2 February 2011

Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Goes Red for "Have a Heart" (and my 4 Year Blogiversary Giveaway)

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes

As Valentine's Day approaches, our minds turn to our loved ones...plus perhaps a little bit of panic about what to give and what to eat. To make things easier on you, we have collected our Valentine's Day menu ,with a twist, from the pages of Cooking Light with recipe suggestions on how best to say "I love you" with Red Food. We are also honouring Heart and Stroke Month since these recipes are on the "light" side and good for not only your own heart health but for the ones you love. What better way to show them you love them by creating light dishes that are good for them from the pages of Cooking Light magazine. Stay tuned for my 4th Anniversary Giveaway...so keep reading!

As we continue into a new year we are so glad you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies and now one gent in two neighbouring countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We are now in our second year and continue to share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!! Every month millions of readers turn to Cooking Light for recipes, advice on nutrition and fitness. If you have a "heart - healthy" red dish that would fit into this months theme please feel free to add your link at the bottom of this post.

From strawberries to beets, red fruits and vegetables pack a vibrant nutritional punch. We've all heard the cliche that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but the same runs true for a virtual cornucopia of red foods, including strawberries, cherries, raspberries, watermelon, tomatoes, and beets? Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants...such as lycopene and anthocyanins...that may do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to decrease the risk for stroke and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and older). Antioxidants soak up damaging free radicals as well.

To amp up our Red Menu Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club started us off with Bruschetta with Warm Tomatoes. Briefly heating the tomatoes intensifies their sweetness while preserving their bright, fresh flavours. This is a timely reminder of summer! In the area of food and phytonutrient research, nothing has been hotter in the last several years than studies on the lycopene factor , another antioxidant, in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Good thing I eat tomatoes like apples!
For our menu I chose a recipe from the pages of Cooking Light that used both red meat and red potatoes... Bourbon and Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes. I've made this recipe several times, always to rave reviews!!! It's perfect to make when you want something that tastes special, but takes no time at all. Marinate the steak before you head off for work in the morning and supper will be ready in however long it takes to cook the potatoes.

Potatoes' reputation as a high-carb, white starch has removed them from the meals of many a weight-conscious eater, but this stereotype is due for a significant overhaul. Analysis of Red potatoes revealed that these spuds' phenolic content rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, and includes flavonoids with protective activity against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers.

Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen rounded out the theme by bringing a refreshing Granny Smith, Radish, and Radicchio Salad with Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette. This tasty salads include radishes and radicchio and is eye candy when the vegetables are julienned.

In the vegetable neighborhood of salad greens Radicchio is the rowdy redhead when it comes to nutritional power. Radicchio has many healthful properties, it provides an antioxidant content rivaling that of blueberries and spinach.

Next Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe wowed us with a salad that uses red onions....Spanish Salad of Oranges, Fennel, Red Onion, and Mint with Dressing.This is a typical Spanish-style salad that goes so well with our menu.

Onions contain a number of sulfides similar to those found in garlic which may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. Onions are also a rich source of flavonoids, substances known to provide protection against cardiovascular disease.

Now let's introduce you to one of our latest members of the Virtual Supper Club Jerry of  Jerry's Thoughts, Musings and Rants from my old stomping grounds of  Ontario, Canada. He rocks red with beets in a Roasted Sweet-and-Sour Beets, Carrots and Parsnips dish. The cider vinegar provides fruity, acidic zip and enough liquid to prevent the sugary maple syrup from burning.

Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.

And for the "piece de resistance" I would also like to introduce Roz of La Bella Vita who is living "the beautiful life" in South Carolina and loves Cooking Light also. She uses fragrantly sweet and subtly tart raspberries in a sensuous Almond Jelly Roll with Raspberry Filling. This cake can be made a day in advance; just wrap it in plastic wrap, and store your treat in the fridge. This leaves more time to spend with the ones you love.

 Raspberries are high in antioxidants and flavanoids. Now for the giveaway....
The Giveaway....
Before I move on to the recipe, it so happens today February 2nd also marks my 4th year blogiversary. Yes, I have now officially been blogging for 4 years. I would like to thank each and every one of you, whether you have followed me for years or are a brand new friend, for your support and friendship over the past years. I don't think I would be blogging without the feeling of community. What better way to make new friendships than by sharing the food around our table! As a small token of my appreciation I would like to offer you the chance for all bloggers worldwide to win a cookbook! What do foodies appreciate more than a good cookbook to add to their collections!!!
Lighthearted at Home: The Very Best of Anne Lindsay

February is Heart and Stroke Month so I felt the perfect book to offer was from a Canadian Author where part of the proceeds benefit a charity. For the past three decades, Anne Lindsay has changed the way Canadians eat, bringing flavour to healthy eating and inspiring a nation with her easy-to-make, delicious food. Anne was one of my icons when I was a teenager reading issues of Canadian Living magazine. Now, Anne invites you into her kitchen with Lighthearted at Home, a collection of her favourite recipes.

Anne offers more than 500 fully tested recipes, reviewed by the registered dietitians of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, complete with nutritional analysis for every occasion: signature stews and soups, perfectly prepared meat and fish, protein-packed vegetarian entrees, deliciously simple appetizers, entertaining menus and much more.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. You can also visit their website at heartandstroke.ca.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to support the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.The giveaway is open to all bloggers worldwide to thank you all for your support.

To win simply leave a comment and tell me what you do to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle.I will select one winner randomly on midnight Sunday, February 6th.

Now on to the recipe!!!! Next month the Virtual Supper Club will be cooking with fresh flavours in Notes of Citrus so get into the kitchen and join in the fun!

**Bourbon and Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes**

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch


3 pounds small red potatoes
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


8 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

To prepare steak, combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add steak. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally. Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade.

Prepare grill.

Place steak on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut diagonally across grain into thin slices.

Combine reserved marinade and cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes and garlic in a large Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Return potatoes and garlic to pan, and place over medium heat. Add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mash potato mixture to desired consistency with a potato masher. Stir in chopped chives. Mound 3/4 cup potatoes on each of 8 plates; arrange 3 ounces steak around each serving of potatoes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce on each plate; sprinkle with chive pieces, if desired.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Content must be credited to this author. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Love the look of that marinated steak - we're having steak tonight with a healthy version of creamy peppercorn sauce (made with low-fat cream cheese). Can't wait!
    Congratulations on your four years of blogging. If the competition includes us folk over the pond, I would like to enter. We try to be healthy eaters - we eat only freshly-prepared foods and make simple healthy substitutions where we can. We use a lot of low-fat creme fraiche, cream cheese and yoghurt in place of regular cream in our dishes.
    A good long dog walk every day helps too!

  2. Congratulations Val on four years. That's quite an achievement. I've been following along since I first started blogging and look forward to more of your delightful posts in the coming year.

    Bourbon and brown sugar - now you're talking. Your steak looks delicious.

    I would love to add another cookbook to my collection. Very nice giveaway. We are eating smaller, healthier meals this year and our waistlines are getting smaller. It actually works, but going to the gym helps speed up the process for us.

  3. Wow, 4 years Val! Congrats! Also, I love the theme for this month's VSC!

  4. Light, but toothsome! That meat is cooked to perfection. *drool*



  5. Wow, Val... 4 years!! Congratulations! What I do to keep our food healthy is to include always veggies or fruit in EVERY meal, try to avoid eating too much meat during the week and eating fish instead, specially the oily type. Also avoiding processed sugars and ready-to-eat meals, I even prepare my own tomato sauce.

  6. It seems like just yesterday...here's to more delicious years of blogging.

    I eat Greek...olive oil, cheeses, vegetarian dishes, try and limit meat in diet.

  7. Happy Anniversary, Val. Four years is quite an accomplishment. Your flank steak is cooked to perfection.

  8. Congrats on 4 great years, Val! Your enthusiasm, perseverance and incredible food has been such an inspiration!

    That flank steak has me drooling and it's only 9:00 am here!

    I think the key to a healthier diet is to focus on fresh, whole foods as much as possible. I also like to use things like whole wheat pastas, quinoa, farro, etc.

  9. The main dish you chose turned out fabulous! I saw that it had something like 80 reviews on myrecipes. Great job on choosing a real winner. Loved the theme- it's the perfect way to start out February. Congrats on your 4th blogiversary!
    We eat healthy by consuming lots of vegetables and fruit, avoiding processed foods and snacks, and cooking at home, where we can control what goes into our meals. We don't eat much meat, but incorporate seafood and lean protein into our diet.
    This cookbook looks really great.

  10. Happy anniversary, Val! I love reading your blog. Your enthusiasm for good cooking (and good blogging) is an inspiration.

    To eat healthily, I try to plan ahead, shop smart and eat mindfully. I make sure we have at least a fruit with lunch and a veggie with dinner, and lately I've been incorporating more green leafies (kale, borccoli rabe) and whole grains (bulgur, farro) and try new things all the time.

  11. Congratulations on four years of delicious blogging. I've thoroughly enjoyed the past year plus of following your blog and looking forward to every post. You and your fellow "chefs" have, much to my delight, brought me back to Cooking Light.

    I've always tried to incorporate healthy eating at our table. We do "fall off the wagon" on occasion. I've found that many recipes can lose the "pound of butter" and still be quite tasty.


  12. Val, congratulations on 4 years of blogging. It's time for a new camera, eh? :) What a great recipe roundup-- just in time for me, who is on a roll of having lost 19 pounds since you last saw me. Woot!
    It's amazing what happens when you eat smaller portions and MOVE your heart. I'm exercising a LOT more (water). I'm watching my starchy carbs and eating more whole grains and less desserts. I look forward to more of your posts and friendship in the coming years.

  13. You've created a virtual feast! Your steak looks mouth-wateringly good and the dishes made by all the others sound wonderful as well. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  14. I can never say no to a beautifully marinated steak.

  15. Congratulations on 4 years of blogging!!! That steak looks spectacular, very flavorful with the bourbon and brown sugar marinade!

  16. Val~ this dish looks amazing! Perfect for our heart healthy supper.

  17. Fun fun fun! I'm pretty sure this meat dish could win over any man, woman or child. Or in my case...my thighs.

    Congrats on FOUR YEARS. That is insane. I am amazed. And awed.

    I incorporate healthy eating into my life by making sure to always have a veggie with dinner!

  18. Cheers for your four year of blogging, dear Val, and to many more years to come! My cooking style is quite a bit about healthy eating. I cook mostly vegetarian (vegetables, legumes and whole grains), keep fat and sugar low, and focus on using local ingredients in season.

  19. Happy 4 year blogiversary Val! Your steak and potatoes look wonderful. The steak is done exactly as I like it too. I've been trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet and I've bookmarked a ton of recipes from Cooking Light. Love that magazine and website! Here's to many more years of blogging!

  20. oh my - this looks incredible! I do not doubt for a second that you get rave reviews when this gets served up on the table.

    Congratulations on 4 years of blogging!

  21. What a great looking meal Val. I want to make this meal for my family. Fun theme this month.

    Congrats on your 4 years of blogging! What a great job you do.

    We try to eat healthy here by using fresh ingredients instead of processed food. Eating balanced meals and doing mostly home cooking. Thanks for the cookbook giveaway!

  22. Val, WOW, 4 years of a great blog! That's so impressive! Longevity is also a sign of success, which I have always felt about your blog.

    This was such a fun blog event to participate in and I just can't thank you enough for inviting and including me. After 10 pounds down, my blood pressure down, some pain in my feet gone, this journey of just one month with Cooking Light has been worth it all!

    I wish you not only 4 more years of blogging, but many more than that so that more readers can find you and enjoy what you're sharing!

    To your heart, Val!

    Hugs, Roz

  23. Hi Val again, Just wanted to let you know that I just linked up my post, to thank you for hosting the event, that i added one more close up photo, and most importantly to say that your beef looks out of this world. Some like their beef nice and red and rare . . . . that includes my hubby and me. And the sauce . . . wowza!

    Now how can we all physically get together????

    Love, Roz

  24. Has it been four years? Wow. I've really managed to enjoy myself over here Val! I keep one simple motto in mid when eating "everything in moderation"...you can't go wrong!

  25. I already have two of Anne Lindsay's cookbooks. Would love another! I incorporate healthful living by watching the type and quality of fats used, amount of salt and work as hard as I can exercising.

  26. four years, eh? atta girl! this is a fierce way to prepare steak--i always enjoy brown sugar in a marinade or rub.
    now, how do i try to stay healthy? i only partake of one serving of dessert. usually. :)

  27. From my heart to yours...I congratulate you on your 4th year. This blog has been a great place for my weekly visits.

    I've seen Anne Lindsay in action, however, never had a chance to try her experience in the kitchen. Her book would make a great addition to my bookshelf ;)

    Issues concerning the heart are coming to the forefront more and more especially for women. It's great that you've shared more info about it.
    I do eat very well with less healthy concoctions only once and a while ;o) Perfection and my appetite don't always mix. LOL

    Looking forward to all your next posts...again congrats Val.
    All the very best,

  28. Happy 4th blog-versary for yesterday Val - here's to many more years!
    We eat lots of veg! But our fall down is cheese - we love cheese!

  29. Congratulations on your anniversary, Val! :-) I LOVE the meal that you chose. I'm such a nervous nelly when it comes to cooking meat, but I will have to try your flank steak asap. :-) Love your research on the goodness of potatoes too. :-)

  30. OOPS! Forgot to tell you what I do for my health each day. :-) I try to take a good walk five days a week and instead of toast with my eggs in the morning I have vegetables: spinach, roasted tomatoes, arugula, etc. :-) And water, lots of water.

  31. Val, I admire how socially active you are, always participating in something that benefits humanity at large. The work you do, the organizations and ideas you represent here on your blog, are vital and I respect you bringing them into humanity's consciousness. Also, happy 4th blogiversary to you! That's quite an accomplishment.

  32. The steak looks perfect! I could never cook a steak so beautifully. Mmm mashed potatoes.

  33. HAPPY FOURTH!!!!
    YOU are an early bird on the bloggong scene! My daugher's is 8 years... but, she was a kid - 22 at the time and the perfect age to get hip deep into any new tech initiatives. I was so afraid of privacy at that time... and here we now invite people into our kitchens almost daily.
    Vanja is not convinced that flank steak or brisket is worth the trouble - yet. What does that tell you? Yup! I keep messing them up. This looks succulent. It reminds me of the flank steak - or, as the Americans call it, the skirt steak that I had at Christmas in November. It was TO_DIE_FOR. I have not got it out of my head. I will try to make this one, too. I also bought some bison flank.
    Great line up, too!

  34. What a fantasticly cooked to perfection steak this is, love it. Happy Blogg-aversary - now that's impressive clocking up 4 years, Congratulations.

  35. What a fabulous menu! Congrats on the 4 years- I think I probably started visiting your blog way back when you first started! We do lots of fruits and veggies in our house- no deep fried foods.

  36. Happy bloganniversary! That steak looks like a tremenous treat! I think the best way to eat healthy is to cook with the seasons. It's when food is most delicious, and it keeps things exciting.

  37. Talk about comfort food... can there be anything better than bourbon and brown sugar??? Congratulations on your 4 year anniversary. I am so impressed by that milestone... I am just over a 1 year and thrilled to death doing it... aren't bloggers great??

    I love the idea of your supper club... all the recipes look wonderful. I am with Fresh local and best about healthy cooking, eat with the seasons and get to know your farmers and your food will be delicious (oh yes, eat your vegetables)!

  38. Congratulations Val. I'm happy to say you're older than me; it's not often I get to say that...even if it's only in blog years. Job well done!

  39. Happy Blogiversary to one of the most talented and wonderful food bloggers I've ever met "virtually'. 4 years is a wonderful milestone Val. WOW!! Congrats. I ♥ the cooking light meals you do, and am inspired by them. I try and substitute quark for cream where possible, and have turned to including olive oil increasingly in my food in place of butter.

  40. 4 years, wow! Congratulations! I know the food blogging world has exploded in the last 2 years so my hats off to you.

    I am trying to prepare for fish and lots of vegetables for our meals to try to keep us healthy.

    We do love a good flank steak occasionally too. This sounds great with the chive potatoes!

  41. Happy blogiversary! The whole meal sounds wonderful but the steak is screaming my name. MMmm.

  42. Val, Happy Anniversary ! You continue to inspire me with your spirit and heart and the beautiful work you do here.

  43. At first, I thought you'd prepared beef heart. I'm thinking of making some for Valentine's Day, so I was super excited for a minute! Then I saw that it was just ordinary beautiful, delicious steak. Oh, well. ;)

  44. Four years seems like such a great accomplishment! That steak dish sounds wonderful.

  45. Happy 4th birthday - wow.....a long way to come. All the best for many more filled with food and warmth.

  46. Thanks for commenting on my blog. Your meal sounds delicious and the steak looks perfect.

  47. 4 years is quite an achievement. Congratulations Val.

  48. congrats on 4 meals of great recipes :-) love this round up great way to treat yourself on valentines to a yummy home cooked meal


  49. I'm so sorry it took me so #@(*& long to wish you a Happy Blogiversary. I'm coming up on four years soon too and it seems like only yesterday.

    Thanks for the four years of great reading and great recipes and I look forward to many more!

  50. Oh wow, Val...your steak looks beyond fantastic- the whole meal, actually. YUM! And FOUR YEARS! That's awesome, congrats. To "lighten up", I try to incorporate more whole grains and serve more meatless meals or larger portions of veg and grain alongside smaller portions of meat. Plus, eliminating "unnatural" fats. :D Thanks for the chance!

  51. That steak looks and sounds delicious! Perfect for Valentine's Day too.

  52. Congratulations on your Blogiversary!

    I'm incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet - especially anti-oxidant rich berries.

  53. Dear Val, Congratulations on 4 fabulous years! Your blog has always been an inspiration from day one. Here's to bigger and even better things coming for MTBT in the coming year!!

  54. The steak is perfection. Just got back from vacation trying to catch up and hopefully by end of month I will be able to do some of these challeges


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