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Wake up Your Meals With Coffee as an Ingredient

Lentine Alexis
by Lentine Alexis
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Wake up Your Meals With Coffee as an Ingredient


Coffee is terrific as a marinade and does particularly well when it stands up to cuts with more fat or a richer flavor (i.e., This is an idea that will be better suited to steak, pork and chicken over light fish dishes). This is a favorite recipe, perfectly prepared in the morning when you make coffee — so remember to make an extra cup for your dinner.



  •      1/2 cup (125ml) hot, strong brewed coffee
  •      1/4 ounce (115g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  •      2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  •      1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •      Pinch chili powder or cayenne pepper


Stir together coffee, chocolate, sugar, salt and chili powder or cayenne, until chocolate is fully melted and sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Let cool.

Transfer marinade to a large zip-top bag, add steak, press air from bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. When ready to cook, remove steak from marinade, blot dry with paper towels and grill as desired. Makes enough marinade for 2 8-ounce steaks.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 47; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 474mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 1g


Instant espresso or coffee powder is another way to incorporate a little java in your day. This zippy dressing is great on charred veggies or entreé salads with steak or pork, drizzled over tacos or this breakfast salad, riffing on all the flavors that make your morning delicious — and make lunch and dinner great, too!



For the dressing

  •      2/3 cup (160ml) olive oil, divided
  •      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •      3 tablespoons (45ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  •      1 teaspoon honey
  •      1 teaspoon instant espresso

For the salad

  •      4 cups (320g) mixed greens or butter lettuce greens
  •      1 cup (85g) pea shoots
  •      4 radishes, sliced very thinly
  •      4 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy
  •      4 fried eggs
  •      2 avocados


In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Cook the bacon until quite crispy using your preferred method. (We suggest in the oven or the microwave, depending on time allowed!) Chop into bite-sized pieces. Fry the eggs in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the edges are crispy.

Divide the greens, pea shoots and sliced radishes across 4 bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 an avocado and a fried egg. Divide the bacon evenly amongst bowls. Drizzle with espresso dressing.

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 163; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 13g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 0g


A little dusting or pinch of ground coffee is never a bad idea, particularly when it’s blended with punchy paprika and salt. This finishing salt can be used over soups, meats, vegetables or even sweet dishes that need a little kick. (Try sprinkling it over homemade chocolate bark for an unexpected finish.)


Employ this smoky, savory salt on meats on the grill, in peanut butter sandwiches or even as a surprise final addition to chocolate chip cookies. Makes 1/4 cup salt.


  •      1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
  •      1 tablespoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
  •      2 tablespoon flaky sea salt


Stir salt, coffee and paprika in a small bowl to combine. Makes about 1/4 cup finishing salt. Salt keeps in an airtight jar for a couple of months.

About the Author

Lentine Alexis
Lentine Alexis
Lentine is a curious, classically trained chef and former pro athlete. She uses her bicycle, raw life and travel experiences and organic ingredients to inspire athletes and everyone to explore, connect and expand their human experiences through food. She previously worked as a Chef/Recipe Developer/Content Creator and Culinary Director at Skratch Labs – a sports nutrition company dedicated to making real food alternatives to modern “energy foods.” Today, she writes, cooks, speaks and shares ideas for nourishing sport and life with whole, simple, delicious foods.


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