Put Some ZIP In Your Life!

It’s National Beef Month! A great way to kick off the summer is with your family’s favorite variety of beef, a grill, and a Memorial Day get-together. A bonus to May being National Beef Month is that it’s also National Barbeque Month. What’s a better paring with Memorial Day weekend than grilling up tongue-tantalizing steaks or burgers?

In recognition of National Beef Month I’ve decided to share some of my favorite beef recipes from my family-favorites recipe book along with some beef and health facts.

I’m a runner and eating beef is an integral part of my diet as much as it is for my busy husband and active kids. Eating beef provides ZIP: Zinc, Iron, and Protein. My family and I crave beef but it also gives me the energy that I need and helps maintain a healthy metabolism.

Zinc helps heal wounds and is important for healthy skin, a healthy immune system, and the resistance to infections. Iron carries oxygen to cells and is important part of red blood cells. A sign of iron deficiency is fatigue, and whenever I feel tired and drained, it’s usually because I haven’t eaten enough meat. Other signs of iron deficiency are infections, muscle weakness, and lack of ability to concentrate. Protein in the body helps repair cells and makes new ones, produces stamina and energy, and helps resist diseases but not all proteins are created equal.

These three important nutrients can all be found beef. I’m all about convenience, and I like knowing I can conveniently get Zinc, Iron and Protein into my family’s diet every day just by feeding them beef.

Many consumers don’t realize that one of the most important factors regarding food safety with meat (but is easy to remedy) is cooking meat at the proper temperature.  Hamburgers need to be cooked at a higher temperature than steaks or roasts. The optimal temperature for cooking a safe hamburger is 160˚. Proper handling and storage is another factor.

My favorite cuts of beef are sirloins and filets. I also love a good burger. As much as I like the convenience of the pressed hamburger patties we get from the meat processor where we butcher our beef, I also like making my own seasoned hamburgers that pack a flavorful punch.

Ranch Burgers

1 lb. ground beef

  • 1 slightly beat egg
  • ½ lb. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • Pepper

Mix thoroughly, shape into patties and grill or broil. Try topping with sliced avocados, mushrooms, or grilled peppers.

This next recipe is my all-time favorite grilling recipe. Cubed steak paired with this marinade, onions, peppers and even potatoes, then cooked on a grill makes this meal to die for.

 Shish Kebabs

  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ¾ c. soy sauce
  • ½ c. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 minced garlic cloves

Mix and pour over cubed steak and marinate for a few hours. Place on skewers (pre-soak in water if using wooden skewers) with mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, onions, and potato cubes.

 I often cook extra steaks in order to have leftovers so I can have it for lunch the next day. Tortillas are a great way to enjoy leftover steak for lunch. The following wraps are recipes I made up and are a few of my lunchtime favorites.

 Avocado Steak Wrap #1

  • Leftover steak sliced in thin strips
  • Flour tortilla
  • ¼ of an avocado, softened
  • Sliced, quartered onions
  • Handful dry bagged coleslaw mix
  • Seasoning salt, garlic salt or Cajun seasoning

 Mash avocado to cover tortilla. Sprinkle with seasoning to taste. Add steak strips to tortilla, warm in microwave 45 seconds to a minute. Add onions and coleslaw to tortilla, roll and enjoy. The dry coleslaw gives it a bit of a crisp crunch.

Avocado Steak Wrap #2

  • Leftover steak sliced in thin strips
  • Flour tortilla
  • ¼ avocado, softened
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced and quartered onions
  • Shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • Seasoning salt, garlic salt or taco seasoning mix

Mash avocado to cover tortilla, add steak strips and sprinkle with shredded cheese, cilantro, onions and seasoning to taste. Warm in microwave 45 seconds to a minute, roll and enjoy.

Ranch Style Steak Wrap

  • Leftover steak sliced in thin strips
  • Sliced, quartered onions
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • Tbs. ranch dressing
  • Shredded cheese, optional

Mix all to coat, spoon into tortillas and roll. Can be eaten cold or warmed.

This is the barbeque sauce that I use on beef short ribs for our branding day dinner (only I make a gallon of it!). It’s got a very unique flavor that’s unlike other barbeque sauces due to the instant coffee granules and tastes really great.

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • Chopped onion

Simmer; add to burgers, steaks, or beef short ribs during grilling, broiling or cooking.

There. You’ve got some fresh ideas for adding ZIP to your meals and perking up your cooking.


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