Red meat is a Father’s Day favorite and sure to grace the menus of Father’s Day feasts around the country this weekend. For those looking for healthier options for their family celebrations, remember – not all cuts of meat are equal. Grilling can be one of the lightest ways to entertain, but it all comes down to knowing what cuts to look for how to prepare them and how to complement them with nutrient-rich additions to the menu.
Lean cuts of meat such as sirloin, have up to 34 percent less fat today than a few decades ago, thanks to new breeding, feeding and fat trimming at the grocery store. This is good news, but some still struggle to know how to cook lean beef cuts and keep them tender when the fat content is so low.
Adding lean cuts of beef to cool summer salads is an ideal way to turn up the flavor and certainly makes for a delicious and nutritious way to celebrate this Father’s Day. In time for firing up your grill this weekend, following are a few crowd-pleasing, healthy grilling recipes — each with less than 15 grams of fat.
Champagne Steak Salad with Blue Cheese -- 300 calories, 14 grams of fat
Recipe courtesy of Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
- 2 beef Ranch Steaks , cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons crushed mixed peppercorns (black, white, pink and green)
- 2 medium red and/or yellow bell peppers, cut into quarters
- 1 package (5 ounces) mixed salad greens
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground mixed peppercorns
- Bring 1-inch water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add green beans, cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl; set aside.
- Press 2 teaspoons peppercorns evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange peppers around steak. Grill steaks, covered, 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 12 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness. Grill peppers 7 to 11 minutes (gas grill times remain the same) or until crisp-tender, turning steaks and vegetables occasionally.
- Carve steaks into thin slices. Cut peppers into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Season beef and vegetables with salt, as desired. Divide salad greens among four serving bowls; top evenly with vegetables. Arrange beef on salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Note: You can use Ranch or Top Sirloin cuts – both approximately 300 calories and 15 grams of fat.
Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing – 320 calories, 14 grams of fat
Recipe courtesy of the Texas Beef Council and The Healthy Beef Cookbook
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (approx. 4 oz. each)
- 1/2 tsp. coarse grind black pepper
- 1 package (5 oz.) mixed baby salad greens
- 1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into 16 wedges
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1/2 cup prepared honey mustard
- 2-3 Tbsp. water
- 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. coarse grind black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Season steaks with 1/2 tsp. pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.
- Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
Farmer’s Market Vegetable, Beef and Brown Rice Salad; 500 calories, 15 grams of fat
Recipe courtesy of Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and The Healthy Beef Cookbook
- 1 lb. top round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups asparagus pieces (2-inch in length)
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
- 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes
- 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and 1/4 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight. Reserve remaining marinade in refrigerator for dressing.
- Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 12 to 13 minutes for medium rare doneness, turning once. Remove; keep warm.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add asparagus and squash; cook and stir 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Toss with rice, tomatoes, beans, basil, salt and reserved marinade in large bowl.
Note: You can use round or flat-iron cuts for this recipe.
For more ideas on heart-healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating fun and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.
This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.
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