Generations of Americans have grown up heralding meat and potatoes as the classic dinner of choice. Who doesn't love the taste of that time-honored combination, filling our bellies with the comfort of a juicy, fatty steak and fluffy, carby spuds? Just thinking about it is enough to make us pine for the 1950s when this was considered a healthy meal.
I have good news, however. I have discovered that with a little creativity, any main dish can be turned into a salad, scratching the itch without ditching nutrition. So yes, meat and potatoes can be made healthier, and lighter, which is a bonus for summertime eating.
Try my Meat and Potatoes Steakhouse Salad recipe. It stretches just one 8-ounce steak into feeding four people, which means alongside that tasty steak, each person will also be filled up with a slew of veggies. I used filet mignon because it's a lean cut of beef, and since only a couple of ounces of meat needed per person, the whole dish remains reasonably priced.
Cute baby potatoes on the salad mean you'll also feel satisfied in a way that frankly only comes from a starchy side. In fact, the entire salad celebrates steakhouse flavors, including garlicky meaty mushrooms, flash-cooked asparagus, tomatoes, blue cheese, chives and a creamy dressing made from Dijon mustard and aromatic tarragon. It's like the steakhouse menu itself morphed into a complete meal on a plate. At 322 calories per serving, you might have steak and potatoes a little more often.
MEAT AND POTATOES STEAKHOUSE SALAD
Start to finish: 25 minutes
6 cups of baby spinach or mixed greens
1 8-ounce filet mignon, trimmed of visible fat
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound asparagus, steamed until just barely tender
1/2 pound baby potatoes, boiled until tender
4 small tomatoes, quartered
1 ounce blue cheese, in crumbles or chunks
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
salt and pepper
Place the greens on a large platter and set aside.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle the steak with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and half of the olive oil and then cook in the pan until cooked to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside to rest.
In the same saute pan, add the remaining olive oil, mushrooms and garlic and cook just until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Make the dressing: Whisk together the Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil and tarragon until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Layer all the salad ingredients on top of the spinach and drizzle with the dressing and serve. (May be chilled if preferred, but I like the slight warmth of the steak, mushrooms and potatoes on the salad.)
Nutrition information per serving: 322 calories; 122 calories from fat; 14 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 61 mg cholesterol; 493 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 25 g protein.