Buying healthier ingredients on my new food coupon 'diet' is still a bit of a challenge, but I'm definitely having fun playing around in the kitchen again.  With that said, I have two recipes to offer .  The first is a quick and easy flank steak meal.  The second is an Italian-ish style treatment of pork country ribs.  Hope you enjoy them both!

rare & well done: easy flank steak menu at work
10 Minute Flank Steak Meal (12 Minutes If Your Husband Likes His Steak Well Done)

It literally took 10 minutes to throw this simple, healthy and delicious meal together from the time I turned on the kitchen light to the time I served dinner.  There's only 4 key ingredients, all of them were on sale.

  • Leftover Rice A Roni, Wild Rice Pilaf Flavor
  • Flank steak (with Light Kraft Olive Oil and Balsalmic Salad Dressing)
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 lime

The steak was marinated in a Ziploc overnight.  To get the most intense flavor, I squeezed all the air out by rolling it like a sleeping bag before zipping it closed.  I turned on my Foreman Grill, coating the top and bottom with a little vegetable oil (cooking spray works too).  I cooked the steak for 5-6 minutes.  While the meat rested, I heated the rice and sliced the cucumbers.  I added the steak slices to my plate and threw my husband's on the grill for another 1-2 minutes to get it closer to the shoe leather texture he prefers.  I squeezed the lime over the steak and cucumbers.  Simple and delish!

country ribs - the other Italian secret ingredient
Country Pork Ribs Italiano

The idea for this recipe came as I scrambled to do something with the country ribs we didn't grill on the 4th.  Suddenly I remembered from forever ago focused on an Italian American restaurant owner with a famous Cleveland rib eatery.  When his family prepared their 'gravy' for pasta, they used slabs of ribs to season the sauce.  Once the sauce was done, they'd pull out the ribs, grill them and the rest is history.  We didn't have a slab of ribs but it was worth a try.

Season the pork: Garlic and onion powders, poultry and Cajun seasonings with pepper to taste.  I seared the pork in vegetable oil until browned on both sides.  Then I removed the meat and cooked the same assortment of veggies we'd used for the Very Veggie Spaghetti Sauce (along with the rest of an eggplant, celery and onions, I rinsed two handfuls of Lindsay Large Pitted Olives that I simply sliced in half).  I added more garlic powder, Italian seasoning and celery seed to the pot.  Boy, I wish I had some red wine to deglaze this pan, in its place I used a little chicken base and water.  I added a couple large cans of $1 store brand spaghetti sauce and simmered the ribs in the sauce for two hours on low heat.  Before serving, I browned the ribs on our Foreman Grill and retrieved not only the ribs, but also the browned sauce too.  I served the ribs with Rice A Roni - I cooked 2 boxes using only 1 flavor packet and added seasonings, the same in fact that I used to season the raw pork.  The ribs were super tender and my husband was a very happy man at lunch today.

After our taste testing last night and my husband's lunch today, what will we do with last 3 pieces of pork and all that sauce?  A couple ideas come to mind.  This sauce would be a great in lasagna.  The rest of the pork served shredded and used on a bun or to top a baked (or microwaved potato) served with or without the sauce.  I'm considering making a fresh batch of burger buns tomorrow. Come back to see what I end up making.  Gotta go exercise, this cooking frenzy is adding to a girl's figure.

Easy Recipes for Cheap Living
Last Updated November 26, 2010
Web Site Content by Mrs. Germaine Jenkins (
Easy Recipes for Living Well on a Budget