If you like cilantro and lime you will love this marinade. I was looking for a good marinade to help tenderize a piece of flank steak I had purchased. Citrus is a great, natural way to tenderize meat. The flavors of cilantro and lime sounded perfect for fajitas. I love developing my own recipes and combining flavors to delight my palate. This recipe also includes smoked paprika, which adds a great smoky flavor.

I moved to Douglas County just a couple years ago and one of my favorite things about this area, is the amount of food grown in the Umpqua Valley. I try to make it to the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market every Saturday to purchase directly from the farms and ranchers here. It is nice to know my money stays in Douglas County. I was able to get all my peppers, onions and flank steak form local sources. The Umpqua Valley Farmers Market is every Saturday, located at 1771 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg. Winter hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I was a vegetarian for years and it did not turn out to be good for my health. When I decided to add meat back to my diet, it was important for me to know my farmers and know they raised their animals ethically. I choose grass fed and finished beef. Research shows the fatty acid profile has a better balance of omega 6 to 3, making it a healthier choice. Grass fed beef contains two to five times more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed beef. The standard American diet has an average of 15 to 1 omega 6 to omega 3. Lowering that ratio has been shown to improve cardiovascular, cancer and autoimmune disease. If you search PubMed, you can find some great references. Red meat is a nutrient dense food with vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, minerals iron, zinc and selenium. The fat in red meat also helps us absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.

I bought a nice piece of flank steak from 2-B Angus, located in Winston. Their cattle are raised on 50 acres of irrigated pasture and are grass fed and finished. If you have any questions on how to prepare different cuts of meat, owner Debbie will be happy to answer them for you. She gave me the idea to use lime and marinate the meat for 25 hours. The result was better than I had imagined. The peppers and onion were from Big Lick farm, also in Winston, and are certified naturally grown.

The meat is great on tacos, salads or rice bowls. You can add any toppings you like. I enjoy guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, black olives, pickled jalapenos, cilantro and salsa. I am dairy free, so I will get some plain coconut yogurt and add a few dashes of hot sauce and use that instead of sour cream. I serve this taco bar style and everyone in the family can make it just the way they like it.

Beth Schultz is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Wahls Health Professional who is passionate about creating and eating a real food, nutrient dense diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to email her at bethschultzntp@gmail.com, or www.bethschultz.com.

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