BEDFORD, Pa. (WTAJ) — February is American Heart Month and it’s a great time to focus on how to incorporate more heart-healthy foods into your day.
Beth Stark, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with the PA Beef Council, shared delicious and nutritious recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner using lean beef.
One of the big questions people might ask when choosing a heart-healthy diet is how to eat lean beef regularly. The answer is that it really is about portions. “A 3-ounce serving of beef (about the size of an iPhone or deck of cards) provides 10 essential nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc,” Stark said. “About half of beef fat is monounsaturated fat, the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.”
Research shows that eating lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet that also includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
So what are the best cuts of beef to choose with heart health in mind?
“There are more than 36 cuts of beef that meet USDA guidelines for “lean.” Fresh cooked meat is considered lean when it has less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 3 oz serving,” Stark said. “When shopping for lean cuts of beef, a good rule of thumb is to look for ’rounds’ or ‘loins’, such as sirloin, tenderloin or round roast.”
Stark also recommends choosing 90% or leaner ground beef when shopping.
The recipes featured in this segment all use ground beef as their main source of protein because it’s SO quick and easy to cook.
The first recipe is a beef and vegetable frittata. “This recipe really shows how well the flavor profile of beef pairs with other nutritious ingredients like vegetables, eggs, and fresh herbs, to name a few,” Stark says.
This recipe uses 93% cooked lean ground beef as the cut of beef, along with red skinned potatoes, zucchini, cheesy basil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until set. Beth says she likes to pair this with toast and whole grain fruit.
Quick lunches are where it’s at! These Beef Taco Salad Shakers can be assembled the night before and then easily transported to work for an energizing and satisfying lunch. Also perfect for people who work from home!
To build these easy-to-go taco shakers, start by layering taco-seasoned lean ground beef with classic taco salad ingredients like lettuce, grape tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, and cheese, plus than crispy tortilla chips on top.
Shake it up and eat it straight from the jar or pour it onto a large plate with ranch dressing or salsa.
For dinner, Beth made a Primavera of ground beef and pasta. Beth loves this recipe because it’s family-friendly, easy, made with staples like beef broth, diced tomatoes, and whole-grain pasta, and cooked in one skillet. It is also certified by the American Heart Association, meeting the criteria of a heart-healthy recipe.
To find more heart-healthy recipes with lean beef, visit PABeef.org for a collection of 20 heart-healthy recipes certified by the American Heart Association.
Register for the WTAJ newsletter for the latest local news, weather and community events that matter to you.