(Family Features) As the fall season begins, kids go back to school and schedules once again book up with activities.
Between work, the carpool line and shuttling kids to extracurriculars, the increase in family commitments often leaves little time in the kitchen or at the dining table. Although the drive-thru is an easy solution, healthier options can be scarce and the cost of takeout piles up. Instead, add some quick family meals to your arsenal.
Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza made with READ Southwestern Bean Salad is a fun twist on the Italian favorite that pairs perfectly with fruit, carrot sticks or a salad for a complete, family-friendly meal.
For an easy make-ahead option, grab a jar of Aunt Nellie's Beets and make Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps. Both recipes can help you have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
- 1 pre-baked pizza crust (10-12-inch diameter)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (about 1/4 cup crumbled)
- 1/2-3/4 cup thin bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick), any color or combination
- 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped avocado (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- Drain bean salads. Place half of beans in bowl of food processor; process until pureed but chunky.
- Spread puree evenly over pizza crust. Spoon remaining drained beans over puree. Sprinkle with bacon, bell pepper and cheese.
- Bake as directed on pizza crust package until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10-12 minutes.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with avocado and sour cream, if desired.
Nutritional information per serving: 276 calories; 11 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 648 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 11 mg iron; .02 mg thiamin; 575 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.
Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup spreadable cheese (such as goat cheese or herb soft cheese)
- 2 large soft flour tortillas (about 10-12-inch diameter)
- 10 green onions (green parts only)
- 10 thin slices deli roast beef
- Drain beets; chop. Discard beet liquid. In medium bowl, combine beets, carrots and horseradish.
- Spread 1/4 cup cheese evenly over each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border. Arrange five green onions (do not chop) on each; press lightly into cheese. Place five slices roast beef on each tortilla to cover green onions then sprinkle beet mixture evenly over beef.
- Roll up tortillas in parallel direction of green onions. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.
- To serve, remove plastic wrap; cut each tortilla into two pieces.
Substitution: If horseradish is too pungent, omit or replace with diced jarred roasted red peppers or Dijon mustard.
Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 17 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 520 mg sodium; 35 mg cholesterol; 2 g fiber; 3.18 mg iron; .26 mg thiamin; 2963.87 IU vitamin A; 8.79 mg vitamin C.
(Family Features) Shedding excess pounds doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods, including red meat. A study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center shows that healthy, higher-protein diets including lean beef can be beneficial to not only weight loss, but also maintaining muscle mass and heart health.
The study is in line with ongoing research on the importance of lean protein for weight loss. To kick your healthy eating plan into high gear, try these tips:
- Enjoy protein at every meal. One of the benefits of having protein in your meal is feeling more satisfied, which helps reduce mindless eating or snacking in between meals. Additionally, meals with high-quality protein help build muscle and reduce body fat.
- Choose lean protein options. Picking lean protein options can be easier than you think. You can still enjoy a beef burger and save calories by choosing lean or extra-lean ground beef. Other smart meat case picks include top sirloin steak or sirloin tip, bottom round steak or roast, eye of round steak or roast, or top round steak or roast. Also make sure to choose colorful vegetables and fruits to round out your meal, like in this recipe for Grilled Southwestern Steak and Colorful Vegetables.
- Dine out smart. Many people struggle with getting a balanced, protein-filled meal when dining out or grabbing food on-the-go. Look for words like “grilled,” “broiled” or “baked” when browsing the menu for lean proteins. Or add a lean protein to your entree salad, whether it’s for lunch or dinner. For snack time, consider beef jerky to get protein on-the-go.
For meal ideas and tips to support your weight loss goals, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Grilled Southwestern Steak and Colorful Vegetables
Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff
Total time: 25-35 minutes
- 1 beef top round steak, cut 1-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup prepared mild salsa
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- In small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours, or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.
- Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. For medium-rare (145° F) doneness, grill covered, turning once, 12-14 minutes (on gas grill over medium heat, 16-19 minutes).
- To prepare Colorful Vegetables: In large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add bell pepper strips; cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, zucchini, cumin, salt and black pepper; cook and stir 3-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and green onions; cook and stir 1 minute.
- Carve steak into thin slices; season with salt, to taste. Serve with Colorful Vegetables.