Going Organic?! – With Steak, Blue Cheese, Pear, Walnut and Beetroot Pickled Egg Salad

Okay, so I may be late here (like literally missing the boat and swimming to it late), but I can’t move on into October without mentioning “Organic September”.

Yes this is another one of my “shall we talk about a national day” posts, but lets face it, after close to 550 blog posts there comes a time when you need a bit of inspiration for something to chat about.  Otherwise you’ll just be getting the same old “oh my, this recipe is delicious, please make it, I love it, you’ll love it!” kinda blabbing.

So what is Organic September and why is it important? Well, I’m going to be honest here and say that I don’t always buy organic, and I’m sure a lot of you will feel the same as me when you are in the supermarket staring a pack of mushrooms and thinking “what makes that one better than the other?”, especially as they look the same and often cost a lot more. To get a better insight I checked out the Soil Association website, and they do put up a pretty good case to go organic. Let me just summarise their 5 top reasons to “Go Organic”:

  1. It reduces your exposure to potentially harmful pesticides. – over 320 pesticides are commonly used in non-organic farming.
  2. There are significant nutritional differences between the two.
  3. It’s better for the planet – If all food was organic at least 3.2 tonnes of carbon would be taken up by the soil
  4. There would be 50% more wildlife
  5. There are higher standards of animal welfare – Organic animals are truly free range.

Now these seem like pretty good arguments against the 1 clear (and in my head only) argument against – the cost!

But is organic food really that much more expensive? I took a trip to my local supermarket to assess the damage and was pleasantly surprised with the differences. A lot of organic food appeared to have a 25% discount attached to it (may have something to do with Organic September), which meant that there were actually some organic items that were cheaper than the non.

However, I couldn’t just leave it at that, so I decided to cost out the recipe I’m sharing with you tonight with an organic vs non-organic value. I used a standard UK supermarket as a comparison and in total the meal came out 20% more expensive as an organic dinner, you can see for yourself….

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I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think organic food is great! There is no denying the benefits that it has on both the environment and our own health, but I for one won’t be judging those who don’t buy it (as a lot of the time I’m likely to be one of them). When the average household spends roughly £60 a week on food, to increase that by 20% is an extra £624 a year, which is a lot to give up!

So here is my recipe…. I’ll leave it up to you whether you choose the organic or non-organic route, but either way, I promise it will be delicious!

Serves 2

For the beetroot pickled eggs

  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml raspberry vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300ml water
  • 1 beetroot – peeled and quartered
  • 4 eggs

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 25g blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 6 dsp milk
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 twist black pepper
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp oil

To assemble

  • 50g walnuts
  • 1 pear – finely sliced
  • 70g blue cheese – crumbled
  • 2 beef steaks
  • Splash oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Selection of mixed leaves

Put the eggs and beetroot in a saucepan and cover with water. Remove the eggs from the pan and once the water is boiling put them back in again to cook for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs and place in a bowl of cold water to cool while the beetroot continues to cook for another 20 minutes.

Once cooked, blend the beetroot in the water, along with the other pickling ingredients.

Peel the eggs and add them to the pickling juice. Leave to marinade for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.

To make the dressing, blend together the ingredients until smooth and then chill until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 180’c, toast the walnuts for 5 minutes and then crush.

Heat a frying pan to a high temperature and rub the steak in oil and salt and pepper.

Fry for 2 minutes on each side, or to your liking and then set aside to rest for 2 minutes before slicing.

Toss your leaves together with the pear and the cheese and plate up. Slice your eggs in half and add to the salad, along with the steak sliced and dressing.

 

Nutritional Info:

  • Calories – 1115
  • Fat – 68g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Sugars – 20g
  • Protein – 90g
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