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Should You Feed You Family Beef?

As moms concerned with good health, we have been indoctrinated — probably by our own moms — to browbeat our kids into eating their veggies.

Of course, that is a good thing to do. However, that does not mean you are a “bad mom,” if you are like this ol’ gal and enjoy eating and serving your family a steak or juicy burger every now and again.

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For many of us, nothing is as substantial or says “food” more than beef. The aromas of beef grilling, roasting, broiling, searing in the pan brings instant salivation and craving. Despite some controversy over beef in the diet, beef does have outstanding nutrition value and can fit beautifully into diet planning. It just takes knowing a few pitfalls to avoid when thinking about a beef meal.

First of all, bigger is not always better. One measure of a standard serving of beef is 100-113g, which is about the size of a deck of cards. So choose your cuts carefully. A typical T-bone steak can weigh 300g or more. Even without the bone that is still a lot of red meat and a lot of saturated fat. Eating a diet high in saturated fat has been connected to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease because saturated fat increases cholesterol. But happily, a serving of a leaner cut of beef containing between four and nine grams of fat can easily be worked into most diets, even reduced- or low-fat diets.

Getting the Best from Beef

Beef is a great source of protein, zinc, selenium, iron, and B vitamins, just choose leaner cuts of beef such as round steaks and some parts of sirloin steaks. Do buy “Select” or “Lean Cut” or “Extra Lean” grades of beef which have less fat per serving.

When selecting beef cuts, meat that has been taken from the ribs or shoulder is the fattiest, while meat from the round or behind is the leanest. When selecting ground beef, look for the word “loin” or “round.”

No matter what cut of beef you chose, don’t be afraid to ask the man behind the meat counter to trim away any visible fat on any cut of beef.

Here are a few tips for making 100-113g of low-fat beef a delightful nutritious and satisfying meal.

Beef Stir-Fry or Sauté

Healthy stir-fries or sautéed meals with beef can use just a minimum of olive oil to brush the pan, and just 100-113g of lean beef per person, and lots of different vegetables, sauces and seasonings. The vegetables will add volume to your meal, and the sauces and seasonings will add so many flavors, you won’t even realize the amount of meat in the dish.

Casseroles and Loaves

Choose the lowest-fat grade of ground beef, cook thoroughly and drain all of the fat before proceeding with your recipe and select recipes that use tomatoes and tomato sauce instead of cheese or cream sauces. Extend your ground beef by mixing it with whole-grain breadcrumbs or wheat germ, vegetables or mashed beans.

Easy Meatloaf
450-675g. lean ground beef
2 eggs
medium jar roasted red peppers- chopped
1 onion chopped

½- 1 whole green pepper chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
60g, whole grain bread crumbs or wheat germ
5g. Salt, 5g. pepper, seasonings to taste
15ml. balsamic vinegar
15ml. Worcestershire sauce
45g. Parmesan Cheese (optional)
30g. chopped fresh basil or 5g.. dried basil
30g.. chopped fresh parsley or 5g. dried
2 small cans tomato paste

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine all ingredients. Place in a casserole dish, cover with foil and bake about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Slice it up and serve.

Easy Salisbury Steak Recipe

650g. lean ground beef
1 egg
15 ml. Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
seasonings of your choice
30ml olive oil
1 small package mushrooms (portobello) sliced
15g. flour
475ml. beef stock

To prevent ground beef from falling apart while cooking, form your steak patties and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking.

In a large bowl combine the ground beef, egg, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Mix and make patties. Cook patties in a non-stick pan or with a dash of olive oil 5 minutes per side until the juices run clear. Remove and cover with foil to keep them warm.  Add the rest of the olive oil to the same pan. Add your mushrooms and cook over medium heat until tender, 5 minutes. Season to taste.  Add the flour to the mushrooms, mix and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in beef stock, and cook until sauce has thickened. Pour gravy over steaks and serve.

A Great Roast

Here is a piece de resistance roast with mushrooms that can work well for diets.

For beef roast stuffed with mushrooms you need 60 ml. water, 60 ml. dry white wine, .5g. salt, 300-340g. fresh mushrooms, 900g. beef eye of roast, .5g. crushed fennel seed or dried dillweed, .5g. Pepper, 120ml. beef broth, 40g. sliced green onion, 60g. plain low-fat yogurt, 15ml. low-calorie salad dressing or mayonnaise, and 10g. flour.

Trim the excess of fat from roast and cut eight spaced crosswise slits in the roast, three inches deep. The roast should be placed in a plastic bag, set it into a deep bowl, pour wine over it, and seal the bag. The marinated roast must be kept in the refrigerator for at least six hours and no more than one day. Turn the bag occasionally.

Combine the mushrooms, dill, or fennel and salt, and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat and reduce the liquid, about 15 minutes. Cool, then stir in the onion and salad dressing or mayonnaise. Remove the roast from the bag, throw away the marinade, and put the filling into pockets in roast and the roast in a roasting pan. Roast for up to one hour and a half or until the meat thermometer registers 140degrees F. Stir in a small saucepan the flour, pepper, and yogurt. Stir in beef broth; cook it over medium heat until the sauce is bubbly. Slice the meat between the filled pockets and serve it with sauce

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About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman


  1. This article reads like a long infomercial for the beef industry, and it’s full of old clichés like the “deck of cards” portion size bit. Sigh. I’m happy to be a vegan conservative and love my veggies, fruits, grains, beans, and nuts…and I thrive amazingly on them as well, as opposed to my often ill health throughout my young life as a meat eater. So we trade one advertorial for another, but at least mine’s short.

  2. I agree with the first comment, that this article looks very much like it was produced by a marketing agency for the beef industry. With all that I’ve learned over time about corporations running media and government agencies, that conclusion fits.

  3. I thought the article a good one. After all we are only having beef once or twice a week. The suggestion and recipes sounded like a healthy suggestion for meat eaters. As moms we know that best is once a week on the beef, but that would take some training and tweeking of the family menu plan which is doable. It just takes a while to change our bad habbits. Need more chicken, fish, and legumes. I enjoy lentils some of the time.

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