Carne Asada



Carne Asada


Serves 6

Gluten-Free and Free From the Top 8 Allergens

This versatile and flavorful Latin American dish literally translates to “grilled meat”. We like it cooked medium-rare and served with my Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad (recipe coming) or cooked medium for soft tacos (see note below).

For tender results, look for flap steak in Latino markets or request it from your butcher. As an alternate, skirt steak is an excellent thin cut that comes in strips, which marinate easily and are perfect for searing over the barbecue.


4 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno or serrano chili pepper, roughly chopped

½ cup firmly-packed fresh cilantro leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt, plus additional as needed

freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (2 limes)

¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (1 orange)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp honey

½ cup olive oil

2 lbs flap steak or skirt steak



1. For the marinade, turn food processor on and drop in garlic then chili pepper to finely chop. Turn processor off, add cilantro and pulse a few times until chopped. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt and a few turns of pepper and turn processor on. With machine running pour in juices, vinegar and honey. Slowly add oil in a steady stream until pureed.

2. Put steak in a shallow ceramic or glass baking dish. Add marinade and turn steak to evenly coat on all sides. Cover and refrigerate 1-8 hours.

3. Heat grill to high and brush grates with oil.

4. Remove meat from marinade letting excess drip off. Lightly season both sides of meat with salt and pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, lid closed, for medium rare. A thermometer inserted horizontally into the steak should read 140ºF and it will have a deep pink center. For medium, cook 1-2 minutes more, lid closed, to obtain a light pink center.

5. Remove meat to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain.


Soft Tacos: Heat 12 gluten-free soft corn tortillas on grill, 30 seconds per side. Double up tortillas on 6 plates and top with cooked Carne Asada strips. Garnish with condiments of choice, such as minced white onion, dairy-free cheese alternative shreds, pico de gallo or salsa, shredded lettuce, guacamole or diced avocado and coarsely chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Carne Asada © 2014 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Allergy Friendly Friday Memorial Day BBQ


First of all, I’d like to give a big shout out to my brother Dylan and sister-in-law Thanya who welcomed their second son, Bodhi Zeppelin Chivian two days ago!  He was born almost a month early, but is as handsome as can be!

I don’t think my parents understand that this child’s middle name comes from a rock band, not something that flies in the air.  Will have to clarify!  At least I think that’s what he’s named after… Further investigation required.

Well, we all know what’s coming next weekend, right?  Memorial Day!  Yay, fire up those grills, people, it’s time for our Allergy-Friendly BBQ!  Come share your allergy-friendly and/or gluten-free picnic and BBQ recipes here on Allergy-Friendly Friday. We will be running our Allergy Friendly Memorial Day BBQ linky party for TWO WEEKS, since it’s a three day weekend, and there’s a lot more time for cooking.  So feel free to share two recipes. Come back for highlights on June 1st!

Thanks again for sharing your recipe links here. Some highlights from last week’s Allergy-Friendly Friday Mother’s Day roundup were:

Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce


Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of barbecue season, and deserves a bang-up grill-fest. I’ve always loved barbecues. When I worked at the Green Street Grill, in Cambridge, MA, the annual highlight was when we entered the yearly Rib-off.  Hundreds of barbecue experts from around the country came to compete with their various special sauces, and such exotic delicacies as barbecued rattlesnake (from Texas), and grilled alligator (from FLA!).  Barbecue is a varied, and richly textured culture and cuisine.  But sadly, most barbecue sauces are off limits for people with food allergies. Well, no more! This recipe contains no soy or gluten, (common allergens usually found in barbecue sauce). And Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips add a rich sweetness that is irresistible.  Try this sauce on your favorite barbecue meats. Brush it on as you’re cooking your meat or serve it warm on the side at the table.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons barbecue seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups water


1. Puree shallots and garlic in food processor. Add chocolate chips. Puree. Add raisins. Puree.

2. Add chili powder, ginger, optional barbecue seasoning, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Blend.

3. Add cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and molasses. Blend. Add water.

4. Transfer to a sauce pan and bring mixture to a simmer over very low heat, cooking 45 minutes and stirring often. Add a little more water if you like a thinner sauce.

5. Let cool. Store tightly covered in refrigerator until ready to use.

Allergy Friendly, Gluten-Free Chocolate Barbecue Sauce © 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.