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Chef Ryan Hutmacher and Shawna Coronado cook together at the Aquascape water garden.

In this post, Shawna Coronado and Chef Ryan Hutmacher, “The Centered Chef”, prepare a healthy meal for four of Pan Asian Steak Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette for $10 or less. Each meal in the Living Lean & Green cooking series is prepared to utilize fresh, sustainably grown, organic vegetables from Shawna’s front lawn vegetable garden.

With today’s difficult economy, one of the most challenging things to do is to feed our family good, nutritious, chemical-free food for a reasonable price. While growing your own vegetables is the first step to extremely healthy, sustainable, and locally grown food for your family, it is also important to stop wasting food in our cabinets and refrigerators.

Quite often Americans shop for fruits, vegetables, and boxed goods which end up neglected in storage and never get used. For example, I often go to Costco or Sam’s Club and buy too much, then store the items after the first use and never use them again. I am working to stop this practice and encourage you to also STOP THIS FOOD WASTE. By raiding your cabinets, refrigerators, and kitchen storage areas, you might just discover a secret treasure-trove of food to feed your family.

Pan Asian Steak Salad
Ryan and Shawna preparing the delicious steak salad–yummy!

The benefit? You use all your food without wasting which keeps outdated boxed items and rotted vegetables out of the landfill. You save money instead of wasting it and you learn to creatively adapt recipes to use leftovers and boxed items which need to be used.

GREEN TIP: Recycle packaging from boxed and grocery items by having your kids make and build crafts out of the boxes and wrappers. It is a great way to build awareness for your family on how to recycle and will be a great way for your kids to spend hours of fun crafting.

In the recipe below we pull out all the stops and use all the oils and sauces we could find hidden in my cabinets. It worked – Chef Ryan put together an amazing dish for virtually no cost because we reused all the items from my cabinets. Virtually everything else came from my front lawn vegetable garden. Way to go Chef Ryan!

Pan Asian Steak Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Marinade Ingredients:

2 fluid ounce lime juice
2 fluid ounce soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp garlic, fresh, smashed
2 tsp micro-planed ginger root
1 1/3 Tbs cilantro, fresh
1 1/3 Tbs scallion
1 tsp brown sugar

1 1/4 lb beef, flat iron steak

Rice Noodle Salad ingredients:

1/2 lb leaf lettuce
3 oz julienne bell peppers (use red or yellow)
1/4 lb seeded half-moon cut cucumber
3 oz julienne carrot
2 oz quartered cherry tomatoes (we used ‘Sun-Gold’)
1 oz edamame, blanched and shocked
2 Tbs thinly sliced scallion
2 tsp chopped mint
2 tsp chopped cilantro
2 oz lime juice
5 oz cooked rice noodles, rinse with cold water

Dressing Ingredients:

3 fluid ounce soy sauce
3 fluid ounce lime juice
1 tsp sugar, brown
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/3 Tbs canola oil
1 tsp smashed garlic
2 tsp micro-planed ginger root
1 1/3 Tbs cilantro
1 1/3 Tbs scallion
1 Tbs mint, fresh, chopped

1. Prepare marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients. Marinade for a minimum of 4 hours.

2. Remove steak from marinade, blot to remove excess moisture. Sear in a cast-iron skillet (or on a grill), 3-4 minutes per side or until medium-rare to medium. Let rest and cool before slicing.

3. Combine salad ingredients, except leaf lettuce, adding rice noodles last. Mix well.

4. Prepare dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients. Season to taste. Mix 1/2 the dressing with rice salad ingredients.

5. Plate the salad – put leaf lettuce on the bottom or side, drizzle with remaining dressing. Top with mixed rice salad ingredients. Slice steak then place on top of salad.

Servings: 4 — cost is under $10

Today’s recipe features tomatoes I grew myself. Please link to instructions here on – HOW TO PLANT A TOMATO

— Burpee Home Gardens supplied the vegetables grown in the garden this season. I  write many instructional stories and videos with their incredible vegetable products and donate a large portion of the vegetables to the local food pantry when harvested.

Aquascape, Inc. sponsored the videos and supplied the rainwater cistern for easier watering of the vegetable garden.

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