Kansas

Beef Chat

Jan152016

Energy for Busy Families

Published by Katie Sawyer at 9:12 AM under Agriculture | General | Nutrition | Recipe

It’s 2016 and our farm suddenly became a little more crowded. We welcomed our second son, Owen, on Jan. 5. That means I have more than a few baby pounds to drop and hope to get back into a running regimen by the spring.  That goal should be made easier by our two-year-old son, Evan, who always seems to be running on all cylinders and keeps us on our toes.

 

Meanwhile, my farmer hubby is working around the clock to help our 300-some mother cows safely and successfully deliver their new calves. That means 12-15 hour workdays and the occasional all-nighters.

 

One my new year’s goals is to prepare more meals, not only to save a few bucks, but to provide healthy and hearty meals that my family can enjoy together. Eating healthy is essential to maintaining energy levels and right now, the hubs and I need all of the energy we can get!

 

Thankfully we always have a great supply of beef cuts on hand that I can turn to for an excellent source of protein. Beef can be part of quick, healthy, family-friendly meals – from pizza to stews to casseroles to pot roasts. This winter, I hope to put my cooking skills to the test and find lots of new recipes to satisfy my family’s nutritional and energy needs.

 

Here is an example of a great recipe for a family meal that will satisfy appetites of all ages and keep everyone running on all cylinders. For more recipes and meal ideas check out www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.

 

 

CHUCKWAGON BEEF & PASTA SKILLET

(Found on www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com)

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 pound Ground Beef
  2. 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  3. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  4. 1 can (13-3/4 to 14-1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth
  5. 1-1/2 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta
  6. 1 cup prepared hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
  7. 1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHUCKWAGON BEEF & PASTA SKILLET

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, bell pepper and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
  2. Stir in broth, pasta, barbecue sauce and 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is almost tender. Uncover; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR CHUCKWAGON BEEF & PASTA SKILLET

Nutrition information per serving: 445 calories; 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 79 mg cholesterol; 1307 mg sodium; 54 g carbohydrate; 1.6 g fiber; 36 g protein; 9.3 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 6.1 mg iron; 20.9 mcg selenium; 6.6 mg zinc; 86.24 mg choline.

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



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Jan062016

Feed Time

Published by Kiley De Donder at 3:19 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | Nutrition | Recipe

Over the weekend our family wrapped up the final Christmas gathering for the season. It was truly a joyous occasion! Along with the out of town siblings and cousins, came a solid storm of rain and sleet. Precipitation is welcomed 9 times out of 10 on the farm, but lately it’s turning into a nuisance. With the abundance of moisture we’ve received it makes for tougher conditions for the cattle and with shorter days, cold temps and hardly any sun it takes forever for the ground to dry up. We spend extra time feeding and providing shelter to minimize the stress of the conditions. Here’s an inside look at chore time from this weekend.

       

Cattle lined up at the bunks                         Big round bales of hay are rolled out for      pastured cattle to eat.

 

 It’s a fun change of pace to have everyone home on the farm during the holidays. There are always tons of fun and never a shortage of food. Another perk of big family gatherings, there tends to be a few leftovers. Not all families love leftovers, but ours seems to eat them just fine. So, I thought I’d share an extremely quick beef and sweet potato hash recipe that uses several common ingredients you’re likely to have on hand following a traditional family gathering on a Kansas farm… Hashes are a great way to use leftovers. The combination of ingredients is limitless and work great morning, noon or night. And at less than 350 calories per serving, you can enjoy it without the guilt of a big dish and all the “fixings”

 

For additional leftover recipe ideas visit beefitswhatsfordinner.com

 

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Kiley

 

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces cooked beef (such as steak, roast or pot roast), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2-1/2 cups)

1 large sweet potato, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons reduced-fat or regular dairy sour cream

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Chopped fresh cilantro


INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEFY SWEET POTATO HASH

Combine sweet potatoes, onion and taco seasoning in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add water. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender and water has almost evaporated, stirring once. Stir in oil; continue cooking, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender and begin to brown, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine sour cream and hot sauce in small bowl. Set aside.

Add beef to potato mixture. Continue to cook 5 minutes or until beef is heated through, stirring occasionally, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed to avoid sticking.

Garnish with cilantro, as desired. Serve with sour cream mixture.

Nutrition information per serving: 329 calories; 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 63 mg cholesterol; 387 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrate; 5.4 g fiber; 26 g protein; 3.0 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 2.6 mcg vitamin B12; 3.7 mg iron; 26.1 mcg selenium; 5.6 mg zinc; 4.7 mg choline.

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



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Dec112015

Fueling Up with Protein: Three Successful Strategies to Avoid Weight Gain

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 8:43 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

December may be one of the busiest months of the year, filled with parties and dinners and temptations lurking around every corner. If you are not careful it can be easy to leave the year with a few extra pounds to shed in January.  However, with a few simple strategies you don’t have to let this tempting time of year pack on the pounds.


1. Start your day with 25-30 grams of protein.  Research shows a high protein breakfast can reduce cravings and hunger throughout the day!  Check out the recipe below for Beef & Egg breakfast mugs.  Follow the first few steps on a day when you have more time, then you have enough to make four filling breakfast in minutes.

2. Choose protein, not carbs for munching.  Snacks can be a great way to ensure you don’t get too hungry and overeat at your next meal.  Just be wise and choose higher protein snacks like beef jerky or a slice of roast beef wrapped around string cheese.  I recommend aiming 10-15 grams of protein for in-between meal snacks.  Often my clients want to reach for carb-rich snacks like crackers, chips and granola bars.  However, these tend to leave my clients even hungrier an hour later, and then they reach for even more carb-filled snacks.  A viscous cycle that can be prevented by fueling up with protein instead.

3. Plan quick and easy lunches and dinners.  With all of the extra to-dos of the season a meal plan is often the first thing to go.  However, my clients find by taking the time to plan and shop for 2-3 easy lunches and dinners they free up time spent eating out or making extra trips to the grocery store.  Keep it simple – taco salads, meat sauce served over spaghetti squash, and Sloppy Joes served with green beans are three speedy dinner ideas that don’t require a recipe to follow.  Plus, the leftovers work great for the next day’s lunch! 

 

BEEF AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS

Total Recipe Time: 5 to 10 minutes (breakfast preparation and cook)
Makes 8 servings.

 


INGREDIENTS
1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped fresh vegetables such as tomato, baby spinach, bell pepper, zucchini or green onion
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack or American
8 large eggs
Salt and pepper (optional)
Toppings (optional):
Dairy sour cream, salsa, sriracha, ketchup

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEEF AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS

1. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Remove skillet from heat; let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Evenly divide beef and vegetables into eight food-safe quart-size plastic bags. Close securely and refrigerate up to 4 days.

2. For each serving, spray one 6 to 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; whisk with fork. Stir in 1 bag refrigerated beef-vegetable mixture.

3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30 seconds. Remove from oven; stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH 30 to 60 seconds or until egg is just set. Stir. Top with cheese. Let stand 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Toppings, if desired.

 

Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage:
Combine 1 pound ground beef (93% lean or leaner), 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 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.

Taco Seasoning Variation:
Prepare beef as directed above, substituting 1 packet (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix for herbs and seasonings in step 1.

• 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 AND EGG BREAKFAST MUGS
Nutrition information per serving: 178 calories; 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 225 mg cholesterol; 297 mg sodium; 2 g carbohydrate; 0.4 g fiber; 21 g protein; 4.9 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 1.6 mcg vitamin B12; 2.3 mg iron; 25.4 mcg selenium; 3.8 mg zinc; 188.6 mg choline.

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

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



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Oct012015

How We Roll

Published by Heath Larson at 7:08 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

During September, I used up some vacation time in order to spend more time at home with my family than ever before.  For many people, vacation is a welcome respite from the "grind" and a much needed chance to slow down a bit. 

 

But in the Larson household, that's just not how we roll.  We didn't just go camping, we went primitive tent camping for multiple nights, during the hottest weekend of the year.  We didn't just have friends over, we had a whole crowd of friends over, as well as a longtime friend visiting from out of state.  We didn't just watch a football game, we drove across the state to attend the Kansas City Chiefs home opener vs. the Denver Broncos, with our youngest child.  In between, there were birthdays, a baptism, and board games.  Yard work, house work, and homework.  The State Fair, corn harvest, and trail runs.  To say we went "all out" is a massive understatement.

 

In fact, by the time vacation was nearly over, we were completely exhausted, and more than ready for a return to our normal, (slightly) less hectic routine.  However, with our friend coming to visit from out of town, we needed to come up with a top notch meal that was good enough to be "special," but not a complicated, messy chore to prepare.  Beef to the rescue.  We pulled out a 9x13 pan of homemade ground beef enchiladas from the freezer, along with two lean beef steaks, and served a basic salad and some fruit as sides, and cooked both the enchiladas and the steaks on the grill.  The result?  Predictably perfect.  More time spent sitting by the grill catching up with our friend, less time prepping and cleaning.  And when the steaks come off the grill in our house, they don't last long.  We went from too exhausted to cook to an "all out" celebration (that the kids would still eat) quicker than you can say "tenderloin." 

 

Now THAT is how we roll.



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Sep232015

Would you pay a premium for omega-3 enhanced beef?

Published by Kassie Curran at 9:39 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

I recently completed my master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Kansas State where I was able to work on a research project that is very interesting to me so I wanted to share with you a little bit of what I found. Don’t worry, I won’t get into the econometrics with you, but the title, “Consumer Acceptance of Omega-3 Enhanced Beef in Surveys and Retail Trials” should give you an idea about what I was working on.

 

Motivation for this research stems from the fact that the retail beef industry will continue to be shaped by changing consumer demand for meat products and their increasing awareness of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as demand for healthier food. Meanwhile, the beef industry and its stakeholders continue to pursue improvements in cattle production practices, beef processing methods, and marketing strategies. One of the opportunities for the beef industry to have a more positive role in the “health and nutrition” foods sector is through further nutrient enhancement with various feeding methods, which can help to meet the increasing demand for healthy foods. In particular, by feeding cattle an algae supplement, in addition to a conventional feed ration, the level of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, can significantly increase (from 16 mg/4 oz. serving for conventional beef to 400 mg/4 oz. serving for enhanced beef in this study). However, the extent to which consumers are willing to accept and pay for the nutrient enhancement can either delay or propel the advancement of this practice.

 

 

The research in my thesis measures consumer acceptance and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for enhanced omega-3 steak and ground beef products compared to conventionally raised and grass-fed beef. Data was collected from a retail trial with a small retail outlet in Colorado, and a nation-wide survey which included a choice experiment. The analysis of this data provides a better understanding of consumer acceptance and willingness-to-pay for the omega-3 enhanced ground beef and steak products.

 

While the retail trial did not provide significant results due to inconsistent sales we did find that for omega-3 enhanced ground beef and steak, higher income is associated with a higher probability of purchase and that males are less likely to buy omega-3 enhanced product than females.
 

Results from the nation-wide survey indicate that overall acceptance and willingness to pay for omega-3 enhanced beef was below that of grass-fed beef, but above that of conventional beef. When additional information about omega-3s was provided, it increased willingness-to-pay for enhanced omega-3 enhanced ground beef, but had no impact on willingness-to-pay for enhanced omega-3 enhanced steak. Still, grass-fed beef was most preferred. Additionally, there was an evident preference for locally raised product, guaranteed tender steak, and 90/10 ground beef. Regarding food safety interventions with ground beef, steam pasteurization was associated with a higher than average utility, while irradiation was lower than average as expected.

 

The analysis showed that higher prices are associated with lower utility, which was expected, and females had a significantly higher WTP for grass-fed ground beef than males.  The average willingness-to-pay for grass-fed steak was estimated at $3.69/lb above conventionally raised product, compared to an estimated premium of $1.86/lb for omega-3 enhanced steak.  For ground beef the average premium for grass-fed product was estimated to be $1.27/lb compared to $0.79/lb for the omega-3 enhanced product. 

 

Though WTP premiums were found for omega-3 enhanced ground beef and steak, the estimates found are not necessarily high enough to justify the implementation of the enhanced omega-3 diet for cattle producers. If it costs less than these willingness-to-pay estimates to produce and market the omega-3 enhanced beef product, then this could be a viable production option for the beef industry. However, further research must be done to come to this conclusion.*

 

Remember, this is a brief overview of my research so if you are interested in learning more about the study, you can contact me with questions or view the complete document here: http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/20413

 

Eat Beef!
Kassie

*Research on cost of production is currently being conducted at Kansas State University.



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Sep162015

Families Who Eat Together Stay Healthy Together

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 8:16 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

September is National Family Meals Month™ and your Hy-Vee dietitians are encouraging you to eat one more meal a week at home together as a family.  Created by the Food Marketing Institute and its Foundation, this nationwide event hopes to educate all families on the importance of family meals and how greatly they benefit our youth.


Research has shown that eating more meals together at home can increase self-esteem, encourages healthier eating habits, improves grades and reduces the risky behavior among children of all ages.  Another positive that comes from families eating more meals together is that structured meals can reduce the risk of children suffering from an eating disorder or being overweight when three or more meals are eaten at home per week.


With the new school year beginning, you can use this time to get back on track with schedules and family meals.  Start with one meal at home per week and work to add more each week.  Remember to include foods from all the food groups at meals using the MyPlate way.  Keeping fruits and vegetables on hand whether they are fresh, frozen or canned can make meals simple by adding those as quick side dishes.  Lean beef can be a quick and easy start to any meal.  Ground beef cooks up fast and is super versatile.  See below for Quick & Easy Asian wraps and Southwest Sloppy Joes; both are sure to be new family favorites. Don’t forget the slow cooker isn’t just for wintertime; using your slow cooker during the week means supper is ready when everyone gets home!  Nothing beats the smell of a pot roast or beef stew greeting you when you walk in the door.


Family meal time is one thing that can be a challenge with all of our children’s activities and work schedules of parents.  Hy-Vee dietitians and Hy-Vee stores are here to help reduce the mealtime planning burden.  With services ranging from grocery shopping assistance and meal planning from your Hy-Vee dietitians from food demonstrations to cooking classes and the new addition of online shopping, Hy-Vee is here to help make our shoppers lives easier, healthier and happier. 


 Join in the celebration of National Family Meals Month™ because families who eat together stay healthy together.


ASIAN BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS

Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes

 Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 pounds Ground Beef (95% lean)

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup Asian peanut sauce

1 medium cucumber, seeded, chopped

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Salt and pepper

12 large Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads) or iceberg or romaine lettuce

Fresh mint leaves


INSTRUCTIONS FOR ASIAN BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Stir in hoisin sauce and peanut sauce; heat through.

  2. .Just before serving, add cucumber, carrots and torn mint; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve beef mixture in lettuce leaves. Garnish with mint.

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 ASIAN BEEF LETTUCE WRAPS

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 13 g fat; 97 mg cholesterol; 721 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 35 g protein; 8.4 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 4 mcg vitamin B12; 4.8 mg iron; 8.5 mg zinc. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc.

 

SWEET & TANGY SLOPPY JOES

Total Recipe Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Makes 4 servings


INGREDIENTS

1 pound Ground Beef (96% lean)

1 medium yellow, green or red bell pepper, chopped

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 can (11-1/2 ounces) regular or reduced-sodium spicy 100% vegetable juice

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 whole or honey wheat hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, split


INSTRUCTIONS FOR SWEET & TANGY SLOPPY JOES

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, bell pepper and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.

  2. Stir in vegetable juice, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally.

  3. Evenly place beef mixture on bottom half of each bun; close sandwiches.

  • 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.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR SWEET & TANGY SLOPPY JOES

Nutrition information per serving: 331 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 563 mg sodium; 43 g carbohydrate; 4.9 g fiber; 27 g protein; 7.2 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 4.6 mg iron; 39.2 mcg selenium; 6.3 mg zinc; 93.5 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.

Nutrition information per serving, using reduced sodium vegetable juice: 332 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 391 mg sodium; 43 g carbohydrate; 4.9 g fiber; 27 g protein; 7.2 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 4.4 mg iron; 39.2 mcg selenium; 6.3 mg zinc; 93.5 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.



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Aug202015

Time Well Spent

Published by Heath Larson at 5:34 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition

We are beginning our favorite time of the whole year in the Larson household.  For us, the months of September and October not only mean relief from the summer heat, but they also mean much more.  Fall is Church picnics, planting flowers and grass for spring, and football tailgates.  Fall is the State Fair, the first day of school, and carving pumpkins.  Fall is cross country running, our wedding anniversary, and honey crisp apples.  Each year we seem to get a little busier during this season, but each year, we look forward to it even more.  With all this fun and tradition wrapped up into just a few short weeks, our time is a very valuable commodity.

 

My favorite 10k race of the entire year is held in the middle of September.  The awards are handmade, the mountains of post-race cookies are homemade, and you can even bet a six-pack of your favorite beverage against the race director on how fast you finish the brutally tough course.  Much of the race is run in deep sand, and what isn't sandy is usually steep and rocky!  In between the sand and rocks are 4 water crossings, two of which are deep enough to swim in.  This is not a course where you go to set records!  But afterward, sharing "war stories" from the course over a cookie or two with the other finishers, you realize that you enjoyed every brutal minute in a way that's completely different from your plain old road race.  It's a truly eclectic, yet competitive group of runners that shows up to this race, so you never know who you're going to meet or what story you will hear!  Time well spent.

 

While we grill at least once per week year round, we especially love grilling during the fall.  Growing up, one of the reasons I loved seeing my father fire up his black Weber charcoal grill was that it took a while to get the coals started and the cooking done.  Why?  Because in those minutes, a game of catch in the yard was easy to squeeze in.  Today, we try to do the same thing with our children while heating up the grill.  There's bubbles to be blown, tag to be played, and some late tomatoes to be picked.  Those precious few minutes of truly slowing down and connecting are what make us who we are as a family.  And the food can't be beat, either!

 

It takes a great deal of time and sacrifice to train for my favorite race of the year, and there are easier, more accessible races out there, but the reward of camaraderie and challenge is too much to pass up.  On a similar note, it would be easier for us to look for a quick, less healthy, more processed food option for our family meals...but it wouldn't be any tastier, nor would it bring us together in the same way.  Lean beef on the grill is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, a welcome reward after a hard day of over seeding the lawn, and a satisfying, nutrient packed recovery meal after a brutal 10k run.  Now that's what I call quality time.



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Jul092015

Brain food

Published by Heath Larson at 4:30 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

It has been a notably less active year thus far, in terms of my running.  Even though I've been able to squeeze in short runs 3-4 times per week, I haven't entered a single race.  Our family is definitely in a period of transition, as we welcomed our third child about six months ago.  Career wise, I have spent substantial time preparing for several important tests that are coming up this fall.  Our oldest child will be attending her first and only year of pre-kindergarten classes in six weeks.  From top to bottom, we are all learning about tasks and life experiences that we have never attempted before.  Mentally, we are all stretching to accomplish more than ever before!

 

No matter how busy we are though, we have to take a pause to eat.  Of course, this is especially true for our growing, perpetually-hungry children, but it's also true for me.  Whenever I've tried to "power through" without a solid meal, I find myself quickly falling flat.  My mood falls apart, my focus is gone, and my motivation falls to nil.  This is especially true if I haven't been able to squeeze in a satisfying meal featuring lean beef for some time.  Why is this?

 

First off, our brain uses 20% of the energy we put in our body.  That's amazing, considering it only accounts for 2% of body mass!  Our brain truly needs food.  But what kind of food?  A hugely important nutrient for brain function is vitamin B12.  Some proven symptoms of a small deficiency in B12 are fatigue and and poor memory.  Vitamin B12 deficiency has even been linked to depression and Alzheimer's.  Yikes!  So where can we find this all-important nutrient?  Interestingly enough, there are virtually zero plant sources of B12.  Now, for the good news!  Lean beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, providing well over 30% of the recommended daily allowance per serving.  Therefore, in addition to the hunger-crushing, muscle-building benefits of protein, beef also helps fuel our most important muscle:  The brain!  So, whether you're crunching numbers for a new business venture, or trying to prepare your children for success in school, reach for lean beef.  Your brain is hungry!



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Jun252015

Healthy Grilling & Sides for Fourth of July

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 3:04 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

The Fourth of July is a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy delicious lean beef.  If you are watching your waistline, follow these simple tips to make your cookout tasty and nutritious.

 

Marinade – Lean cuts like sirloin and round are usually less tender and flavorful than a ribeye.  So, to boost flavor and tenderness try a marinade.  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. 

 

Build a better Burger – if you are going the burger route make sure to choose 90% lean or leaner ground beef.  Many companies offer low-calorie bun choices that are 80-100 calories.  Toppings can make or break your burger.  Try choosing lower fat cheeses like provolone or mozzarella.  Better yet, Sargento® makes an Ultra-thin cheese slice to help with portion control.  Load up with veggies like lettuce, tomato, onions, mushrooms, peppers and pickles.  For condiments mustard is the best choice.  If choosing ketchup or BBQ, make sure to watch the sugar.  If you must have mayo or salad dressing, choose the olive or canola based ones, or a light option.

 

Slim up your Sides

 

Go Greek - Swap half or all of the mayo in your salad recipes for plain Greek yogurt.  Make sure to use a good quality brand like Fage® to avoid it being overly tangy. 

 

Watch the Sugar – Canned baked beans, and many recipes for baked beans have a ton of sugar.  Try making your own using a lower sugar BBQ sauce like Bigg’s or Jack Stack. 

 

Choose Whole Grains – If making a pasta salad, try swapping the enriched pasta for a less processed product like quinoa, millet or bulgur.  These grains will give your salad a fiber boost, plus they add a great texture and nutty flavor to your dish. 

 

Double the Veggies – Half of our plate should be fruits and vegetables.  Doubling the amount of vegetables in your sides will help you achieve this goal. 

 

 

Citrus-Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs

 

Makes 4 servings

 

Cubes of Top Sirloin are marinated for flavor in a mixture of fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange peel, cilantro and smoked paprika. They are then grilled alongside skewers of watermelon, peaches, and mango.

 

INGREDIENTS 1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick 1 medium orange 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) 4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums Salt

Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once. Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick

1 medium orange

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums

Salt

Directions

1.       Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely.  Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

2.       Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers.

3.       Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once.

4.       Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

 

Nutrition information per serving: 239 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 70 mg cholesterol; 57 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g fiber; 27 g protein; 11.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 2.1 mg iron; 31.0 mcg selenium; 5.0 mg zinc; 107.1 mg choline.

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

 

Healthier Potato Salad

Serves: 5

Ingredients:


1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

1 lb. radishes, cut into ¾ inch pieces

Salt and Pepper (can use celery salt)

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup light mayonnaise (I used Olive Oil Mayo)

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)

1 celery rib, chopped fine

1 1/2 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish

1 Tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard

2 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin

Directions:

1.      Bring potato and radish pieces, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover potatoes and radishes by 1 inch to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes.

2.      Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain potatoes thoroughly, then transfer to large bowl. Drizzle vinegar over hot potatoes and gently toss until evenly coated. Transfer 3/4 cup potato/radish mixture to medium bowl; reserve. Refrigerate remaining potatoes/radishes until cooled, about 30 minutes.

3.      Using potato masher or fork, mash reserved hot potatoes/radishes with 3 tablespoons reserved cooking water until smooth, adding remaining cooking water as needed. Stir mayonnaise, yogurt, celery, relish, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into mashed potato. Refrigerate mixture until cooled, about 15 minutes.

4.      Add cooled potato dressing to cooed potatoes, stirring until evenly coated. Stir in scallions, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g carb, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

 

Lower Sugar BBQ Baked Beans

Serves: 15

Ingredients:


2-3 slices bacon

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 can pinto beans, no salt added

1 can navy beans

1 can black beans, no salt added

1 can kidney beans, no salt added

8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce

1 ½ cups Biggs BBQ sauce, or another lower sugar BBQ

1 Tbsp. molasses

1-2 pkts of stevia

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

Directions:

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Combine bacon, onion and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.  Spray a 2-qt. baking pan with nonstick spray and place the beans in the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Note: this can be made in a slow cooker, just stir all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours. 

Nutrition Facts per serving: 115 calories, 3 g fat, 300 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein



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Jun102015

Grill Your Fruit & Eat it Too

Published by Robin Kleine at 8:34 AM under Coffee Shop Talk | General | Nutrition | Recipe

One of our favorite summer time meals is a grilled steak, accompanied by fruits and vegetables. Any time this office working girl gets outside is a plus … and around the grill is one of my places to be. As an added bonus, June is fresh fruit and vegetable month.

 

Watermelon is a summer staple at our house; there is always one in my fridge. But sometimes it can be monotonous, so I wanted to find a new way to eat the juicy red fruit.

 

I had heard good things about grilling watermelon and decided to try it myself. Result: it was delicious.

 

Plus, it’s easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

 

Here’s how:

  • 8 slices seedless watermelon wedges, cut 1 ½ inches thick, no rind
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

 

Lightly sprinkle the wedges on both sides with the salt. Stand the wedges on their edges on a rack over a sink or pan and let them drain for half an hour.

 

Preheat the grill to high.

 

After the watermelon has drained, rinse each piece under cold running water. Place each piece between two folded paper towels and gently but firmly press to remove excess water. You should stop just when you feel the watermelon begin to crunch.

 

Brush the watermelon lightly on both sides with the olive oil. Grill over high heat until grill marks have formed and the melon is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

 

Remove from grill and sprinkle with sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper.

 

*Recipe courtesy of JanuaryBride on www.food.com [http://www.food.com/recipe/grilled-watermelon-317554]



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