The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Roast Beef ‘lil grillers

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Cold weather and comfort food cravings are among us.  Nothing satisfies these cravings like a hot soup and sandwich combo.  So simple and satisfying, this classic duo simply can’t be beat!  With all family favorite recipes, it’s always refreshing to find new ways to present them.  This quick and easy twist on the grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect way to get the kids in the kitchen.  Let’s make family mealtime less of a chore and more of a memory! Have fun with this recipe and enjoy!

For more delicious comfort food recipe inspiration, click here! 

Ingredients:
4 slices whole grain bread
softened butter
deli-style roast beef
4 slices of cheese
Soup to serving with

Directions:
1. Using a rolling pin, flatten bread slices. Tip: let the kiddos help here!

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2. Lightly butter one side of the flattened bread.
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3. Flip bread and top with roast beef and cheese.

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4. Starting at one end, roll up bread and place in a heated skillet.
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5. Quarter turn sandwiches as they grill on each side until fully cooked.

6. Serve with your favorite soup and enjoy!

Autumn Stuffed Beef Squash

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You know I wasn’t going to get by without doing a fall-themed recipe! This one has it all!  Savory acorn squash, sweet Honey Crisp apples and the satisfying flavor of beef all come together in a festive presentation that’s perfect for hosting or just a fun weeknight meal for your family.

This is a busy time of year, but it’s important to keep family mealtime a priority.  Making home-cooked meals or simply sitting down together as a family to eat is a weekly goal in our home.  Picking a new recipe to try, letting your kids help prepare the meal or set the dinner table are all ways to keep family mealtime a tradition in your home. For more family meal ideas, click here!

Autumn Stuffed Beef Squash
Serves 4-5
Ingredients:
2-3 Acorn squash
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup diced onion
1/2 Cup chopped celery
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 Tbsp dried Rosemary
Dash salt and pepper
1 apple, chopped
1/2 Cup dry quinoa
1/2 Cup water
Mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Slice both ends off squash and remove seeds.  Be careful not to slice too much from the bottom, just enough to create a balanced bottom for stability.  Place on a microwave safe plate, open end facing down.  Cook on high for 8 minutes.

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2. While squash cooks, heat olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet.  Add onion and celery and sauté for several minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly.  Season with rosemary, salt and pepper.
5. Mix apples, quinoa and water to beef mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.  Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
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6. Remove squash from microwave and place in a sprayed baking dish.
7. Fill each squash with beef mixture and cover with cheese.
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8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

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9. Enjoy!

it’s Crocktober!

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Crocktober (crockpot + October) season is here!  From PSL’s to fashion, football and food- what’s not to love about this time of year!?  Cooler temps mean comfort foods are quickly making their way back into our weekly dinner menus. We know crockpots are the simplest way to prepare some of our favorite recipes- because what’s more comforting than coming home to a warm and delicious meal that you and your family can immediately sit down to enjoy.

A recent slow cooker cooking class held in Brookings featured a recipe that you can prepare ahead of time and take from freezer to slow cooker in the matter minutes.  With tasty and nutritious ingredients such as lean beef, quinoa, peppers and beans- it’s a recipe your family is sure to love!

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We had such a great time hosting our slow cooker cooking class that we’re planning more! Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for upcoming dates and locations!

In the meantime, enjoy this recipe for Brookings Bobcat Beef Stew and visit http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com for more great slow cooker recipes to enjoy this Crocktober!

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Power Up Breakfast Bowl

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The secret’s out.  We need more protein.

As consumers we’re paying closer attention to nutrition labels (or at least taking note of numbers listed other than just calories).  Consequently, food merchandizers are onto us and marketing strategies have shifted to emphasize protein content in foods.  Lucky for us, our beef product is notorious for protein and we’re proud of that!  Not only is lean beef a tasty and nutrient-packed source of protein, it’s also considered a high-quality protein, which not all foods labeled for protein can tout.

Here’s why:

What is High-Quality Protein?
When it comes to choosing proteins, it’s important to realize that all proteins are not created equal. High-quality or complete proteins contain all the indispensable amino acids in the appropriate amounts needed by humans.  The quality of a protein is also related to its digestibility, and animal proteins are highly digestible. For example, meat and cheese have a digestibility of 95 percent, whereas cooked split peas are about 70 percent digestible.  Beef, milk, yogurt, pork, eggs, cheese, fish and poultry are complete high-quality proteins that contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle mass and manage weight, sarcopenia, osteoporosis/osteopenia, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. These animal proteins are nutrient powerhouses, providing the essential vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.

Here’s a recipe that’s packed with high-quality proteins that will surely power up your day!

Power Up Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cups kale, chopped
1 Cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
4-6 large eggs

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef, draining and rinsing any excess fat.
2. Add onion, red pepper, mushrooms, kale and yogurt to ground beef.  Mix together and cover.  Reduce heat and let simmer.
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3. Meanwhile, prepare eggs as desired.
4. Remove beef mixture from heat and top with eggs.
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5. Serve and enjoy!

Crustless Meat Lovers Pizza

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And just like that, summer is closing in.  The school year has started (or soon will) and fall is in the air.  This time of year has the tendency to overwhelm us.  Getting ourselves and our families back into a routine is a task much easier said than done.  While you may still be scrambling to scratch off the last few summer bucket list items, I’m sure you’ve also thought ahead for what’s to come.  Ball games, dance recitals, practices and more- getting a wholesome meal on the table at the end of the day is never an easy feat.  But before you resort to pre-cooked convenience foods, consider the short-cut creations that help make putting a nutritious home-cooked meal on the table a reality.

Try this recipe for “Crustless Meat Lovers Pizza”.  We love the steam pouch cauliflower crumbles as a quick crust alternative to the classic meat lovers pizza recipe that every family enjoys.  If you’re consuming fewer carbs or trying to add more veggies into your diet- give this protein packed recipe a try! It’s simple to make and can be on the table in under 30 minutes!

Crustless Meat Lovers Pizza
Ingredients
1 bag cauliflower crumbles (or whole cauliflower head, diced)
1 lb. lean ground beef
Italian seasonings
1 Cup pizza sauce
1 Large egg, beaten
Shredded Cheese
Additional toppings of choice; Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, Sausage, mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Cook cauliflower in microwave according to directions.

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3. While cauliflower cooks, brown the ground beef.  Drain and rinse any excess fat.
4. Add Italian seasoning and pizza sauce.  Stir until evenly combined and reduce heat.  (If you’re using extra veggies in this recipe, add them here!)
5. In a large bowl, mix the steamed cauliflower crumbles with an egg. Press cauliflower mixture into the bottom half of a sprayed muffin tin and top with ground beef mixture.

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6. Cover with shredded cheese and additional toppings of choice.
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7. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden-brown.

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8. Enjoy!

Farmers Market Beefy Avocado Toast

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Much like fashion, food trends too.  From kale to quinoa, these termed “super foods” have made their way into the spotlight and used as ingredients to enhance the nutritional benefits of a meal or snack.  While we agree that kale, quinoa and other super foods are all worthy of their claim to fame, we would like to nominate lean beef!  A single 3 oz. serving provides 10 essential nutrients including 25g of protein with less than 10 grams of total fat.  All of this in about 150 calories- what more could a super food stand for?! Oh, and flavor?  We got that covered too! 🙂

Avocado toast has been a hott super food this summer as a simple meal or snack.  We suggest accessorizing your next avocado toast with deli-style roast beef as the next big trend!

Farmers Market Beefy Avocado Toast
Ingredients:
Whole grain bread
Ripened avocado
Deli-style Roast Beef
Sliced cucumbers
Crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Toast whole grain bread
2. Spread ripened avocado on evenly.
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3. Top with deli-style roast beef
4. Add sliced cucumbers
5. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes
6. Enjoy!
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Mom’s Taco Salad

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Move over crushed Doritos, there’s a new taco salad in town.  It’s full of satisfying protein and fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, whole grains and healthy fats.  The classic taco salad that we as moms know and love, is much overdue for a makeover.  Our palates have matured and we’ve also become wiser with our food choices.  We know that lean beef provides us with high-quality protein, beans are full of fiber, quinoa is a powerful grain and avocados host healthy fats.  Pile those ingredients high on a bed of fresh greens and Mom’s Taco Salad has never looked so good!

Like moms today compared to years ago, beef has evolved over time to accommodate health concerns and priorities.  We cook differently than our mothers and grandmothers and ranchers are raising cattle differently as well.

Changes in cattle breeding and fat trimming methods have resulted in increased availability of leaner beef. Today, more than two-thirds (69%) of beef sold at retail, including popular cuts like Sirloin steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95% lean Ground Beef, meet the government guidelines for lean.

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What most people find surprising is that less than 10% of saturated fat and total fat in the diet comes from beef, and the total and saturated fat content from trimmed steak has declined throughout the past 50 years.  For example, the total fat content for a completely trimmed Sirloin steak has declined 34% from 1963 to 2010 and the saturated fat content has declined 17% between 1990 and 2010.

Let’s embrace change, alter our diets and consume wholesome and nutritious foods that nourish our bodies with only the best nutrients!

Mom’s Taco Salad

Ingredients:
Lean Beef Steak (such as Sirloin, Flank or T-Bone) or 95% lean Ground Beef
1 Cup quinoa
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
4 Cups romaine lettuce
1-2 avocados, cubed.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro
1/4 onion, chopped
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp dried oregano
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions: 
1. If using a lean beef steak, a marinade will add great flavor and also tenderize.  The Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe above contains an acidic base which would provide the required tenderizing agents, so I used it as my marinade.  Pour 1/2 of the vinaigrette into a food safe plastic bag and reserve the rest.  Add steaks to marinade and coat evenly.  Place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.  Be sure to pat the steaks with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid prior to placing them on the grill.  This will help prevent flare-ups during the grilling process.  Remember to check in the internal cooking temperature with a meat thermometer for desired doneness.  (Medium Rare 140° Medium 160°)

2.  If you’ve chosen ground beef, brown thoroughly and drain any excess fat.  Feel free to add any desired seasonings or the dry ingredients of the vinaigrette here!
3. To prepare quinoa, combine with 2 cups of water and cook over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Next combine quinoa, beans, tomatoes and onions.  I don’t have garden vegetables yet, so I took a short cut and used fresh pico 🙂

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5. Your steaks should be done cooking by this point.  Remove them from the grill and allow them to rest for several minutes before slicing.  This rest period will allow the flavorful juices to evenly distribute through the steak and prevent them from pouring out onto your plate.

6. As your steaks rest, dice avocado into cubes.  Then slice steak into thin strips.
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7. Add washed lettuce to your plate.  Top with quinoa, bean and tomato blend then add sliced steak and avocado.
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8. Drizzle with desired dressing of choice, or the delicious homemade Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe from above!

#NationalHamburgerDay- Build a Better Burger!

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If you haven’t heard it by now, we’re happy to say “Happy National Hamburger Day!”  We don’t feel as though a designated day to enjoy a juicy burger is necessary, but we won’t say no to it either! 🙂 Burgers are a part of Americana. It’s what we do and it’s who we are! Farmers and ranchers across the country pour their heart and souls into the beef they produce, assuring that we can feel confident putting a safe and wholesome product on the table to nourish our families.

Burgers often get pegged as an indulgence meal or guilt-food.  While there are certainly some versions out there that can be, burgers can also be a very healthy, light and nutrient-rich meal!  We all have our grilling methods and go-to toppings for burgers, but here are a few steps to consider the next time you’re building your burger.

Step 1: Select your Ground Beef patty.  Try 93% lean or leaner Ground Beef, plus an egg white and a dash bread crumbs.
Step 2: Mix ingredients together and form into patties.  Add some mini sliders for the kids, too!
Step 3: Place onto the grill at medium heat.  Cook for 7-9 Minutes for 1/2 inch thick patties, flipping only once!
Step 4: Grab your meat thermometer and check the internal cooking temperature by inserting it horizontally into the thickest part of the burger (medium 160°).
Step 5: Try and avoid pressing down onto the burgers- savor the juicy flavor!
Step 6: Choose fresh condiments to top off our perfected patty! Some favorites in our house; garden tomatoes, sliced avocado, red onion and jalapeños! Cutting back on carbohydrates?  Grab your fork and enjoy your burger bun-less or use a butter lettuce or romaine leaf and make a delicious and refreshing wrap!

See these steps in action here: https://youtu.be/mRDNq6_lB3Q?list=PL5bwD4nF2T_4u0xZOg4qnMZKMfaXaUSkk

Ready to fire up the grill and make your best burger yet?! Here’s some tasty inspiration!
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Citrus-Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs

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We are nearly two weeks into Beef Month and we hope you’re having as much fun celebrating as we are!  Between cooking demonstrations, farm tours, recipe sampling and the protein challenge– we’ve been busy promoting all things beef and we’ve got more great events ahead! Check out our event calendar to see if we’ll be near you this May!

I’ve been busy traveling around to local retailers promoting healthy beef picnics, just in time for outdoor summer grilling!   Eating dinner on the deck or picnic-style in our yard is something I always look forward to this time of year.  My daughter loves having “pin-yicks” and helping me carry our food and dishes outside for dinner.  Memories made around the dinner -or picnic- table are ones you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.  Summer is a busy time of year for us all.  Be sure to make time to dine, rather than just eat with your family.

Today’s featured blog recipe is perfect for summer grilling.  It’s the recipe I’ve been featuring in our grocery store promotions and it’s been a big hit!  It uses a simple, yet flavorful marinade and fresh, colorful fruit with tender chunks of Top Sirloin.  This recipe, along with grilled vegetables, a fresh quinoa salad and low-fat frozen yogurt pops as desert would be a great way to enjoy outdoor dining as well and a nutrient-rich and well-rounded meal.

Citrus- Marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs
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Ingredients:
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Instructions: 
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Beef & Quinoa Meatballs

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Spring is in full swing and so is your schedule! From band concerts to soccer games and track meets- it’s a hectic time of year.  When we’re short on time it’s easy to resort to fast food or processed meals that can be ready in a flash, but provide us very little nutrition.  It’s recipes like today’s that help keep me and my family from frozen pizza dinners on repeat!

Protein is typically the ingredient that takes the longest to prepare and what ultimately keeps us from preparing a well-balanced and nutritious meal.  If you know you have a busy week ahead, take a little time and prepare for it.  Make-ahead options like these “Beef & Quinoa Meatballs” are great to keep on hand and can easily be incorporated into a variety of meal options or snacks.  Serve over spaghetti squash or whole grain noodles with marinara sauce for dinner or top them over your favorite mixed greens as a flavorful and satisfying salad at lunchtime.

These are super easy to make and having a high-quality protein at arm’s reach for meals and snacks is all it takes to stay on track and successfully manage your weight.

Interested in learning more about the importance of getting adequate protein into your diet?  Check out the #ProteinChallenge and be sure to watch for our upcoming blog post to help you get started! 

Ingredients
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 Cup cooked quinoa
1 Cup broccoli slaw
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash of salt & pepper

Directions
1. Prepare quinoa.  (Bring 1 Cup of water to a boil and add quinoa.  Cover and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until most water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Drain any excess water and fluff with a fork.)
2. Preheat oven to 450°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Combine all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and mix thoroughly.  I went with the pre-packaged broccoli slaw in this recipe to speed up the process, however you can use any shredded vegetable of your choice!   (I used my hands to mix.)
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4. Shape into 12 to 15 balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
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5. Cook for approximately 15 to 17 minutes, or until the internal cooking temperature has reached 160°.
6. Enjoy!
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