By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and nutritionist
bloop·er /ˈblo͞opər/ Noun; an embarrassing error.
Thursday mornings at my church, a class of primarily Japanese women meet to learn English. They are sponges for American culture, food and words. Classes are filled with laughter as words get mixed up, Americanisms are learned, and bonds are created. I had been planning a class about All-American foods when the pandemic hit. To get my mind off the germs, I took matters in my own hands and decided to make Tasty Tuesday All-American Favorites. Tasty Tuesday would feature a how-to video of a recipe. First up: Easy Crockpot Roast Beef (a.k.a. Pot Roast). I made cue cards of vocabulary words such as ground beef, ground sirloin, ground round and ground chuck. My husband Paul filmed as I began talking about cuts of beef using the great interactive resources on www.brobbq.com. First, the round and then “moving on to the chicken, I mean chuck!” I let out a howl of laughter, the camera bobbed as Paul snickered and we moved right along. The funniest thing is they probably didn’t even notice my blooper. Blooper was then added to the vocab list.
The weather and grills around Ohio are warming up. No matter your taste in fuel for your grill, most everyone can agree nothing beats the first burger of the season. Pre-pandemic, one of the hot topics was plant-based meat substitutes such as Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger. These products are touted as healthier, vegan friendly and seem to be popular. The meat guy at the local grocery told me they were flying off the shelf. I must admit I haven’t been able to talk myself into trying them. And ask Paul, I try a lot of whack-a-doodle foods.
A few funny things I find fascinating about people who buy these plant-based products.
- People who are so vocal about anti-GMOs are the same people who are buying these plant-based, highly processed products. These products have at least 19 ingredients and are highly processed. I am an “as few ingredients as possible gal.” For example beef ingredients are: beef. Milk ingredients are: milk. Whole, unprocessed foods are the healthiest way to choose. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I choose processed foods as much as anyone. I just prefer my processed foods in the form of Cheetos, candy and cheese. By the way, Cheetos have fewer ingredients than Beyond Meat.
- Nutritionally a 4-ounce portion of 85% lean ground beef is the most similar nutrition as ground plant. Beyond Meat nutrition facts per 4-ounce portion are 260 calories; 18 grams fat; 5 grams carbs; 20 grams protein and 350 milligrams of sodium. In comparison, 85% lean beef has 240 calories; 17 grams fat; 0 carbs; 21 grams protein, and only 75 milligrams of sodium! The sodium difference is astronomical in these processed plant products. There are leaner ground beef choices up to 93% lean, if you desire lower fat options.
- I’ve seen pandemic grocery pics that depict empty meat-cases, but these plant-based products are filled to the brim. Although I can’t guarantee they haven’t been photoshopped, I find it fascinating that during this stressful time that we live in, it seems the demand for some of these special labeled foods diminishes.
Bottom line: eat beef. Keep to 3- to 4-ounce portions. (Take note, Paul!) Fill your plate with at least half veggies. Nothing goes better with veggies than the original, all-natural one-ingredient beef. It’s what’s for dinner! Happy National Beef Month!
Eat Healthy & Well!
P.S. I still haven’t been back to the hair salon! Yikes. Zip your lip Paul!
The Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Burger Ever pioneerwoman.com
Only fitting we include a beef producer’s favorite burger ever!
2 pounds 80/20 Ground Beef
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Red Onion, Sliced
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Real Mayonnaise
1 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
Your Favorite Lettuce
4-6 Kaiser Rolls
Place the ground beef into a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. With your hands, mix the meat and seasoning well. Set aside.
Heat a medium skillet over low heat. Add butter and dump in the sliced (not too thick, not too thin) red onions. Add brown sugar. Caramelize the onions over low heat for about twenty minutes, tossing occasionally.
While the onions are caramelizing, make the spicy mayo: Stir mayo and a few dashes of Tabasco and test for taste.
Slice the Kaiser rolls in half and spread each half with butter. Place them face down on a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Grill the rolls over medium heat. Let the rolls cool on a plate until you need them.
Form the meat into patties and place on a grill pan or skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Allow each to cook about 3 minutes, then using a spatula, rotate 45 degrees, leaving it on the same side. Flip the burger and cook it for a couple of minutes, rotating it 45 degrees again to get the nice grill marks.
Now add a large helping of caramelized onions over top of that glorious patty, followed by crumbled blue cheese. As it finishes cooking, spread the spicy mayo on the Kaiser rolls and transfer the burger onto the bottom half of the bun. Top with a handful of greens and top with the bun. Serves 4-1/2 pound burgers or 6-1/3 pound burgers
Thai Burger beefwhatsfordinner.com
1 pound Ground Beef
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
Combine cabbage and 1 tablespoon lime juice in medium bowl; set aside.
Combine Ground Beef, green onion, ground ginger and hot sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties. . Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place patties in skillet; cook 10 to 12 minutes until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, hoisin sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and sesame oil in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Place 1 burger on bottom half of each bun; top evenly with peanut butter mixture and cabbage mixture. Close sandwiches.
Black Bean Sandwich sallysbakingaddiction.com
If you are trying to increase veggies and legumes in your diet, try this.
2-14 oz cans black beans, drained, rinsed, patted dry
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped pepper
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
pinch salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out. Meanwhile, sauté olive oil, chopped pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or in a food processor with the remaining ingredients (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and pepper). Stir or pulse everything together, add the black beans. Mash with a fork or pulse the mixture, leaving some larger chunks of beans. Form into patties– about 1/3 cup of mixture.
To bake: Place patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes total. To grill: Place patties on greased aluminum foil and grill 8 minutes on each side. Generally, black bean burgers should grill on medium-high heat about 350°F (177°C) – 400°F (204°C). Serve with your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.