The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Asian Beef & Veggies

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I’ve been wanting to feature a beef and veggie dish for a while now, so I’m excited to finally get this recipe on the blog!  This is a dinner staple for my family, and here’s why; it’s simple, quick, delicious and sooo nutritious!  Getting enough vegetables in our diet is sometimes a struggle in my house– yet another reason why I love this recipe.  Plus- it typically makes enough for leftovers the next day. Oh would you look at that, another reason! 😉  

I also added some short cuts you could use to take this easy “Asian Beef & Veggies” to Super easy “Asian Beef & Veggies.”  Does that count as another reason? I think, yes! 🙂

So let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
10-12 oz Sirloin cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp Rice Vinegar
1 tsp  Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1-2 cups Broccoli
1 cup sliced Peppers
1/4 cup sliced Green Onion
1 can Water Chestnuts
1/2 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes as desired
Optional: Chopped Cashews

Directions: 
1. Drizzle olive oil or canola oil in the bottom of a skillet and warm over medium heat. 

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2. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar in a small bowl.  Add to skillet and mix to evenly coat sirloin strips.

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3. Cover and let cook on low to medium heat.
4. Meanwhile, slice and prep your vegetables.

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OR
You could use a frozen stir-fry vegetable blend, such as these options! #winning

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5. In a separate skillet, add vegetables, minced garlic and red pepper flakes.  Drizzle with olive oil and cover.  Let cook over  low heat for approximately 5 minutes or until desired tenderness.

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6. Serve 4-5 oz. of beef over 1-2 cups of cooked vegetables.  You could also garnish with chopped cashews and add brown rice to your vegetable blend! Yum!

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I hope you find this recipe to be as convenient and delicious as my family does!  It’s an easy way to incorporate wholesome and quality nutrients into you and your families diets!

Here’s a fun twist: there are so many vibrant and beautiful colors in this dish, so get the kiddos in the kitchen and challenge them to add as many colors as possible! Red peppers, green broccoli, white water chestnuts, yellow baby corn, orange carrots…let them get creative and excited about cooking!

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..and we are thankful.

..and we are thankful.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

Today’s Beef Choices: Grass Fed vs Grain Finished- Which is better?

“All Natural”, “Certified Organic”, “Grass Fed”, “Grain Finished”– what do all of these choices mean!? Can’t I just have a safe and wholesome food for my family?! If you’ve felt overwhelmed by these choices, do not fear- you’re not alone!  It’s hard to know who to trust and what can be considered a credible source of information regarding what is safe for you and your family.

I would like to take a moment to talk about the different choices of beef.  It’s actually pretty simple, and if you read what I have to say, I know you will feel better about feeding your family what they love- beef.

Across the nation, cattle farmers and ranchers raise cattle using diverse resources available in their local areas to produce nutritious, safe and delicious beef.  All choices of beef are excellent or good sources of 10 essential nutrients and many of our favorite cuts are considered to be lean.  Yes, T-Bone, Sirloin, 93% Lean Ground Beef, they are all lean cuts and can provide our families with key nutrients that we need.  Research indicates that many American women and children’s diets are deficient in iron and choline, both of which can be found in beef.  So feel good about putting lean beef on the table.  You’re giving your family the benefits of heart health, muscle development and weight management in a meal they know and love! Yes, you read that right- heart health. (Click here to learn more about the BOLD study)  About half the fatty acids in beef are monounsaturated, the same heart-heathly fat found in olive oil.  One-third of the saturated fat in beef is stearic acid, which has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels and is the same fat recognized in dark chocolate for its benefits. Mmmmm beef and dark chocolate, I’m in! 🙂

I’ll get off my soap box of beef nutrition now and talk more about the choices of beef that are available 😉

Grain-finished
Beef that is produced as grain-finished spends most of their lives grazing on pasture, then spend 4 – 6 months in a feedyard.  They are free to eat an optimal, balanced diet of grasses, grains and other forages and may judiciously be given FDA-approved antibiotics or growth promotants.  In addition, they may also be given vitamin and mineral supplements and receive individual attention to clean water and room to roam.

Grass-finished
Cattle spend their entire lives grazing on pasture or forages when they are grass-finished.  They may also judiciously be given FDA-approved antibiotics or growth promotants as well as vitamin and mineral supplements.  It can be difficult to produce year-round in North America due to changing seasons and weather conditions.  Not many green pastures in the middle of winter!

Naturally raised 
Naturally raised beef can be grain-finished or grass-finished, you can look at the label for details.  These cattle have never received antibiotics or growth promotants and may be given vitamin and mineral supplements.  They must be certified by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Certified Organic
Cattle can be grain-finished or grass-finished when raised organically, as long as the feed is 100% organic.  They have never received antibiotics or growth promotants and may be given vitamin and mineral supplements.  They must be certified by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service- look for the official label.

So there’s a breakdown of what beef choices are available to you today.  Hopefully it clears up questions you may have had and will make selecting beef an easier process.  What’s reassuring to know is that all beef choices are safe and wholesome products that you can feel confident feeding your family.

If you have any additional questions regarding beef choices, FDA-approved antibiotic use or other beef production practices, visit www.factsaboutbeef.com, www.beefnutrition.org or comment below and I will help answer questions you may have.

Welcome Home Pot Roast

ImageComing home at the end of the day to the smell of a savory slow cooked pot roast is one of my favorites things this time of year.  There’s an element of comfort that goes along with serving my family beef and its nutritious benefits.  This season is all about being grateful and giving. I know I can feel confident that I’m providing my family the 10 essential nutrients that our bodies need while supporting our beef producers and the agriculture community.  And that makes this born and raised South Dakota mommy happy 🙂

Show your family you care by serving them my “Welcome Home Beef Pot Roast”.  The effort is minimal, but the benefits are plentiful.

Ingredients:
3-4 lb. chuck pot roast
4 sweet potatoes, quartered
10-15 baby carrots
1/2 onion, diced
1 carton low sodium beef broth (32 oz.)
1 cup apple cider
1 envelope Lipton Savory Herb with Garlic soup mix
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Directions:
1. Place half of vegetables in the bottom of the crock-pot, top with roast, then add remaining vegetables.

2. In a small bowl, mix together liquids and soup mix. Pour over the roast and vegetables.

3. Cover and cook 5 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.

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Mama Mia Pizza Meatballs

IMG_8831I’m feeling the love from my “Pizza Bombs” recipe, so I decided to do something similar this week.  Introducing, “Mama Mia Pizza Meatballs”.  (Yes, you have to say it with the cheesy Italian accent and the hand motion, of course)

This recipe is one that you can make in a pinch because it’s likely you’ll already have all the ingredients! It’s also very versatile, as you could serve them with whole wheat pasta noodles and marinara sauce, spaghetti squash, mashed potatoes or even as an appetizer!  These are so simple to make, I’d even have them around as a healthy after school snack that’s easy to reheat.  Not to mention they are fun to make!  So round up the kiddos and let them get their hands dirty as they have a blast making their very own Mama Mia Pizza Meatballs!

Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
1 tbsp tomato past
1 tbsp pizza seasoning
1/4 cup ketchup
2 bread loaf ends, crumbled or 1/2 cup crushed croutons
1/4 inch cubes of mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the mozzarella cheese.  Don’t be shy- get in there with your hands and mix it up real good! Let the kiddos join in here 🙂

I used crushed croutons in my version.

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2. Create a ball and gently press a dimple in the center with your thumb.  Add cubed mozzarella cheese and then re-roll the ball.

I took the easy route and cut up string cheese sticks (because I had them!).  The cheese didn’t fully melt, but it still tasted great!

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3. Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned.

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4. Enjoy!

Let me know how you and your family use Mama Mia Pizza Meatballs!

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