For this day after Valentine’s Day, we’re not talking chocolate or sweets. Instead, let’s go straight for a big chunk of meat: using a chili and coffee rub to make sliced roast beef!
I was pretty intimidated the first time I tried a basic recipe for this dish. It didn’t help that it made way too much rub, which I tried to use up anyway, which meant the roast started smoldering like a log when it started cooking. Whoops.
Despite the hassles, my husband loved the end result, so I resolved to re-do the recipe and get it right. I think my husband’s feedback on each iteration was just a big hint to keep making these roasts.
He likes these served up as sliders. On a piece of aluminum foil, I use my dinner rolls, add a piece or two of meat, a dollop of coarse mustard, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. I close the rolls and pour some melted butter on top, wrap the sliders in the foil, then bake until the cheese is melted. Perfection.
I think this roast beef has spoiled us. This recipe gives you the freshest meat possible, and if you catch eye of round roasts on sale, whoa is this a bargain!
Bready or Not: Chili and Coffee-Rubbed Sliced Roast Beef
A Bready or Not Original! Use an eye of round roast to easily make the best roast beef sandwiches you’ve had in your life.
- 1 Tablespoon dried onion
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons coffee, finely ground
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 to 2 1/2 pound eye of round roast
Move your middle oven rack down a slot to be near the bottom and preheat oven to 475-degrees. Use a small roasting pan, or prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top of it. Apply nonstick spray.
Combine the first seven ingredients in a small bowl. If the rub is too thick, add a touch more orange juice or water. Spread the mixture all over the roast.
Bake meat for 12 minutes, then turn it over and bake for another 12 minutes. It may start smoking because of the thick seasoning on the meat; if so, turn on the vent and keep an eye on things.
Without opening the oven, reduce heat to 300-degrees. Roast for another 30 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 120-degrees in the center.
Let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Don't remove the crusted seasonings.
Wrap the roast in parchment paper and then encase in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.
Serve the meat by cutting it into thin slices. Serve in hot or cold sandwiches, wraps, on crackers, or eat straight out of hand.
OM NOM NOM!
You know I love maple-flavored sweets. Maple works in a savory way, too–and creates meaty magic in this recipe for Maple Chicken Thighs.
This is some seriously good chicken. It marinates for up to a day in the fridge, resulting in tender, lightly-sweetened chicken. It does not create a heavy glaze and it’s not like teriyaki. It is… just plain delicious.
Honestly, I think the leftovers are even better. This chicken is phenomenal cut up in a salad or used with a touch of dressing in a wrap.
This is yet another recipe inspired from the cookbook Maple by Katie Webster. (Seriously, if you love maple, get this book.) The original version of this recipe included shallots (which I never buy) and apples and pears (which I knew my husband wouldn’t want with his supper).
Give this chicken recipe a try, and discover a new way to love maple!
Bready or Not: Maple Chicken Thighs
These chicken thighs need to marinate for at least 12 hours, so plan ahead! The sweet-savory marinade penetrates the chicken, creating wonderful flavor and tenderness. The leftovers are phenomenal! Modified from the cookbook Maple by Katie Webster.
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 green onions; white parts only, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, each thigh cut into thirds
The day or night before serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider/juice, maple syrup, vinegar, white portions of green onions, ginger, thyme, salt, and pepper. In a gallon-size re-sealable bag, place the cut-up chicken. Pour in the marinade and seal the bag.
Refrigerate the bag for 12-24 hours, turning the bag every so often.
Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Place the chicken in a 13x9 baking dish with all or some of the marinade; the chicken shouldn't be fully covered.
Bake for about 40 minutes, turning chicken once at the halfway point.
Chicken is fabulous fresh and as leftovers! Cooked chicken can also be portioned and frozen.
OM NOM NOM!
Let’s start off 2017 with something delicious and healthy: Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola.
It’s super easy to make granola at home, and wow, is it cheaper than buying the stuff at the store. If you have a nearby store that sells oats in bins, that’s the way to go–my Sprouts often puts their oats on sale, too.
It’s easy to customize this to your preferences. Switch out the pecans for walnuts. Use raisins or dried blueberries for the cranberries. Whatever. Make it your own.
If you need gluten-free food, that’s easy, too–just use gluten-free oats! Ta-da.
Eat this granola by itself, or with milk or almond milk as cereal, or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. Heck, you could even use it in cookie or granola bar recipes.
However you eat it, know that it’s delicious–and good for you, too!
Bready or Not: Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola
A Bready or Not Original! This healthy granola is great by the handful, mixed into milk as cereal, or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. Use gluten-free oats to make this gluten-free. Double or quadruple this recipe to jar it for gifts.
- 2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 Tb avocado or olive oil
- sprinkle of salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with foil and apply nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the ingredients EXCEPT the cranberries. Spread the mixture on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, gently stir the granola, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until it's crisp and golden. Let set out on stove top to cool; it will continue to crisp up.
Once it is room temperature, gently stir in the cranberries. Store in a sealed container up to 1 month.
OM NOM NOM!
Bready or Not has featured a whole lot of sweets in recent weeks. Let’s switch to something delicious and healthy instead: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad.
This still has a little bit of sweetness going on. Butternut squash is naturally awesome that way, and a sprinkling of cranberries adds some extra oomph. Add some pecans for crunch and feta because CHEESE, and this creates a bowl of happiness. The quinoa adds protein and kinda enjoys the ride along with all the other flavors.
I cobbled this together from several other recipes. I wanted something that I could invest some time in and then use as a quick-fix dinner for several more days. I parcel it into three or four containers, depending on the size of the squash, and my meals are set! Or, you could use this as a gluten-free main dish or side dish to feed a group.
I can offer a few useful tips, too. I cook quinoa in my Zojirushi rice cooker. One cup of uncooked quinoa makes a LOT once its cooked, more than my salad recipe requires, but cooked quinoa keeps well in the fridge and can also be frozen and thawed weeks later without any issue.
If you’re intimidated by cutting butternut squash, there is a safe and easy way to do it!
Next week’s Bready or Not officially kicks off my October-November tradition of pumpkin and autumn-themed recipes! Time to bust out the stretchy pants.
Bready or Not: Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
A Bready or Not Original! This salad takes some initial work to assemble, but it creates a big bowl of autumnal deliciousness! Serve as a main dish or side dish for a crowd, or use it as a solo meal over several days. This is gluten-free, healthy, and full of happiness.
- butternut squash (2.5-3.5 pounds)
- olive oil or avocado oil
- pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon/nutmeg etc
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- feta cheese
Preheat the oven at 425-F.
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread out the chopped squash and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle spices of choice and some salt. Roast squash for 20 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, measure out the cranberries and place in a small bowl. Cover the cranberries with water and let them soak. Measure out the pecans.
When the 20 minutes is up, toss the squash in the pan. Drain the water from the cranberries, discarding water. Add the plumped cranberries and pecans to the squash, and season more, if desired. Cook another 10 minutes or so, until butternut squash is fork tender with roasted coloration.
Transfer the pan's contents to a large bowl. Gently stir in the quinoa. Serve hot or stash in fridge for later, and heat with microwave. Add sprinkle of feta just before serving.
OM NOM NOM!
Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars. I have my new favorite quick-fix breakfast, and I created the whole thing because of some lovely inspiration from Nuts.com.
They are holding a food blog contest that challenged me to use several of the ingredients they sell through their site. I combined almond flour and macadamia nuts… and also used other items like medjool dates, shredded coconut, and cashews.
When I think of summer snacks, I think 1) no oven on to heat up my house, 2) quick to make amid writing deadlines and my son’s therapies, and 3) DELICIOUS. To me, maple is delicious, and that kind of awesomeness should not be confined to a single season.
These bars blend up in a few minutes in a food processor or high-powered blender. Mash them in a lined loaf pan, let them chill, slice, eat. Try not to eat them all in one sitting. After all, these are packed with vitamins and healthy stuff–and no gluten!
The primary flavors are maple and macadamia infused with white chocolate, with the coconut mild in the background. These are dense in texture. I have made many variations of energy bars/truffles using dates like this, but I have never added almond flour before. Wow. It doesn’t add a strong almond flavor, but it does fill in those nooks and crannies. Everything melds together.
I don’t understand why more people aren’t creating recipes with maple, macadamia nuts, and white chocolate. If someone needs to start the trend, well, I volunteer as tribute.
Thanks again to Nuts.com for asking me to participate in this contest! Recipe prompts, like story prompts, provide a fantastic creative nudge.
Some other energy bars/truffles featured on Bready or Not:
– Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Truffles
– Chocolate-Coffee Truffles
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Breakfast Bites
– Maple Energy Bars/Bites
Bonus Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Macadamia Nut Energy Bars (Gluten Free)
A Bready or Not Original! These gluten-free no-bake energy bars mix up in minutes in a food processor or high-powered blender! Maple, macadamia, and white chocolate meld in a glorious way for the perfect breakfast or midday pick-me-up snack. Double the recipe for thicker, heartier bars. Thanks to Nuts.com for inspiring this recipe!
- 1/3 cup almond flour (or meal)
- 6 medjool dates, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons shredded coconut
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon maple flavor
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, divided
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla or white chocolate chips
Prepare a loaf pan by lining the long sides with either waxed paper or parchment paper, with the paper sticking up on either side like a sling.
In a food processor, add the almond flour, chopped dates, coconut, maple syrup, cashews, and most of the macadamia nuts. Set aside the reserved macadamias and white chocolate.
Run the food processor until everything inside is ground down. The mix should stick together if you pinch it between your fingers; if it's not cohesive, drizzle in a tiny amount of water and pulse again.
Add the remaining macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. Pulse a few times to chop them up a little and distribute them.
Pour into the loaf pan. Use a spatula to compress everything. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.
Use the sling to lift up the macadamia mix. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in fridge.
OM NOM NOM!
Today I’m providing my personal favorite, tested-a-gazillion times rub recipe for pork ribs.
How you cook the ribs is up to you. My husband has a smoker, so he smokes these things for hours for delicious, succulent results.
However, using this rub, you could barbecue ribs on a grill, or bake them in the oven. The choice is yours!
The amounts stated in this recipe will cover about 5 pounds of meat. If you have leftover mix that hasn’t been in contact with raw meat, jar it and save it for later. You can also double or triple the recipe with that in mind.
I have made this with several types of paprika. I favor smoked paprika, but all kinds worked well. I have also made this with fresh oregano and dried. You could certainly substitute or add other herbs, too.
Whenever I find ribs on a good sale, we use this recipe. It’s one we often make for when company comes over, too. Everyone leaves full and happy!
Bready or Not: Cato BBQ Rib Rub
A Bready or Not Original! This rub mix will cover about 5 pounds of your favorite pork ribs; baby back ribs are excellent. If you have leftover mix that hasn’t been in contact with raw meat, jar it and save it for later! You can double or triple the recipe with that in mind.
To intensify flavor, rub the meat and stash it in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.
- 2 Tablespoons paprika, any variety
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano or 1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 Tablespoon ground coffee
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Combine rub ingredients well, making sure to break up any clumps. Coat the meat, front and back.
Cook ribs as desired: smoke, grill, or bake.
OM NOM NOM!