About three months ago I started a low-carb diet. It's been very successful - I feel a great deal healthier, and I've lost a fair amount of weight. But finding things to eat for lunch at the office was a challenge.
I work in a cubical farm, with a break room. We have a small kitchen, with a refrigerator/freezer, a couple of microwaves, and a toaster oven. No stove, no range. I had been buying microwavable frozen dinners, keeping them in the freezer, and heating them up in the microwave, but I'd found very limited choices for low-carb microwavable meals at the grocery.
Then I read about Sous Vide. The idea is to vacuum seal your food in plastic, then cook it in a precisely-controlled hot water bath. The commercial equipment costs around $400, but there are plans here at i'bles for making controllers that will convert any cheap crockpot into a Sous VIde cooker for far less.
Of course, Sous VIde won't brown a steak. So I bought a cheap countertop grill. And the combination is workng well.
Step 1: It Starts With a Piece of Meat
Everything starts with a piece of meat. To date, I've done beef, pork, and cod. All turned out fine. Just had to do a bit of googling to find the right temperature.
Sous Vide can't overcook a steak, because the temperature is controlled. It can't dry out a steak, because it's vacuum sealed. And it can cook some quite tough cuts - that usually have be cooked so long to be soft enough to eat that they are usually used as roasts and barbecue - and leave them medium or rare.
In fact, my "steaks" are usually chuck roast or boneless beef ribs, which can be a lot cheaper than the official "steak" cuts. And they turn out fine.
In this case, I found a nice T-bone, at $6.99/pound. That's twice what I pay for boneless ribs, but it's within my budget (recognzing that this one-and-a-half pound steak is going to be the center of three lunches.)
So, I start by cutting the steak from the bone and into lunch-sized portions, then adding a dry rub.