Kansas

Beef Chat

May202015

How Do You Celebrate Beef Month?

Published by Kassie Curran at 7:54 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General

May is full of reasons to celebrate – finishing school, graduations, weddings, and rain. May is also Beef Month so there is even more to celebrate! I’ll share some of the ways I like to celebrate Beef Month and I hope you will celebrate it too.

 

Grill Out – Throw some burgers or steak on the grill, enjoy the beautiful weather and time with family and friends. There are plenty of great recipes here and here.

Enjoy the Scenery – Take a drive out to the country and take in the beautiful scenery. In Kansas, we’ve got lots of green grass at this time of year so I love to go out and enjoy the sights of cattle on grass.

Learn More About Beef – There is always more to learn about everything and many ways to do so. I like to ask questions of people who are more experienced than me in the beef industry. The Beef Council would be happy to get you connected to a rancher who you can talk to about raising beef or even going out to see how and where they raise beef. Another way to learn more about beef is by watching videos on the internet (from trusted sources of course!). This website has a great video on how beef gets from pasture to plate, as well as lots of other educational materials about beef.  

 

These are just a few ways I like to celebrate Beef Month, but there are so many more. I hope you enjoy these and will find your own ways to celebrate Beef Month. Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

 

Happy Beef Month!

 

Kassie



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May072015

Beef: A Mom’s Secret Weapon

Published by Katie Sawyer at 2:58 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

By Katie Sawyer

I’m a runner, a professional, an advocate and a wife. But most importantly, I’m a mother. I have a two-year-old son and he keeps me on my toes. In any given day I balance work, graduate school assignments, household duties, mom responsibilities and other odds-and-ends. I need energy to keep me going and meal options that keep me full without expanding my waistline.  

This Sunday, I will celebrate my mom and all of the moms who carry the weight of their kids, spouses and jobs on their shoulders; women who hit the ground running and don’t stop until the work is done and find the time and energy to fit 25 hours of work into a 24 hour day. For those mothers, time is at a premium and nutrition is everything.

In addition to celebrating mothers this weekend, the entire month of May is dedicated to celebrating beef. So it only makes sense to treat mom to a great, lean cut of beef.  Beef is a great protein source for busy mothers and the variety of cuts and preparation options means there is a beef option for every taste and budget. 

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board provides a guide to 29 cuts of beef classified as lean, meaning a single serving has less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. That’s important for those moms watching their waistlines.

And for those moms who need energy, all day every day, quality, low-calorie protein is essential. Every single cut of beef is loaded with protein. A single, three-ounce serving contributes less than 10 percent of calories but more than half of the daily value of protein and more than 10 percent of eight additional vitamins and minerals. Protein is vital to staying full and satisfied throughout the day and providing the energy moms need to tackle those tough, and sticky, jobs.

Beef is packed with 10 essential vitamins and nutrients and research shows that about 50 percent of women aged 20 years and older are not meeting their daily recommended intake of iron or protein. Sounds like it should be steaks for all. Women are often so busy taking care of others they forget to care for themselves and quick nutrient boost and well-rounded diet can go a long way in improving women’s health and well-being.

Every mom has one eye on the clock and the other on the family budget which means food choices must be efficient and cost-effective. Beef offers a variety of options, from steaks, to hamburger to roasts and ribs. The variety allows for beef at every meal and for any occasion.

Enjoy your mother this Mother’s Day, treat her to a quality beef meal and let her know how much you appreciate all she does.

101613Nutrient Power Fact Sheet.pdf (524.71 kb)



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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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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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Jan232015

Getting it Started

Published by Heath Larson at 10:17 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

Each year I take a mental and physical break from hard running between Halloween and New Year's Day.  The break allows me a chance to decompress and rest, so that when spring races roll around (and hard early spring training, for that matter), I'm ready to rock and roll. 

 

One thing I notice every year when I start training again is a big increase in appetite.  Especially first thing in the morning, when I get back to the house from a hard 6-8 mile workout.  Unfortunately, eating everything in sight (especially when there are still so many Christmas cookies left) doesn't bode well for fast distance running.  That said, a bowl of cereal on its own doesn't cut it, either.  So what's to be done?  When hunger calls, especially after a morning workout, I reach for a dose of tasty animal protein.  If time is tight before the kids wake up and the fridge is empty, I love making "egg in a hole," which is essentially just like it sounds...a cooked egg dropped in the middle of a slice of toasted bread.  And if the kids like it too!  But after a really hard run, it's time to double down on protein, taste, and satisfaction.  So, what I really love to do is take a few strips of last night's grilled steak and toss into my breakfast burrito...or omelet, depending on my mood. 

 

In doing so, I'm reaping two huge benefits of lean protein when I need them most:  hunger satisfaction and muscle recovery.  Of course, the recovery aspect helps me to "reload" for tomorrow morning's workout.  As a bonus, lean beef packs more protein into into fewer calories than any other protein rich food...plant or animal based.  And since I'm not hungry 30 minutes later, it keeps me from hunting for empty calories in the pantry at mid morning. 

 

And if I time it right, as soon as I finish, our kids will wake up, give me a hug, and say they're ready for a hearty, protein rich breakfast of their own.  I can't think of a better start to the day than that.



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Jan072015

Ancient Grains and Lean Beef: A Warming Combination

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 9:09 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

Ancient grains like farro are new to most Americans, but they have been around for over 2,000 years. Ancient grains are a delicious source of beneficial nutrients, and have a heartier texture and unique flavor. Pairing ancient grains with lean beef and warm veggies makes an easy and satisfying weeknight meal. 

LEARN TO LOVE

 

FARRO

  • Was once a staple in the ancient Roman diet, widely used in Italy

  • One cup provides 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber and 7 grams of filling protein.

  • Use in place of rice, add to soups, make a grain based salad – see the recipe below for a warming farro dish 

AMARANTH

  • Prized grain of Aztec civilization

  • Integrity of outer layer causes the grain to “pop” when chewed

  • Nutty, malty, peppery flavor

  • Sprinkle on lean beef salads

     

    FREEKEH

  • Traced back to the Mediterranean region, a form of roasted/cracked wheat

  • High in protein and fiber; lower carbohydrate content

  • Smokey, nutty flavor

  • Use in salads, pilaf as a side to steak, or with beef stir-fry

 

KAMUT

  • First grown in Asia or Egypt

  • 20-40% more protein than modern wheat; high in B-vitamins

  • Sweet, nutty, buttery flavor

  • Serve in place of long grain brown rice and pair with lean beef

     

    QUINOA (pronounced “keen-wah”)

  • Grown in the Andes mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru

  • Comes in a variety of colors such as red, tan or purple

  • Earthy, nutty flavor

  • Serve as a side dish or add to chili and soups as a thickener

 

BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

The most tender of them all, the Filet, is served beside a salad of faro, kale, dried cranberries and almonds.

Total Recipe Time: 35 to 40 minutes

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

INGREDIENTS 2 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 6 ounces each) 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided Salt 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth 1/2 cup pearlized farro 1 cup thinly sliced kale 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries 2 tablespoons sliced almonds 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Combine 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks. Combine beef broth, farro, remaining 2 cloves garlic and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in kale and cranberries. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and lemon juice. Season with salt, as desired. Meanwhile, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of steaks is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning once. Season steaks with salt. Serve with farro mixture.

 

2 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 6 ounces each)

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper, divided

Salt

3 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth

1/2 cup farro

1 cup thinly sliced kale

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

1.       Combine 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks.

2.       Combine beef broth, farro, remaining 2 cloves garlic and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in kale and cranberries. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and lemon juice. Season with salt, as desired.

3.       Meanwhile, place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of steaks is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning once.

4.       Season steaks with salt. Serve with farro mixture.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR BEEF FILETS WITH ANCIENT GRAIN & KALE SALAD

per serving: 550 calories; 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 110 mg cholesterol; 682 mg sodium; 59 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 47 g protein; 15.1 mg niacin; 1.1 mg vitamin B6; 2.0 mcg vitamin B12; 4.5 mg iron; 62.1 mcg selenium; 8.2 mg zinc; 161.8 mg choline.

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



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