Yes, the Whole30 diet continues and so do the recipes to fit the bill. But, I’ve known enough people to do Crossfit to know that if you talk about your latest health/fitness regimen too much, people will want to stop talking to you.
So for a change of pace I thought I would give you a life update – beyond my diet.
Dating in 2020 is off to a great start.
I’m currently using the dating app Hinge as my only tool (read: hope) for meeting a male companion who brushes his teeth. The pickins are slim here in our nation’s capital so I’ve reduced my criteria to basic oral hygiene.
To my delight Hinge features fewer Romeos holding fish aloft in their primary profile picture and also fewer “entrepreneurs” – calibre of oral hygiene has yet to be determined as I haven’t met any of these bachelors IRL.
Last week I had the good fortune of matching with a gentleman and after an initial exchange of pleasantries he got right down to brass tacks.
Him: “Completely random but I’m pretty confident we went on a few dates about 12 years ago when I worked at Tommy & Lefebvre!”
Me: “Omg! I knew I recognized you and was going to ask if we dated before lol”
Him: “Bahaha – I think I asked you out while I was selling you a tennis racket? And I think your mom was there?”
- I’m 31.
- I still play with that same tennis racket.
- My dad was also there.
Yes, I’ve been single for so long that I’m now circling back to people I dated when I was a teenager – it’s like I’m on a hamster wheel or its Groundhog Day.
For your reference, this gentleman and I did, in fact, go on a few dates after he succeeded in selling me a tennis racket and on his boyfriend potential.
I don’t remember the finer points of our brief and ill-fated courtship but I do remember what the dealbreaker was for me at the time. We had gone out a couple of times and one of my girlfriends suggested we go on a double date.
At the end of the date, in spite of the fact that this was one of the first times we’d gone out, he asked that we split the bill. I was MORTIFIED, convinced my girlfriend would think I’d picked up some vagrant/cheapskate who wouldn’t even foot the bill for a fishbowl cocktail. Call me old fashioned but I am of the belief that on a first or second date the pursuer (in this case, him) should pick up the cheque.
In our more recent chat on Hinge he recalled another experience from our short time together, “I also remember having around $30 in my bank account when you came over to my place and I had no real food to give you. Def a low point! Getting paid $8/hr wasn’t enough to get by.”
And with that, the clouds parted and I can see clearly now. Hallelujah! No wonder he wanted to go Dutch – you can barely get an handcrafted beverage from Starbucks for $8 – let alone live on it as an hourly wage!
Will this gentleman and I revisit our fledgling courtship? Doubtful. But here’s hoping Hinge bears some NEW fruit before the year is out.
Strawberry Steak Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
This Whole30 and Paleo compliant salad makes for a filling meal-sized salad for two people or can serve four as a side salad. You can choose your preferred method for preparing the steak – either in the oven or using a sous vide precision cooker. I opted for sous vide and the steak turned out perfect and juicy.
If you're not going dairy-free, make this salad even more exciting by adding 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese.
- 350 g sirloin steak
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package arugula (140 g)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Pat steaks dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. For best results, allow steak to come to room temperature before cooking.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Add to pan and sear until browned, approximately 2 minutes for the first side and 1 minute for the second side.
Transfer skillet, steaks and all, into the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until desired internal temperature is reached. If using steaks larger than 6 oz each, adjust times as needed.
Remove from oven and place steaks on a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Resting time is crucial for a juicy steak. Once fully rested, thinly slice the steak.
Preheat your Precision Cooker to 131.5°F. Allow the water bath to come ot temperature before adding your steak.
Season the steak generously with salt and pepper and then slide it into a vacuum-seal or heavy-duty zipper lock plastic bag.
Drop the bag in the water bath, making sure not to block the intake or output of your Precision Cooker. If properly sealed, the steak should sink. Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove the seak from the bag and palce it on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat it dry very carefully on both sides.
Turn on your exhaust and open windows. Place a heavy cast iron or stainless steel skillet on high heat with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Gently lay the steak in the skillet using tongs. After 15 to 30 seconds, flip the steak. Repeat flipping the steak until it has a nice brown sear – about a minute and a half in total.
Thinly slice the steak to use in salad.
Slice strawberries and avocado. Drizzle avocado with lime juice to keep them from browning.
Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Feel free to adjust levels of balsamic to taste.
Combine arugula, avocado, strawberries, walnuts, sliced steak in a large salad bowl and toss to combine. If serving immediately, top with half the dressing and toss again. Allow guests to add more dressing to individual portions, as desired. If saving for later, keep dressing on the side until ready to eat.
If you want to add a little more deliciousness to this salad, feel free to add 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese.
Recipe adapted from: Laughlin, Jenn. “Strawberry Steak Salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing.” Peas and Crayons. March 2017.