Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Good friends, good weather, good food. Thank you Allison and Mo for spending a weekend in Boulder! I must say it feels a little strange to relax at the kitchen table, sipping a glass of wine while my sweet friends cook for me. I spend so much time in the kitchen, that I often forget what it's like to be on the other side...it was wonderful! I am forever grateful to eat so well and be healthy. I didn't help make this meal, but I did devour it. (Recipe inspiration comes from Diabetic Living Magazine)

8oz beef flank steak
2 yellow or red bell peppers, sliced
8 asparagus stalks, trimmed
2 green onions, trimmed
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
2-3 cups torn romaine lettuce
fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Cilantro Dressing (recipe follows)

Cilantro Dressing: 
Lime juice
olive oil
garlic clove
red chile powder
ground cumin

In a blender or food processor, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice; 2 tablespoons chopped shallot; 2 tablespoons snipped cilantro; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1 tablespoon water; 2 teaspoons honey; 1 large clove garlic, quartered; 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Cover and blend or process until combined.
Divide Cilantro Dressing into two portions.

Trim fat from steak. Score both sides of steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag. Pour one portion of the Cilantro Dressing over steak in bag; set remaining dressing portion aside. Seal bag; turn to coat steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Drizzle peppers, green onions and asparagus with olive oil. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat and, later, vegetables on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill. For steak, allow 17 to 21 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F). Add pepper and asparagus to the grill for the last 8 minutes of grilling and green onions to the grill for the last 4 minutes grilling, turning frequently. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat and, later, vegetables on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill. 

Thinly slice meat against the grain. Serve meat, vegetables, tomatoes, and, avocado slices over romaine lettuce. Drizzle with the reserved portion of the Cilantro Dressing. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Makes 2 servings 


Gluten Free in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Having lived in Boulder for the last year, I've become quite accustomed to having numerous gluten-free options at hand. I feel like I can go into almost any restaurant and have something safely prepared for me. When I come back to New Mexico, I don't feel so fortunate. There's a saying in NM that it's the "land of maƱana" in other words, what ever needs to get done, can get done tomorrow. Well, I believe this saying exists because New Mexico is a little behind the times. Stuff gets done here just a little slower than in other states. Sometimes thats a good thing, but in the world of  knowledge and accommodating people with food allergies and gluten intolerance, this is not such a good thing. For example, one of my old favorite restaurants, Flying Star put out this statement about gluten: "Our counter staff is happy to comply with your changes, but will not be able to assist you with Gluten issues." Shut down.

****Update**** One year after writing this post, Flying Star has decided to offer some "Gluten Not" options. I don't know if they pay any attention to cross contamination, but they do offer a couple breakfast entrees and muffins that do not contain gluten.

I've decided to pick my battles and Flying Star is one that can be shoved under the rug for the time being... I'm focusing on the restaurants that ARE open to accommodating those with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance. Thank you Slate Street Cafe, Zinc Wine Bar, Slice Parlor Pizza, The Cube BBQ, O'Neills Irish Pub and Scalo for listening to your customers and offering safe and delicious gluten free meals! My hope is that more and more restaurants will jump on the bandwagon and understand that the individual that has gluten intolerance is the one that makes the decision about where to eat out. Having gluten-free options on your menu will actually increase sales :)

(Please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken on a camera phone)

On a recent rendezvous to Albuquerque, I had the most wonderful meal at Slate Street Cafe. Many of the staff follow a gluten-free diet and the owner has a family member with Celiac Disease. Yay! The food here is amazing. It is presented well,  it's fresh and full of flavor. Plus a drink in the wine loft before the meal is a nice touch. They have a separate gluten-free menu, just ask the hostess when you take your seat! My meal included a peach glazed seared salmon with sauteed green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas and a spicy kiwi-mango salsa. Awesome! All the salads are gluten free and the one that caught my eye was the  grilled peach and prosciutto salad with spring greens, asparagus, golden tomatoes and shaved parmesan.

We also ate at Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro- Zinc is an awesome place to listen to music and have a wonderful meal. The hostess, chef and waitress were all knowledgeable about my intolerance and assured me that I would have a safe meal. It was wonderful! I had the New Mexico raised steak and a mixed green salad with homemade champagne vinaigrette. I will be back. 

For more in-depth gluten-free listing, check out Gluten Free Albuquerque.  
talk to the manager or cook on-site. The BBQ sauce and most of the meats and salads are gluten-free,  naturally! 

A relatively new pizza joint in town. Serves a 12" pizza and even has gluten free beer on the menu. It doesn't get much better than that!

El Pinto Restaurant serves up some of Albuquerque's most delicious New Mexican food. You can safely eat chicken tacos, enchiladas and carne adovada. Order from their new gluten free menu and devour the delicious salsa!

If you are traveling to Santa Fe, check out the article published by Living Without Magazine.

My favorites in Santa Fe:

La Choza. You can safely eat the carne adovada (this chile and meat is not made with wheat flour). Pinto beans and Posole. Delish!

Vinaigrette Salad Bistro. Speak to the staff. They are accommodating to those with special dietary needs. I love the Apple Cheddar chop salad. Just make sure your meat is NOT marinated.

Tree House Bakery. All vegetarian and very tasty. Go on Tuesday- it's gluten free special day!

Revolution Bakery. This place is amazing. It's entirely gluten-free. Pick up your bread, cinnamon rolls, hot coffee, scones, pizza etc... and don't worry about gluten-contamination at all! WOO HOO!