Tricolor Strip Steak Salad

Think lean beef can't fit into a plant-based diet?  Think again!  This colorful steak salad packs in a rainbow of veggies - and a whole lot of flavor.  The best part?  It's ready in 30 minutes.

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and New York Beef Council, and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.  Vote for my Tricolor Strip Steak Salad here!

If you're coming to my place for dinner, there's a good chance beef will be the star of the menu.  Aside from being an excellent source of high-quality protein, let's be honest: IT. TASTES. SO. GOOD. Nothing satisfies quite like a steak - just ask my carnivorous husband and toddler.  

But back to that protein: a 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12, and zinc.  As a personal trainer an active weightlifter, I depend on that 25 grams to stimulate muscle protein synthesis after a strenuous gym session.  Moreover, emerging research indicates that evenly distributing daily protein intake at meals and snacks throughout the day (~20 to 30g/meal) helps maintain a healthy weight, support a healthy metabolism, and age more vibrantly.  So beef isn't just for dinner: it earns its place at your breakfast table and desk lunches.  

 There's more to beef than high-quality protein.

There's more to beef than high-quality protein.

OK, now back to the TASTE: unlike other sources of high-quality protein (that's protein that contains all amino acids), beef is in a flavor class by itself.  Sure, you can marinate it, sauté it, slow-cook it, and serve it in seemingly endless ways, but when prepared properly, beef stands on its own four legs (get it?).  Here's a fun fact: steak tastes best when it's cooked WITHOUT salt and set to rest for at least five minutes before consumption.  I recently nixed the salt and found a deeper appreciation for beef. PS, if you haven’t already, check out some of the most popular lean beef cuts like Strip SteakT-Bone, and Tenderloin Steak. You’re probably already cooking a lean cut at home or choosing it when dining out!

 Easy, easy, got to take it easy: let that baby rest, and hold the salt!

Easy, easy, got to take it easy: let that baby rest, and hold the salt!

With steak being so tasty on its own, there's freedom to experiment with its plating partners.  Here, I've rounded up my favorite fresh, frozen, and fermented veggies; savory dressing staples, and sesame seeds for some added crunch.  Drawing inspiration from my obsession with kimchi and tricolor cookies, this salad is sure to wake up your tastebuds.  Enjoy it on its own, or serve it over brown rice.  The recipe calls for a pound of steak - prepare it whole, then save the unused portion for leftovers the next day.  Steak and eggs, anyone?  

Enjoy your beef.  Enjoy your life!

Tricolor Strip Steak Salad (for 2)

Author: Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT

Ingredients:

1 pound strip steak, brought to room temperature

Canola oil, for brushing steak

1/2 cup kimchi (I use Matt's Kimchi)

For the edamame salad:

1 cup frozen shelled edamame

1/2 medium Mexican avocado, cubed

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp. black sesame seeds, toasted

2 scallions, greens only, finely chopped with scissors (optional)

1 T. cilantro, finely chopped with scissors (more to taste)

For the red slaw:

1.5 cups shredded red cabbage (I often purchase pre-packed, but spiralizer also works well)

1.5 cups shredded carrots (see above)

1 "thumb" of ginger root, grated

1 T. shiro miso (use some leftover miso in THIS banana bread - trust me)

2 T. unseasoned rice vinegar

1 T. sesame oil

1 tsp. honey

Brown rice, to serve (optional)

Preparation:

1.  Prepare edamame according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine with avocado, lime juice, black sesame seeds, scallion, and cilantro.  Set aside.

 Goodness, gracious - peep all those glorious shades of green!

Goodness, gracious - peep all those glorious shades of green!

2. Combine shredded red cabbage, carrot, and grated ginger in medium bowl. Whisk shiro miso with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and honey.  Gently massage into cabbage mixture and set aside.  If you don't want to get all touchy-feely with your salad, go ahead and toss with utensils, but massaging will really work the dressing in!

 Carrots, red cabbage, and ginger: the ultimate slaw trifecta. 

Carrots, red cabbage, and ginger: the ultimate slaw trifecta. 

 You'll be making this miso dressing again and again - it's my go-to for Tuscan kale. 

You'll be making this miso dressing again and again - it's my go-to for Tuscan kale. 

3. Get ready to prepare your beef!  Heat a non-stick skillet over a high flame.  Gently rub or brush the strip steak on both sides with a bit of canola oil.  Place in hot pan and flip after 5-6 minutes.  Steak is medium when it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F - remember the temperature will continue to rise when it's removed from the pan.  Transfer steak to cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes.

4. Assemble your dish!  Divide kimchi, edamame salad, and red slaw equally between two plates.  Slice steak in half, and slice one half into strips.  Divide strips between the two plates.  Reserve the other half of the steak, and store in airtight container, unsliced, in the refrigerator.

5. Enjoy!  For a twist, forgo red wine and serve with sake - many varieties boast umami-rich flavor that marries well with beef.