Kansas

Beef Chat

Apr172015

Fuel Your Activities with Beef

Published by Heath Larson at 6:30 AM under

The 2015 Boston Marathon is this Monday, April 20th.  This year, about 30000 runners will toe the starting line in Hopkinton, eager to run the most famous 26.2 miles the sport has to offer.  Running a marathon is tough.  Running a fast marathon is more difficult.  Running a fast marathon in Boston?   Even tougher.

 

Why is Boston such a challenging race?  The entire race is run near sea level, during (usually) ideal weather conditions, on a smooth, paved surface.  However, the course is exceedingly deceptive.  Downhill miles early in the race encourage runners to push the pace, wrecking their quad muscles...and it's awfully tough to climb the 4 hills between miles 16-21 on dead quads.  On the flip side, those that run fast at Boston will most likely unleash their "secret weapon" surge during the last half of the race, running the difficult hill sections

faster than the downhills early on.  It takes a great deal of training and guts to pull it off, but it can be done.

 

 

At the Larson household, we have leaned heavily on our "secret weapon" lately, and I'm not talking about a strong finishing kick.  Career commitments have limited my time at home of late, leaving little time for cooking meals for our increasingly hungry family.  In response, we had a huge homemade "freezer meal" prep day a few weeks ago, so we could have more meals ready to go on short notice.  Many of the meals included lean beef, since it freezes well and contains the protein and essential nutrients our growing children need.  Plus, we know our kids will actually eat it!  Less time spent prepping, and meals that the kids like.  It's not quite as tough as a strong finish at Boston, but it's close!

 

This year, 20 runners will be representing Team Beef at the Boston Marathon, including Wichita's own Tim McGreevy.  For more information, check out www.nebpi.org/team-beef-at-boston.  For race day tracking of your favorite runner, download the "BAA Marathon" app from the App Store for free.  And for even more information, visit bostonmarathon.org.  Go Team Beef!



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Apr032015

Fuel your Day with Protein & The 30 Day Protein Challenge!

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 5:30 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

There are many benefits to including 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.  However, most Americans only consume 5-10 grams at breakfast and 10-12 grams at lunch.  Protein, especially early in the day increase fullness, weight control and muscle retention.  I have personally seen clients lose a significant amount of weight by increasing their protein consumption at breakfast and lunch, and decreasing the serving size at dinner.  Do you get enough protein throughout your day?  Sign up to take the 30 Day Protein Challenge here 30 Day Protein Challenge. And here are two simple recipes to get you started!

 

BEEF SAUSAGE & EGG MUFFIN CUPS

 

INGREDIENTS 1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe below) 1 can (4-1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles, undrained 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese 5 large eggs 1/4 cup milk 1 to 2 teaspoons regular or chipotle hot pepper sauce Salt and pepper Toppings (optional): Chopped green onion or chives, chopped tomato, salsa or additional hot sauce

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 12-cup standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Stir chiles and cheese into beef mixture. Evenly divide mixture into prepared pan. Whisk eggs, milk and hot sauce, as desired, in medium bowl. Evenly divide egg mixture over beef mixture in muffin cups. Bake in 375°F oven 17 to 20 minutes or until egg mixture is set and just beginning to brown. Let stand 2 minutes. Loosen edges; remove from muffin pan. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with Toppings, as desired.

Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage: Combine 1 pound ground beef, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Drain fat, if needed. Test Kitchen Tips Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

Total Recipe Time: 45 to 50 minutes

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe below)

1 can (4-1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles, undrained

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

5 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 to 2 teaspoons regular or chipotle hot pepper sauce

Salt and pepper

Chopped green onion or chives, chopped tomato, salsa or additional hot sauce, optional

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF SAUSAGE & EGG MUFFIN CUPS

1.       Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 12-cup standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Stir chiles and cheese into beef mixture. Evenly divide mixture into prepared pan.

2.       Whisk eggs, milk and hot sauce, as desired, in medium bowl. Evenly divide egg mixture over beef mixture in muffin cups.

3.       Bake in 375°F oven 17 to 20 minutes or until egg mixture is set and just beginning to brown. Let stand 2 minutes. Loosen edges; remove from muffin pan. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with Toppings, as desired.

Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage: Combine 1 pound ground beef, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Drain fat, if needed.

  • Test Kitchen Tips

  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR BEEF SAUSAGE & EGG MUFFIN CUPS

    Nutrition information per serving, 1/4 of recipe, using 93% lean ground beef: 325 calories; 17 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 317 mg cholesterol; 433 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 0.8 g fiber; 37 g protein; 7.9 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.9 mcg vitamin B12; 3.9 mg iron; 37.6 mcg selenium; 6.8 mg zinc; 264.8 mg choline.

    This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc and choline.

    Nutrition information per serving, 1/12 of recipe, using 93% lean ground beef: 108 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 106 mg cholesterol; 144 mg sodium; 1 g carbohydrate; 0.3 g fiber; 12 g protein; 2.6 mg niacin; 0.2 mg vitamin B6; 1.0 mcg vitamin B12; 1.3 mg iron; 12.5 mcg selenium; 2.3 mg zinc; 88.3 mg choline.

    This recipe is an excellent source of protein; and a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and choline.

     

     

    SALAD SHAKERS

    INGREDIENTS 1 pound Ground Beef (95% lean) 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/4 cup water 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) iceberg or romaine salad mix (lettuce, red cabbage, carrots) 1 cup diced tomato 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted, drained 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, (optional) 1/2 cup prepared reduced-fat or fat-free ranch dressing 1/4 to 1/3 cup Crunchy Tortilla Strips (recipe follows) or crushed baked tortilla chips (optional)

    Brown Ground Beef with garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef up into 1/2-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings, if necessary. Stir in water, chili powder and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to blend flavors. Cool slightly. Place salad mix, beef, tomato, beans, corn and cheese, if desired, in large bowl with lid. Top with dressing; close lid securely or cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Shake gently to combine. Top with tortilla strips, if desired.

    Crunchy Tortilla Strips:
    Cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips. Place strips in single layer on baking sheet. Spray tortilla strips lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 4 to 8 minutes at 400ºF or until crisp. Test Kitchen Tips Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

     

    Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

    Makes 4 servings

    INGREDIENTS

    1 pound Ground Beef (95% lean)

    2 teaspoons minced garlic

    1/4 cup water

    2 tablespoons chili powder

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 package (10 to 12 ounces) iceberg or romaine salad mix (lettuce, red cabbage, carrots)

    1 cup diced tomato

    1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained

    1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted, drained

    1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, (optional)

    1/2 cup prepared reduced-fat or fat-free ranch dressing

    1/4 to 1/3 cup Crunchy Tortilla Strips (recipe follows) or crushed baked tortilla chips (optional)

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR SALAD SHAKERS

1.     Brown Ground Beef with garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef up into 1/2-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings, if necessary. Stir in water, chili powder and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to blend flavors. Cool slightly.

2.     Place salad mix, beef, tomato, beans, corn and cheese, if desired, in large bowl with lid. Top with dressing; close lid securely or cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Shake gently to combine. Top with tortilla strips, if desired.

Crunchy Tortilla Strips: Cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then crosswise into ¼-inch-wide strips. Place strips in single layer on baking sheet. Spray tortilla strips lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 4 to 8 minutes at 400ºF or until crisp.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR SALAD SHAKERS

Nutrition information per serving: 286 calories; 9 g fat (9 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 3 mg cholesterol; 568 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 4.4 g fiber; 29 g protein; 7.3 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.6 mg iron; 18.2 mcg selenium; 6.2 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber.



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Mar262015

Myths - Get the Facts

Published by Katie Sawyer at 10:33 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

We help more than 500 mother cows deliver baby calves every year. It’s not a quick or easy job but it’s what my husband loves to do and a part of farm life I’ve grown to enjoy.  Raising cattle is a big deal in our family and making sure those animals are safe and well taken care of is a top priority.

 

Lately the issue of antibiotics in livestock has dominated headlines. Many of the articles contain little accuracy and a lot of finger pointing. But if the authors were to look at the facts, they would see a different story. Here are few antibiotic myths, debunked:

 

Myth: All farms give antibiotics to all animals, all the time

Truth: Most farmers use antibiotics on a very limited basis. Some choose to never use antibiotics at all. On our farm, we practice limited and as-needed use of antibiotics. They are administered only to sick cows and calves as part of a well-rounded rehabilitation process. We have several other options for helping them regain their health so many times antibiotics aren’t even necessary.

 

Myth: Antibiotics given to animals is found in the meat humans consume

Fact: Farmers and veterinarians are required to log all uses of antibiotics and keep animals with antibiotics out of the food system. On our farm, any animal that is given a dose of antibiotics is tracked and kept out of the herd until the antibiotic has passed through their system. The United States Department of Agriculture checks beef for antibiotic reside, ensuring that the beef sold to consumers is safe and antibiotic free.

 

Myth: Antibiotics can be spread from animals to humans through soil and water run-off

Fact: Farms, like any business, are regulated by state and federal agencies. Run-off of water and soil is monitored and tracked and is never allowed to interact with water used for human consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency monitors all bodies of water and is notified if a potentially hazardous situation is occurring on or near a farm.

 

Myth: Animals and humans are prescribed the same antibiotics

Fact: About 75% of the antibiotics given to animals are never or rarely used in humans. There are different families of antibiotics – some are used primarily in humans while others are used mostly in livestock.

 

Myth: Farmers should never be allowed to use antibiotics in livestock

Fact: Farmers and ranchers are responsible for the health and livelihood of their animals. Removing antibiotics would deprive them of an important tool for helping their animals return to health. No rancher wants to watch a calf perish from a completely treatable disease. That’s not human animal care. Antibiotics have a place in responsible animal care.


 

For more information about cattle care or myths, get more information at http://factsaboutbeef.com/.



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Mar232015

What Happens at a Bull Sale

Published by Robin Kleine at 7:00 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk

Cattlemen attend cattle sales throughout the year. Here they spend time analyzing the animals, visiting with their friends who traveled from near and far to the sale and ultimately planning for future generations of cattle on their farms or ranches.

 

When beef producers like my family attend these sales, we want to purchase new animals that will help add value to our herds. These animals could have the potential to producer calves with lighter birth weights or heavier weaning weights, better structure or maternal strength, for example. Every operation wants to make some small improvement in the next generation of cattle born on their ranch.

 

What happens at a cattle sale?? Today, I’m taking you inside a cattle sale – Lee’s Cattle Co. 11th Annual Bull Sale held on March 18th, 2015.

 

First, the cattle are put into pens. Cattle sales can be held at the ranch, or another facility. This sale was held at a sale barn, where weekly auctions are held.

 

 

­­Second, the cattle are on display for the cattlemen to analyze and look at live and in the flesh, rather than the pictures and videos available prior to the sale.

 

 

 

 

Finally, it’s sale time! The ringmen (standing outside the sale ring) take bids from the crowd and tell the auctioneer when people are ready to buy a bull!

 

 

 

 

Below is a video of the action from the sale. Please note that at this specific sale, the cattle were shown on video, rather than being run through sale ring.

 https://instagram.com/p/0YaQdmMAGx/?taken-by=focusmarketinggroup

 

Welcome to the life of a cattlemen!

 

-Robin

 

 

 



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Mar162015

Bull Buying Basics

Published by Kiley DeDonder at 3:09 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

Bull sales are in full swing, and my kitchen table is filled with all sorts of different sale catalogs, fliers and various promotions marketing different beef breeds. My family usually purchases several different bulls each year during the month of March. It is really important that we do our homework at home before we step foot in an auction or log in to an online sale.

There is so much to consider when our family looks at buying a new bull – expected progeny differences (EPDs) help to provide insight on the genetic potential of that animal, genomic data, rate of gain, genetic defects, previous history, etc. It can sometimes be difficult to navigate all the data in front of me. It is important to me that I know and understand the family behind the business I’m possibly buying a new animal from. We all know that it takes two-to-tango, but my family places a big focus on the selection of an outstanding bull to sire our calves that we raise.

 Key questions we ask ourselves before we buy an animal for our ranch are:

 

What values do they have? What guarantees do they offer on the bull after the sale is over? The big one though, is what our goals for our farm are this year, and will we have a market for the type of bull we are purchasing? It sounds a lot like what you might ask yourself before you buy a new pair of shoes. What do I know about the brand, what is their reputation? If something happens, what are the chances they will replace or help find a solution to my problem? Does this shoe coordinate with any of the clothes I have at home?

Why is bull selection important to our ranch?

Bull or sire selection, on average, has a greater impact on the genetic improvement of our cattle herd because the sire is more likely to produce a higher number of calves in his lifetime compared to a cow, a sire has the potential to contribute a larger portion of the genes to the herd.

Why is bull selection important to you?

Our goal is to raise nutritious and great tasting beef for families to enjoy for years to come. When the bull we purchase sires cattle that are able to efficiently perform on our ranch we raise healthy and quality cattle that are able to provide the great tasting and nutritious food that your family deserves!

Until next time,

Kiley

 



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Mar092015

Finding Balance

Published by Heath Larson at 10:16 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition | Recipe

I often get the question from co-workers and friends:  "How many miles per day do you run?"  It's a question I have a difficult time answering, because I don't do the same workout every day.  Some days, I run 5 fast miles.  But other days feature slower runs anywhere from 8-12 miles long.  You see, in order to run fast and long, one has to practice running fast and long.  Just not at the same time (until race day), in order to prevent injury and burnout.  All effective training programs do this, creating the perfect "balance" of speed, endurance, and recovery, to get you to the finish line as quickly as possible.

 

The same balance is required when it comes to a nutrition plan.  Complex carbohydrates provide much needed energy for those long runs, and aids in rebuilding energy stores after a workout.  Essential nutrients strengthen my immune system when I'm exhausted, and rev my metabolism.  Protein squashes hunger, and speeds muscle recovery, so I can get up and do it all again the next day. 

 

Finally, one has to find a balance of time.  The "average" day of running will take about 60 minutes of my time, when I consider time spent changing, stretching, and showering.  That's a big commitment for someone with a growing family and a hectic career!

 

Fortunately, when it comes to balancing time and nutritional needs, lean beef comes to the rescue.  It's an excellent source of zinc (boosts immune system function), vitamin B12 (releases energy from food), and protein, and good source of several other essential nutrients including iron, niacin, and vitamin B6.  It tastes great "as is," so I don't have to spend valuable time trying to spruce it up.  Plus, the kids love it, saving the time and energy of trying to get them to eat!  Two weeks ago, we entertained guests at our home with this very easy, yet impressive recipe featuring lean grilled flank steak.  And it even looked as beautiful as the picture!  Enjoy with a large Greek salad.

 

http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=2994



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Feb252015

Despite High Prices, Consumers Choose Beef for Its Value

Published by Kassie Curran at 10:04 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

It’s not news that beef prices are on the rise, and with the global beef production expected to be down 1.4% in 2015 it makes those with a stake in the beef industry wonder if consumers will keep paying for beef. Of course poultry and pork are viable protein substitutes that are less expensive than beef and we know that consumers will consume a great deal more of these options than beef over the coming year. But there’s just something about beef that keeps consumers coming back, in fact we’ve actually seen an increase in beef demand.

A 2013 study found that 72% of consumers list beef as their top choice of protein – but why? Is it the savory taste, great nutrition, or does it just make you happy? According to the study, consumers believe the price of beef accurately reflects its value. Where do you find value in beef? Is it flavor, juiciness, tenderness, or versatility? What is it about beef that makes you keep coming back for more?

For me, beef serves as a high quality, nutrient dense protein source that not only tastes amazing, but can be used in many ways. Beef quality has been increasing over the years and we’ve actually seen more carcasses grading USDA Prime and Choice (which also makes it taste better too!). Nutritionally, beef is a superstar in my opinion. A 3-oz. serving of lean beef (find out which cuts are lean here) has less than 200 calories and still provides more than 10% of the Daily Value for nine essential nutrients including protein, zinc, B12, B6 and other B-complex vitamins, as well as selenium, phosphorus, and iron.

While it’s not hard to think of lots of ways to use ground beef – spaghetti, tacos, vegetable soup, and hamburgers are some of my favorites – thinking of other ways to use steak may not come as easy to you. I love preparing a steak for supper and then saving some to use on a salad for lunch the next day. Or I like to have steak with my eggs in the morning. There are all kinds of ways to get value out of beef just by its versatility! Check out some of the recipes shared on this blog to find more!

When you consider everything that beef has to offer, it’s actually a great deal! Share with us what makes you choose beef by commenting below. And I hope you choose beef for your next protein purchase.

Eat Beef,

Kassie



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Feb182015

Taboo No Longer - Happy, Healthy Hearts Love Beef!

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 9:12 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

Wait a minute...beef is okay to eat AND keep my heart healthy too? Yes, you read this correctly. No longer “taboo” for healthy, active lifestyles, nutrient-rich lean beef such as top sirloin steak can be enjoyed again without guilt. In fact, top sirloin meets the American Heart Association (AHA) certification as a lean cut of beef and heart-healthy choice.  The AHA Heart-Check certification is one of the most trusted nutrition logos and claims on a food label. 

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University reported results from the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Diet) study showed adding a daily serving of nutrient-packed lean beef to a heart-healthy diet could lower the risk of heart disease by reducing “LDL” (bad) cholesterol levels.

A three-ounce serving of lean sirloin (about the size of your smartphone) has about 150 calories plus the Daily Value (DV) of these nutrients:

  • Protein - 38% (for muscle growth and repair)                                                    

  • Vitamin B12 - 44% (important for brain health)

  • Selenium - 40% (protects cells from damage)

  • Zinc - 38% (strengthens the immune system)

     

    According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, beef is the number-one source of protein, zinc and Vitamin B12. It is the number-two source for selenium and number-three source for iron. Protein in beef promotes the feeling of satiety or fullness longer than simple carbohydrates. This means that, for people trying to curb their calories for weight loss, type II diabetes or other health reasons, eating a three-ounce serving of top sirloin in a meal not only provides important nutrients and energy, but it helps keep a person from feeling hungry for a longer period of time.

     

    Here are some tips and reminders for preparing your delicious beef sirloin;

  • It’s not necessary to bring beef to room temperature before cooking. This practice does not provide any flavor or cooking advantage. For food safety reasons, it’s best to cook meat straight from the refrigerator to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.  

  • When stir-frying sirloin, partially freeze the steak prior to preparation. It will slice easier into thin, equal-thickness strips.

  • Pat steaks dry with paper towels before pan-searing to get better browning that seals in the juices. When grilling or broiling, use tongs rather than a meat fork. The fork tines will pierce the steak, causing the flavorful juices to seep out while tongs will not cause this.

 

Many recipes using sirloin steak are quick and easy. The following recipes take less than 30 to 35 minutes to prepare. Enjoy the powerful health benefits of lean beef!

  

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

 

 

Serves 4

 

All you need

1/4 cup Hy-Vee smooth natural peanut butter

1/3 cup orange juice

3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

4 tsp Hy-Vee canola oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound Hy-Vee sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 small head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

2 to 5 tbsp water

2 medium carrots, grated

1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, optional

 

All you do

1. Whisk peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add steak; cook, stirring, until browned and barely pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Swirl in the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add cabbage and 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until beginning to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots (and more water if necessary to prevent sticking); cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes more. Return the steak and any juices to the pan; add the peanut sauce and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with peanuts (if using).

 

Nutrition facts per serving: 364 calories, 17g fat, 3g saturated fat, 42mg cholesterol, 469mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 31g protein. Daily values: 140% vitamin A, 110% vitamin C.

 

Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

 

 

The information is not intended as medical advice.   Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.



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Feb122015

Made to Be Mothers

Published by Katie Sawyer at 8:41 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

I have a love-hate relationship with winter. It’s my favorite season on our farm because it brings a new crop of baby calves and proud mother cows. But it also creates long, sleepless nights for my farmer hubby and the occasional sad news of a calf that just didn’t make it.

But as I soak up the joy that is new calves playing in our backyard, anti-animal-agriculture groups continue to criticize animal owners like my husband and I for breeding our cows each year. They consider it abuse for our animals to be continually pregnant and instead advocate for cattle to spend their days mindlessly munching on green grass and carrying a calf every few years.

 

But I disagree. Our cows are born to be mothers. Not just in the literal sense of reproductive organs and hormones, but in their behaviors and temperaments. It’s their genetic make up and natural calling to carry a calf.

 

Our cows deliver a calf each winter and nurse it through the spring and summer months. In late April and early June they are usually impregnated again. All the while receiving the proper feed and nutrition – which varies according to their stage of pregnancy. We work to ensure all of our cows get pregnant around the time same so that we know when to expect calves.

 

The mothers provide all of their calf’s nutritional needs. She protects it from wildlife and the weather and watch over it as it runs, plays, grows and explores.  Mothers lick their newborns warm and dry and clean a dirty behind with a quick pass of the tongue. Mother cows and calves communicate with moo’s and bellows and pair up each night and throughout the day for food and protection. It’s a relationship not unlike that of my son and I’s and as I hear for the mothers call to their calves at the end of each day I know that motherhood is in their DNA.

 

We treat our cows with respect and a gentle hand and they, in return, allow us to participate in raising their calves. A cow’s job is to raise calves. That is her mission and purpose in life. Cows allow us to grow our herd and continue our dream of handing this farm and way of life to our children. Motherhood is not abuse, it’s a continuing of the life cycle we all depend on for food and fuel and it’s what our cows love to do.



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Feb042015

A Beef-y Vacation

Published by Robin Kleine at 7:42 AM under

Every year during the first week of February, thousands of cattlemen flock the Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Tradeshow. The location changes every year, but this year’s convention – going on now – is in San Antonio, TX at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center

 

This event serves as a learning opportunity for cattlemen with any size cattle operation, and those with 20 cows at home can often be found socializing with owners of 50,000 head feed yards.

 

Furthermore, the Cattle Industry Convention serves as a meeting place for five different organizations within the beef industry –

  National Cattlemen's Beef Association www.beef.org

  Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board  www.beefboard.org

  American National CattleWomen, Inc.  www.ancw.org  

  CattleFax  www.cattlefax.com

  National Cattlemen's Foundation  www.nationalcattlemensfoundation.org

 

There’s more than just socializing at these events. Beef producers have endless learning opportunities, including the Cattlemen’s College. Various sessions take place during each day of the convention, including information about bovine reproduction, ranch management, beef cooking, estate planning, grazing and more! These sessions serve as a way for cattlemen to gather new information to take back home to our farms or ranches, as well as ask follow-up questions to the professionals delivering the information.

Image courtesy of @ChanMulvaney on Twitter

 

Additionally, the NCBA Tradeshow is always a highlight of the event. With hundreds of booths from breed associations and retailers, all highlighting new products and services, there are even more reasons to attend the event.

This event might sound like a bore to some of our audience … but for many, the Cattle Industry Convention is a highlight of our year. It’s a time to meet up with old friends, many of whom live across the country, and to make new friends, all while learning about our livelihood and favorite protein source – beef!

Because we are so passionate about beef cattle production, we’re always trying to learn new ways to do it better. Better might mean more economical practices, safer handling for us and the cattle, healthier end product or even insurance that ranchers will be able to pass on their operations to the next generation.

Until next time,

Robin


P.S. – Who says farmers aren’t hip? Check out the #beefmeet hashtag on Twitter to follow along with what’s happening in San Antonio! [https://twitter.com/hashtag/beefmeet]



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