As many of you know, I only eat beef a few times a year. It’s at the very top of my Plant Paradox food pyramid for a reason. But, as a born and bred Nebraskan, I do enjoy it occasionally. Lean beef can be a wonderful source of protein when eaten in extreme moderation and when you stick to my two simple rules…
Rule #1: Eat only the correct serving size.
This is easy. A serving of meat – whether it’s beef, lamb or fish – should be no more than 4 oz—about the size of the palm of your hand. I actually recommend patients in my new book to start with only 2 oz in the beginning of the eating program.
Rule #2: Eat only grass-fed, pasture-raised beef.
For most of human history, our ancestors only ate beef from animals raised on grass. Why? Because cows are designed to eat grass.
But over the past 100 years, there’s been a major shift in our diet – and we’re just now starting to feel the impact of it. “Big Agriculture” started feeding livestock with grains to save money and increase production, but we’re the ones paying the price with our health.
Here’s why this change has been so harmful…
Grass-fed beef has a natural, balanced ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats – the ratio is about 3:1, which is perfect.
But when your ratio is any higher than 4:1, you start getting serious health problems: heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and more.
And the fact is, modern, grain-fed beef can have a ratio of 20:1 or even higher! Grain-fed beef is deficient in healthy omega-3s but it’s loaded with omega-6s, which are extremely unhealthy at these high levels.
And you are what you eat. Meaning, if you eat grain-fed beef (even if the label says ‘organic or free-range), you’re eating loads of toxic, gut-destroying lectins.
Let’s face it… grass-fed beef is far healthier, it’s leaner, and it tastes better. I tell my patients to switch to grass-fed beef exclusively, because their health is worth the extra expense.
However, it is more expensive than grain-fed beef, and that’s where my recipe today for Chipotle Flank Steak comes in handy. Flank steak is as tasty and tender as a ribeye or strip steak, but often a third of the price – or even less.
And by adding one tenderizing ingredient to the marinade — goat’s milk yogurt — you’ll end up with the most succulent flank steak you’ve ever eaten.
[Note: If you’re not a big fan of beef, you should STILL save this recipe. The marinade is great on pasture-raised chicken, wild salmon, and grilled veggies, too.]
Here’s a visual of what you’ll need:
Chipotle Flank Steak Recipe
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice
- Zest of one lime
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sauce from canned chipotles en adobo OR 1 tablespoon pure chile powder
- 1 cup plain goat’s milk yogurt
- 1 grass-fed flank steak (about 1 ¼ pounds)
- Sea salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients except the steak and sea salt in a resealable zip top plastic bag. Seal bag and shake to mix well.
- Add steak and press air out of the bag, making sure the meat is well coated in marinade. Let marinate AT LEAST one hour, or as long as 8.
- Preheat a grill or skillet over high heat.
- Remove steak from marinade, pat dry, and sprinkle with salt.
- Grill to desired doneness — medium rare is about 4 minutes per side — and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Slice steak against the grain into thin, diagonal slices. Serve 4 oz of meat per person.
And there’s your steak! Now, the best thing about this particular recipe is its versatility. Since you’re making a larger piece to start, you’re sure to have plenty of leftovers… and since this recipe tastes good hot OR cold, it’s as nice on a salad as it is hot.
For a simple weeknight meal, serve the steak over a bed of riced cauliflower, along with grilled asparagus (with a healthy drizzle of olive oil, of course!)
Or if I’m in the mood for something decadent, I make two of my favorite steakhouse sides:
Creamed spinach — sauté spinach with garlic until wilted then remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, salt and pepper, and a dash of nutmeg for the EASIEST creamed spinach.
Mashed “potatoes” — steam cauliflower, then mash with sour cream and grated parmesan
There’s a reason you see some variation of a steak salad on almost EVERY restaurant menu: it’s a classic.
My favorite steak salad features peppery arugula, shaved pecorino cheese (just a little bit), pickled red onion, and a sprinkle of parsley. After all, when you’re starting with a perfectly cooked steak, it doesn’t take much to make a fantastic salad.
And I keep the dressing simple too — just a mixture of red wine vinegar, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil.
[TIP: If you’re packing this salad to go, put the dressing, steak, onion and cheese on the BOTTOM of your container. Then top off with the arugula. When you tip your salad out onto a plate, you’ll have a perfectly dressed salad, without soggy greens.]
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Steven Gundry