Savor the Flavors of Fall

By Elesha Ergle, RDN

Follow Elesha on Twitter & Instagram: @EleshaErgleRDN

 

 

October is Beef Month in Alabama, and it’s time to get some fall recipes together for cooler weather! Whether it’s your first pot of chili or a new recipe for meatloaf, you can make beef the star of your comfort foods for the season. A three-ounce portion of lean beef provides 25 grams of protein for only 173 calories, so you can have your protein without all the additional calories!

 

 

Quick Comforts

Meatloaf is one of the favorites at our house, and nothing says comfort food quite like a hearty meatloaf and mashed potatoes. With our busy schedules, who has time to make a homemade meatloaf? Insert the Instant Pot here! This recipe for One-Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes Supreme. You can have this home-cooked meal in minutes, not hours. Beef up your macaroni and cheese with this Cheeseburger Macaroni recipe that will keep the kids asking for more! Quick, easy, and just a few ingredients to get it together.

 

 

Chili Day

Kick off the cooler weather with your first pot of chili! So many options, which one to choose…with beans or without, with tomatoes, hot or mild. Whatever your taste buds prefer, get warmed up with these favorites. This Three Bean and Beef Chili is packed with protein and deliciousness or this Stovetop Chili Mac that is a combination of flavors that is sure to be a hit with your family.

 

 

Pot Roastin’

The ultimate comfort food…pot roast. So many variations of this wonderful dish, many have their own favorites. For a delicious, tender roast, start with a chuck or shoulder roast. For optimal tenderness and flavor, cook low and slow in slow cooker, oven, or in an electric pressure cooker. This Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast is a favorite around our house. If you like a more traditional roast, try this Classic Sunday Pot Roast.

 

Get your fall recipes going with beef! For more recipes, nutrition and food safety information, and to learn more about beef from pasture to plate, visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner. Happy Beef Month and Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

 

 

State Checkoff color_nobackgroundThis article was funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Progam. Paid for by Alabama beef farmers and ranchers.

Food Safety For the Win!

Be the MVP of Your Tailgate with Unbeatable Food Safety Skills

By Elesha Ergle, RDN

 

 

College football season is here, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Whether your favorite tailgating memories are from childhood, college, or just last weekend, a few of your memories are sure to include some of your favorite foods. Beef is always a staple in our family football gatherings or for tailgating near campus, and food safety is always a top priority for my team. Safe food handling before, during and after cooking can be the difference between a win or loss at your next gathering. Be the MVP of your party and know proper preparation, cooking and holding techniques for beef to prevent food-borne illnesses.

 

Pre-game Instructions

When purchasing beef, pay attention to the ‘use-by’ or ‘best before’ dates stamped on the packages, and keep beef refrigerated at 40 degrees (or below) until ready to use. Store raw beef on the bottom shelf of refrigerator or place in a shallow pan to prevent package from leaking on to other items.  If purchasing frozen beef, avoid packages with ice crystals, which is an indication of thawing and re-freezing. Always wash your hands before and after handling raw beef, and keep raw foods separate from cooked foods. For more information, Beef It’s What’s For Dinner has an entire page to assist you in safely handling beef from start to finish.

 

Kick-Off

You have safely handled your pre-game warm up, now it’s time to cook some delicious beef recipes for your football party! No tailgate is complete without some sort of nachos or cheese dip. Beef up your regular old queso with this Crock Pot Queso Dip, using the slow cooker to safely hold your dip for up to four hours, so you can graze over it the whole game. Call an audible on your nacho game with some Cowboy Nachos by Ree Drummond, which uses brisket instead of ground beef; or give your fans something to cheer about when they make their own nacho creations with these easy Big Game Fritos Pies.

 

The After Party

Using proper heat sources such as chaffing dishes or slow cookers, beef can be safely held at 135 degrees or higher for up to four hours; foods should then be discarded and not kept for reuse, even if they are to be reheated. Use this USDA guide for safe food handling to help you keep all your foods safe at home and away games.

 

No matter what team you are cheering for, football season is a great time to grab some beef and get your party going! For more recipes, food safety information, and to learn more about beef from pasture to plate, visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.

 

State Checkoff color_nobackgroundThis article was funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Progam. Paid for by Alabama beef farmers and ranchers.

What’s Going On Wednesday: September 4, 2019

Hello September, and hello fall months! Although it may not quite feel like fall outside, signs of the changing season are everywhere you look! Our Bama Beef Events Calendar is full of upcoming sales. Fall calves are hitting the ground across the state, and beef promotion is in the air as we’ve kicked off fall promotions surrounding October Beef Month. Speaking of, be sure to listen out for the classic “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” tagline on the Auburn and Alabama radio pre-game shows and stay tuned for big plans as we head into October. Keep reading to learn more and catch up with the team at ACA this week!
Membership # of the Day: 9,045


Alabama Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarships

ATAG-_Scholarship_APPLY_19pplications for 2019-2020 Alabama Cattlemen’s Foundation scholarships are now open and are set to close on November 1, 2019. This year’s lineup of scholarships include those funded by the sale of the Cowboy vanity car tag, such as the “Tagged for Greatness” scholarship, as well as many endowed scholarships from generous families. An addition to the many award opportunities this year is a Trade School Scholarship for students attending a trade school program in the state of Alabama. Be sure to check out our many scholarships and get those applications submitted by November 1.

Award recipients will be honored at the 2020 Alabama Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship Banquet to be held April 11, 2020 at the Wetumpka Civic Center in Wetumpka, AL. More information and applications can be found online at www.BamaBeef.org/Scholarships.

 

 

Cattlemen’s BEEF 201

The ACA is hosting a Cattlemen’s BEEF 201 Program at the Auburn IMG_4432(1)University Beef Teaching Unit and Meats Lab on Friday, September 13. We invite all cattlemen to explore the beef industry from pasture to plate, with emphasis on the plate side as we’ll fabricate a carcass before your eyes! This is the part you don’t get to see on the farm! Features of this program will include a live animal evaluation, carcass evaluation and fabrication. Please sign up to attend next week’s checkoff-sponsored course at www.BamaBeef.org/Beef201 or contact ACA Director of Education & Outreach Ali Cantrell.

 

 

Make Way for the 2020 Rodeo

sle-logoThe SLE Board of Directors will meet on Thursday to discuss several big topics in preparation of the 2020 SLE Rodeo. These will include ticket prices, entertainment, a website relaunch and other business. The annual meeting and dinner for SLE members with be Thursday, September 26 and the results of the Board disucssion will be announced to the membership. SLE members should be on the look out for an invitation to the dinner in coming days!

 

 

Sales, Sales and More Sales

It’s sale season, and it’s evident when looking at our staff calendar! On Friday, ACA Director of Field Services Morgan Pounds will be stopping by South Alabama Stockyard in Brundidge, AL to attend a special sale being hosted at the market. She’s looking forward to seeing the livestock and visiting with market owners and cattlemen attending the sale. But wait, there’s more! Morgan is also hitting the road on Saturday as she heads north to Cullman Stockyard for the Keepin’ Kind Bred Heifer Sale. If you’re out and about attending these sales, be sure to stop Morgan and introduce yourself. She’d love to talk with you!

 

 

BeefFest at SweetCreek

Screenshot 2019-08-28 13.25.41October 12-13 is sure to be a great time as we team up with the folks at SweetCreek Farm Market and Alabama Department of Ag and Industries to host the first-ever BeefFest in conjunction with the venue’s annual pumpkin festival! Make a road trip to Pike Road, AL for fun games, craft vendors, a beef chili cook-off and a coloring contest for kiddos. ACA staff and volunteers will be present to tell the pasture to plate story while serving up some delicious beef chili samples. Don’t miss out on all the fun!

 

 

Junior Pasture to Rail Registration Open

If you’re interested in teaching your youth about marketing cattle on the grid and retained ownership, we’ve got just the program for you! Youth are invited to register their animals into he Junior Pasture to Rail Program— a partnership between the Alabama Beef Checkoff Program and Alabama Beef Systems Extension— where they’ll ship calves in November, participate in a few pasture to plate educational opportunities, their receive the carcass data on their animals after harvest. To learn more about program requirements and to register, visit www.BamaBeef.org/JP2R.

 

 

Trade Show Registration Now Live

Registration is open for the trade show at the 77th annual ACA ConventionACA logo- meme size copy & Trade Show happening in Montgomery on February 14-15. That’s right, bring your sweetheart to town and enjoy promoting your product or service to Alabama’s largest gathering of cattlemen! Please contact staffer Ali Cantrell if you would like to be a vendor at the 2020 show or visit www.BamaBeef.org/Convention to register online with a credit card.

 

 

Thanks for reading this week’s post! Until we post again, we want to remind you that you can stay in touch with us by following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Burger Mania for the End of Summer!

By Elesha Ergle, RDN

 

Hamburgers. 

That one word can get your mouth drooling! From diner smash burgers to gourmet cheeseburgers, burger lovers desire the best of the best.  Cooking the perfect burger at home can be intimidating with so many different methods, but you can find one that suits your taste. Check out this great video from Epicurious that gives different cooking methods and the science behind cooking a great burger. Start perfecting your own recipes or try out some of these great ideas!

 

 

Burgers for Breakfast   

Burger lovers will flock to the idea of having a tasty burger at breakfast.  If you cook hamburgers and have leftovers, try making yourself a burger for breakfast!  Reheat a burger (165 degrees), top with some bacon, fried egg, or cheese on a bun or roll, and you’ve got yourself a high protein breakfast that is quick, delicious and packed with protein!  If you would rather have a recipe, try this Bistro Breakfast Burger.

 

 

Smash burgers

The delicious diner favorite. Ground beef is rolled into a ball, placed on a hot griddle or skillet, smashed thin, and served 1-3 patties thick, usually slathered with cheese and all kinds of delicious toppings. Use a cast iron skillet and make some of these delicious burgers at home. This recipe for smash burgers gives step-by-step instructions if you are a first timer.  Warning: after having these you may never want to cook a burger any other way!

 

 

Grill Masters Unite

If the thoughts of frying a burger in a skillet annoys you, don’t hesitate to craft a delicious, juicy burger on your grill. Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, be sure that you know the safety instructions for both methods, or refer to this video for some great tips. When you are ready to grill, try out this recipe for Classic Beef Cheeseburgers. For those of you who have mastered the art of grilling and are looking for a great new burger recipe, try these Gourmet Grilling Burgers.

 

 

Low-Carb and Gluten-Free

With many people focusing on low carb or gluten free diets, there are ways to enjoy a good burger while sticking to diet restrictions. Try having your favorite burger wrapped with all your favorite toppings inside whole leaf lettuce. You can have all the deliciousness of the burger sans the bun.  This spicy Western Burger is cool with avocado and wrapped in crispy leaf lettuce for a fresh, delicious, summer-worthy burger.

 

Whether you love them grilled, fried, leftover for breakfast…or any way that you can get them…burgers are a great way to pack in beef’s excellent protein in a delicious, affordable way. While burgers may seem like they aren’t the healthiest choice for your dinner plate, there are many methods of cooking and leaner choices available in ground meat to provide numerous options, and don’t forget to top it with fresh veggies such as lettuce, tomato and even avocado for an added boost of nutrition to complement all that delicious protein. For more recipes, cooking methods and to learn more about beef from pasture to plate, visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.

 

Stay cool, and go eat some burgers, ya’ll!

Grab the Garden-Fresh Tastes of Summer

By Elesha Ergle, RDN

 

 

Rocking chairs, shucking corn, the sound of snapping beans and purple-dyed thumbs…anyone else starting to feel like you’re on your grandma’s porch?

 

 

We spent a lot of time during the summers growing and storing our own fresh vegetables straight out of the garden. I do miss those days, and look forward to summer when fresh vegetables are more readily available. While canned and frozen vegetables are fine choices, summer is a perfect time to grab some fresh vegetables and pair them with lean beef for a nutritious meal. Lean beef is a protein power-house that provides 25 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving with only 173 calories!

 

 

Egging You On

Fresh eggplant…I remember getting some from neighbors and trying countless recipes with my mom to decide if we really liked it or not. If only we had internet then…now we can find countless recipes to fit any taste!  This recipe for Ground Beef Eggplant Parmesan will be one that you will want to make all year long.  Simple, delicious and even the kids will love it!

 

 

Burgers+ Fruits & Veggies

Yes, we can have vegetables with a real beef burger!  Grab your veggies and try this Grilled Burger with Fresh Garden Vegetables. If you want to stick to your own favorite burger recipe, add garden-fresh tomato, lettuce and onion slices for a hit of freshness with each savory bite.  If you have fresh peaches and are looking for something new and different, give this Old South Burger with Peach Compote a try!

 

 

Beef on a Stick…With Fruits and Veggies, Of Course

Kabobs are a delicious and exciting way to pair lean beef and fresh garden goodies. Dice up your favorite lean cut of beef and pair it with whatever veggies you have on hand…onions, sweet peppers, squashes, mushrooms, tomatoes…even fruits like pineapple, mango, oranges or peaches are delicious when grilled! Don’t believe me? Try this recipe for Citrus-Marinated Beef Top Sirloin & Fruit Kabobs.

 

 

Summertime Pizza

Any time is pizza time at our house, and I love this recipe for Beef and Garden Vegetable Pizza.  Mix it up different veggies, and let the kids chose their own toppings for a pizza any parent can be proud of.  This is a great recipe to use those leftover vegetables in the fridge and try something new to keep things interesting this summer!

 

 

Try your local farmer’s markets for fresh veggies and local beef, or grocery store shelves will be filling up with in-season produce at lower prices. If you aren’t used to buying fresh vegetables, use this guide to help you make the best choices and know what’s in season. Let’s get started with some of these great beef recipes, or you can check out Beef It’s What’s For Dinner for even more recipes and learn all about beef from pasture to plate. If you have an Amazon or Google Home device, Ask Chuck to help you with all your beef preparation needs.

 

Stay cool and have fun this summer, and EAT MORE BEEF!


 

 

State Checkoff color_nobackgroundThis article was funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Progam. Paid for by Alabama beef farmers and ranchers.

Choose Nutrient-Rich Beef for Your Holiday Entertaining

By Jessica Ivey, RDN

 

During the holidays, we all want to enjoy family, friends and food, but all the get-togethers and events can make it easy to get off track with healthy eating goals. Lucky for you, beef is a nutrient-rich protein source that can be incorporated into appetizers, entrees and even side dishes for festive and nutritious entertaining.

 

Beef tops the charts of protein-rich foods, providing 25 grams of high-quality protein and just 150 calories in each 3oz. cooked serving of lean beef. To put that into perspective, you’d have to eat three cups of trendy quinoa to get that much protein, which would pack a whopping 666 calories! Research shows that people who eat a higher-protein diet (about 30% of daily calories from protein) feel more satisfied, which may help prevent overeating (1), so if you’re making an effort to maintain your weight this holiday season, lean beef is a smart choice!

 

In addition to protein, three ounces of cooked beef provides 36% of the daily value of zinc, which helps maintain a strong immune system to keep you from getting sick during the busy holiday season. Feeling exhausted? Each 3oz. serving of lean beef provides 22% and 44% of the daily value of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 respectively, two nutrients that help give you energy. Beef is also a good source of iron, which helps transport oxygen in your blood.

 

If you’ll be attending or hosting a gathering with mostly appetizers and finger foods, be sure to include a source of protein to help satisfy hunger. These Mini Meatball Appetizers with Apricot Dipping Sauce can be made ahead and kept warm in a small slow cooker for an easy-to-transport option, or you can make these Spicy Steak and Avocado Bruschetta for a filling and flavorful twist on traditional bruschetta. For a foodie crowd, these Tapas-Style Pepper-Steak Parfaits are sure to impress.

 

We usually think of beef as being the star at the center of the plate, but have you ever thought about including beef in a side dish? This savory, sweet and tart Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries is equally suited as a one-dish meal or a show-stealing side. Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms deliver a punch of flavor in each poppable bite.

 

An elegant beef roast sets the stage for a special meal, no matter the occasion. Check back in December, when I’ll be sharing some fool-proof tips for the perfect holiday roast. Enjoy a happy and healthy start to your holiday season!

 

 

  1. Leidy HJ, et al. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:677-88.
  • Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh N, Lejeune MPGM, Diepvens K, Nieuwenhuizen A, Engelen MPKJ, Deutz NEP, Azzout-Marniche D, Tome D, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, metabolism, and body-weight regulation: dose–response effects. Int J Obes 2006;30:S16-S23.
  • Leidy HJ, Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein intake consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. Br J Nutr. 2009;101:798-803.

 

(Photo: Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Funded by Beef Farmers & Ranchers.)