Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier in 2012. Now that we are 3 months in, you are either celebrating a lighter, healthier you or you may be grieving the death of your diet.  Either way, March is a good time to regroup and refocus on your health and fitness goals, so here are a couple tips and a recipe to help.

First, now that spring is in the air, consider making grilling your cooking method of choice. Grilling is not only a quick, tasty way to prepare food; it’s also healthy because cooking food at high temperatures helps food retain vitamins and nutrients.  Also, you can grill using little to no oil, which helps lower your fat intake.  If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, stovetop grill pans (such as the one pictured) work great also.

Another way to improve your diet is cut the white foods out and eat the colors of the rainbow instead.  This means you should avoid white carbohydrates like pasta, rice and potatoes and incorporate more fruits and vegetables instead. Remember, when it comes to food: the brighter the natural color, the better it is for you.

This delicious steak salad is a great way to combine lean, grilled meat with bright, healthy veggies. In the recipe below, a low-fat flank steak is prepared with a dry rub (no additional oil), grilled, and paired with a colorful salad.  This low-carb dish helps you fill up on protein and vegetables, which are critical for weight loss. Remember, 2012 is far from over, so keep working on a fitter, healthier you...enjoy! 

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

1-1.5 lb flank steak

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 bag of salad (preferably mixed greens w/ carrots)

Handful of grape tomatoes (halved)

1 small cucumber (sliced)

1/2 of small red bell pepper (diced)

1/4 cup red onion (diced)

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed in the microwave)

1 avocado (diced)

Low-fat salad dressing of your choice

Note: These salad toppings match the Mexican flavor of the steak, but feel free to make it your own by omitting the salad toppings you do not like and adding the ones that you do.

Directions:

Remove the flank steak from the fridge, unwrap it, and place on a large plate. Then, in a small bowl, add the seasonings (chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder) and mix to combine. Then, rub half the seasoning mixture into one side of the steak, flip the steak over and rub the rest of the seasoning into the other side. Make sure you wash your hands and set the steak aside to come to room temperature while you fix the salad and heat the pan.

In a large salad bowl, empty the bag of salad greens. Then, halve your grape tomatoes, slice your cucumber and dice your red onion, red bell pepper and add everything to the bowl. Next, put your frozen corn kernels in a microwavable dish and heat on high for approx. 4 minutes, or until thawed.  Then, drain the corn and add them to the salad.

Next, heat the grill pan over high heat until you begin to see smoke, and add the steak. For a medium steak (warm pink center) cook for 7 minutes on the 1st side and 6 minutes on the second then let the steak rest under tin foil for another 6-10 minutes. (Letting the steak rest is VERY important! All of the juices will run out of the steak if you cut right into it)

To serve, toss the greens with all of the salad toppings and divide the salad among 4 plates. Then dice the avocado and divide among the 4 plates as well. Top the salad with your favorite (light) salad dressing. Then on a large cutting board, thinly slice the steak at an angle. Divide it into 4 portions and put it over the salad or to the side (your choice).

Check out more of April's recipes at her site, April's Cookin'