I just got back from a pretty amazing trip to Kansas City thanks to the Missouri Beef Council. It was literally a week all about the beef – from the menu to the speakers, it was a great opportunity to learn how beef can compliment a well-balanced diet.
If you ask me, the timing couldn’t have been any better either. After all, what Memorial Day weekend wouldn’t be better celebrated with a little beef on the grill?
Over the years we’ve kind of shied away from red meat – especially beef – because of the saturated fat content. But in reality, beef is a natural, nutrient-rich option worth considering. The key to healthy beef though is often more associated with how it is prepared. Luckily, my trip offered multiple ideas and suggestions for ways to keep it healthy.
So if you want to enjoy a little beef this Memorial Day weekend, here are a few tips to consider:
Lean Beef Is A Great Option on the Grill
On its own, lean beef is pretty nutrient-rich. In fact, you’ll find all sorts of great vitamins and minerals in each bite. From zinc to iron, it packs quiet a punch. A 3 oz serving of lean beef also provides about 25 grams of protein – an important macronutrient that helps build up our muscles and keeps us feeling fuller longer – just to name a couple of its important functions!
Grilling beef really means that we keep a lot of the beef’s integrity intact. We shouldn’t have to add a lot of extra fat or combine it with too many ingredients to get maximum deliciousness. Instead, we’re going to look for ways to maximize its benefits. This means focusing in on adding simple, real-food ingredients to the mix.
Curious which cuts of meat are lean and grill-ready? Consider going with a strip steak or flank cut.
Adding Flavor Matters
If you feel like the “healthy” foods you are eating are boring, odds are good you are missing the mark. Nutrient-rich foods should be FLAVORFUL! And yes, I capitalized that on purpose because its that important! To add flavor to your beef the real food way, think rubs and marinades! Acidic marinades can also help tenderize less tender cuts of meat (if you chose a flank cut, this one that may need a little tenderizing before grilling).
Marinades usually need time to permeate the meat, so make sure you have 15 minutes to 24 hours to spend. If you don’t, a dry rub can also work really well.
To keep it simple, start with a base of olive oil, lemon juice, and a flavored vinegar. Get creative from there with what you add – herbs and spices, peppers, fruit, 100% juice – let your inner foodie shine through!
Rubs are also a great choice – especially if you are short on time. You can mix up your favorite herbs and spices and then store in an air-tight container to use whenever needed. A simple combo like rosemary and oregano could work. Or look for more creative add ins – like cocoa powder or ground coffee beans!
Temperature Is Everything
Once you’ve picked out your cut and have infused some flavor, its time to grill. And temperature is really your best indicator to know whether your meat has been cooked sufficiently. If you slice your steak open to check doneness, the juices are going to run and you don’t want that. Instead, use an instant read thermometer to determine when your steak should come off the grill. For medium rare, take your meat off the grill at 145 degrees F. For medium, take your meat off the grill at 160 degrees F. For well-done cook until the thermometer reads 170. You then want to let your meat sit for 5 minutes after you remove from the grill before serving. Viola! A perfect steak!
Want to learn more? Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com for additional information on how beef can fit into a healthy meal plan. You can also find GREAT marinade and dry rub recipes there too. Happy grilling!
Disclosure/Disclaimer: We were not financially compensated for writing this post; however, our trip to Kansas City, MO was sponsored by the Missouri Beef Council. All opinions expressed in this post are Kati’s alone. We just thought you should know. For additional information regarding our disclaimer and disclosure policies, please visit our legal page.