Beef Bites

Beefing up your day with a variety of beef related information!

NCBA and MBIC research how sustainable practices have helped improve beef

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Posted by: on March 5, 2015


Who knew one word could have so many meanings?

As we look over the past decade, a word that has progressively made its way into the agriculture industry is the word “sustainable.” It describes a way of thinking, a way of production and applies to many areas in the industry. However, due to the fact that it is applicable in so many ways, it has also caused some confusion between producers and consumers.

According to, the word is defined as:

adjective sus·tain·able \sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl\
: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed
: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources
: able to last or continue for a long time

This one set of descriptions doesn’t even touch what it means to many cattle producers in the state as well as nationwide. It is not only a way to ensure producer’s farms and ranches last longer and are more efficient, but it is also a way to put better products on the market and conserve the environment and natural resources around us.

Cattlemen and women have been incorporating more and more sustainable practices to help the beef industry keep growing and developing for years to come. This effort is not only for cattle producers and their farms, but to make sure the consumer will always have a quality product.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has started a significant research effort with the Beef Checkoff that is looking more into the amount of sustainability that has increased in farms and ranches over the past few years.

The first phase of the Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment has been completed using data from the Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska. The results were recently certified by NSF International, lending credible, third-party verification to the study, helping to prove that beef is sustainable. The results of phase one can be found here:

In phase two of the assessment, the work is being expanded to include data from individual cattle-producing regions across the country. By looking at regional practices and incorporating that information into the study, the research will be more representative and we will be better able to tell the beef story through sound science.

Cow-calf producers, stockers and feedyard operators are being surveyed to see how the way they produce beef has changed over time. The Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment is not an attempt to force a change in practices or advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to beef production. There are few things less sustainable than a one-size-fits-all approach. So visiting these operations first-hand is allowing the program to do in depth research on what is working for producers and what is not.

MBIC’s own Davin Althoff has been visiting producers in the state and looks forward to reporting the results of how Missouri cattle producers are improving their operations through sustainable practices.

“In response to large food service and food retail companies interested in purchasing verified sustainable beef, NCBA launched a life cycle analysis from coast-to-coast. They are partnering with the USDA to conduct this analysis,” says Althoff. “Missouri is the first state in the Midwest region to schedule visits with various beef producers.”

This week, Althoff met with backgrounders, seedstock producers and cow/calf producers along with attending the Southwest Missouri Forage Conference in Springfield to see how sustainability is changing farms and ranches around the state.

“What we hope this program will do is to provide a baseline study for the industry to utilize in discussions with food service and retailers that is scientifically proven that shows over time that we have continues to improve how our beef is produced,” Althoff says.

Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability Research for the NCBA attended and spoke at the Southwest Missouri Forage Conference. She highlighted that not all definitions of sustainability are similar. However, she felt that the best definition that could apply to many issues would be described as “continuous improvement.”

“If we can improve what we do and prove it is done sustainably, that’s what we hope this study does at the end of the day,” Althoff says.

Mark Your Calendar for your County Cattlemen’s Association Meetings

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Posted by: on February 25, 2015

County cattlemen’s meetings are in full swing! These cattlemen’s associations give producers the opportunity to join together with other passionate agriculturalists to give them the chance to get involved on the local level. Getting involved locally allows members to have a hand in setting the foundation in these grassroots organizations. However, you don’t have to be a cattle producer to get involved. Many people in the community take pride in their local cattlemen’s association and other businessmen and politicians are even taking initiative in being active members.

The county level serves as a good way for producers and community members to go above and beyond in promoting the beef industry. Whether they produce beef or consume beef, county cattlemen’s members all over the state are answering the call to take the lead in sharing the many benefits that the beef industry brings to the state of Missouri.

“It takes more than just a few people in Columbia, Missouri to talk about our industry,” said Mark Russell, Executive Director of the Missouri Beef Industry Council. “Producers and community members getting involved on the local level is crucial to the strength of the beef industry statewide.”

Answer this call to action today by joining your local county cattlemen’s association. To see more information on upcoming meetings in your area visit:

To discover more about the benefits of beef and other recipes follow the Missouri Beef Industry Council on Facebook and Twitter.   For additional recipes to add spice for your dinner tonight, visit our account on Pinterest.v

Introducing Shannon Yokley, MBIC’s Newest Intern!

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Posted by: on February 11, 2015

MBIC is excited to welcome it’s newest team member, Shannon Yokley! She will be interning with us for the remainder of the school year and provides us with a wealth of knowledge on not only the producer communications side, but the millennial perspective as well! Welcome, Shannon!

Shannon YokleyHere is a little biography about Shannon…

I am a passionate, big-hearted aggie who hails from Jefferson City, Mo. I grew up living, breathing and loving every aspect of agriculture as I made my way from 4-H into FFA. Through these organizations, I developed a passion for the livestock industry and began my own herd of registered Angus cattle. Since the age of eight, I have been showing cattle at local, state and national levels.

While in high school, I discovered that I enjoyed writing and communicating when I became active in my high school’s journalism club. So, when it came down to selecting a major at the University of Missouri, my choice was simple. Science and Agricultural Journalism was the only choice– it combines both my passion of agriculture and my love of writing. Anytime I get a chance, I proudly state that I have “the best of both worlds.”

As a senior at MU, I try to stay as involved as I can on campus, as well as in the agriculture industry. I am a College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Peer Career Coach, a member of the 2014 Mizzou Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Team and I recently retired as president of the Alpha – Chi Chapter of Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority. Organizations I am also an active member of on campus include Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Mizzou Collegiate Cattlewomen, Collegiate Farm Bureau and Griffith’s Leadership Society for Women.

In my spare time I enjoy being outside, working on my photography skills and eating a nice, juicy steak. When I’m not working with my cattle, I am playing with Princess – my German Shorthair bird dog.

A busy start to April! Go Cardinals and Go St. Louis!

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Posted by: on April 14, 2014

It was a busy and successful weekend for us, here at the Missouri Beef Council. We had a great time in St. Louis this weekend attending the Go! St. Louis Marathon and opening day of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both events were a great opportunity for us to advocate for beef and educate consumers on the importance of beef in their lifestyle. Go Beef!

We started out the weekend on Friday and Saturday working the Go! St. Louis Expo. Here we got to interact and catch up with some of our Team Beef members we also got to share the importance of beef with the thousands of consumers going through the Expo.

Then Sunday was race day! We had a great time interacting with our Team Beef members after they completed their races. We had Team Beef members in the full and half marathons that took place. All Team Beef members did a great job and we are proud of their accomplishments.

Then on Monday we finished up our time in St. Louis at the Cardinals Opening Day Rally! We had our own booth at the rally where we handed out thousands of foam fingers sponsored by The Missouri Beef Industry Council. The foam fingers were a hit and gave us the chance to promote beef to thousands of consumers. Over 25,000 people were expected in attendance at the Opening Day Rally.

Here at the Beef Council we are so excited about the opportunities this past weekend in St. Louis had to offer! We got the chance to advocate and promote all things beef on a big scale to thousands of consumers! What more could you ask for! Go Beef!

Opening Day of the Cardinals!

Get connected with Team Beef!

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Posted by: on March 17, 2014

Exciting news, marathon season is almost here! The Beef Council is looking forward to cheering on and supporting our Team Beef members during this busy and exciting time. We know all of the members have worked very hard training for their races! We are so proud of them and know they are great advocates for beef in a healthy lifestyle! Great job Team Beef. Keep it up!

Best of luck to all our runners in these upcoming races!

  • Go St.Louis Marathon- St.Louis 04/05/14
    • Go Girl Marathon- Columbia 05/24/14
    • Hospital Hill Run- Kansas City 06/06/14
    • Rock n’ Roll Marathon- St. Louis 10/19/14
    • Bass Pro Marathon- Springfield 10/31/14

Also there is something new for Missouri Team Beef members and fans! A new website just for Team Beef! Check it out at and let us know your feedback. We hope this website acts as a great resource for members and prospective members. On the site you can access numerous items. There will be a member spotlight updated often, as well as a calendar, ways to contact MBIC. The website will also include appropriate documents such as reimbursement forms, waivers etc. In additions there will be nutritional resources and news updates for Team Beef.  And for prospective Team Beef members there will be a frequently asked questions section, and access to the application form. So what are you waiting for? Go check it out at!

When you’re planning your next meal remember beef’s big 10! Beef is not just tasty it is essential to your health. From b-vitamins that help give you the energy to tackle busy days and of course the protein in beef that helps preserve and build muscle. Beef is a must for good health and nutrition. If you want more information on how beef can benefit you visit our website by clicking here!

Beef’s Big 10

Sochi Bound! Meet Our New 2014 Olympic Beef Ambassador of Missouri

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Posted by: on January 27, 2014

The town of Springfield Missouri has a new hometown hero. Emily Scott, a daughter, granddaughter, sister and a friend of many now has another title; she is an Olympic short track speed skater. Scott is on her way to Sochi where she will be competing in the 2014 Olympic Games.

Emily began skating when she was just three years old. When her older sister began skating, Emily decided she wanted to follow in her footsteps.  So Emily and her sister both joined the speed team at a local ice rink.

“Skating eventually became my life and I found myself winning regional and national championships at a young age.” Says Emily

Emily stuck with skating throughout all of her schooling, she never did any other sports. She put all of her hard work and dedication into speed skating, with dreams of going to the Olympics.

Eventually Emily had to make the switch from inline speed skating to short track speed skating because inline speed skating was not an Olympic sport.

“I wanted to give up many times but I knew I would have regrets so I stuck it out” explained Emily.

Emily Scott met her goal and is now an Olympian.

“I learned at a very young age that in order to get where you want to be in life, you have to work very hard.” Says Emily

Emily trains 6 days a week. Most of her days are 8 hours days.  Her workouts range from skating to off the ice workouts such as technical work and lifting weights.

Emily grew up in an environment that she believes taught her importance of hard work. Every weekend growing up Emily would wake up and head out to help her father and grandfather on their family cattle farm.

Emily took away some great memories from growing up on the farm:

“I would help my father bring the cattle in to feed them and he would let me sit on his lap and let me drive the tractor around.”

Speed Skating hasn’t taking Emily away from cattle and agriculture just yet.

Emily was recently chosen as this year’s first ever Beef Ambassador for the Missouri Beef Industry Council!

She was chosen for this role because of the importance of beef in her everyday life. Beef is Emily’s main source of protein.

“Beef is very important for my diet because it is the best source of iron.”

Iron is important in everyone’s diet because iron boots your energy and it is needed to produce red blood cells which carry oxygen to your lungs and other areas.

Though Emily explains why it is especially important for female athletes like her;

“Iron is very important to female athletes especially because of our intense training regimen, we are at risk for anemia and red meat is vital for helping protect females against that.”

Emily also eats beef because it is a complete protein in which helps athletes build muscle and recover.

As the new 2014 Olympic Beef Ambassador of Missouri, Emily will be the voice of beef where she will promote the importance of beef to all consumers and show them first-hand how essential it is to our health.

Beth Outz who is the Director of Communications for the Missouri Beef Industry council expressed her thoughts on Emily Scott and their plans for her as the new Ambassador.

“We are super excited to have Emily as our Official Olympic Beef Ambassador of Missouri! She is a great advocate for promoting beef as a staple protein to her everyday diet and training regimen as it is a necessity for her to maintain a healthy active lifestyle.  It’s not every day that you get to talk and learn from an Olympic Athlete about the benefits they see from beef.  We’re excited to use her voice as a leader in promoting beef to educate the people of Missouri and help them learn how to better “beef up their lifestyle”

After the Olympic Games conclude, Emily Scott and the rest of Missouri Beef Industry Council Team will be at various events throughout the state where you will be able to visit with them and hear Emily speak and advocate for beef.

You can find out more about these events at MBIC website,

If you want to watch Emily Scott in the Olympic Games, she will be competing in Sochi starting on February 10th. You can find the competition schedule on NBC Sports,

You can also follow Emily’s progress on the Missouri Beef Industry Council’s Facebook page (Missouri Beef Council) and Twitter (handle @BeefCouncil).





A Supper Saved by Pinterest

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Posted by: on July 16, 2013

Today, before I knew it, it was 5:30 and I hadn’t started fixing supper yet. I knew time was ticking away until the severe and apparently life-threatening hunger set in for my boys and they started asking for a snack every 30 seconds. I had a package of hamburger in the fridge that I needed to use and had intended to make hamburgers with it. There was just one problem…my meat thermometer broke the other day, and I sure can’t tell if a hamburger is a safe and savory 160 degrees without it! cheeseburger-wraps4-700x1000

As I stared blankly into the pantry wondering what to fix, I remembered a recipe I had pinned on Pinterest the other day…Cheeseburger Wraps. A cheeseburger without the need for a thermometer. Perfect! And it would only take 15 or 20 minutes to make. Even better, because my three year old informed me he was too tired and hungry to move his little body from the exact area where I needed to cook (luckily, he moved AND survived until supper).

The result? Four thumbs up from this family! I grilled our wraps on the Foreman Grill, and I think that was a key to the yum-factor. I also put a little cheese under and on top of the hamburger for a little “glue” to keep the meat from falling out of the wrap, which worked pretty well.

This recipe is a keeper…super fast, ingredients I usually have on hand, and kid-approved! I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did!

Speaking of Pinterest, you can find this and so many other great recipes by following us on Pinterest by searching for “Beef Bites,” or going to

Cheeseburger Wraps
1 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
5 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
additional hamburger toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mustard, etc)

In a large skillet, brown hamburger until no longer pink. Add ketchup, mustard, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, until all combined.

Line the middle of a tortilla with a small amount of cheddar cheese.

Add some cooked hamburger beef and then top with your favorite hamburger toppings. Roll the tortilla up and tuck in the ends (like a burrito).

You can either eat as is or throw on a grill (or even an indoor grill- like a George Foreman grill) for 3-5 minutes (just until you see grill marks).

Recipe and photo from

An Oldie But Goodie

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Posted by: on July 1, 2013

Do you ever go through your old recipes and come across a tried and true favorite…that you’ve forgotten about? That just happened to me, so I just have to share the recipe! I used to make this quite a bit, but somehow forgot about it over the years. I’m sure it has something to do with having two kids and forgetting about pretty much everything in their early years…eventually my memory will come back, right?

Without further ado, here’s the recipe. I’m so excited to make this again! Here’s to hoping my kids don’t pick out the spinach.

More Than Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 pound lean ground beef
8 ounces uncooked pasta
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg, well beaten
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
2 cups packed fresh spinach, stems removed
1 slice whole wheat or whole grain bread
½ cup chopped seeded tomato (optional)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile brown ground beef with garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is not pink, breaking beef up into ¾-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings; season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3. Combine cottage cheese and egg in large bowl. Stir in evaporated milk, cheddar cheese, and 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon red pepper. Add beef, spinach, and pasta; mix well. Spray shallow 2-1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Pour pasta mixture into dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon red pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 375 degree oven for 50 minutes
4. Meanwhile, place bread in food processor container. Cover; pulse on and off to form crumbs. Set aside.
5. Sprinkle bread crumbs over pasta. Continue baking, uncovered, 5-10 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown. Garnish with tomato, if desired.

Cook’s Tip: For best results, do not use low-fat or fat-free evaporated milk.
Cook’s Tip: One 10-ounce package frozen spinach may be substituted for fresh spinach. Defrost and drain liquid from spinach before using.

There’s a New Nugget in Town

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Posted by: on June 19, 2013

When I mention fixing nuggets for your kiddos, you probably think of one certain type of protein, right? Well, let me introduce you to a new (and more delicious) type of nugget…Taco Beef Nuggets with Tejano Dipping Sauce. That’s right…beef! And it sounds fancy, right? Think taco flavored beef with a cube of cheese in the middle, oh, and covered in crushed cheese-flavored tortilla chips, all made in 30 minutes. That sounds like a match made in heaven to me! Put a new spin on taco night, or even better, replace the same ‘ole nuggets with these gems, and you have a new kind of nugget that will win over your family!

I used the same “homemade” taco seasoning that I use for tacos (recipe below) to save on sodium and preservatives, and left out the diced green chilies since my kiddos aren’t huge fans of spicy foods. I actually meant to add them to a few of the nuggets for my husband and me, but alas, I found the unopened can sitting on the counter as I was doing the dishes later. Unfortunately, I also found the rest of the chips sitting on the counter…gee, I wonder where the rest of those chips went (my name is Alane and I have a chip problem)? Anyway, my husband, 5 year old, and I loved them. Our 3 year old was so tired, he almost fell asleep in his dipping sauce, but had he not been so tired, I know he would have devoured them just like the rest of us! Enjoy!

taco nugget shot

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies, drained
16 cubes co-Jack cheese (1/2-inch)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
2 cups crushed nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips

6 tablespoons prepared thick taco sauce
3 tablespoons honey

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine Ground Beef, taco seasoning and green chilies in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Divide beef mixture into 16 portions; shape each portion around a cheese cube, completely covering cheese.
2. Beat egg white with water in shallow dish until blended. Place chips in second shallow dish. Dip each meatball into egg white mixture, then into chips to coat completely. Press each meatball with palm into a flattened nugget shape, generously coating both sides of nugget with chips.
3. Spray large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place nuggets in baking pan; spray tops of nuggets generously with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile combine sauce ingredients in small microwave-safe dish. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until warm. Serve nuggets with sauce.

Taco Seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp minced garlic

Social Media Training at FFA Camp

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Posted by: on June 13, 2013

Today’s blog post is from Kerry Elbel, MBIC Intern.

As the Missouri Beef Council Intern, one of my primary responsibilities is to conduct a one hour workshop at the Missouri State FFA Leadership Camp. At camp, which is located in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, FFA members learn leadership skills, bond with other members of their chapter, and have the opportunity to hear from many different organizations representing various industries across the state.

When I went to camp many moons ago as an FFA member, I distinctly remember playing Beef Jeopardy, where the game was full of beef facts and statistics. However, our world is changing quickly. Instead of focusing our attention on facts and figures of the beef community, this year’s workshop concentrates on relaying our agricultural stories through social media channels.

Social media is such a powerful tool – if used correctly. Our goal is to provide students with some of the tools to make their beef messages relatable to everyone, not just those who are directly involved in the industry. Throughout the workshop, students brainstorm the issues facing agriculture, ways they can promote agriculture, and how they can motivate other students within their chapter to be advocates.

I was so impressed with the quality of responses from campers. They have such an understanding of the concerns that our world is facing, and they have so many great ideas on how they can better combat agricultural illiteracy. Their enthusiasm to promote the beef community and the farmers and ranchers in Missouri assures me that our future is in capable hands.

Here are a few tips I give students about using social media to promote agriculture:
• Always provide a caption/explanation with your photo.
• If you use industry terms, explain what those mean! Sometimes the language that comes naturally to us is a foreign one to others.
• Support your state’s commodity groups and agricultural organizations by “liking” them or “following.”
• Be professional, both online and offline – you never know who is watching!

Beef…Makes Fathers Happy

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Posted by: on June 7, 2013

When it comes to occasions that call for a gift for my husband, like Father’s Day next Sunday, I know exactly where to go…the meat case. Yep, that’s right…no crazy ties, cologne, or sappy cards here. The man just wants some delicious food. Beef to be exact…and if I could add some bacon that would make his smile even bigger. I was so excited to find this recipe…beef, bacon, oh and bleu cheese (bonus). I just know he’s going to love it!

Happy (early) Father’s Day!!

Steak Bacon Bleu Cheese

4 beef round sirloin tip center steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
4 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 small shallots, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, diced
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

1. Cook bacon in nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to paper towels, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Add shallots; toss to coat. Heat bacon drippings over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallots. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Season beef steaks evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place steaks in same skillet; cook 14 to 15 minutes for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Do not overcook. Remove to serving platter; season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep warm.
4. Add mushrooms and water to skillet. Cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add cream. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cream is almost absorbed. Stir in cheese and bacon.
5. Spoon mushroom mixture over steaks. Top with shallots. Sprinkle with parsley

Nutrition information per serving: 490 calories; 24 g fat (12 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 193 mg cholesterol; 1110 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 1.8 g fiber; 55 g protein; 10.6 mg niacin; 0.8 mg vitamin B6; 2.6 mcg vitamin B12; 5.5 mg iron; 64.3 mcg selenium; 8.6 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc

Wrap It Up…Poolside

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Posted by: on May 29, 2013

If your kids are like mine, they can’t wait to go swimming for the first time this summer. Their excitement doesn’t even wane when they actually feel the water and discover that it’s FREEZING! They somehow power through and swim until their lips are blue and they can’t stop shivering. You know what I can’t wait for though (Hint: It’s not the freezing cold water)? I’m looking foward to swimming during hot summer mornings, and then eating lunch at the pool. The kids love it, and so do I. The kids just simply love dining pool-side. I’m into it for the lack of mess it creates in my kitchen. Someone spills their drink? Hose off the concrete. Sandwich crumbs? Oh well…I don’t have to sweep the floor!

RBV Wrap

The tricky part about this summer-time activity is figuring out what to pack for lunch! It needs to be quick and easy, portable, and provide the nutrition needed to refuel two active little swimmers. Here’s a great recipe that I’m excited to try…The protein and veggies are all rolled up into one delicious wrap. I think I might substitute Greek yogurt for the cream cheese for some added protein and calcium. This is definitely something my little 5 year old sous chef could help me prepare too! Pack it in a cooler, add a piece of fruit, and that is one delicious, balanced, and portable meal! And the post-meal mess? Non-existent. And that my friends, makes for a good day!

R.B.V. Wraps

12 ounces cooked beef roast or deli roast beef, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded broccoli slaw
6 tablespoons reduced-fat or fat-free ranch dressing, divided
1/2 cup reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 flour medium tortillas (8 to 10-inch diameter)

1. Place the broccoli slaw and 1/4 cup ranch dressing in a medium bowl. Toss with 2 forks to coat evenly.
2. Place the cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons ranch dressing in a small bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula to mix well.
3. Place 1 tortilla on a cutting board or other flat surface. Spread about 2-1/2 tbsp of the cream cheese mixture on the tortilla using a rubber spatula.
4. Place 1/4 of roast beef slices in an even layer on top of the cream cheese.
5. Place approximately 1/3 cup of the broccoli mixture on top of the roast beef. Spread the broccoli mixture in an even layer, using the rubber spatula or back of a spoon.
6. Starting at the bottom edge, roll tortilla up tightly to enclose filling.
7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to make a total of 4 wraps.

Nutrition information per serving, using deli roast beef: 419 calories; 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 41 mg cholesterol; 1360 mg sodium; 54 g carbohydrate; 6.2 g fiber; 27 g protein; 4 mg niacin; 0.2 mcg vitamin B12; 5 mg iron; 16.3 mcg selenium; 0.5 mg zinc; 8 mg choline.
This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, iron and selenium

Highlighting the Beef Industry From Pasture to Plate

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Posted by: on May 24, 2013

Thanks for Kerry Elbel, MBIC intern, for sharing details of the recent chef farm tour with us!

We just returned from a chef’s farm tour in southwest Missouri, where chefs in the area had the opportunity to see how beef gets from the pasture to the plate. Each day, we toured a stockyard (where we were served a delicious beef lunch), a cow/calf operation, where calves are raised for beef, and a meat processing/retail plant.

We started our tour on Monday at Joplin Regional Stockyards. There, we met Mark Harmon, who coordinated our tour and had such a palpable passion for agriculture. Our next stop was to Rod and Christine Lewis’ cow/calf operation. The chefs on the tour were able to have a very interactive discussion with Rod and Christine about their farm, which was great! Unfortunately, consumers aren’t always able to ask questions about their food to those who produced it. Our third and final stop on Monday was to Cloud’s meats in Carthage, Missouri, which is owned and operated by Andy Cloud. The Beef Council orders delicious beef sticks from Cloud’s, so I had high hopes! Andy was a great tour guide and is a savvy businessman.

chef tour

Tuesday began with a tour of Springfield Livestock Marketing Center led by Tom Kissee, who had extensive knowledge of the southwestern portion of Missouri as well as countless cow jokes. Next, we toured Representative Lincoln Hough’s cow/calf operation, where the chefs were impressed with his initiative to start his operation from scratch in the seventh grade. Towards the end of the day, we toured Hörrmann Meats processing facility, which is owned and operated by Rick Hörrmann, and then we toured the retail store, which is supervised by Seth Hörrmann. At the processing plant, chefs were able to see a beef carcass quartered.

chef tour2

Billy Hall, a feedlot specialist from Welch, Oklahoma, joined us for both days of the tour to explain the process that occurs before the harvesting stage of beef production. His insight and experience proved to be invaluable throughout the tour.

As I drove home on Tuesday, I reflected on the overall experience of the tours. The purpose of the trip was to educate chefs on the numerous benefits of lean beef, but I think we did so much more than that. We connected food industry professionals to beef-producing professionals. We had conversations about the challenges facing our farmers and our food supply. Further, and maybe most importantly, we made a positive impression about the beef community on those who influence aspects of our industry.

Think Outside the Ketchup Bottle

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Posted by: on May 14, 2013

Wow, when did summer get here? Did I miss spring…because I’m pretty sure it was just snowing a couple of weeks ago! Since it was a mere 90 degrees today, I started daydreaming about summer, picturesque backyard get-togethers with neighbors, lazy days by the pool chatting with friends, leisurely grilling while the kids play, and lovely, peaceful dinners on the deck. Then, I think I got smacked in the head with a flying Lego and was brought back to the reality of summer, which will mainly involve chasing kids around the pool, wiping sticky popsicle drips off of hands and arms, and trying to get my little darlings to go to bed at a decent time, even though it’s light WAY past their bedtime. BUT, my real summer plans also include grilling and get-togethers with neighbors and friends, even if it involves more chaos and dodging of water balloons than picturesque and peaceful settings!

One of my absolute favorite things to do when having friends over in the summer is to have a burger topping bar! Think beyond the ketchup, pickles, and mustard, and try mango salsa, spinach and Portobello topping, or caramelized onions with bleu cheese. You could even make mini-burgers so your guests can try more than one topping. Grill those burgers to a perfect safe and savory 160 degrees and…MMMM….your guests will love it!

Ooh, I’m getting excited for our first barbeque of the summer! Let the grilling begin!

Here are my favorite topping recipes. I’d love to get more ideas…feel free to comment below with your favorites!

Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa (1)

Mango Salsa:
1 large mango, peeled, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Mix and enjoy!

Spinach and Portobello Topping:
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups packed fresh spinach, stemmed, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add spinach, toss to coat. Add mushroom, lemon peel, and red pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes or until spinach wilts and mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat. Add cheese and salt; mix well.

Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion Topping
1 tablespoon butter
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices (4 cups)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper, as desired
¼ cup crumbled bleu cheese

1. Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and brown sugar; cook and stir 16 to 18 minutes or until onion is caramelized. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
2. Top each burger with equal amounts bleu cheese and caramelized onions.

Will Run for Beef

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Posted by: on May 3, 2013

Last weekend, seven of my best runner pals and I piled into one van to travel to an out of state race, sang along to some songs I’m embarrassed to admit I know, and collectively ran about 118 miles — if you’re doing the math, we had 7 half marathoners and one crazy one who ran the full marathon. At the end of the race, I was tired and hungry, my calves ached, and I REALLY needed to brush my teeth thanks to those sugary energy chews. We mustered up the last of our energy to yell and cheer for our full-marathoner friend (it was the least we could do since she ran twice the distance…ha!) then discussed the shower rotation (did I mention 8 of us shared two hotel rooms??) and more importantly, the post-race meal. What was the meal of choice for all eight of us? A burger! Why a burger? Well, first of all we were starving, but we also know how important it is to fuel, and re-fuel, our bodies with nutrient-rich foods. After running double digit miles, our bodies needed some good, high-quality protein to satisfy our hunger and repair muscle tissue…my aching calves were so thankful! Not only did that burger provide our bodies with essential amino acids, but also zinc to aid in post-exercise tissue repair, selenium for antioxidant production, and B-vitamins to aid in metabolism and cell development. Long story short, that burger was the most delicious multi-vitamin I’ve ever had (and topped with cheese…bonus!).

While we’re talking fuel for running, I’d can’t help but share my thoughts about pre-race fuel. We’ve all heard of runners carb-loading and lots of races hold pasta dinners the night before the big day. Carbohydrates are obviously important to help fuel activity, but I’m telling you, I feel the best on longer runs when I’ve had lean beef the night before (with sweet potato on the side…yum!). I feel lighter and I have more energy, and the run is just easier. It’s not a coincidence…it’s the protein, iron, and B-vitamins.

But I digress, back to the post-race food, it was in a word, delicious, and gave us the energy to sing to more awesomely bad songs on the way home. Don’t you love a good picture of people getting ready to eat their food? Hey, at least we showered before we ate.

Here’s one of my favorite LEAN beef burger recipes…great before a run, after a run, or any day really!

East Meets West Burger

1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
1/4 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs *To make soft bread crumbs, place torn bread in food processor or blender container. Cover; process, pulsing on and off, to form fine crumbs. One and one-half slices makes about 1 cup crumbs.
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Sesame-Soy Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion, green part only
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Slaw Topping:
1/2 cup romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.Combine Sesame-Soy Mayonnaise ingredients in small bowl; refrigerate until ready to use.
2.Combine Slaw Topping ingredients in small bowl, set aside.
3.Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg white, salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.
4.Place patties on grid over medium ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 7 to 9 minutes), until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place buns, cut sides down, on grid. Grill until lightly toasted. *Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
5.Spread equal amount of mayonnaise on bottom of each bun, top with burger. Evenly divide Slaw Topping over burgers. Close sandwiches.

Nutrition information per serving: 348 calories; 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 7 mg cholesterol; 621 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 3.9 g fiber; 28 g protein; 6.9 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.1 mcg vitamin B12; 3.8 mg iron; 41.9 mcg selenium; 6.4 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber.

Eat Beef, Run, Sleep, Repeat

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Posted by: on April 25, 2013

Today, we hear from Kerry Elbel, MBIC’s Team Beef Manager and recent MARATHON finisher!! Congrats to Kerry on her accomplishment! If you have any question about Team Beef, please contact Kerry at Now, here’s a little Beef Bite about Kerry…Enjoy!

I am no stranger to running, but I am new to the Missouri Beef Council team. Thank you so much to those of you who have welcomed me as I have began a new chapter my beef-promoting journey.

I am the new Team Beef Manager here at MBIC, and I could not be happier with what I do! I get to serve the amazing, funny, and fit people of Team Beef!

Team Beef cheer gear

A little about me: I was raised on a beef cow/calf operation in Holden, Missouri by my parents, Mark and Kathy, and with my younger sister, Kelsey. From a very early age I began to recognize the benefits of always having a side of beef in the deep freeze as my mom would incorporate it in our meals at least once a day. I started running when I was in seventh grade, and have not stopped since! I ran competitively through my freshman year of college at Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I am currently a junior at the University of Missouri where I am majoring in agricultural education.

I recently ran in my first marathon (recently, as in “I-am-just-now-not-sore-anymore” recently), and I cannot even begin to describe how quickly eating lean protein got me on the road to recovery. Right after the race, my family and I headed over to our favorite Mexican restaurant where I ordered a beef chimichanga! Refueling with beef took me from a tired, emotional mess back to being a productive member of society.

I am going to try to make these chimichangas at home. I love going out for Mexican as much as the next person, but this will definitely be better for my college student budget.

Beef Chimichangas

Makes 6 chimichangas
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning mix, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup margarine
6 (7 inch) corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2. Brown the ground beef, onion, garlic, taco seasoning, and oregano in a skillet over medium heat, breaking the meat up into crumbles as it cooks, about 8 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Stir in sour cream, chilies, and vinegar until well mixed. Remove from heat, and mix in the Cheddar cheese.

3. Melt margarine in a small skillet over low heat. When melted, dip each tortilla into the margarine for about 30 seconds, or until soft. Place the softened tortilla onto a baking sheet, and fill with about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture. Fold the right and left sides of the tortilla over the filling, then the top and bottom, making an envelope that completely encloses the filling. Flip the tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until the tortilla is crisp, about 15 minutes.

Recipe from

It’s a Plan, Man

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Posted by: on April 18, 2013

Conversation between my husband and me a couple of days ago as he was leaving work:

Him: “Hey, I’m leaving…I’ll be home in a few.”
Me: “Oh great, I just started making some mac and cheese, and well, I don’t have any cheese. So, could you pick some up on your way home?”

He just loves it when I do this. And sadly, it isn’t a rare occurrence.

Can anyone else relate (please tell me you can)? The truth is, I’m a lousy meal planner. Just about every week, I go to the grocery store and buy pretty much the same things. Then just about every day around 4:30, I take mental stock of what’s in the fridge and pantry and figure out what to make for supper. Effective, yeah? As my Bob the Builder loving boys would tell me…I need a plan.

I get on meal planning kicks every few months and do well for a couple of weeks, sitting down on Sunday afternoon to figure out what we’ll eat during the week ahead. Then, we go out of town for the weekend, or there’s t-ball practice, or I get “busy” pinning recipes on Pinterest that I never actually try…and the plan goes away.

I do know that when I plan meals, we eat a wider variety of foods and our meals are more nutritionally balanced. And, our boys have a much better chance at becoming adventurous eaters if I’m not fixing the same seven or eight meals constantly. Planning meals takes the daily guess work out of meal preparation, and at the end of the day when we’re all tired and hungry, the fewer things that are up in the air, the better. So, my plan is…to plan. Profound, isn’t it? I’d love for you to join me and let me know how it goes! Our kids will thank us (eventually anyway), our bodies will thank us for the variety and better nutrition, and I certainly know my husband will thank me.

Here’s a recipe I’m going to put in our meal plan next week! Be sure to check out for LOTS of great recipe ideas!


1-1/2 pounds ground beef (95% lean)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
4 cups prepared pasta or spaghetti sauce
2 cups loosely packed fresh baby arugula (about 1-3/4 ounces)
2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach (about 1-3/4 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) fat free ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
9 uncooked oven-ready (no boil) lasagna noodles
(each about 6-3/4 x 3-1/2 inches)
1-1/2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef and garlic; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; pour off drippings. Return beef to skillet; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in pasta sauce. Set aside.

Combine arugula and spinach. Set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, egg whites, basil, oregano, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl.

Spread 1 cup meat sauce over bottom of 11-3/4 x 7-1/2-inch glass baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 spinach mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1-1/2 cups meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 3 noodles and meat sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 375°F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand, loosely covered, 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 520 calories; 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 127 mg cholesterol; 1260 mg sodium; 49 g carbohydrate; 5.1 g fiber; 47 g protein; 8.1 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 6.0 mg iron; 20.3 mcg selenium; 6.1 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.

Recipe as seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons

Well Hello…Again!

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Posted by: on April 11, 2013

Hi, friends! I’m so excited to be writing this blog and working at the Missouri Beef Indsutry Council (MBIC) again. Many moons ago (BC…you know, before children), I was the full-time nutrition girl for MBIC. For the past few years, I’ve been a full-time mom and family nutritionist for my beef-loving husband and two boys. I’m also a runner and lover of food blogs…but mainly a mom who tries her hardest to make sure her family is happy, healthy, and well-nourished.

I was just thinking the other day how my perspective has changed since I last worked at MBIC. In those days, I could experiment with all sorts of recipes, meander through the grocery store aisles at my leisure, and spend a decent amount of time fixing dinner (without little ones running in circles around the kitchen island and bumping into me). Now, I need meals that I can prepare in 30 minutes after we’ve spent all afternoon outside playing and collecting sticks, nourishes and pleases two boys with different tastes (my husband will eat anything, of course), and will fuel me for my early morning runs. One thing has certainly remained the same though…lean beef meals that provide us with protein, vitamins, and minerals to fuel our bodies are still the preferred meal in our house.

I plan to use this blog to not only share what’s going on at MBIC, but also share recipes that are a hit at our house (and hopefully yours), nutrition news, and cute pictures of my boys (ha, I kid). But seriously, speaking of favorite recipes, here’s one that gets 4 thumbs-up at our house, even if my boys will only eat the components of the dish separately and not mixed together. But, that’s another blog post for another day.

Satay-Style Beef and Pasta
1-1/4 pound boneless beef top round or top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
5 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce, divided
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon water
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 ounces uncooked vermicelli or thin spaghetti
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber

1. Cut steak into 1/8-inch thick strips. Add 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce to beef strips; toss to coat evenly.
2. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, peanut butter, water, red pepper and ginger. Cook vermicelli in salted boiling water according to package directions; drain and rinse. Toss vermicelli with peanut butter mixture to coat well.
3. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef (1/2 at a time) and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Add to noodles; toss lightly. Sprinkle with chopped cucumber. Serve immediately.

Beef will always have my heart…

Posted by: on February 28, 2013

Today is the last day of “The Month of Love” and the last of my heart-themed posts. I had planned to write about something about cooking with your family (which you should do), but I’ve had a change of heart (pun absolutely intended!). Today, I’m getting a little more personal.


I find it extremely fitting and symbolic that on this last day of February, I write my final blog post for In the next two weeks, I’ll  transition from the Missouri Beef Industry Council to a new career in advertising and online communications here at home in Maryville, Mo. In more than two years with MBIC, and nearly four years in Missouri’s beef community, I’ve learned so much, grown personally and professionally, and hopefully accomplished some successes for my beloved farmers and ranchers.

It’s all about the people

We all hope to leave our mark, to make a difference, to be remembered as someone who accomplished great things for the cause about which we are so passionate. Of course that’s what I hope I’ve done. Of course I hope I’ve moved the needle in beef promotions and in how and to whom the beef story is told. But what I leave this role with, more than anything, is a very, very long list of amazing people who made a difference to me.

67114_10100945193107360_1860920337_nI am a true believer that life is really about two things. 

  1. Living life in a way that gives all our glory and praise to God.
  2. Sharing our passions, missions, and lives with those we love.

It’s all about serving people, folks. It’s about working together, learning from one another, touching lives with our stories and listening to theirs. It’s about building friendships and bonds that make us better people, caring for others when they need it, and leaning on friends and family as we go through life’s transitions. It’s about enjoying experiences and making memories with those people. It’s about learning which people are blessings and which are lessons. And it’s about growing. Growing together, growing apart, growing up, growing in God, and growing into the people we want to be, all thanks to God’s plan, and to the people with whom we surround ourselves.

Community of servants

If I’ve learned nothing else over the last four years, I’ve learned this: the beef community is full of servants.

  • 543620_10100837612205380_1106537435_nFarmers and ranchers work hard each and every day to provide food for families across the globe. They serve their animals before themselves daily, and sacrifice some major life conveniences to make growing our food their very top priority. They are stewards of their land and lifestyle, serving future generations with something a little better than they found it.
  • State Beef Council staffs work with limited staff and budgets to be good stewards of checkoff dollars, to share the beef nutrition and production stories on behalf of cattle farmers and ranchers.
  • NCBA and national staff serve states through resources, research, staff support, time, energy, and expertise, to serve one consistent, unified beef success story with many different facets.
  • Advocates serve agriculture by telling their stories, by connecting in person and through social media, to flip the switch for just one unsure beef eater (or anti-beef eater) at a time.

And to be a honest (and a little selfish)…IMG_6949

  • ALL of these folks serve as blessings in my life. I’ve built friendships with and learned from people across the country. I’ve made long-lasting memories with some of the very best friends I never thought I’d make in my work life. And I received guidance, gratitude, encouragement from the best of the best across that entire list up above.

Thank YOU!

While I step away from this role (but don’t worry, I’ll be starting my own personal blog soon!) hoping I somehow made at least one difference to someone, please know it’s YOU that has made the difference in my life. It’s YOU that I’ll miss working with every week. It’s YOU I’ll think of when you all get together for conventions and meetings. And it’s YOU who help make the beef community a network of friends that have impacted my life more than I could have ever imagined. Thank YOU, and thank God for putting YOU in my life.


Lean Beef as a Heart Health Helper

Posted by: on February 22, 2013

Americans have always had a love affair with beef. Whether celebrating a special occasion or enjoying an everyday meal, Americans love beef. Yet, people are often surprised to learn that lean beef can also be good for their heart. BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) research shows naturally nutrient-rich lean beef can be an important part of a heart-healthy diet. So, as you can see, beef’s got a lot going for it, aside from taste, of course.

BOLD-logo-1Heart Health Helper: A growing body of evidence shows that lean beef, trimmed of visible fat, can be a part of a balanced diet that does not increase heart disease risk factors.

  • A nine-month clinical trial suggests lean red meat can be part of a cholesterol-lowering diet.
  • A separate research study found that moderately overweight women, who exercised and consumed lean protein as part of a nutritionally balanced, reduced calorie diet, successfully lost weight, lowered bad cholesterol, maintained good cholesterol, and reduced body fat.

Naturally Nutrient-Rich: On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean beef is only 150 calories yet a naturally rich source of 10 essential nutrients – including protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins – that are needed for a healthy, active lifestyle.

  • Choline, one of the 10 essential nutrients found in beef, may play a role in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that may be associated with increased risk of heart disease.

Beef up your exercise routine with lean protein

  • Hospital Hill 2011-6Regular physical activity or light exercise is much more effective when coupled with a protein-rich diet. Research indicates that a protein-rich diet, which falls within the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for protein intake, coupled with a moderate exercise program, increased weight loss by helping women become more toned by losing significantly more fat and maintaining more muscle mass.
  • Research also indicates that increasing daily high-quality protein intake may optimize muscle strength and metabolism, and ultimately improve overall health. A growing body of evidence suggests muscle metabolism may also play a role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
  • Lean protein, such as lean beef, provides essential nutrients to fuel activity and also help people consume more essential nutrients in fewer calories, while balancing their food intake with physical activity.
  • Because protein promotes satiety, eating a protein-rich meal or snack makes you feel full longer, and satisfies cravings faster.
  • Eating lean beef as part of a balanced diet can be part of the solution to maintaining a healthy weight and being active. A substantial body of evidence shows the nutrients in lean beef, such as protein, iron and B-vitamins, help maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and fuel physical activity.

Find more information here, from

Filet Mignon… Fancy Talk for Mouthwatering

Posted by: on February 20, 2013

“Filet Mignon” might seem fancy, but did you know it’s just another word for the tenderloin? And, most likely, tenderloin  sounds a little more familiar and a little less intimidating. Am I right?

What I love most about the tenderloin is that is often associated with special occasions, but the tenderloin itself is special because it is… wait for it… one of the 29 lean cuts. That’s right, one of the top choices for a tender, flavorful, juicy steak, is actually lean. The tenderloin is worth celebrating and a way of celebrating, so let’s get to celebrating!

So because February is a month of love, many of us are enjoying special occasions. Because February is Heart Health Awareness Month, we’re exploring new ways to take care of our bodies. And because those two go hand-in-hand, the tenderloin is the perfect choice to enjoy with your loved ones. Whether you’re ordering Filet Mignon at a restaurant or grilling the tenderloin at home on a random weeknight, you’re definitely going to want this for dinner!

Bistro-Style Filet Mignon with Champagne Pan Sauce

  • 4 beef tenderloin (filet) steaks, cut 1 inch thick
    (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2 cup brut Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1-3/4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Salt

Champagne Pan Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini or button, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brut Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add barley and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of Champagne. Bring to a simmer. Cook and stir 30 to 60 seconds or until liquid is almost absorbed. Add 1-3/4 cup broth, squash and garlic; return to simmer and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes or until barley is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, press coarsely cracked pepper on both sides of beef steak. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter; season with salt, as desired. Keep warm.
  3. Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Add 3/4 cup beef broth, 1/2 cup Champagne and thyme to skillet, stirring until browned bits attached to bottom of pan are dissolved. Bring to a boil; cook 4 to 8 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup. Combine cornstarch and water; stir into mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.
  4. Serve steaks with sauce and risotto.

See “Beef and Wine are the Perfect Couple” from earlier this month, to make the perfect wine pairing with your steak.

Setting a romantic dinner scene

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Posted by: on February 13, 2013

Valentine’s Day preparations should be coming to their final stages, so I’m here with my “finishing touch” tips to make your Valentine’s Day unique to you and the ones you love. Here’s a 30-second video to help you get started:

Whether you’re cooking for your special someone, your entire family, friends, or coworkers, you can show you care in a lot of different ways. And because this holiday can seem cliche and made for those newly in love, I’d encourage you to step out of that mindset, and step into the mindset that you can use this day as a good reason to show anyone around you how much you love them. Tailor the day to them, not to big red hearts and a dozen red roses.

Romantic Recipes

I encourage you to try this Top Loin with Red Wine Sauce recipe from my last blog post. Not what you had in mind for your someone(s) special? We’ve got a ton more recipes.

Find them here on the blog (scroll down!), visit our website,, for recipes and cooking tips, or repin mouthwatering beauty shots with recipes on our Pinterest page (see “Romantic Recipes” board)

Why Beef this Valentine’s Day?

dinner with hunk

Well, you know I LOVE giving beef some LOVE! But, if my enthusiasm doesn’t convince you, here’s some fun facts for you!

  • Let the sparks fly! More than half of Americans surveyed believe serving steak to someone best says “I love you,” more than all other proteins combined.
  • Americans love steak just the way it is – twice as many people think steak can truly stand alone on the dinner plate, where chicken and other proteins fall flat.
  • Americans are keeping the protein flame alive – nearly half of people surveyed can’t imagine ending their relationship with beef.

Setting the Scene

Sure the steak can serve as the center of your showing of affection, but their are some fail-proof pieces you just can’t leave out.  What says love to you?

  • While you’re getting your ingredients, be sure to grab a bottle of wine that will pair well with the steak. (See my beef and wine pairing guide from last week!)
  • Select a dessert that is decadent, maybe a favorite of your loved ones that they don’t get to have very often. Make it indulgent, because they indulge you with their daily love and support.
  • Eat dinner at the table, without the TV on. We can all get set in our routines, but take this time to enjoy real conversation with one another.
  • Put personal touches on the evening to match the personality of those you love. Maybe it’s the cliche candle light and soft music. Maybe it’s board games and family fun. Maybe it’s a rented movie. Whatever it is, make it personal, make it matter, and make sure you say “I love you” to those you care about.
  • If you’re going OUT for Valentine’s Day, don’t just pick a “nice place,” pick their favorite restaurant, fancy or not. Just make sure they’ve got a good steak. Cooking at home or dining out, steak still says I love you the best!

Tell me, how do you show your love and affection on Valentine’s Day?

Show your love with steak and wine

Comments Off on Show your love with steak and wine
Posted by: on February 8, 2013

I’m truly a believer that cooking up the perfect meal, with real thought and care into every step, is one of the best ways to say “I love you” to your special someone, or even your entire family. And making steak the center of that perfect meal says “I love you to the moon and back.” Makes your heart feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

Earlier this week, we learned how to choose the perfect wine for a romantic steak dinner (See Beef and Wine Pairing here). That’s a great start to your planning. But what’s the next step?

Well, in my attempt to make planning Valentine’s Day bliss as easy as possible, I’m now bringing you a simple recipe that actually uses a red wine sauce. This recipe screams “UMAMI” – or the fifth taste, meaning meaty or savory – and intense flavor. In love yet?

Top Loin Steaks with Red Wine SauceTop Loin red wine sauce2

Total Recipe Time:  40 to 45 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 1 inch thick or beef shoulder top blade steaks (flat iron) (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Red Wine Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cremini or button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup ready-to-serve beef broth
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt


  1. Press lemon pepper evenly onto beef steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook top loin steaks 12 to 15 minutes (flat iron steaks 11 to 14 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter; keep warm.
  2. To prepare Red Wine Sauce, add oil to same skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 20 to 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add wine; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until browned bits attached to skillet are dissolved and liquid is reduced by half. Stir in broth, cream and black pepper. Continue cooking 5 to 7 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.
  3. Spoon sauce over steaks. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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Our friends over at Missouri Wines are always here to help if you have more questions.
Visit to find Missouri wines and wineries, learn about more food and wine pairings, and download the Missouri Wines app. 

Next week’s posts will feature two “How-To” posts about cooking with beef and setting the perfect dinner scene. Stay tuned, my fellow beef lovers!

Beef and Wine are the Perfect Couple

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Posted by: on February 4, 2013

I Heart Beef (Vertical)As you may know, February is Heart Health Awareness Month. This is one of my favorite months, first of all, because I get to talk for 28 days about how lean beef can be a very important part of leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. But secondly, it’s also my favorite month because it’s all about LOVE, where beef fits in perfectly, because, if it’s not obvious, I LOVE BEEF!

So, to start off a month of connecting beef to the heart in every creative way I can imagine, I’m starting you off with a little romance. Everyone knows beef and wine go hand-in-hand when you’re planning a romantic dinner for two, so I thought I’d offer you some good tips to pair beef and wine for Valentine’s Day, or any day, for that matter.

Here’s what you need to know…

The density and deep flavors of beef have an affinity with rich, powerful wines. Here are some pairings to try for rich, flavorful meal:

  • Chimichurri-MarinatedBeefSteaks_smallNorton is the wine that pairs best with most beef dishes. Flank steak & beef chuck cuts pair well with Norton or Chambourcin.
  • The flame-seared flavor of grilled steak echoes the toasty oak of Norton for a perfect match.
  • Braised beef dishes taste best with soft and seamless wines; pair beef stew with Chambourcin.
  • Thai beef salads and beef stir-fries are fantastic with Vignoles.
  • Steak salads with greens and vegetables are terrific with Vidal Blanc.
  • A dry Rose is a must-try with garlicky beef dishes.
  • Asian beef dishes with lots of chili heat or piquant garlic & ginger are good with Traminette or Vignoles.
  • Beef dishes with a significant fruit component to them often pair beautifully with fruity red wines. Try your local proprietary blend!
  • Salty foods dull the flavor of many wines. Counter with a touch of sweetness. An Asian beef stir fry seasoned with soy sauce is a terrific match for Traminette.

And of course, I’m a firm believer that your favorite wine goes well well with whatever you want it too. Maybe that’s just me… No? Didn’t think so!
Missouri Wines


Our friends over at Missouri Wines are always here to help if you have more questions.
Visit to find Missouri wines and wineries, learn about more food and wine pairings, and download the Missouri Wines app. 

Beer Braised Brisket sure to score big

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Posted by: on January 31, 2013

IT’S GAMETIME! I understand your competitive need to kick off the party with the best dish anyone’s ever tried. I know you want the half-time chow down to score as big as your favorite team. I get it.

So as I searched through my recipes for the champion of Super Bowl recipes, I found it. The Wasabi-Beer Braised Brisket recipe. I mean, it’s BEEF braised in BEER, people! How do you go wrong with that as a Super Bowl food? And what I love about this recipe, is that you can make use sandwich sized baguettes, or slice them thinner, into appetizer sized sandwiches. I give you, absolute brilliance. Go TEAM, Go BEEF!

Wasabi-Beer Braised BrisketBrisketHiResolution

Total recipe time: 4 to 4-1/4 hours
Makes 10 to 12 servings


  • 1 boneless beef brisket, flat cut (4 to 4-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi paste
  • Coleslaw (recipe follows)
  • 3 whole wheat baguettes, cut into 10 to 12 pieces (4-1/2 to 5 inches each), split


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Press garlic evenly onto all surfaces of beef brisket. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Place brisket in skillet; brown evenly. Remove brisket from skillet; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add onions to large stockpot or large baking pan. Place brisket over onions. Stir in beer and chili sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly. Continue cooking in 325°F oven 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare coleslaw.
  4. Remove brisket; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in wasabi paste.
  5. Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Return beef to cooking liquid; keep warm. Divide beef and onions evenly over roll bottoms; close sandwiches. Serve remaining sauce for dipping, if desired. Serve with coleslaw.

Coleslaw: Combine ½ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger and 2 teaspoons honey in large bowl. Add 1 package (16 ounces) coleslaw mix and 1 package (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage; toss to coat. Season with salt, if desired.

Have a favorite beef recipe you plan to make? Make it a team effort, and share your recipe in the comments below!

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