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Fuel for the finish

Story by Angie Sutton

Food photos courtesy of National Cattleman’s Beef Association

www.mothersapronstrings.com

It was a decent temperature early Saturday morning. I donned my running shoes and headed out to a 5K race in Manhattan, Kansas. This was no ordinary 5K race. The event was a fundraiser for a pet rescue program so dogs were allowed, and encouraged, to run with their owners. Dogs of every size were socializing at the water cooler (a large plastic kid’s swimming pool), and the barking ranged from a tiny squeak to an ominous woof. We had serious runners like greyhounds and small dogs who seemed to have endless energy. The race was on an unpaved trail which made it a bit more challenging.

I’m a member of the Kansas Beef Council’s Beef Endurance Team. The team is a group of athletes focused on living healthy lifestyles and combining physical activity and a nutrient-rich diet full of lean meat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low-fat and non-fat dairy. Members of the team are from all of the state and believe in the nutritional benefits of lean beef and its vital role fueling their training.

Beef Team runners participate in a variety of races from 5K (3.2 miles) to marathons. We have the opportunity to be active role models and spread the word about lean beef. We are quickly identified at races with our jerseys sporting the Beef Endurance Team logo. The jersey serves as mobile advertising and other runners ask questions opening the opportunity to share information about lean beef.

If you are wondering, one of the small dogs and her owner won the race. This little dog still had enough energy to chase his ball and play with a toy. I enjoyed the conversation with a couple from Abilene who are also on the Beef Team. I’m happy to report that I was third place in my age range, and while the medal is appreciated, my real joy participating in a fun event!

Here are a few of the recipes we like to fuel our training.


Ranch Burgers

Source: www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

1 lb. ground beef (93 percent lean or leaner)
1/4 c. soft bread crumbs
1 egg white
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split, toasted
Romaine lettuce, tomato slices
1/4 c. reduced-fat creamy ranch dressing

Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg white and seasoned salt in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties. Brush onion slices with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Place patties and onion slices on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill patties, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill 7 to 9 minutes), until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 F, turning occasionally. Grill onions, 11 to 13 minutes or until tender, brushing with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and turning occasionally. Line bottom of each bun with lettuce. Place tomatoes and burgers on lettuce. Spoon dressing over burgers; top with onions. Close sandwiches.


Inside-Out Grilled Steak Salad

Source: www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

2 beef strip steaks boneless, cut 1 inch thick (about 10 ounces each)
16 Boston or butter lettuce leaves (about 4 to 5-inch diameter)
2 c. thin assorted vegetable strips, such as cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, sugar snap peas
1/4 c. frozen shelled edamame, thawed or frozen peas or corn, thawed
1/4 c. reduced-fat or regular vinaigrette (any variety)
1/3 c. crumbled goat or blue cheese (optional)
1/3 c. toasted chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (optional)

Rub:

2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. coarse grind or cracked black pepper

Combine rub ingredients; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill 11 to 15 minutes) for medium rare (145 F) to medium (160 F) doneness, turning occasionally. Carve steaks into slices. Place lettuce leaves on serving platter. Evenly layer vegetables onto lettuce leaves. Top evenly with steak. Drizzle with vinaigrette; sprinkle with cheese and nuts, if desired.

Test kitchen tips: To pan-broil steaks, preheat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook steaks 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145 F) to medium (160 F) doneness, turning occasionally.


Citrus-Marinated Beef and Fruit Kabobs

Source: www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

1 lb. beef top sirloin steak boneless, cut 1 inch thick
1 medium orange
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (optional)
4 c. cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums
Salt

Grate orange peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef steak into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2 1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely. Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145 F) to medium (160 F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once. Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.

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