By Elesha Ergle, RDN
Baseball, softball, proms, and graduation invitations…all things that tell us that summer is about to be upon us. Will your summer plans include a beach, cruise, mountains or hiking? Or will it be like a lot of us cattle farmers, life as usual…just a lot hotter? No matter what your summer plans are, you can include beef as a part of your healthy diet whether you are looking forward to swim suit season or just keeping it real around the farm.
Most people immediately think of salads when they think of healthy eating. Salads can bring a variety of fruits and vegetables to our diets, but can also be deceiving by the amount of calories they pack in due to the addition of high-calorie items such as dressings, cheeses and high-fat meats. Pack your salads with lean beef to cut down on calories and ramp up the protein!
Sprout up your Salad
Check out this Four Seasons Beef and Brussel Sprouts Chopped Salad from Beef It’s What’s For Dinner. There are several variations listed in the recipe, one that is sure to fit all your preferences, and at only 360 calories and 32 grams of protein per serving, you couldn’t ask for a better meal. The addition of nutrient-dense brussel sprouts is a great way to pack in extra vitamins and minerals!
Meat and Potatoes
Are you a self-proclaimed “meat and potatoes” person? How about turning that passion in to a salad? Food Network’s Steak-and-Potato Salad is one to give a try. Full of a variety of ingredients, but simple and easy. Here’s a Warm Steak and Potato Salad that might be the keeper for your family. Try something different with it and substitute your favorite salad greens instead of the mixed baby salad greens.
On Taco Tuesday, you don’t always want a salad…try this Beef Confetti Taco Salad that has only 220 calories, 31 grams of protein and is certified by the American Heart Association as a Heart-Healthy Meal. Delicious and easy to prepare, it is sure to be your new Taco Tuesday ritual!
Remember to keep the variety going no matter what kinds of salads you enjoy. Try different recipes and salad dressings to keep from getting “burned out” on the same things. Try dressing the entire salad and tossing it rather than taking a portion out on a plate and then adding the dressing. You will find that you will use less dressing (thereby cutting down on calories) because the ingredients are more fully coated when tossed.
Not Sold on Salad
If you are just not sold on salads, or your body just cannot tolerate the roughage, no worries…it doesn’t mean you’re not healthy! All food is fit, and you can get in your lean beef and vegetables in many other ways. Cook up your favorite lean beef recipe and add your favorite cooked vegetables as your sides.
For more information on beef nutrition, recipes and to learn more about beef from pasture to plate, visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. On your Amazon or Google Home devices be sure to check out the new “Chuck Knows Beef” platform that can answer all your beef questions and look up quick recipes for you.
This article was funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Progam. Paid for by Alabama beef farmers and ranchers.