Slices of top sirloin cap steak atop a green salad with Dan's special homemade dressing
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 82: Salad for dinner? Not a mis-steak

Steak Salad with Dan’s House Dressing

It wasn’t that long ago that sitting down for a steak dinner was an acceptable, even affordable, event.

Not so much anymore. Even apart from growing numbers of individuals who have eschewed meat for health or ethical reasons, it’s just too expensive with even basic strip loin steaks edging into the realm of $10 – 15 each. Chowing down on a hunka-hunka T-Bone — as I apparently did, according to my Twitter history, on the May long weekend of 2013 — would be a luxury, if not downright gluttonous.

But darn it, I still enjoy red meat, and steak in particular.

Unless we’re set to splurge (which is when we’ll head to a butcher shop like Ben’s Meats to get something really good for the barbecue), Dan and I have come up with a couple of cheats to get steak onto the table in a mostly healthy and affordable manner.

One is fajitas, made following the exact method used on Day 64 but with beef instead of chicken. The other is to make a steak salad — yep, just like the ones you’ll get for $20 a plate at restaurants like Moxie’s — using a cheap cut of beef and a homemade dressing.

Kitchen Castoff Used

Was there one? There were ice crystals forming on the steak so maybe that makes them the target of today’s exercise. We were certainly tired of eating chicken!

Slices of top sirloin cap steak atop a green salad with Dan's special homemade dressing
Slices of top sirloin cap steak atop a green salad with Dan’s special homemade dressing

This is how we did it


For the steak

  • 6 – 8 oz sirloin “cap” steak (These are often a top sirloin cut but have a thick fat cap)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

For the dressing

  • 6 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

For the salad

  • Lettuce (we usually use romaine; this time we added some spinach as well)
  • Tomatoes (this time of year, we often use the little “grape” tomatoes cut in half or quarters
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Red onion or shallot, sliced
  • 2 oz feta cheese, diced
  • 3 tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds, toasted in a skillet


For the steak

Let come to room temperature, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat grill to 400 degrees and sear each side (about four minutes per side depending on the size.) Move off direct heat and keep cooking until desired doneness. (Dan uses the “thumb test” to check on when they are ready.) Let rest for five minutes, hopefully this helps keep the juices inside, and then slice across the grain into strips.

For the dressing

Prep the olive oil by cutting up about six garlic cloves into big chunks and letting them sit in the olive oil for at least an hour. (Dan almost always has a container of garlic-and-olive oil on the go, which is useful for all kinds of things.

Whisk all the ingredients together.

For the salad

Tear the lettuce into a salad bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and toss. (I usually sprinkle the cheese and seeds on at the end, since they otherwise tend to gravitate to the bottom of the bowl.)

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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