Malaysian satay recipe

My mother-in-law spent two years in Malaysia with the Peace Corps in the 60s. During that time she was exposed to all sorts of wonderful food, and fortunately for our family, she brought many cooking skills and recipes home with her.

One of our favorite dishes she introduced us to is satay: meat marinated, skewered, grilled, and served with a dipping sauce. Preparation is long and involved, so it’s a special occasion dish, best saved for when it can be tackled as a team effort. This past weekend was just such an occasion: the family was all together!

I bought several pounds of steak and chicken breasts from JM Stock, a local, sustainable butcher in Charlottesville, my brother-in-law provided the marinade and sides, and he and Mr. HP supplied the skewering labor and grilling prowess.

Typically we use flank steak for satay, but JM Stock recommended a bavette steak, which I hadn’t heard of before, and it worked perfectly.

bavette steak

The beef and chicken is cut into thin strips and threaded onto skewers, basted with coconut milk, and grilled, then served with a peanut dipping sauce and accoutrements such as rice squares, cucumber salad, and pineapple cubes.

beef and chicken skewers ready for the grill


basting the chicken

cucumber salad and rice squares

beef skewers

SO GOOD. Thanks, family!




  • 3-4 lbs. thinly sliced meats (flank steak, chicken breasts, tofu)
  • skewers
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Large ziplock bags


  • 2 T curry powder (Malaysian/Indian brown)
  • 1/2 t anise
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/2 t ginger powder
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T sugar


  1. Mix marinade ingredients; add to large ziplock bag with sliced meat and marinate for 1 day
  2. Thread marinated meat onto skewers
  3. Grill skewers, brushing them liberally with coconut milk while on the grill



  • 1 c peanuts
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 in piece ginger
  • 4-5 dried red chiles
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 2 t coriander
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T soy sauce


  1. Puree peanuts and set aside
  2. Puree onion, garlic, ginger, chiles and set aside
  3. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Cook onion mixture until it smells of onions and garlic
  4. Stir in coriander, cumin, curry powder and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes
  5. Stir in coconut milk, peanut puree, brown sugar, lemon juice, soy sauce until combined



  • 1 1/2 c short grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 c water


  1. Boil water
  2. Simmer rice, covered, for 25 minutes
  3. Press cooked rice into a glass dish; refrigerate at least 2 hours
  4. Cut chilled rice into cubes



  • 3 cucumbers
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 T sugar
  • 4 T white wine vinegar


  1. Chop cucumbers and shallots
  2. Mix sugar and vinegar
  3. Marinate vegetables in mixture overnight

skewered meat with peanut sauce, pineapple, and rice

This post got too long so I’ll save the surprise dessert for another day.

Have you ever made satay? Let us know in the comments!

The Ole Country Store and Bakery in Culpeper VA

When you’ve travelled it a zillion times like I have, Route 29 between Charlottesville and DC is a pretty dull (if beautiful in spots – I’m looking at you, northern Greene County) drive. Next time you make the trek try breaking up the monotony with a stop at The Ole Country Store and Bakery in Culpeper. Not only can you pick up unique roadtrip snacks and random gifts and housewares, but you can stock up on local, pastured, steroid/antibiotic/hormone-free happy meat from Clark’s Old Peach Tree Farm, Summer Creek Farm, and Rider’s Backfield Farm.

Clark's Old Peach Tree Farm

Old Peach Tree Farm raises heritage breed pigs on the grasses, nuts, and berries of pasture and woodland, supplemented with non-GMO feed, and PUMPKINS in the fall, lucky pigs! The Clarks raise the pigs from birth to slaughter, which allows them to ensure a low-stress environment for the animals’ entire lifespan.

Summer Creek Farm

Summer Creek Farm raises lambs and beef cattle on pasture with some supplemental local grains; but upon request Summer Creek will feed only grass to animals for customers preferring completely grass-fed meat. They practice environmental stewardship by protecting waterways from animals and frequently rotating pastures.

Rider's Backfield Farm Beef

Rider’s Backfield Farm raises steers on pasture, with a small daily portion of natural grains during finishing. The pH of the cows’ rumen contents is carefully monitored to ensure no negative effects from the grain. The Riders pride themselves on “manag[ing] their beef gently and humanely and the farm(s) that they maintain.”

Local, pastured, clean meat

Meat case

Bins of meat

The Ole Country Store & Bakery

Support local family-run farms and pick up some pasture-raised, hormone-, steroid-, and antibiotic-free meat, while getting a unique shopping experience and relieving your Route 29 boredom at The Ole Country Store & Bakery.

See also: MooThru ice creamery in Remington VA, for the BEST ice cream, made from local hormone-free milk!

Marfrig: World Cup sponsor and global meat corporation

This post’s target demographic is the huge population in the center of this Venn diagram with me. Hello? Anyone else there?

target demographic venn diagram

While watching the World Cup, I noticed a curious ad plastered across the pitch-side advertising boards: Marfrig, qualidade em carne.

Marfrig sponsors the World Cup


I know zero Portuguese, but my Spanish-based powers of deduction suggested that Marfrig might be a major Brazilian meat company worth checking out. Brazilians love their beef, so I figured Marfrig might be focused on quantity rather than sustainability and ethical treatment. Here’s what I learned:

Blah blah blah. Lots of businessy speak about profits and brands and diversification and portfolios, but what about the animals?

The Marfrig Group is managed by an experienced team committed to the highest standards of corporate governance and environmental responsibility.

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. Please go on.

We currently operate 183 processing plants, distribution centers, feedlots and offices in 17 countries in South America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.  We have a daily slaughtering capacity of 20,730 head of cattle, 3,726,860 chickens, 11,179 head of pork, 41,000 turkeys and 11,900 lambs.  

So they can churn through lots of animals quickly. That doesn’t make me optimistic about their treatment of those animals. Oh, but wait, the first item on their Strategy page is this: Invest in organic growth. That’s promising! No… they don’t mean that kind of organic, they mean they’re going to invest in their current infrastructure. Reading on… what about their sustainability practices?


The Marfrig Group considers it a moral duty to prevent the unnecessary suffering of animals. The Group’s animal welfare programs seek to guarantee the safety and humane treatment of animals, through internal rules and regularly audited procedures, as well as investment in the implementation of modern technologies, which led to the upgrade of facilities and pens, the laying of anti-slide floors and new forms of rearing and logistics.

The Company also seeks to implement innovative techniques to improve the welfare of animals. For example, transportation equipment in the United States was recently fitted with temperature controlling technology. This effort led to an increase in live birds on arrival during instances of extreme climates.

The Company offers to its integrated producers and partners qualifying courses ministered by professional instructors in the areas of animal nutrition, rearing and well-being, aiming to provide new tools and knowledge to maximize production in a sustainable way.

In 2013, a report from the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare commended Marfrig in improvements in animal welfare policies and reporting. Said Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, about the report: “The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare has played a catalytic role in putting farm animal welfare on the business agenda. It has pushed companies to acknowledge farm animal welfare as a business issue and, critically, it has forced them to take action.” As a result, farm animal welfare is becoming both a business risk and a source of competitive advantage.

Last year, Marfrig joined with The Nature Conservancy to promote sustainable cattle farming in the Amazon. That program is mostly concerned with forest management and water and soil use, but also, interestingly, includes a tracking system so consumers will know where their beef was sourced from, giving more transparency to the production process. They have worked with Greenpeace to decrease the impact of cattle operation in the Amazon, with Walmart to improve energy use and reduce waste and emissions, and the treatment systems at some if its facilities generate carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol.

I started off my random little research project expecting to find Marfrig to be a cold corporate behemoth, but despite being a multi-national processor of thousands of animals per day, it has some really positive qualities, and is a leader in showing other companies that improving animal welfare can be a good business practice. The moral of the story is: Tim Howard is a beast. 


Marfrig corporate profile

Marfrig corporate strategy

Marfrig corporate sustainability

Marfrig animal welfare

The Provisioner Online

The Pig Site


South American crop report

Things I ate this weekend (spoiler alert: steak)

It’s boring to read about what other people ate. But since many of you aim to eat real food and avoid gut-irritants like I do, maybe this will be interesting despite being about what someone else ate. Also, steak!

So, without further ado, here are some things I ate this weekend.

Overnight no-cook refrigerator oatmeal. I love this easy breakfast and adjust it in the following ways:

  • I multiply the recipe x 1.5
  • I use half coconut milk and half water for the milk portion
  • I don’t add sweetener. It doesn’t need any!
  • I chop up whatever fruit I have and pack it in (or throw in frozen chunks), and add chopped walnuts or pecans


Adult smoothie with frozen berries, coconut milk, and Malibu.

adult smoothie

Blend up a few cups of berries, a glug of coconut milk, and a few glugs of Malibu, and enjoy!

Avocado tuna salad. This is quick and easy and, like the oatmeal, you can toss in whatever you have on hand. I don’t bother with the fancy leave-some-avocado-in-the-shell part, but it would be impressive for company. I’ve added combinations of the following to great effect:

  • chopped onion
  • chopped celery
  • chopped hard-boiled egg
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped walnuts

Seared scallops over zoodles


lemon pepper scallops

seared scallops with zoodles

This dish will be going into the HP household rotation. It seems sophisticated, but is easy to make with great flavors and textures. I don’t know that I had ever cooked scallops before; here’s a useful tip if you’re a scallop newbie too: put the scallops in the pan and don’t mess with them until it’s time to flip them. I’m a compulsive over-stirrer/poker and probably would not have gotten such a lovely sear if I hadn’t read that tip.

Local ribeye steak from The Organic Butcher, with Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

steak and brussels

I wasn’t crazy about this steak, but Mr HP, who knows better, was. It was too chewy and fatty for my redeveloping meat tastes, but the flavor was good. Mr HP salted the steaks and threw them in the freezer for a bit before grilling on high heat to crisp up the outside while not overcooking the inside. The Brussels sprouts were phenomenal. They were both savory and a bit sweet (due to roasting), healthy, and incredibly simple to make. YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.

A Paleo Frittata

paleo frittata

This recipe is designed for leftovers. I planned on using leftover steak, but we ate it all for dinner, so I used onions, avocado, tomato, and spinach. It was a fun change from scrambled eggs, but it did involve me spending a considerable amount of time staring at the frittata in the oven to see when it was cooked enough but not too much. Presumably I will have to watch it less as I get more frittata experience.

Please share your favorite healthy, easy, tasty recipes with me!

Blenheim Vineyards

Today we spent the afternoon enjoying local wines at Blenheim Vineyards. The weather was a little sprinkly, but we sat for a bit on the deck before moving inside.

Blenheim wine

Mr. HP did some reading up for the Meet Yer Eats farm tour tomorrow! We plan to visit Ted’s Last Stand in Louisa, Forrest Green Farm also in Louisa, and Brightwood Farm in Madison.

Blenheim Vineyards

I was pleased to see this ad at the vineyard for local happy beef coming soon:

Best of What's Around Beef

It was a lovely outing!

Whole Foods Meat

We braved the insanity at the shiny new Whole Foods in Charlottesville today. A security guard was directing traffic in the parking lot, and the place was a zoo, but it was beautiful. We have a couple posts planned around Whole Foods, but in the meantime, we’ll just say we were very impressed by the new store, and appreciated this sign: