*This post is word heavy as I forgot to take photos!! But, there is a recipe at the end if you want to scroll past my tidbits!
We butchered a cow earlier this year and shared the meat with a friend. Needless to say, we have a LOT of ground beef in our freezer to use up. That is great because ground beef is super expensive and super versatile to use. I really enjoy the flavor of our beef and appreciate that we know how the cow was treated, fed, butchered and processed. While at the North Dakota State Fair, my Mom and I took a Saturday to leisurely stroll around the exhibits. One of the booths was the North Dakota Beef Commission. They have several brochures featuring recipes from: ground beef, beef for breakfast, grilling and more. I took a few brochures in hopes to get a few fun new ideas for dinners, or heck, even breakfasts! The first recipe I chose to make was the Easy Baked Beef, Bean and Corn Quesadillas. Of course, I adapted the recipe somewhat to my tastes and what I had on hand. This is easily adaptable.
I really appreciated that each recipe had specific ingredients (95% lean burger) and nutrition information per serving. Obviously, 85% and 95% ground beef will have much different nutritional information. This brochure in particular had some great information about knowing your ground beef. Here are the takeaways I got from the info.
Ground Beef – 80% lean / 20% fat
Listed below in order is: Item, Calories, Fat (g)
Pan-broiled patties, 230, 15
Pan-broiled patties, after blotting, 217, 14
Pan-broiled crumbles, after blotting only, 191, 11
Pan-broiled crumbles, after blotting & rinsing, 130, 5
(Again this info is from the ND Beef Commission, stats sourced from Iowa State University, Dept. of Food Science & Human Nutrition)
Do you see that up above? That is amazing! If you simply removed your beef crumbles, blot them with a paper towel and transfer to a colander and rinse with 4 cups of hot (not boiling) water you can cut some SERIOUS calories and fat. The brochure notes to not run water directly from the tap because it causes beef to break up and affects the texture. Instead, rinse using a measuring cup or something similar. I often blot my pizza when I eat it so I don’t know why I never thought of this!
The brochure goes on to compare lead ground beef with ground turkey and pork and if you use lean beef, you are really doing quite well as far as nutritional values in comparison.
Finally one other great Time-Saving Tip: to save time in preparing your favorite ground beef recipes, cook and drain several pounds of ground beef. Package in heavy zipper freezer bags for later use (best within 3 months – be sure to label). One pound of ground beef is about 2 ½ cups of beef crumbles. To use: remove from freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight or carefully defrost in the microwave.
One other thing that makes these steps above easy is using quality non-stick cookware. I recently receive new Calphalon cookware and can’t praise it enough. Game changer for sure!
Photo and recipe from: Beef, Its Whats For Dinner website
EASY BAKED BEEF, BEAN AND CORN QUESADILLAS, makes 4 servings
- 1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup prepared salsa
- 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted, drained well
- 8 small flour tortillas (6 to 7-inch diameter)
- 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings; season with salt and pepper, as desired.
2. Stir in salsa, beans and corn; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened and heated through.
3. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortillas on baking sheet, overlapping slightly, if necessary. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese evenly over tortillas. Spoon beef mixture evenly over cheese; top with remaining cheese and tortillas. Spray top tortillas with cooking spray.
4. Bake in 400°F oven 11 to 13 minutes or until quesadillas are lightly browned and edges are crisp. Cut into wedges to serve.
Test Kitchen Tips
· Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
· Serve with a simple Mexican-style coleslaw of packaged coleslaw tossed with sliced green onions, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
· Nutrition information per serving: 452 calories; 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 80 mg cholesterol; 1151 mg sodium; 46 g carbohydrate; 5.3 g fiber; 38 g protein; 8.9 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 5.8 mg iron; 36.0 mcg selenium; 7.1 mg zinc.
Changes I made that would affect the nutritional info: added garlic, fresh tomatoes, yellow onion, green onion and some taco seasoning. I subbed refried beans for black beans.
I can’t wait to try some of their breakfast ideas! Yep, ground beef for breakfast!