This post is part three of my Nutrient Density post. Click the link to read all about nutrient density if you haven’t already!
It finally feels like spring here in North Carolina, and all of this beautiful weather is making me think about fresh salads and a lot of veggies! I always try to pair big salads with proteins, one of my favorites being steak. Pastured beef is a wonderful source of protein, Iron, Vitamin B12, and can be high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids if the beef is primarily grass-fed. I had a beautiful flat iron steak from LoMo Market for this salad, which came from Firsthand Foods here in North Carolina. If you are looking for a 100% grass-fed source for beef in the Raleigh-Durham area, I recommend Double R Cattle in Hillsborough, NC.
I wanted to pair the steak with some common and uncommon flavor combinations. When I think of steak, I think of potatoes… usually in the form of french fries (am I right?) While I love some homemade crispy fries now and then, I wanted to make a sweet potato hash with some beautifully colored LoMo sweet potatoes. These purple sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and polyphenols. Orange sweet potatoes are excellent sources of Beta-Carotene (a pre-cursor to Vitamin A), and also good sources of Vitamins C and B6.
The Kale and Strawberries in this recipe also are great sources of Vitamin C. Kale also is a good source of Vitamin A, fiber, and a cruciferous vegetable, which has been shown to have properties that can prevent cancer.
Feel free to mix this salad up with different types of steak (strips, sirloin, tenderloin, and flank would all work). You could even swap out the steak for chicken breast – just marinate for only 30-60 minutes.
Strawberry Balsamic Steak and Kale Salad
For the Marinade:
8-12 oz. Flat Iron Steak
1.5 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, separated
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
½ tsp. Garlic (about one small clove), minced
1.5 tsp. Honey
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
For the Kale Salad:
1 Large Bunch Dino (Lacinato) Kale, chopped thin
¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Clove Garlic, Minced
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
½ Tbsp. Honey
¼ tsp. Salt (or more, to taste)
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
For the Hash
1.5 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Butter
½ Cup Onion, Chopped
3 Cups Sweet Potato (I used orange and purple), chopped into ½ inch cubes
2 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
½ tsp. Black Pepper
¼ tsp. Paprika
Salt, to taste
2 tsp. Parsley, minced
- Prepare the marinade by mixing all ingredients under “Marinade” except for 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and steak in a shallow bowl/dish large enough for the steak. Lay steak in the marinade and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning once so both sides have a chance to lay in the marinade.
- While the steak is marinating, prepare the hash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop onions and sweet potatoes.
- Heat an oven-safe stainless pan at medium heat and add olive oil or butter. Once heated, add onion and smashed garlic. Stir occasionally until onion begins to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add paprika, half of the black pepper, and a few dashes of salt, and stir.
- Transfer pan to the oven and let cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Carefully remove pan from oven and stir with a spoon. Check sweet potatoes to see if they are the desired softness and doneness. If not, place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in minced parsley and salt to taste.
- Prepare steak – Remove steak from marinade and pat dry well with a paper towel. In a pan (I used cast iron), add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil (from under “Marinade” ingredient section) and heat at medium heat. When hot, add steak and let sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Carefully flip, cook for another 2 minutes, then transfer pan to the oven.
- Remove pan from the oven and check temperature of steak (steak will increase in internal temperature between 5-10 degrees while resting, so remove at 135 for medium rare, 140 for medium, and 150 for medium well.) Let steak rest for 15 minutes, then slice thinly against the grain.
- To make the dressing, add 3 strawberries, balsamic, olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic to a mixer and blend until everything is combined.
- Add desired amount of dressing to kale and massage dressing and kale together with your hands. Slice remaining strawberries and add to salad along with pecans.
- Arrange salad bowls with salad on the bottom, and then steak and hash. Garnish with parsley and more dressing, if desired.