Beef: It’s what’s for dinner

You have likely heard the catchy slogan, “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner.” It has been used it to promote the beef industry and you may have heard it more frequently now in May as that is when National Beef Month is recognized. I’m not sure why May would be the month chosen to promote beef, other than that May is the kick-off to the grilling season; at least the kick-off to the season in the northern climates.

You might be surprised to know that more than 29 cuts of beef meet the government guidelines for being considered a “lean” cut of meat. Keeping in mind the cut of meat that you choose and the portion size are key to planning healthy meals no matter what type of meat you choose.

A three ounce portion of lean beef (about the size of a deck of cards) has about 150 calories on average and is a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients, like zinc, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. A single serving of beef also provides nearly 50 percent of the Daily Value for protein. Studies suggest that protein promotes satiety, so you’ll feel full longer by including protein in your diet.

This idea of feeling full longer is important for our breakfast meal too. So often our breakfast meals are quick and are mostly in the form of carbohydrates. That can start us off on a good note, but without some protein to tide us over, we often end up feeling hungry a couple hours after we’ve eaten that breakfast. Adding some protein to this important meal can help bridge the time from breakfast to lunch. Healthy protein options to add to breakfast to help us feel full longer could be foods such as Greek yogurt, milk or nuts.

Breakfast sandwiches can also fit this bill, but a lot of the options for these end up being higher in fat and sodium than would be prudent on a heart healthy diet. So how about filling that breakfast sandwich with a lean beef ingredient instead? Following is an interesting and tasty recipe for a Beef Breakfast Burrito that you might enjoy for a different breakfast option. The recipe is from the website. There are many tasty and healthy recipe ideas on their website if you’re looking for new ways to serve beef this season.

Beef Breakfast Burrito


12 ounces ground beef (96% lean)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tsp ground chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

4 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp salt (optional)

1/3 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend or shredded Cheddar cheese

4 medium spinach or plain tortillas (10-inch diameter), warmed


Lime-Cilantro Cream (optional):

1/2 cup reduced-fat dairy sour cream

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro


• Combine Lime-Cilantro Cream ingredients in small bowl, if desired. Set aside.

• Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef with bell peppers, onion, chili powder and cumin; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from beef mixture from skillet; keep warm.

• Combine eggs, water and 1 tbsp cilantro in medium bowl. Spray same skillet with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture into skillet; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, if desired. Stir in beef mixture and cheese; cook 1 minute or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

• Spoon beef mixture evenly in a row across center of each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border on right and left sides. Fold right and left sides of tortilla over filling. Fold bottom edge up over filling and roll up; cut diagonally in half. Serve with Lime-Cilantro Cream and salsa, if desired.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutritional information (per serving): 446 calories, 6 grams saturated fat, 33 grams protein, 5.6 mg iron, 5 mg zinc

Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.