Steak Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese

I made it back to California! Though it was hard to leave my family, I was looking forward to getting back because I love it here. On the way from Indy to Chicago I had a delay so I had to Oprah power walk to my gate (I couldn't run since my bag kept flipping over because my laptop case was throwing off the weight). They had already started boarding. At least I didn't miss the flight! But all the delays and running around made me extra antsy to get off the plane.

Besides unpacking, the first order of business the next day was to get meat out of the freezer and stock the fridge! Breakfast was slim pickings. Luckily I had some red potatoes, so I microwaved and peeled them and turned into a sort of hash brown, with some Jones' sausages on the side. Thankfully my freezer had some protein to rely on! I topped off the potatoes with hot sauce to add flavor and make them pretty.

These photos were taken with my birthday present, my new DSLR camera! I've been wanting one (and apparently talking about wanting one) for a while. I knew it would improve my photography on the blog, but I also love taking nature photos and I know this camera is going to do a much better job than my iPhone! I still have a lot to figure out, so I'll keep practicing my macro shots of food. I think the quality of these photos is a dramatic improvement from my other food photos.

The next day, the first order of business, besides unpacking, was to stock the fridge! I already decided last week that I wanted to make one of my favorite salads. The recipe is modeled after a salad Panera had on their menu many years ago. It was a steak salad with blue cheese and walnuts, and I loved it. Blue cheese and steak are a perfect match. With so many fruity and candied pecan salads (not that I don't love them!) the robust flavor of this salad is a great change of pace. I frequently make this salad when I have leftover steak, not bothering to heat it and slicing it thinly before placing it on the salad. By all means, substitute leftover steak for cooked steak here.

This recipe is 21 Day Fix compatible, too! Also, I've noticed that the tastiest salads include my orange and blue containers. Those two containers are my most precious ones because they add so much flavor and variety to my meals. I typically split the blue container, as I did here, between some cheese and nuts to make the salad more flavorful.

This recipe also shows my favorite way to cook steak as well. Basically I oil the meat and not the pan because it can smoke really badly. I sear the first side on high heat, and then when I flip the steak to sear the second side, I focus on cooking it through carefully. I accomplish this by turning down the heat to medium once I get it flipped. I feel turning down the heat gives me control to cook the steak to my liking while still getting nice browning on the outside.

Steak Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Printable Recipe

1 lb lean steak (ex: tri-tip, flank, London broil, top round, eye of round)
4 tsp avocado oil, or other oil of your choice
4 cups (packed) spring mix
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced radishes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
a few pinches herbes de province
16 walnut halves, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a skillet over high heat. Rub steaks with oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Add steaks, searing on the first side. Flip steaks and reduce heat to medium, searing the second side and cooking to desired doneness. Remove from pan to rest 5 min.
3. Add spring mix, tomatoes, radishes, and onion to a large bowl bowl.
2. Blend oil, balsamic, honey, some salt and pepper, and a little herbes de province in a small bowl. Toss half the dressing with the salad. Salad can be left in the bowl or divided between plates.
4. Slice steaks. Arrange on salad. Sprinkle over walnuts and blue cheese. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve.

Serves 4. Per serving: 1 1/2 green, 1 blue, 1 orange, 1 red, 1 tsp

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