Stroganoff in a Flash!

 

Life always gets hectic after school begins. When I get home from class and meetings at night, the last thing I want to do is make dinner.

dog-26zhs75

 

I make some kind of casserole very frequently. They are easy and fast. Last week my mom gave me the recipe for Stroganoff casserole. It is very quick and tastes great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of biscuits
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-7 oz. Can of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • Optional Cheese to sprinkle over the top

Directions:

Cook the ground beef to 160° F add the onion and cook until soft. Mix in the mushrooms and  sour cream. Open the can of biscuits.

dog-26zhs75

 

Place the individual biscuits into a greased 9×9″ dish. Place the beef mixture over the biscuits in the dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

I like to serve this with peas and a fresh garden salad. Bon Appétit!

Freezing For Later

Another semester at the University of Wyoming begins today. As soon as classes begin free time becomes a rare commodity. This year I decided to finally “grow up” and get an apartment. I no longer have a veritable smorgasbord of food hot and ready to eat at the cafeteria. I enjoy cooking, however during the week I might not have much time to prepare delicious and nutritious meals. Preparing in advance helps with time management.

zucchiniIt saves money to buy beef in bulk and freeze it for later. I like to have large packages of ground beef and cook it before I freeze it.

Ground beef

Last night, I cooked a 2 pound package of ground beef so I have recipe ready ground beef in the freezer whenever I need it.IMG_9097I like to use plastic containers to freeze my beef in. Although you can use freezer bags as well. It is important to label the dates on the containers. Cooked beef can stay in a freezer for up to 3 or 4 months.

Freeze

 

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

 

Beef Up Zucchini

Every fall, it seems like zucchini is always abundant from gardens. This recipe is a great way to beef up zucchini. Zucchini bread gets boring eventually.

Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings
zucchini
Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  •  1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Additional marinara or spaghetti sauce
  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
  2. Place shells in an ungreased 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat; stir in the marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each shell. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted into filling reads 160° and zucchini are tender. Serve with additional marinara sauce.

Spice It Up!

One of my favorite dinners to make is quesadillas. They are very easy and delicious. Plus, who needs an excuse to eat guacamole?

Here is a recipe from Beef It’s What’s For Dinner:

Crazy Quesadillas

Steak USA
Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

This recipe makes 4 servings.

1 pound Ground Beef (90% to 95% lean)
1 jar (16 ounces) prepared salsa with black beans and corn
1-1/2 cups shredded spicy Mexican cheese blend or shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 large flour tortillas (10-inch diameter)
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 350°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
Reserve 1/2 cup salsa. Add remaining salsa, cheese and 1/4 cup cilantro to beef; mix well. Spoon 1/4 of beef mixture onto half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half to close. Place on baking sheet.
Bake in 350°F oven 10 to 11 minutes or until filling is heated through and edges of tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle with cilantro, as desired; serve with reserved salsa.

I like to add extras into the quesadillas like tomatoes, refried beans, onion, or green chiles to spice things up. Quesadillas are a quick and delicious meal for people on the go!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Life Hacks: Beef Edition

Saving money is always a good thing! Here are some tips to save time and money.

  • Buy in bulk! I like to buy the bigger packages of hamburger or steaks because they are cheaper per pound.Steak USA
  • Separate and freeze! For steaks, wrap it in cling wrap as tight as possible. Then wrap it in butcher paper and label it with the date and what the package is. I like to put it into individual servings, because I am only cooking for myself. For ground beef, see the video below. 

     

  • During the week, I do not have a lot of time to prepare meals. I like to cook some ground beef and then freeze it. When I need some cooked ground beef for a recipe it is very simple to just pull it out of the freezer and microwave it and be ready to go.Steak USA
  • Plan your meals for the week. By getting organized, you can get the ingredients you need in one trip to the grocery store.

If you need some beef-spiration, check out this website!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Don’t Break the Bank!

Up until this summer, I have never truly needed to cook for myself. I lived in student housing my first two years of college, and relied on the cafeteria to cook for me. This summer, I am living and working in Washington, D.C., so it was necessary for me to learn to shop for myself. Shopping for groceries, I have learned several lessons:

  • Plan Ahead. Set a budget before you go to the grocery store, and make a list. If I do not do those two things, I end up making several unplanned purchases.
Planning ahead saves time and money!

Planning ahead saves time and money!

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach! If I shop without eating a meal beforehand, I end up buying a bunch of ready-made junk food instead of the groceries I went to the store to purchase.

Hungry

  • Do the math. Sometimes buying in bulk is a great way to save money! However, sometimes it costs the same or it might be more expensive. Be sure to compare the price per pound or ounce before picking a size.
It's important to look closer at the "deals."

It’s important to look closer at the “deals.”

  • Look at the nutrition label. A product might be cheap for a reason. It is important to look at the nutrition label to see how much nutrition the product provides, and at what cost. Beef for instance is very rich in protein, zinc, and iron. For only 8% of your daily calories, beef provides almost half of the daily value of protein.
Check out here

Check out this link for more information on beef nutrition.

  • Shop sales, and freeze for later. Especially with beef, you can freeze the product to extend the shelf life. The video below shows a great method for freezing ground beef for later.

If you do freeze beef for later, this chart shows how soon you should use that product by.

 

 

 

Freeze

 

What ways do you save money at the grocery store?

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

God Bless America

Nothing says Happy Fourth of July quite like a barbecue complete with family, friends, beef, sweet corn, and watermelon. Although I am having the time of my life at my internship this summer, I am a little bit bummed that I am missing the small town celebrations for the Fourth of July. Steak USAIn the rural community I am from, the Fourth of July is always a big celebration. The farmers and ranchers typically take the day off (after taking care of their cattle of course!). Family and friends get together to enjoy the fireworks and fellowship. It really is a fun time. Here are some fun recipes and dishes with a patriotic spin to enjoy at a Fourth of July barbecue.

  • July 4th Kabobs Recipe: This is a fun recipe because it includes red, white, and blue! I also love how quick the kabobs are ready. I like mushrooms and avocados on my kabobs, so experiment with your favorite vegetables to find a combination that you love.

    Yum!

    Kabobs are a refreshing and fun dish to prepare and enjoy.

  • Patriotic Beef Pinwheels: Pinwheels are one of my favorite appetizers. This recipe provides a unique blend of flavors in just four ingredients!

    Additional bonus: Fun patriotic colors!

    Additional bonus: Fun patriotic colors!

  • Burgers: They are always a favorite! If you want to add a patriotic flare, use a star shaped cookie cutter to make fun shapes.

    A fun twist on a favorite!

    A fun twist on a favorite!

  • Patriotic Taco Salad: Food doesn’t have to be boring, make it festive!

    Ready in just 30 minutes!

    Ready in just 30 minutes!

7441383174_20aa6286a2_o

Remember, ground beef needs to be cooked to 160, and steaks and roasts need to reach at least 145.

Although barbecues can be a lot of fun, be sure to take precautions to ensure the food is kept at a safe temperature.

Patriotic food can be really fun! I hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July. As always, thank you so much to the brave men and women in uniform that keep our great country free. God bless America.

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Beef YOUR Way!

One of the coolest things about beef is the abundance of options! Another amazing thing is that we as consumers get to take advantage of those options. We all have our preferences. It is just a matter of making sure we are aware of recommend tips so that we can enjoy our preferences in the comfort of your own homes.

 

Here are a few of the many options we have when eating beef:

 

  • Cut – Whether you prefer tenderloin, brisket, round roast, tri-tip, flat- iron, or a burger, you have endless opportunities to find your favorite flavor and personal  preference when eating beef!
    cuts of beef
  • Degree of Doneness – The degree to which a steak is prepared greatly affects the flavor. Some may prefer rare and others may prefer well done. To ensure you achieve your personal preference, meat thermometers are life savers when it comes to getting the most out of your beef eating experience at home.

doneness chart

  • Raising Method – Grass-fed and grain-finished beef both have very distinct flavors. Even though there is very little nutritional difference between the two options, consumers have yet another level of variety to determine their favorite. Whether the beef is natural, organic or conventional, it is important to remember that all beef is nutritious and delicious.

grainvsgrass

  • Seasoning – There are endless opportunities when it comes to enhancing beefy flavors. If you are looking to liven up your beef, you can get creative with your own mixture of spices! You can put Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, and countless other spins on traditional rubs and marinades.

spices

  • Cooking Method – Some cuts of beef reap more desirable results when prepared in specific ways. For instance, more tender cuts like those from the loin are better suited for dry-heat cooking methods such as grilling and searing. Similarly, tougher cuts such as roasts are better suited for moist-heat cooking methods such as braising and stewing. Making sure that the cut is prepared properly can ensure a better beef eating experience!

cooking methods

  • Marbling – Marbling is the fat flecks within the meat that influence the degree of tenderness, juiciness and flavor of the meat. If you enjoy more juicy beef, you may prefer a higher quality grade (Prime or high Choice), but if you prefer more lean beef, a lower quality grade (lower Choice or Select) may be your preference.

marbling

 

Moral of the story: Just like every single person is unique, every person’s beef preference is unique. It is just a matter of figuring out your favorite way to enjoy beef’s incredible flavor. No matter what your preference is, all beef options offer essential nutrients that our bodies need in order to operate perfectly. For more tips on how you can enjoy beef, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com!

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

Five Tips to Master Memorial Day Grilling

With Memorial Day next Monday, beef is the number one protein of choice for this holiday, and grills will be heated up cooking steaks and hamburgers across the United States. As we invite family and friends over to enjoy a juicy steak or hamburger, here are five tips that you need to remember so you have the most savory and best experience this holiday.

1. When cooking steaks, cook for a total of 14 minutes, seven minutes on each side, flipping only once.

timer

Set a timer for 14 minutes, flipping the meat only once at seven minutes to get an even grill on both sides.

2. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees whereas hamburgers should be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees. The only way to ensure your beef is cooked to the proper temperatures is to use an instant read meat thermometer.

5 24965

Insert the instant meat read thermometer sideways into the thickest part of the beef to get an accurate temperature reading.

3. Use tongs rather than a fork to flip steaks and take steaks off the grill. A fork will pierce your steaks or hamburgers and the juices inside that add flavor and tenderness will be lost.

grilling[1]

Flipping steaks and hamburgers with tongs rather than forks ensures juices will stay inside the meat as it cooks and rests.

4. Let your steaks and/or hamburgers rest at least five to seven minutes before serving. The heat from the grill causes the juices inside the meat to flow and without letting your steaks or hamburgers rest prior to cutting them open, all the juices would flow out onto your plate and not cause as juicy or flavorful eating experience.

resting steak

Allowing your steaks or hamburgers to rest prior to serving it will ensure you and your guests enjoy a flavorful, tender, and juicy eating experience this holiday!

5. Cut against the grain of your steaks. Hamburgers, because they are ground beef, do not have a grain, but all cuts of steak do. It is important to cut against the grain of the meat so you do not have a chewy eating experience.

against the grain

Cut against the grain to keep the juices and flavor into the meat and avoid chewiness.

As you celebrate your Memorial Day with firing up your grill, remember these five simple tips so you and your guests have the best eating experience with the steaks and/or hamburgers you grill. Although this day is your time to shine as a chef, do not forget to thank the Veterans that have served so we can live in a free country.

flag

Happy Memorial Day, happy grilling, and thank you Veterans!

~Demi~

What Does the Label Mean?

When you go to the market to purchase beef, you are confronted with several different labels. All of these labels can be very confusing! One of the biggest labels with beef is grass fed. Most cattle are raised on a combination of both grass and grain in the United States because of our shortened growing season. Although it is not as common as grain finished beef, it is still very common to find grass-finished beef in most grocery stores. So what is the difference between grass finished and grain finished beef?

vs.

Grass finished and grain finished beef differ in the final stage of production.

For both production methods, the calves spend their first few months of life with their mothers. They drink their mother’s milk and graze on grass pastures. Once these calves reach approximately 500 pounds, they are weaned from their mothers. Calves typically then go to stockers and backgrounders to graze on many different kinds of pasture all across the United States. If they are going into the grain-finished production system, the calves will start receiving grain to supplement their diets. The majority of cattle in the United States are then sold or moved to feedyards where they receive carefully balanced, nutritious diet for an average of 120 to 180 days. In the grass-finished system, the calves will continue grazing on grass pastures until they reach the desired weight. Cattle in feedyards typically reach market weight around 3-6 months faster.

The important takeaway from this is that nearly all cattle spend the majority of their lives grazing on native grasslands.

no

For more information, click here.

All types of beef, regardless of the way it is finished is wholesome, safe, and nutritious. No matter what way it is finished, all beef is an excellent source of six nutrients and vitamins, providing more than 20 percent of the recommended daily value, and can be part of a nutritious and balanced diet. The decision between grass and grain finished is really a matter of personal preference. I would recommend trying grass-finished and grain-finished beef side by side like our team did in Denver to determine what your preference is. In my honest opinion, I could tell a difference between the two types but I am indifferent. I think that both kinds of beef deserve a place at the butcher counter, and in my kitchen. Not everyone feels that way, and that is okay! The beauty of choice at the meat counter is that everyone can purchase what they like.

Although there is a noticeable difference

At the end of the day, it is a matter of consumer preference!

Happy Meaty Monday! Check out part two of this blog here.

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer