The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

At Home Date Night- Balsamic Onion Mocha Steaks


When is the last time you and your significant other sat down and had a nice, dare I say “date night” meal together?  I’ll admit it’s been a while for my husband and I.  So when one of my girlfriends told me about a surprise ‘at home date night’ meal she made her husband, I was inspired to do my part and help others keep the flame burning.  With that, I’m pleased to announce my new “At Home Date Night” recipe collection I’ll be adding to the blog.  I reached out to some of my Facebook followers to see what to feature first, and it was a landslide with marinated steaks taking the cake.

I wanted to find something unique that most of you hadn’t tried before, and I think I nailed it!  I went with a Balsamic Onion Mocha marinade and it is devine! I paired it with garlic and herb red and purple pan-roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts, which I will also include in my how-to.  (You can’t mess this one up, I promise!)

Turn down the lights and turn on the romance.   Get ready to sweep your man or woman off their feet with this wonderful, sophisticated meal that is simple and easy to prepare.

(Cue Marvin Gaye- “Let’s get it on”) and we shall begin.


2 Steaks of choice (I went with a 5 oz. sirloin)
1 cup light balsamic vinaigrette dressing, divided
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground espresso coffee
dash ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped


I have created a short video on how to create the marinade! It can be found here: >>>

1. Once your steaks are marinated, turn your oven on broil.

2. While the oven is warming, you can prep your potatoes.  I chose baby reds and purple, because I think they add such nice color.  I simply cut the potatoes into quarters and drizzled them with olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, and added a dash of salt and pepper.  I cooked them in a skillet, covered, over medium heat and they were finished in perfect timing with the steaks.  Make sure and stir them occasionally.


3. Place your steaks on your broiler rack (be sure to add water to the bottom), and place them in the oven.  Broil for 13 to 18 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning once.


4. Meanwhile, cook chopped onion and remaining 2/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette in medium saucepan over medium heat, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is tender.


5. I aslo prepared brussels sprouts.  I drizzled with olive oil, minced garlic and a dash of salt and pepper and cooked them in my vegetable cooker in the microwave for about 3 1/2 minutes and they turned out wonderful.


6. At this time, your steaks should be done.  Remove them from the oven and place a loosely tented piece of tin foil on top to allow them to rest for 5-7 minutes.  This step assures that your steaks’ natural juices will evenly distribute and result in a pleasant experience when you first slice into them. 


7. As the steaks rest, select a nice bottle of wine to go with your meal.  I would recommend a cabernet for a red or chardonnay for a white.


8. The final step to this recipe is adding the balsamic onion glaze.  Feel free to add to your potatoes and brussels sprouts as well.  I did and found it to be delicious.

9. Turn the lights down low, light a few candles and enjoy this lovely meal that you prepared either together as a couple or as a special surprise.



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Balsamic Onion Mocha Marinade

Asian Chili

Happy #NationalChiliMonth!! Let’s be honest- is there anything more comforting than a hot bowl of hearty filling beef chili?  During the fall and winter months my family requests it all the time, which is why I always keep the chili staples in my pantry.  It’s an easy and quick meal that can be thrown together last minute and also provides us with the essential nutrients our bodies need!

We all have our go-to chili recipes that we love; some like it hot, some like spicy, and some like it sweet! The recipe I’m sharing with you today was given to me by our Executive Director Ron Frederick.  It’s an “Asian Cowboy Chili” recipe that hosts a unique flavor combination that turns out deliciously! So venture out and give this one a shot, I promise it’s worth a try 🙂


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 small onion
1 can low sodium kidney beans
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup ketchup
1 can tomato juice
1/4 cup mustard
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
Dash salt and pepper

I aslo added some fresh peppers to mine which added some additional flavor and color! 🙂

1. Brown ground beef, drain and rinse any excess fat.  Add to crockpot.

2. Chop 1/2 small and add to ground beef.

3. Drain and rinse your kidney and black beans, then mix into crockpot.

4. Add stewed tomatoes, ketchup, tomato juice, mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, and minced garlic.

5. Stir all ingredients and leave on medium heat for 4-5 hours.

6. Enjoy!

Do you have a secret chili ingredient? What makes your recipe different or better than everyone else’s?! I’d love to know what you’re cooking up for #NationalChiliMonth!

See you next week!! 🙂

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Creepy Quesadillas – Scary Good!!


Crocktober continues to deliver recipes that can be created in the crock-pot and are delicious!  This week’s “Creepy Quesadillas” are no exception! In fact, this may be my favorite recipe on the blog yet!! So simple to create and hosts some awesomely good flavor and textures, not to mention the beautiful colors!  You and your family will love customizing your quesadilla’s ingredients exactly how you want. 🙂

So let’s get started- I’m excited for you to try this one!

Let’s start with the roast portion of the recipe.


1 2-3 lb. beef pot roast (Chuck or Shoulder)
2 Cups Low Sodium beef broth
3 Bell peppers, various colors, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
Red pepper flakes, as desired
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Mix together all dry spices, garlic & lemon juice.  Press into roast, coating evenly.

2.  Place roast in crock-pot and surround with sliced peppers.


3. Add beef broth.


4. Cover and let cook on high for 4-5 hours. >>cue: “set it and forget it!” insertion here. 

5. Once the roast is fully cooked and/or tender, remove from crock-pot and let rest.

6. Remove peppers from crock-pot and set aside.


Next comes the quesadilla creation…

You will need:
Shredded Cheese
Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 Can Refried Beans


And any additional ingredients you desire, such as avocado, mexi-corn, onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, black olives, etc.


6. Heat refried beans on stovetop.


I was excited to try this product I found at Hy-Vee! It worked great in the recipe!  Feel free to utilize any refried bean style you prefer!

7. Carve your roast into thin slices.


8. Spread refried beans onto half of the tortilla.


9. Add beef evenly across beans.


10. Top with desired ingredients.


11. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and fold in half.

12. Place in covered skillet on stovetop, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.


13. Slice and enjoy!!


Nutritionals: Per Serving
Calculations per serving include standard ingredients: 4 oz serving of beef, 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1/4 c shredded cheese, 1/8 c refried beans.
Calories: 375
Total Fat: 13 g
Sodium: 475 mg
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Dietary Fiber: 13 g
Protein: 29 g

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Terrifying Taco Soup


Happy “Crocktober” foodie friends! I decided to add a little something extra to Crocktober.  In addition to a month full of delicious, easy and nutritious recipes that can all be prepared in the crockpot, they will also all have a fun and festive Halloween twist on them!  Why?  Because I’m a total dork and get way too excited about holidays :), but hopefully it will get kids excited to try some new foods as well!

This week’s recipe puts a twist on a family favorite meal, tacos.  In fact, it’s even easier and way less mess than traditional tacos!  It took me less than 15 minutes to prepare from beginning to end so it’s definitely a recipe you could put in the crockpot quick before heading off to work and come home to dinner that’s ready to be served- Olé!!


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can low sodium pinto beans
1 can mexi-corn
1 can Rotel
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 package Mrs.Dash Ranch Seasoning
Fresh Peppers, onion, etc.
1 carton low sodium beef broth
Mrs.Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning
*Orange and Black Tortilla Chips (optional)

1. Brown ground beef, drain and rinse any excess grease.  Add taco seasoning.

2. Prep any fresh ingredients you plan to use, i.e., red peppers, onion, jalapeños, etc.

3. Combine beans, corn, Rotel, tomatoes, peppers, onion, beef broth and ranch seasoning to crockpot.


Tip: Always rinse and drain canned beans- it will help reduce sodium content. 

4. Add seasoned ground beef once fully cooked.


5. Season with Mrs.Dash Fiesta Lime, if desired.


6. Set crockpot on low for 4-6 hours.

7. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings & enjoy!


Nutritionals: (per serving)
Calories: 303
Total Fat: 15 g
Sodium: 350 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Protein: 25 g

Recipe Yields: 4-5 Servings

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