Beef Up the Holiday Season

By Elesha Ergle, RDN

 

The holidays are here! It is hard to believe that we are already in preparation for our Thanksgiving feasts. Thanksgiving may lovingly be known as “Turkey Day,” but every holiday spread deserves some beef! Beef is a versatile choice for the holidays providing high quality protein in a low-calorie package. Reach for some of these awesome ideas over the coming days and weeks.

 

 

Beefing Up Breakfasts

Many of us have overnight guests during the holidays, and we want to feed them more than a toaster pastry or bowl of cereal for breakfast. This easy Breakfast Scramble can be made ahead of time and cooked when your guests are ready to eat. If you have a house full of people with a variety of tastes, grab some mugs and a variety of ingredients for Beef and Egg Breakfast Mugs. Your guests can make their own creation to their liking and cook individually in the microwave.

 

 

Hors d’oeuvres

In many families the holiday meal isn’t at a regular “meal time,” and appetizers might be the key to keeping everyone from becoming hangry until the main course is served. Try some Corned Beef and Pickle Dip that’s a cinch to make and serve. Simple, easy, and loaded with flavor, these Flaky Beef Stuffed Pinwheels are a wonderful addition to your holiday appetizer tray. If you’re looking for something tasty and different for a football gathering or a “Friendsgiving” party, try these Cheeseburger Egg Rolls.

 

 

Beef Up Turkey Day

Yes, maybe it’s turkey day…but you can have your turkey and beef too! Bring some beef to the table with some amazing side dishes. Change up your stuffing with Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries. Add new tradition to your table with this Beefed Up Mac and Cheese that will have the kids asking for more. If you really want to change it up this year, make beef the star of your Thanksgiving with this Classic Beef Tenderloin Roast with Cranberry Drizzle. This healthy recipe is certified by the American Heart Association and will bring flavor and nutrition to your table any time of the year.

 

 

The holidays are a great time to try  new recipes and eat more beef with the company of friends and family! While it can be a time of over indulging and putting on added weight, lean beef can play a part in keeping your holidays fit. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides 25 grams of protein and only 173 calories! For more information on beef’s nutrition and health benefits, and to find out more about beef from pasture to plate, visit Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.

 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Alabama Cattlemen’s Association!

 

 

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.