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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in seafood-free (3)


Recipe: Chimichurri Steak Salad


Our House

Our house in not air-conditioned, so during the sweltering days of summer, I resist spending hours cooking over a hot stove. This is a very fast recipe that can be made indoors or out, over the grill. It came to me out of convenience: I had a few chimichurri-marinated steak kabobs and a sliced vegetable pack from my local market and simply put it all together. Much of the flavor of the dish comes from the chimichurri sauce, and the balsamic-glazed grilled vegetables add a nice piquancy. If you can find the vegetable pre-sliced (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s), and marinated steak kabobs, by all means take the shortcut. Dinner will be ready that much sooner! If you want to make the dish from scratch, it doesn’t take much longer, and it tastes elegant enough to serve to company. Best of all, it’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and nut-free and perfect for your TenderFoodie!

© Kyra Bussanich, 2012

Serves 2 hungry TenderFoodies!


Chimichurri sauce (recipe to follow)
8 ounces steak bits
8 ounces washed lettuce or salad mix
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
½ red onion, sliced
4 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
½ bunch (about 12 spears) baby asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Chimichurri sauce (recipe from

1/2 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt


Put it Together


Add all ingredients to a food processor bowl fitted with a blade. Puree until uniform in texture (should not be a paste, but rather have some lumps and texture to it).

Place the chimichurri and the steak bits in a plastic bag, seal the end and squish the meat around to coat it with the chimichurri sauce. Meanwhile, wash and slice the vegetables and divide the salad between 2 plates. Set the salad aside. On the stove top or grill, heat a large sauté pan with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the mushrooms and red onion slices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the edges of the mushrooms and onions start to caramelize and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and the balsamic vinegar and sauté until the asparagus is tender, about 3 more minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Pour the chimichurri sauce and steak bits into the pan and sauté until the steak is done to your tastes, about 2 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the steak and toss to coat the veggies in the remnants of the chimichurri sauce, and divide the contents of the pan over the two salad plates.



About Kyra

Kyra Bussanich is the owner of Crave Bake Shop, and the first gluten-free winner of the Food Network's Famed, "Cupcakes Wars".  Kyra graduated with honors from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free.  Kyra was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet, avoiding all wheat and overly processed foods. Whenever possible, she uses local ingredients, and serves customers with multiple allergies, as well.


RECIPE: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, DF, GF, Nut-free, Soy-free)

Here is another great recipe from Chef Jenny Brewer, that uses the winter powerhouse called "Sweet Potato".  Chef Jenny will start guest blogging for us in March (2012), with cooking tips and recipes for Tender Foodies of all kinds.  I'm very excited to have Chef Jenny lending her expertise! 



Serves 6-8
Preparation Time:  
20 mins
Cooking time:  
35 mins



1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 anaheim pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs),peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 28-can whole plum tomatoes

1 cup water or vegetable stock

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalepeno), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Saute, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and serve.


About Chef Jenny Brewer

Jenny Brewer is a nutritionist and chef who believes eating healthy should be easy, delicious and fun! She inspires individuals to stay committed to eating healthy with her free healthy eating resource, Tasty Bites with Chef Jenny available at





More Recipes from Chef Jenny

Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free, healthy & delish, delish, delish)


Chef's Tip: Using Avocado as a Dairy Replacement ("Lovocado")

Avocado is a what nutriotionists call a "healthy fat".   But don't panic, this kind of fat is monounsaturated, which researchers say can lower cholesterol if used instead of the saturated kind. Plus avocado's polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFA) are usually found only in sea veggies & are rare in land-based plants. PFAs fight all inflammation, and reduce UVB-induced damage and inflammation in skin, and even act like a sun screen, according to a study done in Israel and published in May, 2011.  Avocado also has 20 some vitamins and minerals, too, like vitamins K, Folate, B6, Riboflavin, Niacin, E, and C; plus minerals like potassium and magnesium.  Avocado may not contain the same nutrients as dairy (like calcium), but it brings many very special and healthy nutrients to your diet.

Nutrition is one of many reasons we call it "Lovocado" here at the The Tender Palate.  Avocado's culinary ability to be used as a dairy replacment is another.  Here are a bunch o' ideas.

Chef Jenny Brewer

Since I loved Chef Jenny Brewer's Not Your Mamma's Chocolate Mousse Tart so much, I asked her for other ways that you can use avocado as a texture replacement for dairy.  Here are a few tips from Chef Jenny.
  1. Use some mashed avocado as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise
  2. Fold avocado chunks into a burrito or taco filling in place of cheese
  3. Blend an avocado with lemon juice and a little water for a creamy salad dressing
  4. Blend an avocado with chocolate and/or fruit and milk of choice for a refreshing milkshake
  5. Use blended avocado in a creamy pudding, like in this pie!
  • 2 large ripe Haas Avocados
    (if your avocados are small, add 1/4 - 1/2 avocado more)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave 
    (or more or less to taste, depending on size of avocados)
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
    (depending upon the size of your avocados, you may want to start with 1/2 TBS and add more to taste)
  • Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

    (I added 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk to make it more pudding-like)


Nutrient Tip:  The most concentrated nutrients in the avocado are closest to the skin. To get them, cut the avocado lengthwise in half, remove the pit, slice the flesh while still in the skin, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Make sure you get the spoon as close to the skin as possible, so your 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are in your meal, not the compost pile.


Chef Alton Brown

I wondered if you could make a frosting out of avocado, so I searched the internet for a recipe.  I wish I could say that I spoke to Chef Alton Brown personally (may some day), but I found this recipe for a dairy-free icing online through another blog called Joy the Baker.  Joy has a delicious vegan cake recipe, that could also be made gluten-free using the all-purpose, gluten-free flour from Jules Shepherd.  I asked Jules if this were true and she said:
It should work just fine with my flour, although I think I'd "up" the baking soda to 1 Tbs. Thanks for sharing - looks like a yummy recipe!  ~Jules
The icing is simple:
  • 8 ounces avocado meat, approximately 2 small to medium
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (for the vegan cake, Joy actually uses 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)

  • Beat the avocados and the lemon juice in the bowl of your stand mixer (use the whisk attachment) for 2-3 minutes until creamy.  Add the powerdered sugar a little at a time until smooth.  Then add whichever extract you choose and incorporate.
With a little bit of knowledge, replacements aren't so hard, right?  Here's a Tender Foodie Challenge:  try these ideas and make your own recipe.   Let me know how your experiments go, will you?  If I like it, I might just write about it.