Summer is the perfect time to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you do not grow your own garden, you can still enjoy fresh, local produce. And, you may not even have to travel to a farmers’ market or farm stand to pick up your local produce, many grocery stores including Hy-Vee have teamed up with local farms to ensure the freshest, most nutritious choices right where you buy the rest of your groceries.
The term local often means that the food was grown within 400 miles from where it will be consumed. While this is not near as close as your back yard, you will find many vendors much closer, all you have to do is ask. At Hy-Vee our Homegrown label ensures that you are purchasing the freshest items from local family farms. The Homegrown signs indicate where your food was grown and how far the farm is from your Hy-Vee store.
According to the Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends report, the top reasons for purchasing locally grown foods include freshness (82%), supporting the local economy (75%) and taste (58%).
Local, seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically more budget-friendly because they are harvested during their peak season for you to enjoy. Many popular produce is packed with a nutritional punch! The fiber found in sweet corn can aid in weight management and digestive health. Bell peppers and watermelon are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C to promote immune health. Zucchini and other squash has been found to contain compounds that may help control blood pressure. Tomatoes are naturally sweet and a great source of lycopene which may help prevent against prostate cancer.
Don’t hesitate! Now is the time to fill half of your plate with seasonal fruits and veggies, along with 4 oz. of lean beef and a serving of whole-grain. Try this refreshing Steak and Grilled Ratatouille Salad to take advantage of the summer’s bounty!
STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD
Total Recipe Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Makes 6 servings
1 beef Top Round Steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into quarters
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half
1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half
1/2 cup grape tomato halves
9 cups mixed baby salad greens
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS FOR STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD
1. Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and 1/2 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for salad.
2. Spray vegetables, except tomatoes, with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange vegetables around steak. Grill steak, covered, 12 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 16 to 19 minutes) for medium-rare (145ºF) doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.) Grill eggplant and bell peppers 12 to 15 minutes; zucchini and yellow squash 8 to 12 minutes, covered (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, eggplant 6 to 8 minutes; bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash 7 to 11 minutes) or until tender, turning occasionally and basting with remaining reserved marinade.
4. Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Carve steak into thin slices. Toss lettuce, tomatoes and grilled vegetables with remaining 1/2 cup marinade. Divide vegetable mixture between 6 serving plates. Arrange beef steak slices over vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Sprinkle with cheese, as desired.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD
Nutrition information per serving: 334 calories; 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 12 g monounsaturated fat); 61 mg cholesterol; 162 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 5.2 g fiber; 3 g protein; 6.2 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 4.1 mg iron; 31.4 mcg selenium; 5.4 mg zinc.
This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.