All posts by Dennis Keohane

easy new york strip steak

Easy New York Strip Steak

Chef Yankel and the ButcherBox Kitchen are excited to share not only the best, easiest way to quickly cook a New York strip steak, but a way to get a perfectly tender NY strip from frozen.



Hey there, I’m Yankel. And today I’m going to show you how to make the absolute. Perfect, New York strip steak. Plus five ingredients and you’re going to get a beautiful pan sauce out of it. Now. We’re doing it from Frozen. So let’s check out our steak in the freezer.  Well, there is a beautiful New York strip rock-solid.

We’re going to head over to the sink. And what we’re going to do is just defrost the surface of it while we do some of our prep.

I’m going right into the sink in a bowl. I want it submerged in cool running water. So we’re going to fill it up.  Now, I know I said from frozen. You’re probably wondering what’s he doing? It? Looks like he’s defrosting it.  All I want is the surface defrosted enough for it to hold some salt and pepper.

That’ll take a few minutes while we let the water trickle. We’re going to head over to the counter and we’re going to slice up some of our ingredients we get everything ready in advance. I have to make more flavors maybe even complete dishes. So since we’re doing a New York strip steak in a cast-iron pan, I thought why not add a couple of other ingredients to make it extra delicious.

So we’re going to do some mushrooms. Just a nice little handful, and all I’m going to quarter them. And then we’re going to do a quickly sliced onion, and at the very end right before we go into the oven with our steak, we’re going to add a splash of balsamic vinegar and that’s going to give us a little bit of a pan sauce because we’re going to actually baste the steak with butter and garlic. All that’s going to come together plus the juices from the mushrooms, and that’s really what I want to capitalize on here.

They give off a nice amount of liquid, I want to turn that into something magical. So I got my onion, I’m just gonna take the ends off.  And I think we’re just going to go with half an onion for this recipe. I can use the other half for whatever my next project is. Quick tip about slicing onions,  onion has rings that go in a certain direction. I just want thin slices. So I’m going to let the onion and the shape of the onion do most of the work for me and just cut against those rings.

I’m going to use the garlic when I baste the steak, so I don’t want to mince it too much. I’m just going to go with semi-thin slices that way it won’t burn when it’s in that hot pan. Oh, goodness.  It’s either nostalgia. or onions and garlic. It’s generally my excuse. All right, I think our steak has enough surface texture to absorb some seasoning.

So I’m going to go grab it and then we’re gonna get started. But before I leave, I’m going to preheat my pan.  We’re going to go with medium-high heat because I want a good sear without burning. I’ve already got the oven preheated to 350°F. Now, before we get started one of the key points to getting a good sear on a steak is having a dry surface.

So what we’re going to do is open our package. I like to have a paring knife go right in on the edge.  Great. All right. We want to dry every bit of moisture on that surface because any moisture is going to steam and steam is going to slow down the searing process. So I’ve got some paper towels ready, and I’m just going to blot all that moisture out.

Dry surface. And you can see just enough give for it to hold salt and pepper. I’m going to set that down there, and we’re going to season it. Now when it comes to salt and pepper, not all salts are equal. I like to use coarse kosher salt that gives me a nice texture to work with and kosher salt really melts beautifully on the meat as it cooks. So it gives it really good seasoning.

Then, of course, fresh cracked black pepper has the best flavor. A good pepper mill will get you everywhere. We’re gonna flip that over. A nice coating. remember we’re only seasoning the outside of the meat so we want to make sure it has a nice even cover, that way every bite is flavorful.

Alright, our pan is hot. We’re going to go into the pan with some high-temperature oil. I’ve got avocado oil here, and it can cook at very high temperatures without smoking and it’s refined and what that means is that it has most of the impurities taken out of it.

If you’re using an extra virgin olive oil, you risk the impurity scorching and you get that burnt flavor. So a good high temp oil will go a long way. Lots of alternatives out there, coconut oil, peanut oil, some of the sunflower, safflower, and canola oils work well. It’s up to you.

As soon as we have a little smoke, which we should have it almost immediately because the pan has been preheating.

That’s ready to go. So we’re going to go with our steak right into the pan.

Now, the key here is good contact with the pan. We want every inch of that steak touching the pan because when we brown steak when we brown meat, that’s where the flavor happens. It’s called the Maillard reaction, and we are building flavor compounds. So don’t skip the browning step. Good surface contact. I press down a little bit.

Resist the temptation to move that steak around. The first two minutes are crucial for a good sear. Once we move it, we’re going to lose that contact. So we’re just going to let it sit there for two minutes and build up that crust.

We’re about ready to flip it over and you know the New York strip has that very distinctive line of fat along one side. So what I like to do is before I flip it. I’m actually going to turn it on its side and make sure that that fat has good contact with the pan. It’s absolutely delicious. But it needs a sear.

So we’re just going to press it in there.  Every inch of it, make sure it has a nice brown crust building and then we will flip the steak over and do the other side. That’s kind of what we’re looking for crispy fat. All right, we’re going to flip it over. There you go.

We’re gonna cook it for about a minute on this side and then we’re going to add butter and garlic and we’re going to baste it. Butter and garlic together is a magical combination, but butter has this characteristic of transferring flavor. So we’re really going to let the steak absorb that garlic flavor and basting it when you’re about three minutes into cooking is a perfect time for it to absorb all that garlicky goodness. 

Now what I’m going to do is move the steak to the top of the pan and get my butter foaming. And as soon as I see big bubbles from the butter, it’s time to start giving that’s steak a bath.

Always give your steak a nice bath.

I’m a butter and garlic lover.  And so I bathe my steaks in it. Perfect.

All right, we’re going to pull the steak out for just a minute and we’re going to saute our onions and mushrooms before putting our steak back in and putting everything into the oven.

Set that down right there onions go in, mushrooms go in.

Don’t need to cook it for long on the stovetop. We’re just going to stir it up and make sure it has every bit of coating that we for need maximum flavor. Now, we’re going to add a splash of balsamic.

We’re going to put our steak right back on top. We’re going to go into our preheated oven for about ten minutes; but we’re going to check it in three minutes, so we know exactly what temperature it is so we can track it better. Remember grass-fed beef can cook a little bit faster than normal. So pay attention.

A few minutes into cooking. I want to temp the steak. I like to gauge where it’s at and that will help me decide how much longer it’s going to need exactly. So we’re looking at okay 90 degrees to me that means five or six more minutes. The temperature tends to rise much more quickly. Once it passes a 100°F.

I think we’re just about there. So we’re going to give it one more temp.

That’s perfect. We’re looking for 115°F and rising, under 120°F, and I’ll tell you why.

Meat does this thing where it continues to cook even after you’ve taken it off the heat.  It will rise at least 5°F and maybe even 10°F depending on how hot it is and how much time we let it rest. So, it’s going to finish cooking and I’m going to move it to the cutting board, so it doesn’t have any more heat hitting it.

We’re going to leave it there eight minutes in that time. It will rise to at least 5°F. It’s, in fact, getting hot or not colder. If we want to keep the surface hot as well, we’ll loosely tent it with foil, just so it can breathe a little bit. In the meantime, we can reduce a little bit of that liquid for our sauce.

It’s going to cook down real fast. It’s going to be absolutely delicious all those flavors come together. The mushrooms just give off all the liquid we needed for a sauce. The butter, the balsamic, the onions also give off a lot of moisture. So all together, we’re just taking all that liquid and turn it into something absolutely magical.

And of course, I never miss an opportunity to add a little bit more seasoning. So I’m just going to get a little bit salt and one quick grind of fresh ground black pepper.  As the moisture burns off you’re going to see the bubbles in the pan begin to get larger. As they get larger, the sauce is actually going to come together.

And that’s when we’ll know it’s done. So right now, we have little bubbles. Bigger bubbles mean we’re exactly where we want it to be.

Smells so good.

Beautiful. Well, we’re going to let that steak rest for a few minutes. We’re gonna let the pan simmer. Let’s just give it low flame. All right our steak has rested long enough. We’re gonna slice into it.

Now when it comes to New York strip, there are two things to take into consideration. One is that beautiful strip of fat, which I love to eat, but I’m going to take off in order to slice. So we’re just going to slice that strip of fat right off and set it aside. Gorgeous. You can already see that steak is perfectly cooked.

Now, we’re going to slice it right down the middle. Like so. And then we’re going to slice it against the grain because it’s going to be crazy tender when we do that. It’s already a super tender steak. Slicing against the grain makes it even more tender.

Yeah, it doesn’t get any better than that. From frozen. Perfect. Medium-rare. Super juicy. That’s good stuff. Well, it looks like it rested the perfect amount of time. You can always tell from how much moisture is left on the board. Not much in this case, which means every bite we get is going to be crazy juicy.

So I’m going to put that right onto my plate, and then we’re going to top it off with our mushrooms, onions, and balsamic.

And now we have these beautiful roasted mushrooms and onions, packed with flavor.  Absolutely gorgeous. We’re going to go right on top. It doesn’t take time, generally uses ingredients you have sitting around the house.  Put it all into a pan together.  Sear it. Baste it. Throw it in the oven. Rest it. Eat it.

That’s the whole process. It’s so easy. I ‘m Yankel, go cook something from frozen.

A guide to the best barbecue sauce (and beer) for every meat

Ahhh! Barbecue sauce. A hot button culinary topic if there ever was one. 

Fortunately, I’m a meat guy from the home of lobster and clam chowdah, so my loyalties with BBQ sauce aren’t regional and tend to be with whatever will make what I’m cooking taste amazing! 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the fantastic barbecue sauces you can find throughout America. These are best when done following a homemade bbq sauce recipe, hundreds of which are online and you can experiment with. The best bbq sauces avoid high-fructose corn syrup-heavy ingredients for cayenne peppers, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. However, sometimes a little ketchup can be all you need to make the perfect sauce for any meat.

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

The white barbecue sauce made famous at Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q in Northern Alabama is by far one for the more unique of the American BBQ sauces, but only because our national perception of the perfect sauce for BBQ chicken is shaped by the rows of dark brown Sweet Baby Ray’s bottles lining our grocery stores and the more midwestern and coastal influences of Kansas City, Memphis, and Carolina.

Honestly, mixing mayo and horseradish is phenomenal; Robert Gibson knew what he was doing 96 years ago when he invented the sauce.

Alabama White sauce is best for… 

Grilled chicken or pork chops. Lightly flavored meat, some char from the grill, a creamy tangy sauce to dip into. 

 It is amazing paired with a summer ale, something with a creamy finish and citrus notes.

Memphis BBQ Sauce 

Next, we go to the signature barbecue flavor of Memphis, Tennessee. Traditionally Memphis BBQ is dry rub only and often served with sauce on the side. Memphis sauce features lots of molasses and vinegar, and tomato-based, often by using tomato paste. This is all to say it’s certainly a familiar barbecue flavor but is often much thinner than your average BBQ sauce.

Try Memphis BBQ sauce on… 

Definitely smoked baby back ribs. Memphis BBQ is a great way to serve ribs if you want to avoid the mess of traditionally-sauced ribs. Memphis ribs are dry, the sauce is wet, and your fingers stay clean! Mostly…

The perfect beer for Memphis BBQ is definitely an IPA. With a light and refreshing taste but some bitter hoppy undertones, and IPA can bang heads with the smokey spicy bark on great ribs.

Texas Barbecue Sauce

Now to Texas. The Lone Star State is big, bold, spicy, and tangy; they also have great BBQ sauce. Featuring a tomato sauce base and a combination of garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice, Texas sauce using has some extra heat from cayenne peppers, chipotle peppers, or some other chili pepper.

Seriously, Texas sauce has immense flavor and purposefully so, Texas barbecue is magnificent. 

Texas Barbecue sauce was made for…

Beef brisket. There is no choice but brisket. Beefy, bold, and fatty, the most flavorful of all meats is magical with the richest of all BBQ sauces.

As for a libation to go with the BBQ brisket, I’d go light here, mostly because I want room for more brisket. All the ranchers I’ve met drink Michelob Ultra like water. So judge if need be, but don’t knock it till you try it. 

St. Louis Barbecue Sauce

Rolling into Missouri we have the home of the great St Louis ribs. Good pork tends to be sweet, and the classic St. Louis sauce is sweet to match. Sticky. Sweet. Tomato-based. Unlike most other American barbecue sauces, St. Louis prefers to hold the liquid smoke from their namesake sauce. If you’re gonna sauce your ribs, this is the way to do it. 

Best use for St. Louis sauce…

St Louis ribs of course. But the flavors work great on really any fatty cut of BBQ pork.

And as for beer, the only choice is the St. Louis original, Budweiser, right?

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Staying in Missouri, we next have the ubiquitous Kansas City style of sauce. This is closest to the universal BBQ sauce experience. Thick, sweet, smokey, and tomato-based, with ketchup as a key ingredient, Kansas City BBQ sauce is pretty much delicious on anything. 

Smother Kansas City sauce on…

The most beefy-tasty meats like sirloin steaks, chuck steaks, the cowboy cuts, or brisket burnt ends. All these cuts have to have enough beefy flavor to marry well with such a rich sauce.

I’d lean towards hops again for a beer to go with St. Louis barbecue ribs. You want something to cut the richness, definitely a hoppy lager. Sam Adams is a personal fave, but maybe I’m biased, having grown up not far from their headquarters in Boston.

South Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Moving into the Carolinas is where flavor and consistency get really interesting. In South Carolina, we leave the tomato-based sauces behind for mustard, vinegar, as well as ground black pepper, garlic, and other spices. This sauce is spicy, super tangy, and has a dash of sweetness. It is amazing on smoked pork matching well with the rich meat with incredible brightness. 

South Carolina sauce should drench…

Pulled pork. It’s how I was taught by a Deep South chef, and goshdarnit, if it ain’t still the best choice on tender, smoked pork.

Beer? Again, let’s match with a craft IPA. I’m looking for citrus, maybe even some tropical notes. Something fruity to add sweetness as a counterpoint the tanginess of the sauce, so a cloudy New England-Style IPA is perfect. I like local favorite Night Shift based in Everett, MA, which has an amazing choice of varieties. 

Eastern North Carolina BBQ Sauce

Into eastern North Carolina we go, where we encounter perhaps the simplest of all BBQ sauces. Basically, this style is just vinegar and spices like cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. It’s a sauce that works well with anything grilled or smoked and really lets the meat speak for itself.

Use Eastern NC sauce with…

Pork chops, grilled chicken, dressing for a chicken salad, and any lighter meats that can use a tangy boost. 

Best with a lighter beer, I’d go with a pale lager or pilsner. Make sure it is full-bodied enough to add some richness but light enough not to overwhelm.

Western North Carolina BBQ Sauce

They take BBQ sauce very seriously in the Carolinas. It is, after all, thought to be the birthplace of American BBQ. And so, in western North Carolina we find a second variety. This one is similar to its eastern cousin, but with the addition of some tomato for flavor. 

Good luck arguing which sauce is better with anyone from the Tarheel State. Fortunately for me, I get to pick and choose my loyalties…

I can’t get enough Western Carolina sauce on…

Some of the richer cuts of light meat like chicken thighs, pork sirloin, and country-style ribs The tomato adds a bit of sweet acidity to this sauce that helps those more flavorful cuts.

Pair with a wheat beer — like an Allagash — that adds a bit of muted sweetness with a barely there tanginess. A real compliment to the Lexington Piedmont style sauce.


meal plan

We love Plan To Eat for recipe organizing and meal planning

We love recipe planning, it makes our busy lives so much easier to set a weekly agenda for what we’ll be eating or cooking for our families and friends at the start of each week.

Recently, we discovered a web and mobile application that makes this weekly task soooo much easier. It’s called Plan To Eat, and a few ButcherBox employees are using it to clip and organize our favorite recipes, plan what we are going to cook each week, and strategize how best to attack the weekly trip to the grocery store. 

Basically, we love being able to keep all our recipes in one place and then easily filter them based on whatever we are thinking about cooking.

(One of the best things about Plan To Eat is that you can try the application for 30 days before entering your credit card information. However, through a special partnership with ButcherBox, Plan To Eat is offering readers of this blog a trial period of 60 days!!! Click here for the special offer!)

Karlene Salguero, founder of Women’s Journey Physical Therapy and the wife of ButcherBox CEO Mike Salguero, explained that prior to using Plan To Eat, she had stored all the recipes she found in her iOS Notes app and would have to scroll endlessly to find what she wanted. Others on the team have used Evernote for organizing recipes. 

However, with Plan to Eat, you can easily add recipes from the web by using Recipe Clipper, a browser extension that adds recipes to the app with a single click, or you can also import recipes directly from their URL, within the program. Filtering recipes is then quite easy. As Karlene explained, she can tag recipes with a certain diet she is following and then easily find them during when she is getting cooking plans ready. Best of all, you can alter the recipes pulled off the web to suit your own preferences. 

And best, of all, you can search through an array of filter options. “There are so many ways that you can search,” Karlene said. “You can tag different cuts of meat, which I love, and you can tag different types of ingredients and find the perfect recipe, which is awesome.”

With a desktop and mobile version for iOS and Android, the app can be used at home or on the go. It has features that make it the ideal way to plan a week of meals, as you can just drag and drop recipes into a weekly calendar. As Callie DePina, ButcherBox Head of Member Experience, said, “It is a great way to just plan out what you are going to be cooking each night and more easily shop for the ingredients you need.”

“It also makes the end of the workday less stressful knowing you have everything ready to just prepare and cook a recipe you love in the midst of a busy week,” she added.

In addition to being able to filter and organize recipes in a calendar, Plan To Eat also creates shopping lists based on the recipes you have plugged into your weekly calendar. One great feature is that you mark common shopping items you purchase each week as “staples.” You can also create multiple shopping lists based on the stores you plan to visit, the local grocery store or Trader Joe’s, for instance, and the app’s checklist is perfect to use in store.

“I made a checklist through their platform, which is really cool, ” Karlene said. “So instead of trying to keep track of all the things we normally have on, I can take the checklist, open our fridge, and mark off the items we are missing.”

Personally, I like the Plan To Eat “freezer” feature that reminds you of meals you’ve prepared and frozen for a later date. 

pantry essentials

10 Pantry Essentials Every Cook Should Have

You may have taken the first key step towards a month of great eating and ordered a ButcherBox, complete with high-quality grass-fed beef, heritage pork, and free-range, organic chicken.

But do you know what else completes a kitchen? Pantry staples, like high-quality oils, a few kinds of vinegar, dried herbs, and more.

This guide details the pantry essentials that make all the difference when preparing the delicious meals at home. The essentials that all cooks have a hands-length from their stoves include condiments like assorted vinegars, Dijon mustard, and soy sauce or their gluten-free variants. With a few of these, you can make everything from vinaigrettes and dressings to sauces, rubs, and much more.

Other necessary kitchen staples include canned tomatoes, which add richness to stews and soups, and dried herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

The best part? None of these staples are prohibitively expensive, and your individual purchase will probably last you quite a while.

1. High-Quality Oils

You can’t cook many meals without a cooking fat, and while grass-fed butter, ghee, or tallow might be an option, you should always keep a solid selection of healthy, high-quality cooking oils at hand.

These oils might include high heat friendly options filled with healthy fats, like avocado oil or coconut oil. For lower heat preparations, a solid bottle of olive oil should always be handy. You can even use good olive oil as a finishing touch, like a drizzle over salad or hummus.

Neutral oils like avocado oil or olive oil are also excellent bases for homemade salad dressings, and, if you’re really looking to up your pantry game, keep finishing oils like sesame oil or walnut oil on hand.

2. An Assortment of Vinegar

A good vinegar will take a good dish to great, and thankfully there are many options to choose from.

If you need to add acidic sweetness, reach for balsamic vinegar. In fact, dousing some caramelized red onions with balsamic vinegar and sugar is a sure-fire way to make a quick and delicious topping for burgers and steaks, while aged balsamic vinegar makes the perfect coating for grilled veggies.

Don’t stop at balsamic vinegar. Champagne vinegar adds a sweet note to homemade vinaigrettes, while apple cider vinegar boasts so many purported health benefits it’s hard to keep count. You can even throw it into homemade barbeque sauce for a unique bite.

Even plain old white vinegar has its place in a pantry. It’s as useful for making crispy pickles as making homemade kitchen cleanser.

3. Dijon Mustard

Yellow mustard has its place, but nothing heightens a dish more than a dollop of Dijon mustard. The traditional French mustard is made with brown mustard seeds, white wine, and a verjus made from unripe grapes. This verjus is what gives Dijon mustard its distinct, tart flavor.

Use Dijon mustard in a homemade vinaigrette for a crisp salad, or as part of a rub for various cuts of meat. These rosemary brined pork chops are a perfect example.

The best part about Dijon mustard? While it sounds fancy, it’s a pretty affordable condiment, with the store brand bottles rarely costing more than $3 and the fancy stuff only clocking in at $5 or less.

4. Soy Sauce/Tamari/Coconut Aminos

What’s the best way to build umami into your dishes? Soy sauce, a sauce made from fermented soybeans, roasted wheat, and cultures, is the ultimate, inexpensive umami condiment.

Of course, many people question the nutritional impact of soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, a specific type of soy sauce, tamari, can be made without gluten.

If you avoid soy and grains entirely, coconut aminos, a sauce made from coconut tree sap and salt, is a great alternative. While a bit less pungent and a tad sweeter than traditional soy sauce, it still packs umami flavor into dishes.

Use soy sauce or any of its alternatives in Asian-inspired fare, like this ginger pork noodle soup.

5. A Solid Hot Sauce

While the hot sauce category is vast, your favorite hot sauce is a kitchen essential. Why? Because it can be doused on most anything and elevates the flavor of whatever you’re noshing on.

Do you prefer Asian flavor profiles? Reach for the less hot, slightly sweet Sriracha, or pack in the chili garlic flavor with sambal.

Mexican and Latin America hot sauces are another great category: The options are many, but most sauces feature some kind of vinegary heat and potentially a kick of citrus like lime.

Channel pure Americana with Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce. There are, literally, thousands of hot sauces to choose from.

Use your favorite hot sauce to jazz up a simple breakfast of eggs and bacon, or incorporate it into vinaigrettes and sauces for a little kick.

6. Dried Herbs

Like hot sauce, the selection for dried herbs is vast. And while it’s great to build out your spice cabinet and experiment with various herbs, there are a few essentials we’d recommend always having on hand.

Dried oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme — commonly sold together as an Italian seasoning blend — lend bright flavors to any dish you whip up and are much more convenient in a pinch than fresh herbs.

Other dried herbs we’d consider staples include dill, which is perfect in anything from pickles to salads, and dried bay leaves, which lend depth to soups and stews.

If you’d really like to pad out your spice cabinet, add dried marjoram, ground coriander, dried mint, dried sage, and dried tarragon.

7. Coconut Milk

Canned coconut milk is a treasure, and not just because it’s suitable for most diets. The silky, fatty substance lends richness to any dish it touches, and won’t spoil as quickly as refrigerated alternatives like heavy cream or milk.

Despite it including coconut meat, coconut milk is a fairly neutral, non-dairy way to add creaminess and heft. Use coconut milk to add creaminess to soup, braise meats, or add silky texture and flavor to rice.

Pro tip: Stock up on cans of coconut milk. Whichever ones you don’t use for savory dishes, use them to make dairy-free sweets like no-churn ice cream.

8. Nut and Seed Butters

What’s your favorite? Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini? Whichever nut or seed butter you prefer, it’s bound to serve many uses in your kitchen.

You can, of course, use nut butters to spread on toast, add protein to smoothies, and bake up some delicious cookies. But nut butters have serious culinary uses, too.

Peanut butter or almond butter both make excellent Asian-inspired sauces, like in this Thai almond soba noodle salad. Tahini tastes delicious in Mediterranean fare. Try it drizzled over these Mediterranean meatballs.

9. Canned Tomatoes

Whether you’re whipping up a sauce for pasta, throwing some chili in the crockpot, or cooking up beef stew or pot roast low and slow, canned tomatoes are so useful.

You can find canned tomatoes in many forms, from canned tomato paste to whole, peeled tomatoes in a can. It’s good to have a variety of these options on hand for whatever you may need. They’re inexpensive and can add flavor to nearly any dish, like this fennel and tomato Italian pork shoulder.

10. Good Salt and Black Pepper

It’s a bit of a given that you should have salt and pepper on hand. It’s rare to not add it to a dish in the kitchen. But not just any salt or pepper will do.

Iodized table salt is the most common option, but it’s not exactly the healthiest one. It’s bleached, devoid of trace elements, and often contains additives. Also, it just doesn’t taste as good as sea salt crystals.

Sea salt comes from the ocean, and is evaporated to separate the salt crystals from the water.

(Another option: ButcherBox Chef Yankel always recommends having Kosher salt on hand for seasoning steaks.)

For pepper, whole peppercorns that can be cracked in a pepper mill lend the best flavor.

An easy Bulgogi Beef Skillet recipe from Paleohacks

If you’re craving takeout, try this easy, one skillet beef bulgogi recipe from our friends at Paleohacks for sweet and spicy flavor with zero soy, MSG, or preservatives!

Bulgogi is a popular Korean recipe that translates literally to “fire meat.” Super thin slices of strip steaks, sirloin steak, or ribeye are marinated in spices until tender, then grilled or pan-fried. The result is a sticky, crispy, and slightly spicy recipe that can be turned into a complete meal with a side of cauliflower rice or stir-fried veggie noodles.

The unique marinade includes ripe, grated Asian pear for sweetness, texture, and tang. The acidity in the pear also helps to tenderize the meat. If you can’t find Asian pears, a traditional pear will work just fine. To add a subtle spice to the marinade, use gochugaru, the bright red Korean red pepper. This powder is less spicy than cayenne and creates a balanced heat that lets the other flavors shine through.


Coconut sugar stands in for brown sugar, adding sweetness and helping to crisp the steak for delicious texture. Finally, toasted sesame oil adds nutty aroma while ginger, garlic, and coconut aminos add even more flavor and dimension.

To make the bulgogi, mix all the ingredients for the marinade together, add to the sliced beef, and refrigerate for at least two hours. Then, grease a medium skillet with avocado oil—not olive oil. Avocado oil has a high smoke heat point that can withstand high cooking temperatures without burning. Cook the steak about two minutes per side, in two batches.


To serve, top the hot steak slices with sesame seeds and scallions, and enjoy!

If you’re craving more takeout recipes but don’t feel like cooking, check out one of these 13 totally Paleo meal delivery options!

Paleohacks’ Korean-style BBQ Bulgogi Beef Skillet



Prep time- 10 minutes

Cook time- 10 minutes

Chill time- 4 hours

Total time- 4 hours, 20 minutes

Serves- 4


Mixing bowl





For the Marinade

1/3 cup grated Asian pear, peeled

1 T Korean red pepper (or chili powder)

1 T coconut sugar

1 T lime juice

2 T toasted sesame oil

2 T coconut aminos

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 t ground ginger

1/4 t sea salt

For the Steak:

2 10-oz strip steaks, thinly sliced

1 t avocado oil

1/2 t sesame seeds, for serving

1/4 cup chopped green onion, for serving


1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a mixing bowl and stir well.

2. Add steak slices and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

3. Grease a skillet with avocado oil and heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes. When hot, use tongs to add half of the marinated steak strips and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 2 minutes.

4. Transfer steak to a bowl and repeat with remaining strips.

5. Serve the beef bulgogi hot garnished with sesame seeds and green onion.

Chalene Johnson’s Healthy Eating Tenents

Getting healthy doesn’t happen by accident, and isn’t achieved through dieting.

In my 20 years in the fitness industry, I’ve seen every fad come and go. Sadly, I’ve participated in some, and even stood in some pretty high heels preaching those philosophies to others. (Cute high heels are my version of a soapbox!)

All that diet dogma stopped when I experienced my own health scare that seemed to stem from my, “super clean, low-fat, low-calorie, sleep when I’m dead, workout three-hours a day” lifestyle.


A brain scan revealed that I was headed for early-onset Alzheimer’s due to — among other things — years of too little sleep and a diet chock full of calorie-free foods and beverages. My blood work showed I wasn’t absorbing any of the vitamins and minerals from my food — despite the veggies I was eating — due to leaky gut. My family, my diagnosis, and my resolve to never again lead people astray began my quest for truth. This several-year journey involved interviewing the finest names in science and medicine, pouring over medical data, trial and error, a team of registered dietitians, and my new “why“… ME!

So, join me on a little checklist of suggestions and remedies I used to completely 180 my health (and my brain, thank you very much!). My thoughts might challenge the norm and cause you to second guess some of my ideas. But that’s okay. I’m secure enough with myself and the research I’ve done to know that the solutions by which I live are well-conceived and, most importantly, not quick fixes.

1. Take Back the Word Diet

Unfortunately, the fitness industry I inhabit — and take some responsibility for — has perpetuated a myth that a diet is a strict, regulated, black and white approach to food. There’s a “right and a wrong” way to do something. Or, the latest and greatest diet will, “fix all your weight loss problems.” Or, “you’ve failed at your diet because you haven’t had the same results as others.”

I’m here to say with 100% certainty: No one diet works for everyone.

It’d be easier for me to tell you: “eat X, Y, and Z and you’ll lose weight.” Unfortunately, our bodies don’t work like that. Research shows that each individual person has a unique gut microbiome. Your gut biome plays a HUGE role in your body’s ability to lose weight.  If your gut biome is off, your entire body is off.

This leads to weight loss resistance, imbalanced hormones, fatigue, brain fog, decreased sex drive, lack of concentration, insomnia, and more…. and it all stems from your gut.

Guess where the problem starts? You guessed it, the quality of your food.

Instead of following a diet, take back the word DIET, and create your own; one that works best for you! Try a diet — or better, “a way of eating” — that promotes gut health. If you do this, your overall health will change for the better.

2. Quality Meat

I cannot tell you how important food quality is to your health. It’s literally everything!

It’s the reason my family only eats meats from ButcherBox. I’d rather eat no meat at all than meat that comes from conventional farms. Aside from superior taste, I know that the sustainable farming practices ButcherBox champions are ones I can feel good about. Nutritionally speaking — and this relates back to gut-health — grass-fed, grass-finished meat provides more vitamins and minerals (and fewer inflammatory side-effects) than conventional meat. Listen to this podcast for mind-blowing stats on meat quality. I hope you become as appalled as I was before I knew the truth and that it influences change for you and your family.

Be sure to read to the end, because I’m giving you TWO recipes I love using ButcherBox meat.

3. Drink TONS of water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. There is no alternative for pure, fresh clean water. Drinking water keeps your body functioning, your engine running, and your skin glowing.  Drink at least half your body weight in ounces.

4. Eat Whole Organic Foods

Aim for 80% of your calories to come from whole foods that are as close to nature as possible with minimal processing. I’d say 100 percent, but I don’t think that’s realistic. Eat organic as much as possible. If you can’t, don’t stress! Just do your best.

Take the time to know where your food comes from. There is a direct correlation between the quality of food you put in your body and how you feel (see #2 above).

5. Cycle Your Diet

Cycle your diet just like you cycle your workouts. Your body likes homeostasis, so if you eat the same thing every day for weeks, and months, and years, your body stops adapting, and therefore, stops losing weight. So cycle your diet with an emphasis on carbs some days, high fats other days, and higher protein with limited carbs and fat on other days. Diet phasing is the hallmark of the 131 Method. What I want you to take away is the fact that you should approach your diet just like your workouts! Change leads to change.

6. Keep it Out

If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it. Remember this when you shop! Your habits can change by simply creating the environment you desire. Keep healthy foods at eye level so they’re the first things you see and grab.

7. Closing Time

Set a time in the evening to end eating. Give your body the night to recharge and rest instead of digesting food.  Close the kitchen and stop eating a few hours before bedtime. Tinker with intermittent fasting for even greater benefits. Need more proof? Check these out…

Are 6 Small Meals Making us Fat – LISTEN NOW!

Eating Trends and Common Myths – LISTEN NOW!

8. Become a Politely Picky Patron

You can absolutely adapt restaurant options to support your nutritional needs. Be extra polite, and ask for a few tweaks that make your meal work for you. Or, just eat at home more often so YOU choose the quality and ingredients you take in.

9. Learn the Difference Between Hunger and Appetite

Much of our eating is not hunger-based. Learn the triggers that send you snacking. By identifying the moments when you like to nibble, you can find alternative and more productive solutions. I like using a journal for this, but you can leave yourself a voice memo, write some sticky notes, meditate, or simply become present in those moments. I go into this at great length in the 131 Method.

10. Marry a Super Hot Guy who Likes to Cook

I’m half-joking, but kinda not. One of my best secrets is living in a house where one, or both, people love to cook.

I’m pretty good at a few things — I’ll chop veggies like nobody’s business. But, it’s my husband, Bret, who cooks up a storm. He values health and food quality as much as I do, which is a blessing. I know a lot of women who must toe the line for the whole family and constantly deal with their husband’s pizza-eating, chip-crunching ways. #sabotage

Try leading by example, however, by casually making your own changes. Chances are, one or two will catch on!

In the spirit of influencing the ones you love, I’m going to give you TWO of my favorite 131 recipes. “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and, most men like meat, so here ya go (just choose quality, ok?!). The family will never know these recipes are 131 approved (meaning healthy, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory and delicious)

Bret brings his “Bowl Skilz” to our family several nights per week. It’s another reason we love our ButcherBox…our freezer is stocked with options and he just picks what we want: Grass-finished ground beef, organic chicken breast, wild salmon, humanely-raised bacon..and off he goes until there’s a beautiful bowl set on the table.


Indian Spiced Beef & Zoodles

chalene johnson

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4th recipe

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 12 min


  • 16oz grass-fed, grass-finished 80% lean ground beef or bison
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes (use fire roasted if you like a little spice)
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium zucchinis, spiraled


  1. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium. Add beef and brown on all sides for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, coconut aminos, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and sauté until beef is cooked through (about 5 minutes), then turn to low and simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Toss zucchini noodles in a pan and quickly toss to coat, then remove and plate among four plates. (If you leave the noodles in the hot pan too long, they’ll release water. You only want to warm them quickly, then plate).

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 453| Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Carbs: 14g | Fiber: 2.5g | Net Carbs: 11g

Vegetable Beef Tahini Bowl


Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4th recipe

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound 85/15% grass-fed, grass-finished beef
  • 200g bok choy, chopped
  • 2 cups (200g) broccoli rabe, stems removed, chopped
  • 16 asparagus spears (200g), chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms (227g) sliced
  • 1 small zucchini (200g), peeled into ribbons
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce alternative)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (such as Flavor God)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)


  1. In an extra-large skillet, heat avocado oil over medium. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add beef and brown on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the whites of the bok choy and stir for 1 minute, then add the broccoli rabe and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini.
  3. Whisk together the coconut aminos, tahini, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add to skillet and coat everything well. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and beef is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 425| Protein: 29g | Fat: 29.5g | Carbs: 14g | Fiber: 4g | Net Carbs: 10g

One other subtle way you can get the family interested in repairing their health: The 131 Method book! Pre-order your copy here.

A taco-stuffed sweet potato? Another great recipe from Paleohacks

The great recipe team at Paleohacks has shared another tasty dish with Roam. This Mexican-inspired recipe features sweet potatoes stuffed with taco meat and topped with homemade guacamole for a single serving meal everyone will love!

Ditch the tortilla and stuff your favorite taco fixings inside tender roasted sweet potatoes for a filling and guilt-free meal.

Tacos are a dinner staple that everyone can agree on. However, when following a Paleo lifestyle, tortillas can be difficult to replace. Traditional tortillas and other grain-filled foods can cause bloating, which is why sweet potatoes are such a great alternative. Plus, they’re big enough to stuff with drool-worthy toppings for a fun twist on taco night.

Grass-fed ground beef carries the smoky taco spices, like cumin, onion powder, and chili powder. A little tomato paste adds to the tangy zip. And as we all know, no taco is complete without a scoop of creamy guacamole. This one is kept simple with chopped onion, cilantro, and jalapeños so you can mash it together while the meat sizzles on the stove.

stuffed sweet potatoes

Get started by greasing the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, which helps to lightly crisp up the skins. Bake for one hour, then let the sweet potatoes cool at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.

Meanwhile, heat ground beef in a skillet until browned, then stir in dry seasonings, tomato paste, and a little water. Cook about five minutes more.

While the taco meat cooks, make the guacamole by mashing an avocado until just slightly chunky. Add red onion, cilantro, sea salt, and jalapeños.

When everything’s ready, slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise and fill it up with taco meat. Top with a scoop of guacamole and finish with freshly diced tomatoes. Enjoy it while it’s hot!

stuffed sweet potatoes

Other great toppings to include:

  • Pickled jalapeño
  • Diced mango
  • Sliced radishes
  • Chopped bell pepper 

Tip: Try baking up a few additional sweet potatoes so you can have these decadent sweet potato brownies for dessert!

Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potato 

Prep time- 10 minutes

Cook time- 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total time- 1 hour, 25 minutes

Serves- 4 


Parchment paper

Baking sheet



Small bowl 


stuffed sweet potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

1 T avocado oil

1 lb ground beef

1 T ground cumin

2 t chili powder

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t onion powder

1/4 t cayenne pepper

2 T tomato paste

1/4 cup water

1 medium ripe avocado

2 T red onion, chopped

1 T cilantro

1 T minced jalapeños

1/4 t sea salt

1/2 cup tomatoes, diced


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Grease the outsides of the sweet potatoes with avocado oil and set on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then let cool.

3. Meanwhile, heat ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, using a spatula to break up the meat. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in dry seasonings, tomato paste, and water until thoroughly combined. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.

5. While the taco meat cooks, prepare the topping: Mash an avocado in a small bowl. Add the chopped red onion, cilantro, jalapeños, and sea salt. Stir well.

6. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them down the center lengthwise. Stuff with the taco meat, then add a scoop of the guacamole and diced tomatoes and serve.

If you liked this recipe, then you’ll love this sweet potato cheeseburger casserole recipe that you can make with just one pan.


Our favorite, easy Paleo recipes

We know protein is a major focus of the Paleo diet, but it’s easy to fall into a rut of uninspired meals comprised simply of meat — maybe some Paleo chicken breasts — with a vegetable, like brussels sprouts, on the side.

Yes, this is a healthy way to eat, but there are so many vibrant, flavorful, and easy Paleo recipes that can make both clean eating and meal planning a snap. 

Think Dijon-garlic smoked sirloin kebobs, packed with bold flavors, delicious vegetables, and tender steak tips. Or, go uber-simple, with honey lemon pork chops made with just a handful of ingredients. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Cilantro Lime Hickory Grilled Flank Steak

Flank steak is an ideal grilling steak, and this cilantro lime hickory grilled flank steak is packed with plenty of acidity and zest to brighten up the smokiness from the grill. It’s a simple recipe, with a marinade of lime zest, cilantro, minced garlic, and olive oil.

After marinating, season the steaks generously with salt and pepper, then grill them over hickory wood chips and coals. The result is a smoky, Paleo-friendly, satisfying meal. To ensure maximum tenderness, be sure to slice the steaks thinly against the grain.

Madeira Brisket with Almond Parsnip Puree

Here’s a Paleo-friendly Madeira brisket with almond parsnip puree that has all the appeal of a five-star restaurant. Yes, Madeira—a fortified wine—is technically not Paleo, but cooking with wine does not have the same effects of drinking wine.

The Madeira itself adds toffee and stewed fruit notes to the brisket, with flavors that deepen over time when cooking. It complements the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the almond parsnip puree.

Dijon-Garlic Smoked Sirloin Kebobs

Steak tips absorb flavor easily, making these Dijon-garlic smoked sirloin kebobs a delicious meal. Marinated with Dijon mustard, garlic, thyme, parsley, and smoked paprika, these steak tips pack a punch. Accompanied by Japanese eggplant, orange bell pepper, red onion, and baby bella mushrooms, these kebobs are a Paleo-friendly meal on a stick. The key to this recipe comes from the smokiness of the hickory wood chips.

Smoky Citrus Grilled Chicken Thighs

These smoky citrus grilled chicken thighs couldn’t be simpler to throw together. With a quick marinade of orange, lemon, lime, rosemary, thyme, onion, garlic and olive oil, these chicken thighs pack a citrus punch. Hickory wood chips strike again in imparting perfectly smooth, smoky flavor. Chicken thighs are ideal for this preparation, as they’re ultra-tender and juicy.

Honey Lemon Pork Chops

Paleo-friendly recipes are all about simple, real food, and these honey lemon pork chops fit the bill.

Made with just a handful of ingredients—pork chops, lemon slices, lemon juice, honey, garlic, ghee, rosemary, salt, and pepper—this is an ideal recipe for a hectic weeknight dinner and lazy Sunday afternoon alike. Honey and lemon bring out the sweetness of heritage-breed pork, while small amounts of flavorful fat add unctuousness.

Super Easy Ribeye Roast with Roasted Mushrooms and Eggplant

Need a recipe that’s as easy to whip up as it is likely to impress your guests? This super easy ribeye roast with roasted mushrooms and eggplant is the kind of meal you invite people over for, but won’t keep you in the kitchen all day.

This recipe resolves the host’s dilemma: “How do I serve my guests incredible meat while still spending time with them?” This recipe opts for the reverse-searing technique, cooking the roast at a low temperature until just about rare, letting it rest, and then roasting it at a high temperature for 15 minutes before dinner. Follow these steps and you’ll be left with a crusty, delicious medium-rare roast.

Holiday Spiced Whole Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Root Veggies

This holiday spiced whole beef tenderloin with roasted root veggies may be seasonally inspired by the holidays, but it’s delicious any time of the year. Serve it as a holiday meal centerpiece, or just as a weekend meal.

A blend of aromatic herbs and spices sets this beef tenderloin apart, with orange zest, rosemary, parsley, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, Dijon mustard, and salt. The vegetables — a mélange of parsnips, carrots, turnips, and rutabaga — get the same aromatic treatment, with garlic, shallots, thyme, coriander, ground nutmeg, as well as the old standbys of salt and pepper.

Lemon Garlic Marinated Top Round London Broil with “Squoodles”

Craving noodles on the Paleo diet? This lemon garlic marinated top round London broil with “squoodles” has you covered, with a mound of delicious London broil and tender butternut squash noodles. Better yet, these squoodles are made spicy by chili flakes, so they’ll certainly spice up your evening.

Once again, this meal is super simple to throw together, with a marinade of garlic, lemon zest, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil. The noodles, meanwhile, are tossed together with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, garlic, the aforementioned chili flakes, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Eggplant Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a childhood classic, but definitely not Paleo-friendly. These eggplant sloppy joes, on the other hand, are healthy, Paleo, and delicious. The buns are actually baked eggplant slices, full of smoky, creamy vegetable flavor. The meat, meanwhile, takes ButcherBox ground beef and cooks it up with poblanos, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, Paleo ketchup, white wine vinegar, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and honey. 

It’s a delicious symphony of flavors.

Smoky Chili-Rubbed Coulotte with Fancy Red Pepper Salsa

Coulotte roast features a gorgeous fat cap, ensuring the roast is moist and flavorful. This smoky chili-rubbed Coulotte with fancy red pepper salsa is no exception, and it pairs the intensely flavorful roast with a well-spiced red pepper salsa.

First, it gets the dry rub treatment, with a spice blend of smoked salt, chipotle powder, Aleppo chili powder, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, smoked paprika, and ground coffee. Then, it roasts in the oven for a bit. While it roasts, you whip up the fancy red pepper salsa, complete with bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, roasted red peppers, cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

And of course, don’t forget to slice the roast against the grain!



Substantial salads: Meaty salads to keep you nourished

When you think of meaty, hearty, satisfying meals, salads may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But salads, with their plentiful varieties, are a brilliant way to get in a balanced, nourishing meal.

Whether it’s a meat-packed salad complemented by fruits and veggies — like this tarragon and 3 apple chicken salad—or it’s a mound of grilled steak served atop a bed of lettuce and other veggies, salads pack in nutrients without compromising flavor.

You’re not limited to lettuce, either. Try cold noodle salads or veggie varietal salads. Whatever kind of meaty salads you’re craving, this list of salad recipes delivers substantial, vibrant, and healthy meals.

Tarragon and 3 Apple Chicken Salad

Need an easy, delicious, and nutritious salad that will fuel you till dinner? Try this tarragon and 3 apple chicken salad, rife with zingy flavors from tarragon, white wine (preferably one with stone fruit notes), garlic, Dijon mustard, and more. 

The salad itself boasts a crisp variety of apples, including Granny Smith, Gala, and Honeycrisp. Celery and pistachios add even more crunch. At the center of it all is ultra-tender, ultra-juicy grilled chicken breast cubes.

Spring Pea Chicken Salad

This spring pea chicken salad is the epitome of spring, thanks to the abundance of seasonal produce and deliciously refreshing poached chicken breast. Enjoy fresh peas, sugar snap peas, pea shoots, dried apricots, and almonds for a delicious textural meld. 

The chicken is poached in a white wine, thyme, and butter mixture, making for fork-tender, refreshing meat. The salad dressing is impressive in and of itself, with white balsamic vinegar, shallots, thyme, avocado oil, dried apricots, salt, and pepper. For even more flavor, make the dressing one day in advance and dress the chicken in the vinaigrette before serving.

Grilled Greek Marinated Chicken Breast with Peach and Endive Salad

Here’s a hearty salad that you can throw together in 30 minutes. While simple, this grilled Greek marinated chicken breast with peach and endive salad does not compromise on flavor. Marinated in a zingy Greek vinaigrette (we like the one created by Primal Kitchen), the chicken is grilled for a few minutes for the perfect char then finished off in the oven. An abundance of produce joins this grilled chicken salad, including peaches, avocado, endive, red onion, scallions, and corn. Throw in some feta cheese for even more zest, and you’re in for a nourishing, complete, and healthy meal.

Lemon Turmeric Marinated Flank Steak with Lentil and Beet Salad

This lemon turmeric marinated flank steak with lentil and beet salad couldn’t be easier to throw together. Perfectly cooked flank steak, which cooks up in minutes, and a salad of pre-cooked lentils, pre-cooked beets, and curry-seasoned and roasted cauliflower, are all dressed in lemon turmeric vinaigrette. This salad is a bevy of textures and flavors and makes for an ideal, speedy weeknight dinner or a make-ahead meal.

Seared Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Veggie Salad

If you’re craving all the trappings of a salad but prefer something warm, this seared flat iron steak with roasted veggie salad delivers. Flat iron steaks are seared and basted in butter then transferred to the oven to finish up for a few minutes. Then, turn up your oven and toss in a mélange of cauliflower, butternut squash, and Portobello mushrooms. Once those are thoroughly roasted, serve everything on a bed of greens with some crisp bacon and pomegranate arils. Toss in a salad dressing of orange juice, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, shallots, orange zest, garlic, and olive oil. You’re good to go.

Thai Almond Soba Noodle Salad

Asian noodle salads make for a cool, creamy and refreshing meal any time of the day, and this Thai almond soba noodle salad is no exception. While it requires a bit of prep time, it cooks up incredibly fast. 

Hearty flank steak gets the umami treatment with a marinade of fresh ginger, Tamari, mirin, garlic, fish sauce, and sambal chili paste. Seared quickly in a cast iron skillet then finished in the oven in minutes, it’s ultra-tender and flavorful. Cooked soba noodles are tossed with broccoli, red pepper, sugar snap peas, carrots, and toasted almond slices. An insanely flavor-packed Thai almond sauce finishes the dish off, complete with sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green curry paste, lime juice, tamari, honey, sambal chili paste, fish sauce, almond butter, coconut milk, salt, and cilantro.

Greek Salad with Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette Chicken Skewers

This simple Greek salad with Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette chicken skewers takes minutes to throw together. Simply marinate chicken beforehand in Greek vinaigrette, then grill it on skewers for 10 to 14 minutes. Toss together romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, Kalamata olives, and red onion. Throw in some more of the Greek salad dressing, and you’ve got a light but filling grilled chicken salad full of tangy and satisfying flavors.

Pork, Tomato, and Mango Salad

Sick of just having chicken or steak on your salad? Pork tenderloins, ever-admired for their versatility, make a great stand-in here. For this pork, tomato, and mango salad, grill pork tenderloin and corn on the cob for perfect charred flavor, then toss the pair on top of a salad of romaine lettuce, mango, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. Dress the whole thing in a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and you’re in for a tangy, sweet and savory meal.

Southwestern Steak Salad with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

Need a steak salad with Southwestern flair? Try this Southwestern steak salad with jalapeno ranch salad dressing, chock full of big, bold flavors. With taco-seasoned, grilled top sirloin steak and a diverse veggie and bean selection, this romaine salad is hearty and satisfying. Enjoy the combination of Roma tomatoes, corn, avocado, red onion, black beans, and of course, romaine lettuce. Throw in a homemade spicy jalapeno ranch dressing, and you’re in for a treat.


What does grass-finished beef even mean and why does it matter

The term “grass-fed,” as it applies to beef, has been in use for quite a while. For most, it elicits the idea of an idyllic cow on the range eating natural grass. It is an image that has been connected to the beef purveyors and ranchers well before the current era of grass-fed being a term of differentiation between pasture-raised cattle and those coming out of the U.S. factory farming system in which the animals are fed grains, corn, and other foods not natural to their diet.

And while grass-fed beef has arisen as a healthier, leaner, and more humane alternative to the standard beef you can find at the grocery store, there is not really a clear understanding — or regulatory oversight — as to what exactly qualifies as 100 percent grass-fed beef. 

Which is why beef that is “grass-finished” importantly comes into play.

We’ve written before about some of the misleading marketing that occurs in the beef industry with the mislabelling of beef as grass-fed, even when it may have been “grain-finished” in a factory-farm.

To us, the only real grass-fed beef is that which has grazed its entire life on pasture, was never fed grain or corn to be fattened up, and which ate real, natural grass its entire life. This is why, at ButcherBox, we emphasize that our meat is grass-fed AND grass-finished. 

The distinction is important. When a consumer buys grass-fed beef, the belief is that the product they are purchasing comes from cattle raised on a pure grass and forage diet. The best way for that to happen is for cattle to graze on pasture. This is a challenge for most areas of North America, and, we worry that we are heading for a future in which cattle are “finished” — fattened — with a grass-based feed, in a similar manner as a factory farm, that is a majority grass in pellet form with the potential for the inclusion of grain, corn, and soy.

For us, we believe that true grass-finishing through grazing not only makes the best tasting, tender beef, but also the most delicious. Grass-fed cattle that eat a diet as nature intended, grazing on bluegrass, orchardgrass, bromegrass, tall fescue and, in some situations, alfalfa, and other forage is the only true grass-fed beef. 

Grass-fed and grass-finished beef comes from animals that have eaten a natural diet, to eat grass and graze on open pastures, and live the majority of their lives out of doors. To us, this is the most humane approach to raising cattle for food. 

Grass-fed beef is also leaner beef, and it keeps the same protein profile as beef with more fat content. The “grain-finishing” that occurs on feedlots adds fatty marbling to beef and is done primarily to “fatten” the cattle for the market quicker than cows eating on pasture can gain weight.

 For all these reasons — the melt-in-your-mouth taste being included — grass-fed AND grass-finished beef has no equal. There is nothing better or more delicious than grilling and then eating a tender, grass-fed and grass-finished New York strip steak