I may have bitten off more than I can chew with making the Unprocessed October pledge!
I was feeling so passionate and inspired when I wrote yesterdays post, but something that I failed to take into consideration is that I live in a completely new country, I barely speak the language and still do not know my way around at all, not to mention that nothing is familiar in the supermarket!
Yesterday afternoon, I took a little walk to my local supermarket here in Brasilia to buy a few things for dinner. I also wanted to take the opportunity to acquaint myself with it and really get to know the products that they sell. I have to admit it was rather discouraging! Don’t get me wrong the produce looks very good – a descent variety of vegetables and cuts of meat, but what was really discouraging is all the ‘side’ products.
I spent 20 minutes in the cold meat section trying to find a good ham and fresh bacon- analysing labels, looking at ingredients and I found nothing that had no preservatives! Likewise I could not find a single Greek or natural yoghurt which did not have sugar as its second ingredient…it dawned on my very quickly, that this challenge could be very, very difficult!
However, with that said – I am still going to try. It may be that at times what I eat is not truly ‘unprocessed’ but living in this corporate world it is ultimately about choices, and about making the best choice with the options you have.
Talking about choices, yesterday I did make the best choice for dinner though: Minute steak, with a creamy onion sauce. It was one of those meals, that I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but ‘free styled’ it and was very surprised (impressed?) with the results! Although I would like to perfect the recipe, the ingredients are so simple, I think anyone could throw this together. Best of all, it took me all of 25 minutes from start to finish! Perfect for a mid-week meal.
I also made a point of using a local Brazilian brand of cream cheese, not only is this half the price of my usual Philadelphia cream cheese but it is also about being brave in the kitchen – don’t get stuck in a rut and be adventurous. I’m glad I did, as it turns out, I think I prefer this cream cheese….
So this is what I did:
- Olive oil (butter would have been better…but I don’t have any at home!)
- 3 minute steaks
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 1 chili, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- cream cheese
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
Heat a frying pan with olive oil, in the meantime season your steaks with salt and pepper.
When the oil is hot, fry the steaks, a minute on either side (hence the name!) until brown on a high heat. Remove the steaks from the frying pan and let rest.
Turn the heat to low and if needed add more oil in the frying pan. Then add the onions and chili and let them sweat for a few minutes, add the capsicum and sauté it all together until your happy with the consistency (I ike to have a bit of bite left in my capsicum)
Add a little bit of milk and cream cheese. Let the cream cheese melt into the liquid. Add some cream to thicken the sauce. I do not have quantities for this (as I didn’t measure it…hence I need to refine the recipe) but I think you can add a little of everything at a time, until you get the consistency that you like.
Season it was salt and pepper, and then add some dried/fresh herbs of your choice. I used oregano with very good results.
Put the steaks back into your sauce, cover the pan with a lid and let simmer for a minute or so. Just to heat up the steaks. Then they are ready to serve!
I didn’t have my steaks with any sides, but this would go really well with some boiled broccoli or green beans, something to help mop up all that creamy sauce!