by Heather Berry |

Whether it’s for a quick meal or special occasion, beef is a perfect choice

There are many great protein options, but let’s face it: It’s hard to beat a delicious cut of beef. Calorie for calorie, beef is one of the most nutritious foods to fuel an active and healthy lifestyle. Besides being an excellent source of protein, beef provides zinc, vitamins B6 and B12, iron and niacin — all important nutrients to keep a body well fueled.

Watching your fat intake due to cholesterol concerns? Stick to one of the more lean cuts of beef that fit into a low-fat diet. Top sirloin, T-bone steak, shoulder pot roast, flat iron steak, ground sirloin or even a cut of delicious beef brisket all fit into your plan in proper-sized portions.

Enjoy these flavor-packed recipes from our friends at the Missouri Beef Industry Council. For more delicious recipes, check out



Mini Beef Tacos with Citrus Salsa

Citrus Salsa:
1/3 cup jicama, chopped
1/3 cup orange, chopped
1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon orange peel, grated

Avocado Cream:
1/2 cup avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon orange peel, grated
Two 8-ounce beef flat iron steaks
12 corn tortillas, 6- to 7-inch diameter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

For Citrus Salsa, combine salsa ingredients in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

Next, place Avocado Cream ingredients in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

Combine cumin and orange peel; press evenly onto steaks. Place steaks on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 14 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally. Transfer steaks to carving board. If using a gas grill, cook over medium heat, covered, for 12 to 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut one mini tortilla from each tortilla with 4-inch diameter cookie cutter. Discard tortilla scraps or save for another use. Lightly brush both sides of mini tortillas with oil. Grill over medium heat 1 to 3 minutes or until lightly crisp, turning once.

Carve steaks in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin slices. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Top each mini tortilla with equal amounts of avocado cream, beef slices and salsa. Serve immediately.



Mongolian Beef

1 beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons garlic, minced and divided
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 cups bamboo shoots, edamame or water chestnuts
2 cups cooked white rice, hot

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken pieces with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees using an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let cool. Remove the skin then pull the meat from the bones and chop.

In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, grapes, apple, almonds, celery, scallions, dill and parsley.

In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon, and mustard. Add the mayo/mustard mixture to the chicken mixture and gently stir until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready to serve, place scoops of chicken salad over a bed of fresh lettuce with sliced tomatoes and avocado, or serve in a fresh croissant roll.

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast Soup

2 1/2-pound boneless beef shoulder roast
2 cups onions, chopped
14 1/2 -ounce can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions
1 cup cubed hash brown potatoes, frozen
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups broccoli slaw
1/2 cup peas, frozen

Cut roast into 12 equal pieces. Place in 5-quart slow cooker. Add onions, tomatoes, potatoes, broth, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 9 hours or until beef is fork-tender. No stirring is necessary during cooking time.

Stir in broccoli slaw; continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes or until broccoli slaw is crisp-tender. Turn slow cooker off. Stir in frozen peas and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Beef Jerky Granola Bars

16 ounces beef jerky, chopped
4 cups quick oats
14-ounce can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix thoroughly. Pat into prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cooled, then slice into bars. Bars should be covered and stored in refrigerator.

In place of almonds, cranberries, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips, you may substitute any of the following making sure the total amount is 2 cups: peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pretzels, dried cherries or apricots, raisins, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds or white chocolate chips.


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