Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps

In honor of the hottest week I think central New York has ever experienced, twentysomething and paleo presents a deliciously paleo and cold dinner fit for any active and sweaty young adult – and the best part is: before it wound up in my freezer, it was romping around in the wild and eating naturally germinated plants. Thank you again to Coach Craig, Crossfit Partner-in-Crime Maria’s hunter and my new running group leader! Where he finds time to catch wild game between triathlons, training, and listening to maria gush about crossfit I just don’t know…

Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps:

Venison Steak (or any steak of your choosing)
5 tbsp baking cocoa
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp coconut/olive oil
Iceberg lettuce
Tomato, Avocado, and any other fixins you may want

Pound thawed steak to tenderize.

Mix 4 tbsp cocoa, chili, cayenne, and black pepper.

Rub steak in oil, followed by the pepper-cocoa mix.

Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for at least an hour, no more than 4 hours.

In a skillet, heat another tbsp oil and sauté steak over medium heat for about 2-2.5 minutes (to get the perfect medium rare… mmm)

Set steak to the side to rest (don’t cut! Don’t cut! Don’t cut! Those juices are like gold…)

Slice steak or cut into portions for the week and slice into smaller pieces the day you wrap.



Steak & Mushroom Packaged Cabbage (4 servings @ 290 cal/ea)

Twentysomethings: beware of peeling cabbages! Paleo Lesson learned the Hard Way #14: even though cabbage looks like iceburg lettuce, it is NOT as easy to peel off individual leaves. I was wrestling with this MF cabbage for about 20 minutes before throwing the whole head into the pot of boiling water in an attempt to loosen it up. The steak made everything better.

Steak and Mushroom Cabbage Packaged:
4 servings @ 290 cal/ea – 50 minutes

1 small cabbage (need 12 full leaves)
1 lb steak
2 cups Paleo Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 medium onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp rosemary and thyme
2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Boil 3 cups of water in a large pot.

Pull 8 whole leaves off the cabbage gently, and add to boiling water.

Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until soft, and drain.

In large sauce pan, heat garlic, red pepper flakes and add whole steak.

Cook steak to medium rare, and set aside to rest.

Sautee onions and mushrooms.

Remove from heat, let cool about 5 minutes.

Pulse 2/3 of cooked mushrooms and onions with ¼ cup water and rosemary/thyme in food processor lightly until becomes saucy.

Chop steak into 1 inch cubes and mix with mush-onion sauce and rest of sautee (Our filling is done! Yay!)
Lay wax paper on the counter, and lay each cabbage leaf out flat.

Spoon Mushroom Steak filling onto centered lower half of leaf, fold left and right side towards center.

From the bottom up, gently roll the leaf, tucking the filling completely inside and ending with the edge of the top of the leaf underneath the rolled-up package.

Pour half of the Paleo Tomato Sauce into sauce pan and turn up to Medium heat. Gently place cabbage packages in sauce, seam –side-down, in sauce and pour the rest of the Tomato Sauce over top.

Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool, and then package up for freezing!


Spicy Cilantro Lime Steak Salad Enhancer (5 servings @ 190 cal/ea)


Spicy Cilantro Lime Flank Steak Salad Topper
5 servings @ 190 cal/ea {270 w Avocado} — marinate 4 hrs cook 30 min
**give yourself time to marinate**

1 lb LEAN flank steak
1 serrano chile
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 limes
4 garlic cloves
2 green onions
3 tbsp water

Squeeze the lime juice into a blender or food processor.

Add and blend/food process cilantro, garlic, onions, chile water and salt. (De-seed your chile if you can’t take the heat!)

Pour marinade into a gallon ziplock bag, add the steak, and let chill in the fridge for 4 hours.
Take out of fridge about half an hour before you cook the steak.


Pour leftover marinade into your intended freezing vesicles in equal parts (for a phenomenal salad dressing)

Grill or cook to your liking (which should be medium rare if you have a soul). Medium heat, 4 minutes per side.

Let steak rest for about 5 minutes before you even THINK about cutting it (if you don’t know why – ask the competitors who lose on Food Network’s “Chopped”)

Cut into four even sections (that will fit in your freezer vesicles). I don’t suggest slicing your steak until after you heat it up for lunch – it will become less dry this way. However if you plan on having it cold over your salad – which is just as delectable – slice away!

BUT WAIT! Don’t forget your fresh baby spinach salad and ¼ sliced avocado the day you bring this bad boy to work!