blackberry ginger smoothie

blackberry ginger smoothie |

Hibiscus flowers and blackberries inspire early mornings smoothies…

We recently visited Long Island’s North Fork, something we do every summer to pick berries at our favorite farm. I’ve previously mentioned that my kids are master berry pickers and this year proved to be no exception. It was cute to watch Dillon teach his younger brother the art of foraging. You can only pick the black ones, not the red ones… he would scream (kids have no volume control). But Jake listened without protest. Before I knew it, we had oodles of berries spilling out of our woven baskets.

My mind was brimming with recipes….

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hawaiian marinated flank steak

hawaiian marinated flank steak | The Clever Carrot

My husband announced that I needed more meat recipes on the blog.

Typical guy.

But he was right- I glanced over my recipe collection and realized I only had a couple of chicken dishes and a stir-fry.

Not good.

So, in order to ‘beef up’ my recipe index I’m happy to share my Hawaiian marinated flank steak! It’s something that I’ve been making for years and is always a crowd pleaser. It’s my go-to recipe.

Behold… the marinade.

hawaiian marinated flank steak | The Clever Carrot

This is the star of the dish.

I use a bottled variety called ‘Veri Veri Teriyaki’  by Soy Vay (you’d know the name if you saw the label) and it’s probably the most delicious teriyaki marinade I’ve ever had. You can get it in most grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s. They make a great knock-off version for half the price. It’s so darn good, there’s no way I can replicate it. I’ve tried and I just can’t do it!

And because I can’t help myself, I add a little ginger, rosemary, and pineapple juice for some island flare.

hawaiian marinated flank steak | The Clever Carrot

This steak is grilled to perfection and served alongside a simple green salad or tomato salad.

With the leftovers, I like to make quesadillas, salads, and wraps with goat cheese. Or you can just pick at it straight from the fridge (that’s what I do).


  • *In addition to flank steak, you can substitute skirt steak or rib-eye.
  • *For the best flavor, marinate your steak for at least 24 hours.
  • *To make a glaze, boil the leftover marinade and reduce it by half. Brush the steak with the glaze while on the grill. 
hawaiian marinated flank steak
Serves: 6
  • 1½- 2 lbs. good quality flank steak*
  • 1 bottle Veri Veri Teriyaki marinade (Soy Vay brand)
  • 1 c. pineapple juice
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 large sprigs of rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
*In addition to flank steak, you can substitute skirt steak or rib-eye.
  1. In a 9x13 baking dish, add ½ bottle of the marinade (save the rest for another use), pineapple juice, ginger, and rosemary. Whisk to combine. Add the steak, making sure that it is covered with the marinade. Add extra teriyaki and pineapple juice if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Remove the steak from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking. Taking the chill off helps the meat to cook evenly.
  3. Heat your grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and rub it in to coat (this prevents sticking on the grill). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. For the glaze, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until slightly thickened and reduced by half.
  5. Grill the steak for about 6-8 minutes on each side (medium-rare), brushing them with the glaze in between each turn. Increase cooking time depending on your temperature preference.
  6. Remove from the grill and let rest for at least 10 minutes so that all of the juices can evenly distribute. Thinly slice on an angle and serve with desired side dishes.

golden thai coconut soup

golden thai coconut soup | The Clever Carrot

Everyone I know has been under the weather lately.

Since December, Dillon has had bronchitis, pink eye in both eyes and then the croup. Now my little Jake is sick. My husband is sick. I’m sick. All I want is a nice warm soup to soothe my aching throat (and for someone to feed it to me).

The soup that I’m craving is Tom Ka Gai (Tom what?!)

golden thai coconut soup | The Clever Carrot

Commonly known as Thai coconut soup, Tom Ka Gai is a fragrant blend of chicken and mushrooms, simmered in coconut milk with lemongrass, chilies and lime. If I could bathe in this soup, I would.

My version is a little bit different as I didn’t have chicken, mushrooms, chilies all of the ingredients on hand. I made it up as I went along, adding a couple of carrots for color and a new ingredient; roasted chili paste.

roasted chili paste | The Clever Carrot

Roasted chili paste or Nam Prik Pao is frequently used in Thai cuisine for its complex depth of flavor. It’s a magical combination of roasted chilies, sugar, garlic and shrimp paste (gasp!) cooked down to a jam-like consistency. The flavor is sweet and spicy, and it takes this soup to a whole new level.

You can find roasted chili paste in most grocery stores, usually in the international aisle. It’s funny, because I’ve walked past it a million times never knowing what it was. Now I know, and it’s delicious. Try it in stir-frys, curries and rice dishes.

golden thai coconut soup | The Clever Carrot

To me, a soup like this is heaven especially when you’re sick. I’ve been eating it for the past 3 days, and loving it.

* Any leftover ginger and lemongrass can be stored in the freezer. For the ginger, peel the entire root and wrap it in plastic wrap. For the lemongrass, wrap the stalks individually and freeze for up to 3 months.

golden thai coconut soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The key to this soup is finding the right balance between salt, sweet, and acidity.
Serves: 2
For the soup:
  • 1x 14 oz. can of coconut milk, 2 tbsp. reserved
  • 2 c. organic chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large shallot
  • ginger (2 inch piece)
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro stems
  • 2 tbsp. roughly chopped lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 limes
  • 1-2 tbsp. roasted chili paste (not curry paste) or Nam Prik Pao*
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • cilantro leaves
  • coconut milk
  • lime wedges
*For this recipe, I used Thai Kitchen brand roasted chili paste.
  1. In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Peel and slice the carrots into thin rounds. Add them to the pot.
  3. While the carrots are cooking, thinly slice the shallot and ginger (peeled).
  4. Clean and wash the cilantro. Roughly chop the stems.
  5. Remove the outside layer of lemongrass and roughly chop the stalks.
  6. Add the shallot, ginger, cilantro stems, and lemongrass and saute until soft but not golden, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently so that it does not burn.
  7. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to make (2), 2 inch long strips of lime peel avoiding the inner white part as it tastes bitter. Skewer onto a toothpick (for easy removal) and add to the pot.
  8. Add 1 tbsp. of roasted chili paste and stir well to dissolve.
  9. Reserve 2 tbsp. of coconut milk for the garnish and set aside.
  10. Add the rest of the coconut milk and chicken broth, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the lime peels.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. At this point, the soup will not be completely smooth as the ginger and lemongrass fibers can be difficult to break down.
  12. Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve, stirring with a small ladle to help guide the liquid through. Discard the pulp.
  13. Pour the soup back into the pot and simmer gently. If it's too thick, add more chicken broth. The consistency should be brothy.
  14. Add the fish sauce.
  15. Taste the soup and add more roasted chili paste if you like it spicy (I use the full 2 tbsp.)
  16. Add lime juice to taste. Adjust with extra lime and salt if necessary.
  17. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. Drizzle with coconut milk.
To make this soup vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Note that roasted chili paste contains seafood products.