Healthy Recipe: A Nutritionist-Approved Steak Dinner for Father’s Day

Dad will drool over this steak dinner with spinach-artichoke dip on the side.

A steak dinner that is nutritionist-approved? Sign us up. Photographs by Ali Eaves.

We have an early Father’s Day present for all the carnivorous dads out there: a nutritionist’s blessing to have some steak. Go ahead—you deserve it.

“Meat is okay in moderation as long as you include lots of other plant-based foods,” says local dietitian Judy Caplan. “While it does contain saturated fat and cholesterol, meat can still be part of a healthy diet.”

Beef provides iron, B vitamins, and protein. For the healthiest possible steak, Caplan recommends getting hormone-free and grass-fed beef if you can find it, because grass-fed beef has more healthy fats.

Though she has absolutely no problem with eating red meat, Caplan recommends sticking to only a few servings per month.

She picked flank steak, a lean cut of beef, and designed an easy, hearty, and healthy dinner for appreciative families to cook up for Dad this Sunday. If you make the dip and marinate the steak the night before, prepping everything else the next day should take less than an hour.

Make-Ahead Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Yes, there’s cheese in it, but this is not your typical restaurant-style spinach-artichoke dip. “It’s high in vitamin A because of the spinach, and there’s lots of fiber in the artichokes,” Caplan says. “It’s also pretty low in fat, and most of the fat is unsaturated.”

Yield: 6 servings
Calories per serving: 162
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained, finely chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained (squeeze out liquid with hands)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup canola or olive oil mayonnaise
½ cup shredded 75 percent reduced fat Cabot white cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1) Mix all ingredients until well blended. (We found your hands work best for this.) If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

2) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon into 9-inch pie plate, quiche dish, or other baking dish.

3) Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. (Reduce time to 20 minutes if dip was not refrigerated beforehand.)

4) Serve with assorted cut fresh vegetables and lavash (recipe below).


Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 80
2 whole-wheat wraps
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Bosari seasoning (available at Whole Foods) or another seasoned salt of your choosing, to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Rub wraps with olive oil and place on baking sheet.
3) Bake until golden and puffed up, about 10 to 15 minutes; watch to make sure they don’t burn.
4) Let cool, remove from baking sheet and break into irregular shapes appropriate for dipping.


Marinated Flank Steak
This marinade recipe, from Caplan’s book GoBeFull—Eight Keys to a Healthy Life can double as a stir-fry sauce. 

Yield: About 4 servings
Calories per serving: About 290 for a 4-ounce serving
½ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar, or to taste
1 tablespoon chili paste
3 cloves chopped garlic or to taste
1-inch knob of chopped fresh ginger, or to taste
Flank steak

1) Trim any fat off flank steak.

2) Mix first six ingredients well with a wire whisk; marinate flank steak in mixture for at least three hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

3) When ready to cook, broil steak in the oven, leaving it on the rare side so it can continue to cook when cooling.

4) When cool, slice thinly.

5) Run the sauce remaining in the pan through a strainer to remove the extra fat, and pour er steak.


Sautéed Portobello and Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a good source of potassium and B vitamins, Caplan says.

Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 114
4 portobello mushrooms
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine
Dash Worcestershire sauce

Slice mushrooms and sauté in a pan with olive oil and white wine. Add a dash of Worcestershire and serve over the steak.


Roasted Asparagus
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 35
1 bunch asparagus
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash asparagus and snap off the ends. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Judy Caplan is a registered dietitian in private practice in Vienna, Virginia. Her latest books, GoBeFull—Eight Keys to a Healthy Life and the GoBeFull Juice Diet and Cleanse, are available on iTunes and Amazon.