Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beef, saturated fats and heart health

Orignally posted on: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-resources/my-beef-checkoff/Beef-saturated-fats-and-heart-health-271890231.html?ref=231

A new research study, funded by the beef checkoff and the National Institutes of Health-supported Penn State General Clinical Research Center, published in the June 19, 2014 issue of Journal of Human Hypertension, shows that a heart-healthy diet that includes lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Myth:  Saturated fat is bad for you.

Conventional Wisdom:  Many researchers have now begun to reevaluate the role of saturated fats in heart disease. A review of more than 70 clinical studies raised questions about current guidelines related to fat intake, which generally restrict the consumption of saturated fats and encourage consumption of polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease.4

Furthermore, many people may be surprised to know that beef contributes 10 percent or less of saturated fat and total fat to the American diet.2 And, about half the fatty acids found in beef are monounsaturated fatty acids3, the same kind found in olive oil and avocados. The recently published study in the Journal of Human Hypertension conducted at Penn State also shows that a dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, that includes lean beef, even daily, can reduce risk factors for heart disease, including elevated cholesterol and blood pressure.1

In a press release issued by Penn State, lead researcher Penny M. Kris-Etherton noted that “this research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet. This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.”
The DASH eating plan -- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- is currently recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources.

Lean beef can be enjoyed as the predominant protein source in a DASH-like diet, along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, to effectively help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals, the researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension. This DASH-like diet is also called the BOLD+ diet -- Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet plus additional protein.

“This evidence suggests that it is the total protein intake -- not the type of protein -- that is instrumental in reducing blood pressure, as part of a DASH-like dietary pattern,” the researchers stated.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visitMyBeefCheckoff.com.

Zanovec M, O'Neil CE, Keast DR, Fulgoni VL 3rd, Nicklas TA. Lean beef contributes significant amounts of key nutrients to the diets of US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. Nutr Res 2010;30:375-81.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Available at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/.
Chowdhury R, Warnakula S. Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann of Intern Med 2014;160:398-406.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers

Eat these over-the-top burgers with a knife and fork, or set out a pile of napkins. Add fresh crisp texture and flavor by mounding slaw atop the burgers. Serve extra slaw on the side, or save it for another day.

1/3 cup mayonnaise 
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (16-oz.) package 3-color deli coleslaw mix
1 pound ground sirloin 
2 tablespoons steak sauce
4 hamburger buns, toasted
1 (16-oz.) can chili, warmed

1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Add coleslaw mix; toss to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
2. Combine ground sirloin, steak sauce, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Gently shape mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties.
3. Grill patties, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink in center. Serve on hamburger buns, and top burgers with chili and coleslaw mixture.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie

Make this Texas Friday-night-football favorite your Tuesday supper. 

2 cups frozen whole kernel yellow corn, thawed
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided $
1 (9-oz.) package garlic pork sausage links, casings removed
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16-oz.) bottle salsa verde
2 (4.5-oz.) cans chopped green chiles
1 (16-oz.) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 cups original corn chips
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
Toppings: cilantro, radishes, avocado


1. Sauté corn in 3 tsp. hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until corn begins to char. Remove corn from skillet.
2. Sauté sausage in skillet over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels.
3. Sauté onion in remaining 2 tsp. hot oil in skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in salsa, chiles, and sausage. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in beans, lime juice, and corn.
4. Divide chips among 6 plates. Spoon sausage mixture over chips; top with half of cheese. Serve with toppings and remaining cheese.
Note: We tested with Herdez Salsa Verde and Fritos Original Corn Chips.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beef: Delivers 10 Essential Nutrients at About $1 Per Serving

Myth: The price of beef has risen so much it is now unaffordable to my family.

The Facts: There are a variety of beef options to fit any budget. Food prices have increased across the board; beef is not alone, but when you compare current beef prices at retail to 2012 prices, the increase amounts to just about $0.08 more per pound.

At approximately $1 per serving, beef provides 10 essential nutrients your body needs, like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins. For about 150 calories, a 3-oz serving of lean beef provides about the same amount of protein as three servings (1½ cups) of cooked black beans with 341 calories.

There are many factors that impact the price of beef, including supply (the U.S. cattle herd is the smallest it has been since the 1950s) and demand (U.S. beef exports are at an all-time high). Another contributing factor is the rise in the price of grains, like corn, fed to cattle. In the past 10 years, the price of corn has more than doubled* in part due to widespread drought in corn-growing regions. Drought has also impacted the availability of grass pasture and rangeland for grazing cattle.

The good news is there are many ways to save on beef this summer – and all year round, take a look below.

Why is the price of beef so high? Many factors impact price including drought. You can enjoy beef for approx. $1 per serving, plus 6 ways to save on beef.

For more information and recipe ideas visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Demystify Ground Beef: Understanding the Grinds

We understand it can be confusing—there are a lot of choices when it comes to Ground Beef. So let’s break it down and explain the common grinds and what dishes and recipes they’re best for.

80% lean/20% fat Ground Beef is probably the highest fat option you’ll find at your grocery store. This grind will make a delicious, decadent burger on the grill. One beautiful thing about grilling is that some of the fat will naturally drip away from the burgers while cooking.

90% lean/10% fat Ground Beef is a nice option for dishes like meatloaf and meatballs, where you’ll be forming a ball or loaf, but you’ll be cooking in a pan or skillet.

93% lean or leaner Ground Beef meets government guidelines for “lean.” If you’re trying to choose lean meats, this is a great choice for you. It works well in dishes that require crumbles, like meat sauce, stuffed peppers (these are just the cutest things ever!) or casseroles where draining fat away might be difficult.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Use convenient fully-cooked Pot Roast in this quesadilla topped with tomatillos and roasted tomatoes.


  1. 1 package (about 17 ounces) fully-cooked boneless beef pot roast in gravy or au jus
  2. 8 red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  3. 16 (1/4-inch thick) slices yellow tomatoes (4 small)
  4. 16 (1/4-inch thick) slices tomatillos (4 medium)
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  7. 4 large flour tortillas (11 to 12-inch diameter)
  8. 1/2 cup shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
  9. 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes and tomatillos on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt. Roast in 400°F oven 25 to 30 minutes or until juices have evaporated and skins are blistered; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cut 32 rounds from tortillas with 2-1/2-inch diameter cookie cutter; set aside. Combine cheeses in small bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat pot roast in microwave oven according to package directions; cool slightly. Remove from gravy; discard gravy or reserve for another use. Shred pot roast with two forks; set aside.
  4. Place 16 tortillas rounds on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Top each evenly with cheese mixture and shredded beef. Cover with remaining tortilla rounds. Spray tortilla tops with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are lightly browned, turning halfway through cooking time.
  5. Top each quesadilla with 1 tomatillo slice, yellow tomato slice and cherry tomato half. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Traditionally Mediterranean ingredients like feta and olives are mixed into a salad in a unique presentation. 


  1. 1 pound Ground Beef
  2. 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  3. 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  4. 1/3 cup crumbled herb-flavored feta cheese
  5. 1/3 cup prepared regular or reduced fat non-creamy Italian dressing or other vinaigrette
  6. 1/4 cup Kalamata or ripe olives, chopped
  7. 4 pita breads, toasted


  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef and bell pepper; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour off drippings.
  2. Add lettuce, cheese, dressing and olives to beef mixture; toss to combine. Top pitas with equal amounts of beef mixture.