The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Tossed Santa Fe Steak Salad

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Spring is officially here!! I know it’s hard to believe when the weather is still screaming winter, but warmer days are ahead my friend!  My food choices will typically reflect the weather; on cold days I crave soul-warming comfort foods and on hot days I want light and fresh dishes.  This week’s blog recipe is for all the optimists out there who, despite the current “spinter” (spring + winter) we are enduring, are craving cool summer salads like me!

This salad is a keeper and a crowd pleaser for sure! So simple to put together and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to make the homemade avocado ranch dressing, it’s what puts this salad recipe over the top! It could also make a delicious wrap when served on a whole grain tortilla!

Ingredients:
Dressing:
1 avocado
1 Cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 Cup milk
1 packet Mrs.Dash Ranch Seasoning 
Salad:
Steak Strips
Romain lettuce
1 can Black Beans
1 can Mexi-style corn
1 Mango, diced 
Feta Cheese and Salsa for topping 

Directions:
1. In a food processor, mix together diced avocado, Greek yogurt, milk and Mrs.Dash seasoning. Blend until smooth. Image

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2. If desired, heat steak strips. I used Tyson pre-cooked seasoned steak strips to make this recipe super easy! Could also be served cold. 
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3. Drain and rinse black beans and Mexi-style corn. 
4. Dice mango into small pieces. 
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5. Combine chopped romain lettuce, black beans, Mexi-style corn and mango in a medium-sized bowl. 
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6. Add homemade avocado ranch dressing.  Amount will depend upon the number of servings you are making.  Tip: A little goes a long ways here.  I suggest starting small, tossing, and adding as needed.  
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7. Top with feta cheese crumbles and salsa upon serving and enjoy!
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Beefy Mexican Lasagna

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Ask and you shall receive. “Healthy Hotdish” won our Facebook poll this week for what type of recipe to feature next on the blog.  So we created a “Beefy Mexican Lasagna”!  Serve this recipe as a weeknight meal or for entertaining guests!  Your friends and family will never know that it’s incredibly simple and quick to put tougher (don’t worry, we’re not telling!).  Oh, and did we mention it’s full of nutritious ingredients and low in fat? #winning

Ingredients:
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1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg Mrs. Dash taco seasoning
1 Cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 Cup black bean and corn salsa
1 can fat-free refried beans
4-5 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 Cup shredded cheese
Freshly chopped tri-colored peppers
Cilantro for garnish

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef, draining and rinsing any excess fat. Add Mrs.Dash taco seasoning with 3/4 Cup water. Reduce heat and let simmer.
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2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. In a saucepan, combine Greek yogurt, salsa and refried beans.  Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
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4. Coat a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray and line the bottom with a tortilla. Add ground beef, salsa mixture and top with a light layer of shredded cheese and peppers. Repeat until you have reached the top of your dish. ( I was able to make 4 layers) 

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5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly on top.

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6. Let cool for 5 minutes.  Add chopped cilantro prior to serving.

7. Enjoy!
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Beef Lettuce Wraps

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I love trying out a new restaurants and ordering signature items, then recreating them at home!  That’s what inspired this recipe for Beef Lettuce Wraps 🙂 I’ll admit that not all of my “restaurant recreations” are successful <insert long pause>, but I’ll call this one a win!

What was even more delightful than the flavor of this recipe was the amount of time and effort it took to create! With the temperatures warming up outside, spring fever is in the air!  Serve this delicious, light and satisfying recipe as an appetizer when entertaining guests or as a fun mix-up to your weekly menu by pairing it with a side of cilantro lime whole grain rice or quinoa! Yum!!

Ingredients:
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1 lb. lean ground beef
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 bag frozen vegetable mixture
1 cup Light Lemon Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette dressing
1 head butter lettuce (or romaine lettuce)
Sliced green onion, for topping
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Directions:
1. Brown your ground beef, draining and rinsing any excess fat.
2. Add minced garlic and frozen vegetable mixture along with any additional fresh vegetables you desire.
I found a great frozen blend made by Birdseye which contained diced red and green peppers, onions and celery.  I also added some fresh diced mushrooms.  Water chestnuts and diced carrots would also be great in this recipe! 

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3. Add your dressing and combine ingredients evenly.  Let simmer for 7-10 minutes.
I found a light lemon ginger sesame vinaigrette at Hy-Vee which was perfect for this dish! If you are gluten free or prefer a different flavor, feel free to create your own! 
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4. Peel back leaves of the butter lettuces and fill with beef mixture.  Top with diced green onion.

5. Roll up and enjoy!
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Southwestern Quinoa Beef Cakes

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Putting a wholesome meal on the table that provides your family with the essential vitamins and minerals they need is a priority to all of us, but is sometimes easier said than done.   Additional factors such as time, cost, taste and convenience also impact what we feed our families.  So here’s a recipe that will check all the boxes!  Southwestern Quinoa Beef Cakes are tasty, nutrient-rich, affordable and very simple to make.  In fact, you could even make them ahead and freeze as a fast meal or snack option for you and your busy family!

Ingredients:
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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can mexi-style corn
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • 1-2 avocados, chopped

Directions:

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the grains are tender and reveal their spiraled germ, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.

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2. Brown your ground beef, draining any excess fat.

3.Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.

4. Add ground beef, eggs, beans, mexi-corn, cottage cheese, scallions, flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the quinoa and stir until well combined. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups (about 1/4 cup each). Top each quinoa cake with about 1 tablespoon cheese.

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* I added fresh sliced mushrooms to mine as well, it never hurts to increase the veggies!Image

5. Bake the cakes until puffed and a little brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently loosen and remove with a paring knife.Image

6. Serve the cakes with the salsa and avocado.

7. Enjoy!

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