FOOD-QUICKFIX-MCT

Steak Pizzaiola with Fennel and Bean Salad. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Neapolitan Bistecca alla Pizzaiola (Steak with Spicy Tomato Sauce) is a dish that Dad will love for this Father’s Day or any day. The spicy tomato sauce was originally used to disguise the poor quality of meat in this region of Italy. Today we can enjoy excellent meats with this sauce for a quick and delicious meal.

Fennel has a large, pale green bulbous base with darker green stems and bright green feathery leaves. It’s sometimes labeled anise in the market. Both the base and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a very mild, sweet licorice flavor.

Helpful Hints

• Any type of steak such as flank, rib-eye or skirt can be used.

• Celery can be substituted for fennel.

• Any type of pasta-style sauce can be used.

• The quickest way to chop the fennel leaves is to snip them with a scissors.

Countdown

• Prepare salad and set aside.

• Prepare sauce.

• Saute steak.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 fennel bulb, 1 small can reduced-sodium red kidney beans, 1 small container pitted black olives, 1 can olive oil spray, 1 small bottle reduced-fat salad dressing, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 bottle dried oregano, 1 small bottle pasta sauce and 3/4 pound grass fed strip steak.

Staples: salt and black peppercorns.

Steak pizzaiolia

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 cup low-sodium pasta sauce

4 pitted, black olives, cut in half

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Several drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil spray

3/4 pound grass-fed strip steak

Place pasta sauce, olives and oregano in a saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. Add the hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and remove from heat while steak cooks.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add the steak. Brown the steak on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Salt and pepper the cooked sides. Lower heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until steak is cooked through. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for more well done. Remove from the skillet and spoon sauce on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 260 calories (30% from fat), 8.6 g fat (2.1g saturated, 4.0 g monounsaturated), 97 mg cholesterol, 40.3 g protein, 6.6 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, 187 mg sodium.

Fennel and bean salad

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1 cup drained and rinsed reduced-salt red kidney beans

3 tablespoons reduced-fat salad dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the top stem and feathery leaves off the fennel. Reserve the fennel leaves. Wash and slice the fennel bulb. Place sliced fennel and beans in a bowl and add dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Snip about 1 tablespoon of the feathery leaves and sprinkle over salad. Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 222 calories (13% from fat), 3.1 g fat (0.3 g saturated, 0.5 g monounsaturated), 2 mg cholesterol, 12.4 g protein, 39.2 g carbohydrates, 11.6 g fiber, 120 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook @FoodNewsandViews and Twitter @LGassenheimer, and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.

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