The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Beefy Breakfast Bites

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Hello Again!

I’m back with another “convenience” recipe, this time for breakfast: the most important meal of the day!  A bit cliche, but so very true!  Not only is breakfast important for you, but it is as equally important for kids to eat a balanced breakfast before heading off to school.  Including protein, such as beef, at breakfast will not only help you meet your daily high-quality protein requirements, but it will also help keep you feeling satisfied throughout the morning.  So although processed pastries and cereals are easy to grab as we’re heading out the door, they will leave us with that hungry feeling shortly after. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

This recipe is perfect for the hustle and bustle of busy weekday mornings when you’re trying to get yourself and everyone else out the door.  In fact, you can even make these on Sunday evening and keep them in the fridge to heat up in the mornings.  Hello :30 second healthy breakfast!! Because if I’ve learned anything from becoming a mom, it’s to always be prepared. And although it’s impossible to be ready for everything the day will bring (i.e., diaper explosions, etc.) at least you can sleep well at night knowing you have a nutritious breakfast waiting in the fridge for your family to enjoy in the morning!

Let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
I will first list the necessities of the recipe:
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
6 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
Dash Salt & Pepper

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The optional ingredients would include any veggies that
you would like to add to your bites.
I included the following:
Tomato
Peppers
Mushrooms
Jalapeños 🙂
Spinach

Directions:
These are super easy to make and I’ll even include a couple of ways to speed up the recipe!

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees,

2. Brown your lean ground beef.

No time to brown your beef? No problem! I found these Hormel Pizza Toppings Ground Beef Crumbles that come precooked! They would work great for this recipe.

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3. Combine your eggs, milk and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together.

4. Fill your non-stick muffin tin with the egg mixture, about 3/4 full.  I sprayed mine with olive oil cooking spray prior to filling and they came out effortlessly.

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5. Add your lean ground beef into each tin.

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6. Add any additional veggies you wish at this time.  Then top with shredded cheese.  As you can see, not all of mine are the same which is perfect for families with picky eaters >>>my husband!

No time to slice and dice your fresh veggies? No problem! Add fresh salsa to each tin instead 🙂

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7. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

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8. Serve these delicious and nutritious beefy breakfast bites to your family with a side of low-fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit and a slice a whole wheat toast and you have a completely balanced breakfast that meets the MyPlate Guidelines- Hooray!!

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Nutritionals:
Serving Size: 2 Muffins
Calories: 190
Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 110 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Protein: 16 g

Thanks for stopping by and be sure and come back soon 🙂

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Deering Ranch: Family Tradition Filled with Passion.

Meet the Deering Family. Ranchers out of Hereford, SD who are passionate about producing a safe and wholesome beef product that you can feel good about feeding your family.

Blue Apple Nut Steak Wraps

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Ready or not, here it is- back to school! Time to get back into a routine and on a schedule. With all of life’s chaos, don’t let you or your family’s nutrition take a backseat!  Making time to provide healthy meals should be a top priority in your household.

Knowing this isn’t the easiest concept to incorporate into your daily routine, I’m featuring a very convenient product in this week’s recipe made by Tyson; Grilled & Ready Seasoned Steak Strips.  These are wonderful for when you are short on time and still want to include a wholesome protein source in your meal!

Based upon the feedback from our Facebook & Twitter accounts I decided to create a wrap recipe: Blue Apple Nut Steak Wraps.  This recipe is perfect for a simple dinner or an easy lunch to pack for the kiddos or yourself!

This one is pretty short & sweet…so let’s get started!

Ingredients:

1 bag Tyson Steak Strips
1 Fuji Apple
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Spring Mix Greens
Blue Cheese Crumbles (not your fav? sub a sharp cheddar or feta!)
Chopped Walnuts
Viadlia Onion Dressing

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Directions:

1. This step is optional, as you could serve this as a cold wrap.  But if you would like to heat the steak, warm it in a skillet on the stove top for only a few minutes.  Keep in mind you don’t have to cook it, just warm it.
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2. If you are serving your wrap warm, you could also warm your tortillas by placing them on a plate in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel.  I like these tortillas because they provide a good balance of nutrients including whole grains with plenty of fiber to keep you feeling full!

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3. Chop your apple into small dices.
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4. Construction time! (chopping your apple is literally your only prep for this recipe)
Spread the steak strips in the middle of the tortilla, top with chopped apple & greens.  Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and chopped pecans.  Drizzle with vidalia onion dressing.

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5. Roll up & enjoy!!

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How easy & simple was that!?

I hope you find the complimentary flavors & textures of this wrap as enjoyable as I did!!  In fact, I plan to use the remainder of my ingredients and make this as a hearty salad!

Nutrition Per Serving:
Calories: 530
Fat: 33 g
(13 g Polyunsaturated & 6 g Monounsaturated- remember, healthy fats!!)
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Protein: 36 g

Thanks for stopping by and as always, feel free to leave a note if you tried this recipe out at home! I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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Mexi-Mango Sirloin Quinoa Salad

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Welcome back my foodie friends! I have to admit, I’m really enjoying these recipe blogs!  I get my lil’ apron on and go into Rachel Ray mode 🙂 So as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep cookin’ it up!

I asked you guys via Facebook & Twitter (thanks for voting, by the way!) which recipe you wanted me to feature this week, the Mexi-Mango Sirloin Quinoa Salad or Stuffed Beefy Grilled Green Peppers.  The quinoa salad won, but no worries- the stuffed green peppers will make an appearance at some point 😉

So let’s get to it!  But before I dive into the recipe, I’d like to give you a little insight on quinoa.  I’m sure many of you have heard of it but never cooked or eaten it before!

First off, it’s quinoa: pronounced QIN-WAH.  (so now when you tell people about this wonderful recipe you made you can feel really worldly and intelligent when they don’t know what it is)

Quinoa is technically a seed, but consumed as a grain.  Meaning, you would likely utilize it as you would rice when cooking.  It contains essential amino acids, such as lysine and is also rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron.  But what’s most impressive about quinoa is that it’s a complete protein.  Its protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet.  It is also a good source of fiber and magnesium.

Now you understand the nutritional value of quinoa and can feel really good about making this delicious meal for you and your family.  Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

– 2 Sirloin Steaks (you could also use a round, flank or flat iron steak)
– 1 Cup Quinoa Uncooked
– 1 Avocado
– 2 Mangos
– 1 Tomato
– 1 Can Southwestern Style Corn
– 1 Tbsp Garlic
– 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
– 2 tsp Chili Powder
– Dash Salt
– Dash Pepper
– 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
– 2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro

Feel free to add other ingredients as you wish.  I added chopped jalapeños to mine this time! (I love hot foods!!)

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Okie-dokie.  We have our ingredients so let’s begin.

Directions.

1. First off, we are featuring a nice lean cut of beef so we should utilize a marinade which will tenderize and add some nice flavor.  I used my go-to marinade which pairs nicely with almost all recipes; olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper & garlic.  *Tip- You must always have an acidic base to your marinade if you are marinading for tenderization. i.e. lemon juice, vinegar, wine, etc.  

Place your steaks in a food safe plastic bag (no dirty dishes- yay!) and pour in your marinade.  Toss and rotate the steaks so they are evenly covered with the marinade.  Place on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator.

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2. Our next step will be cooking the quinoa.  Now, this may take a little trial and error on your end as I have found mine cooks differently nearly every time.  The rule of thumb is a 2:1 ratio, 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa.  Boil your water and then add the quinoa, stirring occasionally.  The quinoa should be light and fluffy once it’s fully cooked.  This should take 10-12 minutes.

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3.  Go ahead and start your grill, or oven if you are broiling your steaks.

4. While the quinoa is cooking, you can prep your other ingredients.  Cut your mango, tomato and avocado into small cubes.  If you haven’t cut up a mango before, you’re in for a treat.  Once they are peeled, they are slippery little buggers.  My family eats a lot of mangos, so I invested in a great little tool made by Pampered Chef, a mango slicer.  It slices around the pit perfectly every time!

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5.  Remove your steaks from the food safe plastic bag and pat dry with a paper towel.  Removing any excess liquids will prevent smoking from occurring in the cooking process.  Place on the grill or in the oven.

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4. Once you have your mangos, tomatoes and avocados prepped, combine in a medium bowl.   Add your can of southwestern style corn (drained & rinsed), minced garlic, lime juice, chili powder, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper & olive oil.  Stir ingredients until evenly combined.

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5.  At this time your quinoa should be fully cooked.  Remove from heat and drain any excess water.  Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

6.  Your steaks should be close to being done, depending on your desired level of doneness.  Always be sure to check the internal cooking temperature with a meat thermometer.
Medium Rare – 145 F
Medium – 160 F
Well Done – 170 F

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Once you have removed the steaks from the grill, be sure you allow them to “rest” for approximately 7-10 minutes.  Place a piece of tented tin foil lightly over the steaks.  This process allows for the steaks juices to evenly distribute, so when you slice into it you won’t lose all of the tender and flavorful juiciness!

7.  Next you will combine your ingredients into the cooled quinoa.
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8.  Once your steaks are fully ‘rested’, slice them into nice thin strips.

9.  Top your quinoa with 4 oz of steak.

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10.  Enjoy this light, nutritious & satisfying dish!

You can serve this as a warm entree for dinner and enjoy it the next day as a cold salad for lunch!  It’s the perfect way to use up left over steaks from the night before as well!

Here’s the nutritionals on serving:
Recipe Yields 4 Servings
Calories: 375
Fat: 18g *(3g saturated, 2g polyunsaturated, 11g monounsaturated)
Carbohydrates: 37g
Protein: 20g

* Poly & Mono unsaturated fats contain many heart healthy benefits- go heart health!!

Let me know if you try this recipe at home and what you think of it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Spaghetti Squash

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One of my new favorite meals to make for my family is spaghetti squash. A lighter twist on the traditional favorite pasta meal that everyone loves.  And yes, I said my family.  Meaning my 9 month old daughter also got to enjoy, and she LOVED it!!*

*Disclaimer: My daughter has yet to not like any food I’ve given her.  (See photo: Exhibit A) The girl likes to eat, just like her mama!

Exhibit A:

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Cooking with raw foods, such as squash, can be intimidating.  But trust me, I’m not a gourmet chef- just a midwestern gal who was raised on traditional dishes like spaghetti.  Now I’m cooking for my own family and trying to incorporate new ingredients that offer great nutritional benefits and taste good too 🙂

This dish is quick, easy, affordable, nutritious & yummy! What more could you ask for?! It’s a crowd pleaser that I’m sure you and your family will love and make time and time again.  By adding a slice of whole wheat toasted bread brushed with olive oil and garlic as a side, a dish of fresh berries as desert and a glass of low fat milk you will have a completely balanced meal that meets the MyPlate Dietary Guidelines!
Hooray for healthy meals your family will love!

So here we go! First, your ingredient list:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 spaghetti squash
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 medium onion
1 zucchini
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp oregano
dash salt
dash pepper
Parmesan Cheese optional 

Feel free to add other veggies to your sauce, such as mushrooms or peppers- this is just what I had on hand.


Directions:

1. Slice your spaghetti squash in half & remove the seeds, or guts as I call them. Doing this with a large spoon seems to work best I’ve found.

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2. Place your spaghetti squash face down on a plate in the microwave.  Cook on high for 10 minutes.

3. While your squash is cooking you can brown your hamburger.

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4. While the hamburger is browning, you can chop up the vegetables you chose to put in your sauce.   I used zucchini, onion & minced garlic.

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5. By now your squash should be done. (don’t forget to keep an eye on your hamburger!) Here’s my warning, it’s going to be HOTT!! Carefully remove the plate, which will also be hot, and set aside to cool.  I’d recommend flipping the squash over for the cooling process.

6. While your squash is cooling, finish browning your hamburger and rinse off any excess grease.

7. Return hamburger to pan and add your chopped vegetables, marinara sauce, oregano, parsley, salt & pepper. Stir ingredients.  Cover and let simmer.

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8. Now for the fun part- shredding the squash! It should be cool enough to hold by now, but if not just use an oven mitt or hot pad.  Use a large fork and simply scrape across the squash.  You will find that it will easily shred into string-like fibers aka- spaghetti noodles!

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9. Lastly, top your shredded spaghetti squash with your marinara, meat and vegetable sauce.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
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10. Enjoy this light, nutritious and delicious meal!

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In case you are curious, here are the nutritionals on the recipe.  The recipe yield will vary based upon the size of your spaghetti squash.  I was able to get 4 servings from mine (which was on the smaller side), so that’s what I calculated it as.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 366
Total Fat: 15 g
Sodium: 510 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Protein: 24 g

Let me know if you try this recipe out at home and how it goes!

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National Exercise with Your Child Week

This week (Aug 4-10) is National Exercise with Your Child Week.  Not that you should need a reason or excuse to be physically active with your kiddos- but what a great motivator and message! The unfortunate statistics don’t lie: children now spend more than 7 1/2 hours a day in front of a screen, and less than 20% of adults meet the recommended activity level each day, according to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.  Needless to say, this is a steady slope into a very scary future for our youth and as parents, we need to take the initiative to ensure our children will not fall into this unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.

By exposing your children to physical activity at a young age, you are instilling a level of comfort that they will have while exercising.  You don’t have to be an athlete to be active with your child.  By going for an evening walk after supper or playing a game of tag or hide-and-seek in the yard, you will create an important bond between you, your children and physical activity.

What’s equally important to a healthy dose of physical activity  is providing your children with proper nutrition while being physically active.  Remember that lean beef provides your bodies with Z-I-P: Zinc, Iron & Protein.  Zinc is essential to cell production and tissue growth and repair.  Your body can’t build muscle without it! Lean beef is one of the best sources of zinc in the American diet.  Iron helps carry oxygen from the lungs to body cells and tissues, including your muscles.  Without iron, your muscles won’t work! Protein is essential to build and repair muscle tissue.  Protein also may help your body recover after a workout. Lean beef is also rich in other essential nutrients such as B-Vitamins!

Well, what are you waiting for?! Go get the kids and Move! 

 

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