The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

Beef & Quinoa Meatballs

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Spring is in full swing and so is your schedule! From band concerts to soccer games and track meets- it’s a hectic time of year.  When we’re short on time it’s easy to resort to fast food or processed meals that can be ready in a flash, but provide us very little nutrition.  It’s recipes like today’s that help keep me and my family from frozen pizza dinners on repeat!

Protein is typically the ingredient that takes the longest to prepare and what ultimately keeps us from preparing a well-balanced and nutritious meal.  If you know you have a busy week ahead, take a little time and prepare for it.  Make-ahead options like these “Beef & Quinoa Meatballs” are great to keep on hand and can easily be incorporated into a variety of meal options or snacks.  Serve over spaghetti squash or whole grain noodles with marinara sauce for dinner or top them over your favorite mixed greens as a flavorful and satisfying salad at lunchtime.

These are super easy to make and having a high-quality protein at arm’s reach for meals and snacks is all it takes to stay on track and successfully manage your weight.

Interested in learning more about the importance of getting adequate protein into your diet?  Check out the #ProteinChallenge and be sure to watch for our upcoming blog post to help you get started! 

Ingredients
1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 Cup cooked quinoa
1 Cup broccoli slaw
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash of salt & pepper

Directions
1. Prepare quinoa.  (Bring 1 Cup of water to a boil and add quinoa.  Cover and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until most water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Drain any excess water and fluff with a fork.)
2. Preheat oven to 450°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Combine all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and mix thoroughly.  I went with the pre-packaged broccoli slaw in this recipe to speed up the process, however you can use any shredded vegetable of your choice!   (I used my hands to mix.)
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4. Shape into 12 to 15 balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
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5. Cook for approximately 15 to 17 minutes, or until the internal cooking temperature has reached 160°.
6. Enjoy!
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Layered Veggie & Beef Casserole

IMG_1376It’s a beautiful Friday in South Dakota, full of warm, radiant sunshine.  Although that certainly wasn’t the case yesterday as I was driving with my windshield wipers on high fighting through sleet, rain and wind.  But that’s the way it goes this time of year, with each day you never know what “Springtime” in South Dakota will feel like.

I featured a “Beef & Squash Spring Casserole” this time last year on the blog and I’m bringing it back again with a twist.  These Spring Casseroles are inspired by the unpredictable weather that can have you grilling burgers in shorts and flip-flops one day and craving a warm comfort food the next.  This is a quick and easy dish to throw together that’s nutritious, filling and full of fun-spring colors! Enjoy!

Layered Veggie & Beef Casserole
Ingredients
1 lb. lean ground beef
salt-free seasoning
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Brown ground beef, draining and rinsing any excess fat.  Season beef with your preferred salt-free seasoning, such as Mrs. Dash or any dried herbs.
3. Slice squash and potatoes into thin, even slices.
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4. Spray an oven-safe cooking dish and layer potatoes and squash.
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5. Cover with ground beef crumbles and top with shredded cheese.
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6. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and potatoes are fork-tender.
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7. Enjoy!

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