“We do our best to eat a balanced vegetarian diet, even going vegan about five days a week. But…nothing stands in the way of Steak Night.”
Growing up, it seemed like we ate a lot of red meat. My mom professed a dislike for “touching” chicken so it seemed we had a lot of steaks, roasts, meat sauces. A weekly staple was a plate of sizzling sirloins, sometimes singed, on the ubiquitous suburban gas grill rounded out with a baked potato and generous spoonful of Stouffer’s Spinach Soufflé. Meanwhile, my husband grew up in the United States of Chicken. Or so it seems. Most of his beloved childhood recipes call for the stuff. Chicken and rice casserole , Chicken French, Cornell Chicken.
So, when we moved in together more than a decade ago, despite being in meat-mad Texas, we landed somewhere in the middle, and threw some turkey, pork chops and vegetarian dishes into the mix. And then, last year, the day after the SuperBowl we took the plunge into the Crazy Sexy Diet – a 21-day vegan cleanse. Those 21 days changed our eating habits forever. We started eating avocados for breakfast, almond butter for lunch and chickpeas for dinner. And we felt amazing.
So here we are, about a year later, and I can honestly say that [when I am not pregnant] we we strive for five — vegan days of the week, that is — and sort of throw caution to the wind on weekends if we choose — depending on if we’re on a WeightWatchers kick or not. It’s funny, as I’m remembering that year after college, I recall how we killed ourselves doing the Body for Life regimen and every Sunday we went to this most incredible Tex-Mex place called La Suprema to celebrate the weekly “free day” from our diet. The “free day” concept never left us and I can say it’s the backbone of our weekly eating strategy. Thus, despite our vegan tendency, we have wholly embraced steak night. Even going so far as to establish a two-years running, standing weekly dinner date with another couple that we call the “Meat Up.” This is basically shorthand for BYO meat to the grill on the patio and we each whip up a side or two and dessert. Over time, our grocery store sirloins and QVC mail-order filets have been replaced by local, humane, free-range farmers market bison, usually in the form of nicely marbled rib-eyes.
All that said, and before I become unpregnant and re-adopt my vegan ways, I present to you: steak, two ways. Or, I should say, two recipes for steak with super easy, oh-MY-god-come-here-I-want-to-punch-you-in-the-goddamn-face-this-is-so-effing-delicious sauces that make my tastebuds jump for joy. Note: You’ll rarely get an original recipe out of me, but you will get some pointed to some stellar staples.
With both of these, pretty much any cut will work or you can follow the recipes to the letter.
Merry meat to you all!