking up freshly ground meats, ripe produce and baked breads needed for these recipes.  Once home, I put everything away and finally hauled my over-tired body to bed. (more…)


Rao’s Meatballs January 6, 2010

Filed under: beef,dinner,pasta — freerangenurse @ 6:09 pm

This is the recipe that started me cooking again.  Seriously the best, most tender, flavorful meatballs I’ve ever had.  Sure you’ll need to buy every animal on the ranch to go in them, but it is well worth it!  The marinara recipe is also from Rao’s cookbook and tastes like sunshine, light and fresh.  I think a red wine sauce would also be fabulous, but I like the savory meatballs paired with a light sauce.

First up, your ingredients list: