The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Garden Veggies & Beef Sloppy Joe Cups

 

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For many of us, this week was back-to-school.  Eeeek! How did that happen!? But ready or not, let the madness begin! This school year, let’s make a commitment to not let our busy schedules keep us from preparing nutritious meals to fuel our star students.  How will we do it?  With some planning, the healthy benefits of lean beef and a little help from The Beauty in the Beef.  Let’s make this school year one for the record books! 

This week’s recipe would be a great start to a healthy school year.  I wanted to feature a recipe that included all of the wonderful vegetables that are pouring out of our gardens this time of year.  At the same time, I also wanted it to be a kid-friendly recipe and one that can be made in under thirty minutes or prepared ahead of time and warmed.  I landed on these bad boys, “Garden Veggies & Beef Sloppy Joe Cups”.  I’ll give them an A 😉 

Ingredients: 
1 lb. lean ground beef 
Garden vegetables of choice (I used squash, zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms)
1 Cup tomato sauce
1/4 Cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp mustard
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce 
1 tube Pilsbury Artisian Multigrain Pizza Crust

Directions:
1. Brown the ground beef, draining and rinsing any excess fat. 
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Dice vegetables into fine pieces. (I threw mine into my food chopper and it was a breeze)
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4. Once diced, add to ground beef and stir.

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5. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and worcestershire sauce.  Then stir into beef and vegetable mixture. 
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6. Unroll pizza crust and spread evenly using a rolling pin.
7. Using a pizza slicer, cut into 4 x 3 square pieces.
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8. Layer bread dough into the bottom of a coated muffin tin.
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9. Top with sloppy joe mixture and cook for 15 minutes.
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10. Remove and enjoy!
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 *Note: I did have excess sloppy joe mixture after filling my muffin tins.  That went in the fridge to serve on whole wheat slider buns for another meal! 🙂 

DIY Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

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I’ve preached on the importance of protein at breakfast, but I have yet to address the significance of incorporating protein into snacks, too.  Research shows the benefits of incorporating more protein in your diet, but that’s not limited to only meals.  Consuming hunger-satisfying, protein-filled snacks will help get you through the afternoon without hitting up the vending machine for chips or candy!
Beef jerky is one of my personal favorite snack items.  It’s portable protein that can go literally anywhere with me! in my gym bag or my purse- paired with a piece of fresh fruit, and I’m good to go!  It’s a great pre/post workout snack for athletes, as well.  Beef jerky contains high-quality protein, which provides your body with all of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair muscle.

I was thrilled with the outcome of this recipe.  I’ve made jerky in the past with a food dehydrator, but wanted to try it in the oven for convenience.  The result = delicious! I actually prefer the texture over the dehydrator jerky, to be honest.  It’s not as tough and is more chewy, just how I like it! 🙂 And the flavor combo is spot on, but don’t hesitate to experiment with your own spices and ingredients at home! Be sure to share any success stories (or #fails)! 🙂

Have fun trying this one out! I know it has quickly become a staple in our snack drawer and just in time for back to school!

For more protein snack ideas, click here.

Ingredients:
Print this Recipe!
2-3 lbs. Top Round Roast (sliced into 1/4 in. pieces)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 Cup Spicy Mango Marinade

Directions:
1. Slice your roast into 1/4 inch thick pieces.  I asked my friendly butcher at Hy-Vee to slice mine for me and he gladly did so! Don’t hesitate to ever ask for their assistance on anything meat related- they are there to help you! 🙂
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What a nice guy! 😉

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Perfectly even slices! 🙂

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Pour into a food safe plastic bag with roast pieces.  Coat evenly and place in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
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3. Remove from bag and pat dry with a paper towel, removing any excess liquid.  Lay strips onto an oven-safe cooling rack placed over a tin foil-lined baking sheet (this is to catch drippings and allow air flow for the meat drying process).
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4. Place in the oven on the lowest heat setting (I used 170°) for 8-9 hours.  Check after 8 hours, mine was at a texture I desired after 8.
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5. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

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