Beef up your meal

Published 2:45 pm Monday, October 14, 2019



By Peggy Walker, R.D.

Eat beef without worry 2-3 times every week. For most adults a 3-ounce portion is plenty and that’s about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. Choose lean cuts, trim the visible fat and complete your caloric needs with green vegetables and whole grains.

Avoid any charred areas. Charring on meats produces nitrites which may lead to growth of cancer cells.

Beef provides protein and iron (heme iron, not found in plant foods) necessary for building muscle and red blood cells. This means beef helps to prevent iron deficiency anemia and keeps our muscles strong for growth, exercise, and aging.

Beef is, and certainly can be, a healthy and hearty component of most anyone’s plant-based diet.

So here are two recipes you might enjoy in this cooler weather. The vegetables in the recipes add texture, fiber, flavor and extend the beef in each recipe. And, the tasty fall pear salad enhances the flavors and brightens these seasonally delicious dishes.

For Hearty Beef Stew coat 2 pounds of cubed beef chuck with ¼ cup all-purpose flour. Brown the meat in a Dutch oven in ¼ cup canola oil.  Add 4 cups water, 8 ounces tomato sauce, ¼ cup chopped onion, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 bay leaf, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add 6 medium potatoes, pared and quartered, 1 small bag baby carrots and 3 medium size quartered onions. Cover and simmer 50-60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Combine ¼ cup cold water with ¼ cup cornstarch and stir into beef mixture.  Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until it thickens. Remove bay leaf. Makes 8-10 servings.

And for Speedy Stroganoff start with 1-pound beef sirloin cut in narrow strips. In a large skillet, brown beef strips in 1 tablespoon preheated vegetable or canola oil. Add 1 medium sliced onion and 1 clove minced garlic and cook until onion is crisp tender.

Combine one 10.5 ounce can fat free condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup low fat sour cream, one 3-ounce can sliced mushrooms which has been drained, 2 tablespoons ketchup and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce.

Cook and stir over low heat until thoroughly hot. Keep warm and serve over Poppy Noodles: toss 4 cups hot cooked egg noodles (or your pasta of choice) with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds. To serve: Pour prepared poppy noodles onto a platter and top with meat sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Be wise, make good nutritional choices which can include beef!  Eat well – Be well.

Recipe of the Week

Spinach & Pear Salad with Honey-Bacon Vinaigrette

4 applewood smoked bacon slices

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

⅛teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion

2 large Bartlett pears

1 10-ounce fresh spinach

Make vinaigrette:  Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, reserve one teaspoon bacon grease in pan. Crumble bacon and set aside.  Add vinegars, honey, mustard, salt and pepper to pan. Sir with whisk and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

To prepare salad. Core and cut pears in ¼-inch thick slices to make about 3 cups. Toss sliced onion, pears, spinach leaves and bacon in large bowl.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently to coat just before serving. Makes about 16 servings.