Beef Up Your Quarantine Kitchen

By Elesha Ergle, RDN



April has brought about a new normal for our country, and I read something on social media the other day about us now realizing why our grandparents (or great-grandparents) washed their Ziploc bags, kept all their bacon grease and washed out all their butter tubs. We are in a time of cutting back on food waste and learning to live off the things that we are able to get at the stores. Beef is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals and is a versatile item to keep on hand for many meals or snacks. From Breakfast Tacos to Chocolate Beefy Brownies, beef is the staple you can always count on.



Beefy Substitutes

If you are missing some of your restaurant favorites, Beef It’s What’s for Dinner has a great collection of recipes to make your favorite recipe but substituting beef in place of another protein. Love Peking Duck? Give Peking Chuck a try! If it’s calamari you’re craving, go for this recipe for Cowlamari.



So Long, Leftovers

If you have cooked a big meal and have leftovers, never fear! Go to the So Long Leftovers recipe collection. You can turn that leftover pot roast or steak in to Sushi-Style Beef Rolls.  Use leftover steak to top a great lunch time salad. Add your leftover ground beef, from tacos or sloppy joes, to your morning eggs for a protein-filled breakfast. If you have purchased frozen ground beef in bulk, you can cook it all in your instant pot and the add seasonings as desired for the meal. Use for gravy and biscuits, spaghetti, lasagna, quesadillas, or for those delicious Beefy Brownies I mentioned.



One Pan Meals

Casseroles are a perfect way to cook a big meal and have leftovers. Casseroles are great because they can be eaten as leftovers for a couple of days, or portion up in aluminum foil, wrap tightly and put in zippered bags for freezer storage. With the leftovers in smaller portions, it is easy to remove one (or more) portions for reheating on another day. If you are unsure where to start, try this Spicy Mexican Beef Bake.


Use this time at home to hone your cooking craft and try some new recipes using ingredients you already have on hand. For more recipes and information on beef from pasture to plate, visit Beef It’s What’s for Dinner.


Enjoy the springtime weather, and stay safe everyone!



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

A Lean New Year

By Elesha Ergle, RDN
Welcome to 2020, the year of hindsight! As we start this fabulous new year, set your sights on some new and creative ideas to add to your lunch boxes and dinner plans. If your previous years’ recipes are starting to lose their luster, let beef help you come up with some exciting and healthy ideas that will keep you going all year long.


Beef’s Nutrition
Beef is a healthy option! Here are the fast facts: a 3-ounce portion of lean beef (about the size of a deck of cards) contains less than 10 grams of fat and about 170 calories with about 25 grams of protein! If you are curious about all the lean cuts that beef has to offer, Beef It’s What’s for Dinner has you covered.<


In 2012, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the study Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD), which promoted four different diets, each integrating beef in varying amounts. At the end of the study, the participants that received larger amounts of lean beef were found to have lower cholesterol levels than those of diets with lower amounts of lean beef. The study provides “support for including lean beef in a heart-healthy dietary pattern.”


Fast Foods
While there are many beef recipes that require a lot of your time to prepare, Electric Pressure Cookers (EPC)— such as an Instant Pot— can cut your cooking times more than half. If you love a good roast with potatoes and carrots, try using a lean rump roast in your EPC for your next meal. This recipe uses only 3-4 ingredients and is ready in under 2 hours! (Tip: add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar OR substitute 1-cup water with 1-cup cola to the recipe to further increase tenderness.)


Snacking with Beef
If you have resolved to add more exercise in to your new year, try some beef snacks for the trip to the gym or post-workout routine. Beef It’s What’s for Dinner has a great Beef Trail Mix, and this recipe for beefy sweet and savory trail mix can be the answer to your afternoon snacking routine. If you are looking for a great home workout, try the Farm To Gym workout at the link below.


No matter what your resolutions, resolve to eat more healthy, lean beef! Set your sights on some of these new ideas or visit Beef It’s What’s for Dinner for more information and recipes. Let your hindsight be 2020 as the best year ever!


Happy New Year from all of us at the 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.


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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.