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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Tired of Turkey? Beef Isn't So Bad Afterall

Posted by Jenna Smith - Holidays

My husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner as a married couple, and we are proud to say that it went smoother than butter. No doubt it was hard work, but our guests left happy and full. And for us, we had enough turkey leftovers to make a multitude of meals, including turkey sandwiches, turkey soup and turkey casserole. But we grew tired of the white meat bird; for this week's meals we were hungry for some beef!

Red meat has gotten a bad rap for being a nutritional "no-no" mainly due to its saturated fat and cholesterol content. However, while epidemiological studies have reported mixed associations between red-meat consumption and cardiovascular disease mortality, a study in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reports that lean beef can be included in a heart-healthy diet. In fact, the study showed that a diet low in saturated fat with 113 grams of lean beef per day significantly decreased total cholesterol and "bad" LDL blood cholesterol levels.

The important note here is the inclusion of lean red meats and not just any red meat. When it comes to red meat, those cuts that include the word "round" are the lowest in saturated fat, with "loin" being a close second. As of March 1, 2012 comparing saturated fat in meats just became a whole lot easier. Nutrition labeling for meat is now mandatory. So while red meat tends to be higher in saturated fat, you'll now be able to see for yourself that it's not always the case. For example, a 3 ounce skinless chicken thigh actually has more saturated fat and total fat than a 3 ounce top round steak.

There is convincing evidence that lean red meat can be included in a heart-healthy diet. Just be sure to balance it with fish, poultry, and vegetarian proteins. Try this beef curry recipe using lean sirloin steak. Look for a lower fat coconut milk or if you must, use half and half.

Beef Curry

3 cups brown rice, cooked

½ teaspoon olive or canola oil

1 large onion, cut into strips

10 baby carrots, cut into strips

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into ¼ inch strips

1 can (14 ounce) unsweetened "lite" coconut milk

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon salt or to taste

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent from browning. Add steak and raise the heat to high. Stir-fry until the steak is medium rare or at desired doneness and vegetables are tender. Add the coconut milk and stir to mix. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger and remaining spices. Stir well. Continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve over bed of rice.

Serves: 6

Nutritional Analysis per serving: 300 Calories, 8 grams fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 34 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 24 grams protein

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