Cooking School – Healthy Beef

By / Food / April 19th, 2011 / 2

Beef has received a bad rap over the last number of years. Concerns over trans fats, cholesterol, BSE (mad cow disease) and Hormone Growth Promoters have decreased everyone’s appetite for beef. Despite all of that, it remains a reliable source of necessary nutrients, like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins. If you love beef, take heart. You can stay healthy by choosing lean and organic beef for your meals.

The Beef Information Centre has just released a some tips to help us enjoy beef in healthy ways.

Boost the Veg Mix vegetables into the meat mix when making Hamburgers. Add up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot or zucchini.

Quick Fix Buy store-made fresh beef kabobs, then marinate and grill them.



Fast Fry Try a potato masher to stir ground beef when pan-frying for faster and more even cooking.

Get It Done To know when burgers and thick cut steaks are done, insert an instant-read thermometer sideways into centre of steak/burger. Beef burgers are done when thermometer reads 160°F (71°C). Steaks can be enjoyed medium-rare (140°F/60°C), medium (155°F/68°C) or well-done (165°F/74°C), allowing steaks to rest covered loosely with foil for 5 minutes before serving.

Add Yum Factor Make soups more substantial by adding cooked lean ground beef or slivers of leftover roast beef.

Boost Your Vitamin D Add lean beef, salmon or a hard cooked egg to a salad for lunch or dinner

Restaurant Chic For a quick restaurant-style steak experience at home, use thick-cut beef medallions, pan-seared and served with a simple sauce

Carve For Flavour To maximize tenderness with roast beef, even in less than premium cuts, carve your roast into thin slices across the grain.

Get the Red Out If your roast is underdone, slip thin slices into simmering gravy for a second or two to finish them as you like.

Beef and Pasta Florentine
This dinner-in-one-casserole recipe works for a crowd. Quick to make, easy to serve and faster to cook than a frozen lasagna. You get all four food groups in this one dish

1 lb Extra Lean/Lean Ground Beef Round
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed/ground tomatoes
1 tsp EACH dried oregano, basil and salt
3 cup small shell pasta, about 300 g
1 box (300 g), frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup EACH light cottage cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese blend

1. Cook beef in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up with wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes; drain if necessary. Stir in stewed tomatoes, breaking up with spoon. Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and 2 cups WATER; bring to boil.
2. Stir in pasta. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.
3. Stir in spinach and cottage cheese; gently heat through, stirring occasionally. Bake or serve right away, spooning into individual bowls, topping each with some mozzarella. TO BAKE: Transfer mixture to 9 x 13-inch (3 L) casserole; top with cheese and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with a California Zinfandel.


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