Fall is the perfect season for harvesting mushrooms. Although they are available year-round, mushrooms are in peak season during the fall and winter months. In fact, September is National Mushroom Month—how suiting!
Mushrooms are a truly inexpensive, versatile vegetable. Mushrooms are a delicious complement to any cuisine, adding exquisite flavor, savoriness and volume as well as boosting vegetable intake. The earthy, umami-rich taste of mushrooms allows them to blend well with a variety of flavors. Umami is one of the basic tastes, along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter. This taste, created by the amino acid glutamate, is described as pleasant and savory and is found in foods such as meat, dairy, fish and vegetables. When you pair two umami foods like mushrooms and lean beef they create a flavor explosion for your taste buds to enjoy!
Mushrooms and lean beef are, without a doubt, nutritional powerhouses. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat and sodium, and they provide antioxidants which may protect our body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. They are an excellent source of riboflavin, a B vitamin that is important for energy, growth and red blood cell production. Mushrooms are also a good source of:
Selenium: A mineral known for its antioxidant properties; may play a role in preventing cancer of the colon, prostate, lung, bladder, skin, esophagus and stomach
Copper: A mineral necessary for producing and storing iron
Potassium: A mineral which aids in lowering blood pressure
Beef is high in 10 essential nutrients. Those nutrients include protein, iron, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, riboflavin, selenium and choline. Protein helps preserve and build muscle, while iron helps your body use oxygen The B vitamins found in beef will give you energy and help maintain brain function. Choline is especially important for pregnant and nursing moms as it has been linked to brain development.
Many people have been told to stay away from red meats if they have high cholesterol or want to keep their heart healthy. However, beef can be part of a heart-healthy diet. The BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) study is one reason for new viewpoints on beef. The BOLD diet contained 4 ounces of lean beef each day while the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet limited red meat. The study found that BOTH diets lowered LDL cholesterol in participants by 10%, providing evidence that beef may not be as bad for cholesterol and heart health as once thought.
There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for “lean.” An easy way to identify lean cuts of meat is to look for the word “loin” or “round” in the name. Some of the lean cuts of meat include tenderloin, top sirloin, round steak and ground round.
Try this savory dish to create an umami flavor explosion.
Seared Steak with Mustard-Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4 (3-ounce steak and about 1/4 cup sauce each)
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
All you need:
1 to 1 1/4 pounds Hy-Vee Angus Reserve Top Sirloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons Hy-Vee all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Kitchen Basics unsalted beef stock, or any low-sodium stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Hy-Vee Dijon mustard
All you do:
- Pat steaks dry; cut into 4 equal portions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Cook the steaks until browned on the bottom, 2 to 4 minutes. Turnover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Set aside, covered with foil.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the vegetables, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in broth and wine and cook, stirring and scraping up the brown bits, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in mustard and any juices from the steak. Serve the steak with about 1/4 cup sauce each.
Nutrition facts per serving: 239 calories, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 62mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 24g protein
Source: Adapted from Eating Well, Inc.