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Beef Chat

Aug062014

Excuses, Excuses

Published by Heath Larson at 9:47 AM under Agriculture | Beef Team | General | Nutrition

As a longtime runner, I've heard plenty of excuses and smart remarks when others find out about my distance running hobby.  One of the classics I've heard multiple times is:  "I only run if someone is chasing me."  Oh really?  Well, consider the following situations:

 

It's early spring.  On the ranch, that means it's time to round up the cattle from the feedlot and take them to pasture.  While the "take them to pasture" part is the near-celebratory end to a winter of feeding and calving in brutal weather conditions like we had last winter, the "round up" part never fails to create excitement.  There are gates to open, vehicles of all types to drive, and at the end of it, hopefully some 80+ cow/calf pairs and their calves end up in the loading pen for preventive medication before being hauled to pasture for the next 4-5 months.  During our last roundup, we had several cows with no desire of going where they needed to be.  At one point, after an hour of fruitless attempts to bring them into the loading pen, we were close to completing the task.  Then, without warning, the "crazy one" turned around and bolted for the open pasture, with 10 more cows trailing behind.  There was no time to jump in a pickup, turn it around, and give chase.  There was only time to run.  I may not have set a world record for "fastest 3/8 mile across a rutted pasture in jeans and work shoes," but I like to think I came close.  I barely beat the leader to the open gate on the other side of the pasture, and we managed to get the job done shortly thereafter. 

 

I travel for my career, and frequently have tight connections between flights.  Most of the time, I am able to get to my gate in plenty of time by utilizing a brisk walking pace.  However, when I'm trying to catch the last flight home that day and I have 20 minutes to get to the train, go up and down 6 different escalators, and walk at least 1/2 mile with my carry on in tow...well, it's not really a walk anymore.  While I haven't always "made it," I know my family is appreciative when I do get home on time.

 

When it comes to helping out on the ranch or getting home to see my family, there's no time for flimsy excuses.  Do I enjoy training for my next race?  Not usually, because it takes a lot of time and effort to stay in shape!  But I often fall back on my training when life calls for a little extra speed, endurance, or adventure, and that is invaluable to me.

 

Along the same lines, flimsy excuses have no place in your nutritional plan.  I hear how unhealthy "red meat" is from my colleagues frequently...but what is their basis for this?  And have they considered how using beef as a lean source of protein compares with other animal and plant protein sources?  Nothing else comes close!  I also hear "I don't eat red meat because of the hormones they put in it."  First off, if hormones are a problem for you, you can find plenty of non-hormone beef out there.  Second, the hormones in a typical serving of beef are far, far less than are found in many common vegetables that make up a huge part of healthy diets nowadays...not to mention the elevated amount of hormones found in many human medications taken daily!

 

Find the truth.  Ditch the excuses.  Then, go outrun everyone that still thinks you're crazy, and celebrate your victory by refueling with lean beef!



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Jul242014

Taste the Homegrown Goodness

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

Steak & Grilled Ratatouille Salad --

Total Recipe Time: 45 to 50 minutes

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

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

Marinade:

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.



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Jun262014

Conquering "The Wall"

Published by Heath Larson at 8:24 AM under

 

My distance running coach from high school used to state a sobering truth before hard workouts and races:  "If you do it right, it's supposed to hurt."  With this point drilled home, I was able to prepare for the certain pain that lie ahead, and knew that discomfort was no excuse for slowing down.  In every race, without exception, each runner must overcome "the wall" of pain that typically begins a little past the halfway point.  One month ago, while running a local 10k trail race, I hit the wall with 2 miles to go. 

Due to torrential rains on an already rugged course, it was all I could do to stay upright and keep my shoes from being sucked off my feet by the mud.

 

 

 

We often "hit the wall" in our everyday lives as well.  At work, at around 2:30 P.M. everyday, I am mentally exhausted, starving, and lethargic. So what's to be done?  In life, just as in running, having a game plan and being mentally prepared for conquering "the wall" goes a long way.  If you get hungry at work, perhaps it's time to add more protein to your lunch in the form of lean beef.  Studies show that a diet high in protein is more effective at curbing hunger and keeping you satisfied than a high carbohydrate diet.  Layer 3 ounces of thinly sliced grilled top sirloin steak from last night's supper on your "plain old salad" for lunch, and you've added a wealth of energizing protein and taste with just 154 additional calories.  Now that's a lunch with potential to help you power through the 2:30 wall, with hardly any extra work in packing your lunch.

 

And how did my race turn out?  Unfortunately, the sloppy footing put setting a new course record well out of reach.  However, I knew that the course conditions about a mile ahead of "the wall" would improve drastically in about a mile.  I stopped to tie my shoes tighter, squished my way up the steepest hill on the course, and cranked up the pace for the final mile.  I crossed the line in first overall, earning a unique cow chip trophy (to remember this course, primarily run through a local rancher's pasture), a garden hose shower before entering the house, and soreness that lasted two days.  Oh yes, it hurt.  Just like it's supposed to.

 

Layered Beef Salad on the Go http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4445



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Jun122014

Great Grilling for Father’s Day – The MyPlate Way

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 8:48 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

Looking for that perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day?  Make him a meal that is both delicious and nutritious. Lean cuts of meat such as sirloin or flank steak are great options. Serve with vegetables, fruit and whole grains.   

 

Marinating helps enhance the flavor of meat, without adding a lot of extra calories, fat or sodium found in many sauces.  Marinades also serve to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. It is recommended to marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Marinades only penetrate the surface of the meat; therefore, flat cuts of meat such as steaks will benefit more from marinades than large cuts such as roasts.  Try this flavorful steak and delicious summer salad for a your father this Father’s Day!

 

 

Coffee Peppercorn Flank Steak

The coffee in this marinade creates an umami or savory flavor punch when combined with the steak!

Make it a meal: Serve with millet corn and avocado salad (recipe below) and

berries with a dollop with whipped cream for dessert.

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/7a/6e/1e/7a6e1ef530b8811cde7d5b2bf2b2e614.jpgMakes: 4 servings

All you need:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/images/MyPlateImages/JPG/myplate_green.jpg3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat

All you do:

1.       Whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and salt in a glass dish large enough for meat to lie flat. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

2.       Heat grill to high.

3.       Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Lightly oil grill rack (see Tip). Place steak on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make-Ahead Tip: Marinate the steak (Step 1) for up to 8 hours.

  • To oil a grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.

Nutrition Per serving: 230 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 45 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 23 g protein; 0 g fiber; 337 mg sodium; 284 mg potassium.

Source: www.eatingwell.com

 

Millet Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Hnr7Kpz9gYk/TnlGWL8F27I/AAAAAAAAECM/OEgM6tmAew0/s1600/Millet+Salad+1.jpgServes: 10 (1 cup size serving)

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained

1 tsp sea salt, divided

4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (about 8 ears),

    frozen defrosted corn

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup fresh lime juice plus 1 tsp zest

2 Tbsp chopped green onions

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tsp cumin

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

4 cups chopped tomato

1-2 diced avocado

Directions:

1.        Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add millet; cook 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently.  Add 2 ½ cups of water and ½ tsp salt; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until water is almost absorbed.  Stir in corn kernels; cook, covered, 5 minutes.  Remove mixture from pan and cool to room temperature.

2.       In a large bowl combine ½ tsp salt, cilantro, lime juice, green onions, olive oil and cumin.  Add the jalapeno peppers, tomato and avocado.  Gently stir in the millet mixture and toss to coat.

3.       Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 190 calories, 5.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein

 



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Jun052014

Grass-fed vs Grain-fed

Published by Katie Sawyer at 10:18 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | Nutrition

It’s officially grilling season which means Americans are on the hunt for quality beef cuts and possibly a fact or two about where their meat came from. During a recent interaction with consumers, I found myself explaining to more than one person grass-fed versus grain-fed beef.

 

We fed our cattle both grass and grain. About eight months of the year, our cows grazing in pastures, enjoying green grasses in the Kansas Flint Hills. The other four months – during the winter – our animals are on our farm and enjoy a diet of corn silage, dry distillers grain and hay. This is also the time they are calving so nutrition is vital for both mother and baby. By industry standards, this makes our cattle grain fed.

 

To be classified as grass-fed, cattle must only consume grasses. That means no grains, ever. Many people assume that grass-fed cattle produce healthier beef. This has been proven untrue.

 

A recent article outlines two studies comparing the nutritional component of grass-fed beef to grain-fed beef. The results showed a slight different in fats but no significant nutritional difference.

 

Ground beef from grass-fed cattle naturally contains more omega-3 fatty acids than from grain-fed cattle (three times as much), but is higher in saturated and transfat. At the other end of the spectrum is premium ground beef, such as from conventionally produced Certified Angus Beef or cattle with Japanese genetics (available as Wagyu or Akaushi ground beef). Ground beef from these cattle is very high in oleic acid, and also much lower in saturated and transfat, than ground beef from grass-fed cattle.” - Grass-Fed Vs. Grain-Fed Ground Beef -- No Difference In Healthfulness by Stephen B. Smith, Texas A&M University

 

Read the entire article at http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-ground-beef-no-difference-healthfulness

 

Consumers must also be aware that grass-fed does not mean anti-biotic-free or hormone-free. Producers of both types of cattle can use both resources to help treat sick cattle.

 

Some consumers believe there is a noticeable taste and texture difference between grass and grain-fed beef and therefore chose one over the other. For those that don’t have a previous bias or favorite, selecting a type of beef based on nutritional components means both are great options. And with both grass and grain fed, you will find 29 lean cuts to enjoy this summer grilling season.



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Apr252014

Spring is here

Published by Katie Sawyer at 7:41 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

When I think of spring, flowers, green grass and road races come to mind. I appreciate the foliage and chirping birds but I really love the opportunity spring provides to participate in a local road race nearly every Saturday morning.

 

This winter was a brutal one that kept me on my treadmill and off the dirt roads. But with the sun rising earlier and temperatures warming, I’m happily hitting the road, my dogs at my side, for morning training runs.

 

I purposely enroll myself in several road races throughout the spring and early summer months as motivation on those long, brutal, windy runs. I know that it takes sweat and determination during the daily runs to succeed in the weekend races. But outside of my running, there are several other factors that help create a productive racing season, nutrition being the most important.

 

Protein is a huge part of my diet and it becomes more so as I build my mileage. Because my husband and I raise cattle, we always have ground beef and various steak cuts in our freezer. That makes it easy and affordable to enjoy lean beef as often as we like.

 

Carbohydrates may get all of the attention but protein is essential to continued peak performances. Beef delivers the protein and nutrients that muscles crave for strengthening and rebuilding. My goal is to get an animal protein in every meal to keep my energy levels high, my huger at bay and my muscles satisfied.

 

I officially kicked off my spring racing season a few weeks ago and after a few Saturdays off, I’m ready and excited to hit the starting line and run my way through spring.



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Apr042014

Details, Details

Published by Heath Larson at 9:10 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

The start of the Boston Marathon is less than three weeks away.  It's crunch time.  Thankfully, the long training runs of 16 miles and longer are complete.  However, even with the best of training, there are many seemingly insignificant details that I will be busy dealing with before toeing the line on April 21st.  One example:

 

Electrolytes--The last time I ran the Boston Marathon was in 2009.  With only 4 or 5 miles to go, I just KNEW that something wasn't quite right.  But, spurred on by the raucous crowds, I was too stubborn to stop to figure it out.  In fact, I even quit stopping for water and Gatorade.  Bad idea.  When I finally drug my poor carcass across the finish line, I was quickly carted to the medical tent.  Elated about my finish but a bit "foggy" from the electrolyte imbalance, I was relieved when the staff cured me with a true miracle remedy: Two bags of the best potato chips I've ever tasted.  My electrolytes and hydration need to be dialed in on race day to prevent a reprise of this awful experience.

 

When I also think about the details of pacing strategy (math+hills+weather=confusion), crowds (Is it even possible to run fast in a crowd of 36,000?), blister avoidance (ouch), and chafing (even worse), it's easy to become overwhelmed.  However, to ignore these details is to invite disaster.

 

Most of us know that lean beef contains a large amount of muscle-building protein without a lot of calories.  But what about the details?  What about some of the unsung, dare I say, "forgotten" nutrients?

 

Zinc--Lean Beef is the number 1 food source for zinc. Many may know that zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system, but it also plays an important part in synthesizing protein.  How about that?  A high amount of protein, and an increased ability to process it too...all in that single 3 oz. serving of lean beef!

 

Vitamin B12--Lean beef is also the number 1 food source for vitamin B12.  This vitamin helps convert carbohydrates (which all runners love) into glucose (energy).  What more could a runner ask for?  Better hair in the finish line photo?!  Amazingly, vitamin B12 is important for healthy hair too!

 

I'm looking forward to putting all the details together for a solid race while representing Team Beef in Boston.  Many of them will have to come together at the last minute.  One thing, however, has already been decided:  There's nothing better than a steak the night before the race.

 



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Mar202014

National Nutrition Month

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 3:48 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

March is National Nutrition Month. The theme for 2014 is “Enjoy the taste of eating right.” The key to eating right is to combine both taste and nutrition to create healthy meals.  During busy weeknights, meals need to combine great taste and nutrition, along with convenience.  Lean beef is a tasty solution to this dinnertime dilemma.  With 29 cuts meeting the requirements for lean, beef is a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal.  Plus, lean beef is an excellent source of high quality protein, zinc and iron; and can be simple and easy to prepare.  Portion size is key, the recommended serving for beef is 3-4 ounces of cooked lean beef.  To complete your meal, aim to fill half of your plate with veggies and fruits, ¼ whole grain and one serving of low-fat dairy.  Try these winning recipes during your busy weeknights.

 

Buffalo-Style Beef Tacos - Combine cooked ground beef crumbles with buffalo wing hot sauce, as desired. Cook until heated through; spoon into hard or soft corn tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped carrots and celery. Drizzle with low-fat ranch or blue cheese dressing. Serve with Healthy Choice frozen yogurt and fresh or frozen berries.

 

Rock and Roll Beef Wraps

 

Rock and Roll Beef Wraps - Consumer -- A colorful way to introduce quinoa to your kids with ranch-seasoned Ground Beef and slaw.

A colorful way to introduce quinoa to your kids with ranch-seasoned Ground Beef and slaw.

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner)

1 cup water

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa

2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups packaged broccoli or coleslaw mix

4 medium whole grain or spinach tortillas (7 to 8-inch diameter)

Toppings (optional):

Apple slices, red bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, carrot slices, sliced almonds or chow mein noodles

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROCK AND ROLL BEEF WRAPS

1.       Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove drippings.

2.       Stir in water, quinoa, ranch dressing mix and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Stir in slaw; cook, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes or until slaw is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

3.       Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas; garnish with toppings, as desired. Fold over sides of tortillas and rolling up to enclose filling.

·         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.

Nutrition information per serving: 418 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 695 mg sodium; 41 g carbohydrate; 6.8 g fiber; 31 g protein; 6.4 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 5.6 mg iron; 19.6 mcg selenium; 6.6 mg zinc; 84.2 mg choline.

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

 

Asian Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry  -- Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Complete meal in minutes! 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:


1 ½ lbs. chuck tender fillet, cut across the grain into thin strips

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 tbsp. canola oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups assorted precut Asian veggies (if frozen, cook a few minutes longer)

3 tbsp. water

½ cup prepared stir-fry sauce, House of Tsang classic stir-fry is a good one

2 cups cooked hot brown rice

2 tbsp. dry-roasted peanuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Place the water and veggies in a large nonstick skillet.  Cover and cook over medium-high heat four minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Remove and drain.

  2. Heat the same pan over medium-high heat with both oils and garlic.  Add beef in batches; stir-fry 1-2 minutes until outside is browned.

  3. Return all beef and veggies to pan.  Add stir-fry sauce and heat through.  Spoon over rice.  Sprinkle with peanuts if desired.

    Nutrition Facts per serving (with ½ cup rice): 390 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1100 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 35 g protein *Recipe provided by The Beef Council



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Feb192014

What It Takes

Published by Heath Larson at 10:15 AM under Agriculture | Beef Team | Coffee Shop Talk | General

It's Time for the Winter Olympics!  And whether you're a curling fanatic or a downhill skiing fan, chances are strong that you heard about the Jamaican bobsled team's improbable run to this year's Olympic Games.  They qualified for the games for the first time since 2002, only to realize they had one week to raise $80,000 for team costs in order to compete at the games.  But nothing is impossible when you're a Jamaican bobsledder.  They raised the cash, and managed to compete in Sochi, against obstacles most would find insurmountable. 

 

The first ever Olympic Jamaican bobsled team was of course immortalized in the 1993 Disney Classic "Cool Runnings."  One of my favorite parts of the film occurs between the coach (Irv) and Sanka, who thinks he should be the driver, instead of his more dedicated friend, Derice: 

Irv: You see Sanka, the driver has to work harder than anyone. He's the first to show up, and the last to leave. When his buddies are all out drinking beer, he's up in his room studying pictures of turns. You see, a driver must remain focused one hundred percent at all times. Not only is he responsible for knowing every inch of every course he races, he's also responsible for the lives of the other men in the sled. Now do you want that responsibility?

Sanka: I say we make Derice the driver. 

Irv: So do I, Sanka. So do I.

 

This spring, I will be running the Boston Marathon, which is essentially a combination of a world class 3 hour foot race and a parade.  The weather will be nice (hopefully), and the crowd of 500,000 spectators will be incredibly supportive.  What few people realize is how much sacrifice, how much time "studying pictures of turns" each runner has put into that one single race.  Without a treadmill at home and no gym membership, I am often out running for 2-3 hours in very unfriendly late winter weather in preparation for Boston.  Two days ago, the wind was so strong on my 15 miler that I wasn't even sure I'd be able to finish.    However, that's the price that must be paid for a strong race in Boston.

 

In a similar vein, it's calving season on most ranches across the state.  While everyone loves seeing new baby calves take their first steps, few understand the sacrifice it takes on behalf of the rancher to keep each calf alive.  New calves must be protected from brutal late winter snowstorms and "rookie" heifers that don't know how to take care of them.  It's often the case that the rancher has to help pull the calf out by hand during labor.  And during calving season, there are no hours or schedules.  Ranchers are up at all hours of the night and day, sacrificing sleep and sanity, ensuring that the newest members of their herd (and their mothers) are safe and sound.

 

So whether you're sitting inside watching the luge, or out playing with your kids in the next winter storm, don't forget to say a prayer for the ranchers working overtime to protect their cattle from the elements.  And while our task isn't remotely as important, don't forget about the crazy spring marathoners trying to grind out another long training run in the cold!



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Feb132014

Heart Healthy Beef for You and Your Valentine

Published by Kassie Curran at 10:38 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

As we have shared many times on Kansas Beef Chat, lean beef is good for the heart. As part of the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study, individuals had a 10 percent decline in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol when they consumed lean beef as part of heart-healthy diet.

To celebrate your heart and Valentine’s Day, try one of these recipes using Tenderloin or T-Bone steaks. Not only are these beef cuts delicious, they are heart healthy, lean choices that are packed with nutrients including protein, zinc, vitamin B 12, vitamin B6, niacin, selenium, phosphorus, choline, iron, and riboflavin.

Spicy Five-Pepper T-Bone Steaks

Total Recipe Time:  60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 beef T-bone steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 16 ounces each)

Five-Pepper Seasoning:

3 tablespoons coarsely ground mixed peppercorns (black, white, green and pink)

2 teaspoons kosher or table salt

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Spicy Peppercorn Steak Sauce:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup beef broth

1/3 cup raisins

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Additional beef broth (optional)

1.  Combine Five-Pepper Seasoning ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Reserve 2 teaspoons for Spicy Peppercorn Steak Sauce. Set aside remaining mixture for seasoning beef steaks.

2.  To prepare Spicy Peppercorn Steak Sauce, heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until tender but not browned. Stir in ketchup, broth, raisins, vinegar, molasses, soy sauce and reserved 2 teaspoons Five-Pepper Seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. (Sauce will thicken slightly.)

3.  Place sauce in blender or food processor container. Cover; pulse on and off for slightly chunky texture. (For a thinner sauce, additional broth may be added 1 tablespoon at a time; pulse on and off after each addition.) Return sauce to saucepan; keep warm until ready to serve.

4.  Press remaining Five-Pepper Seasoning evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 14 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.

5.  Remove bones; carve steaks crosswise into slices. Serve with sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Cook's Tip:  Spicy Peppercorn Steak Sauce may be prepared ahead and frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To reheat, heat from frozen in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

Cook's Tip:  Mixed peppercorns are sold in specialty food markets and some supermarkets. If a four-peppercorn mix is not available, a three-peppercorn mix may be substituted. Or make your own mix by combining equal amounts of whole black, white, green and pink peppercorns.

To easily grind whole peppercorns, use a pepper mill or coffee grinder (used only for seasonings). They can also be crushed in a food-safe plastic bag. Place the peppercorns in the bag, squeeze out the air and seal. Use the bottom of a custard cup, rolling pin or side of a heavy pan to crush the peppercorns.

Cook's Tip:  Serve this classic steak with simple sides such as steamed broccoli and roasted new potatoes.

Nutrition information per serving: 335 calories; 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 48 mg cholesterol; 1984 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 3.1 g fiber; 26 g protein; 5.1 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 1.9 mcg vitamin B12; 4.5 mg iron; 9.8 mcg selenium; 4.6 mg zinc.

 

Grilled Beef Steaks with Espresso-Bourbon Sauce

Total Recipe Time:  35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 4 ounces each) or 2 Strip Steaks boneless, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)

Salt and pepper

Espresso-Bourbon Sauce:

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Combine all sauce ingredients, except pepper, in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened and reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper. Keep warm.

2.  Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill tenderloin steaks, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (top loin steaks 11 to 14 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with sauce.

Nutrition information per serving, using Tenderloin Steaks: 271 calories; 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 67 mg cholesterol; 658 mg sodium; 15 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 26 g protein; 7.2 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 1.4 mcg vitamin B12; 1.8 mg iron; 28.9 mcg selenium; 5.4 mg zinc; 95.1 mg choline.

Find these and more great beef recipes at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.

Eat Beef!!!

Kassie



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