Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette over Flank Steak Spinach Salad

Me:  Soledad, can you please get your sister and go on a walk to the Enchanted Forest? When you get there, take a left at the wicked witches cabin, and then without her noticing cut some basil from her garden. I need four cups of it. Oh. And watch out for Scallywags and snails. They’ll be the death of you.

Soledad (6) : OK! For sure!

Soledad dressed in a Genie costume speedily grabs her sister (who is dressed in a fairy outfit) and they run into the backyard with scissors (probably not the best idea) and a plastic bag to squander their loot. The door opens, and back into the house they arrive.

Soledad: Here you go mommy.

Me: Thank you. *chopping up garlic* Were you careful out there? You know there are lots of crazy monsters wanting to kill a couple of Genie Fairy Princesses.

Soledad: Yeah we were careful. I told Phoebe (3) to bring her sword to make sure we were protected. Us soldier princess have to stick together.

Shelbi (11) sits at the kitchen table working on math problems. She barely looks up as she turns to us and  speaks.

Shelbi: Everybody knows princesses don’t have swords and they are definitely not soldiers. Get a grip Soledad. And you’re not even a princess anyway. Do you seriously think Kate Middleton runs around with a sword?

Me: Well all princesses aren’t the same. And she can totally be a shield-wearing sword-bearing princess if she wants. THE TYPE THAT FIGHTS FOR VICTORY AND HONOR. THE TYPE THAT NEEDS NO MAN TO HELP HER ONTO HER HORSE. THE TYPE THAT RULES HER OWN DESTINY!!!!
Right Soledad?

Soledad: Yeah, I guess. *looks around for Phoebe* Come on Phoebe. Let’s go upstairs. We need to go find all the other princesses of the world who think they should be holding swords and fighting and tell them not to because they must be BEAUTIFUL! They must hold there heads up high in beauty and throw their swords down in shame!

– – –  – – – – – –

These are the conversations I’m having these days.

Clearly I have a thing or two to teach my children about princesses and woman’s rights.

1. Princesses don’t have to wear pink or sparkles. This is not a rule. Only an evil plot by the sinister King’s Brother to blind the nation.
2. Princess can have swords. They just need permits.
3. Princesses are always beautiful, but not because they wear make-up and fancy things in their hair. They are beautiful because they are majorly brilliant and everybody knows being smart makes you like a quadrillion times more pretty.
4. Oddly enough, princesses love ugly things. Warts, gremlins, monsters, and weird fungi are all things ‘most princesses’ enjoy studying in their leisure time.

AND the most important rule. . . . .
5. Princesses ALWAYS eat their vegetables. So if they need to kick a little butt. . .they totally have the strength to do it.

Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette over Flank Steak Spinach Salad
You may not be surprised when I tell you this is my 6 year old’s FAVORITE SALAD. Ever. It’s all in the dressing. It makes her swoon. It’ll totes having you swooning too.

For the Salad:

1 TB Canola Oil
1 pound flank steak
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 cups of packed Spinach Leaves
1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced thinly
red onions, thinly sliced (optional)
red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
Monterrey Jack Cheese, optional

For the Dressing:
6 TB Low Sodium Soy Sauce
4 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TB Sesame Oil
4 tsp Fish Sauce*
4 tsp Chile Sauce*

*Can be found in the Asian food section of the grocery store.

1.  Using a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add canola oil and swirl to coat.  Add steak to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked until medium.  Remove from skillet and place on plate tented with aluminum foil.  Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain.

2. While the meat is cooking assemble your salad greens and vegetables onto individual bowls.

2. Next, in a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce and chile sauce. Whisk with a fork.  Pour into a jar. Drizzle dressing over salad greens.  Devour.

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