Carne Asada with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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Move over deep fried, cheese-filled, omega-6 fat laden appetizers. There’s a fresh, new way to do party foods this season. Did you know that one of the easiest ways to give a powerful flavor boost to proteins is by using citrus-based marinades? Get creative with your favorite citrus fruits, add fresh herbs and spices and marinate chicken, pork, or steak for several hours and more. The natural citric acid tenderizes the meat while at the same time infusing flavor.

In this recipe, flank steak – a thinner, more elongated cut of meat that can sometimes be tough – is marinated for 48 hours in lime juice, orange juice, garlic, coconut oil, cider vinegar, fresh cilantro, and jalapeno slices. Once grilled, slice the steak against the grain and top with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and Grilled Jalapeno.

To make this quick and easy salsa, fresh tomatillos are husked and roasted for 10 minutes in a hot oven and then blended with spices, herbs, and garlic. A versatile fruit, tomatillos are packed with nutrition such as vitamin C which strengthens the immune system and helps keep unwanted colds at bay. And, tomatillos are rich in Vitamin K and phytochemicals that promote healthy eyes and skin.

Yet, tomatillos are not the only shining stars in this dish; jalapeno and serrano peppers kick up the metabolism, spices of cumin and oregano reduce inflammation, onion stimulates immunity, and fresh cilantro is a natural detoxifier.

An easy recipe to make ahead and serve on game day, serve with fresh omega-3 heart-healthy avocado and a side dish of fiber-rich black beans.

Carne Asada with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Serves 4-6

For carne asada:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Zest and juice of 2 medium limes
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • Zest and juice of ½ medium orange
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons algae or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium to large jalapeno pepper, sliced with seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Place all in a Ziploc-style plastic bag, seal and gently rub marinade into steak. Place in refrigerator and marinate for up to 48 hours. When ready to grill, heat grill to high or medium-high heat and grill for 7-8 minutes per side. Grill jalapeno slices, as well. Just place on the grill, turning once until crisp and browned.

Salsa:

  • 12 tomatillos, husk removed
  • ½ red or white onion
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro plus additional for serving
  • Juice of 2 medium limes
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ fresh medium avocado plus additional for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Kefir yogurt, optional

Preheat oven to 450*F. Place tomatillos on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 5-7 minutes, turn and roast an additional 5-7 minutes, just until lightly browned and tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Serve atop grilled flank steak and garnish with grilled jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and avocado. If desired, add a dollop of plain kefir yogurt. The recipe makes about 2 cups.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 4 ounces flank steak with 3 tablespoons salsa

  • Calories: 413
  • Fat: 21.9g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 83mg
  • Sodium: 89mg
  • Potassium: 828mg
  • Carbohydrates: 9.8g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Sugars: 1.5g
  • Protein: 43.5g

This recipe provides 43 percent of the RDA of Vitamin C and 20 percent Iron.

About the author: Susan Irby is certified in Fitness Nutrition and Food Healing. An award-winning author, television host and radio personality, Susan is the creator of The Bikini Chef® brand, its recipes, and content. She is also the creator, producer, and former host of The Bikini Lifestyles® Show and is the author of nine books on cooking and wellness.