The main dishes and snacks served at your big football party are equally as (if not more) important than the action served up on the gridiron. Beef up any game day grub plan with my highlight reel of hearty yet healthy recipes that are so meaty and so marvelous, I just had to share them again! Better make a double-batch of all these Best Healthy Beef Recipes for Game Day, they are a sure bet to be gone by half-time.
January is National Soup Month and, of course, I’ve been celebrating my favorite course (either as a meal starter or main dish) with in all the ways that I see fit! And that means, ladling up lots of wholesome, hearty and holistically nourishing goodness into bowls, mugs and thermoses. I love ALL the soup and I have A Dozen Days of Soup for for Everyone! You get soup, and you, and YOU get soup (Oprah style).
As I rifled through my soup recipes (there are so many more than I’m sharing today, just search “soup” in the upper right bar), I noticed themes – meal prep suitable, medicinal spices like turmeric and ginger, gluten-free noodle and grain options like rice vermicelli or quinoa, and unique interpretations on traditional favorites. Some of the soups are vegan, some are loaded with meat – just like I love ALL the soups, I love ALL the foods. Read on to get the recipes for a dozen days of soup! Continue reading
Let me preface this post by saying, as a Texas girl, love me a good meaty chili. Beef does the body good, and I show that off any chance available on my Instagram profile. But, variety is the spice of life and what a wonderful world we live in that has so many food options. My No Beans, No Bull Vegan Chili Mix makes a tasty substitution for those days when I’m mixing up my diet or have guests over who don’t do meat.
Read on to get all the details about this vegan chili mix that’s ideal for meal prep, pantry stocking, camping trips with no access to cold food storage, or even giving as a healthy edible gift. Continue reading
Um, YES PLEASE! Give me that Jalapeno Feta Cornbread — and find out why I don’t mind having a second slice!My Jalapeno Feta Cornbread will be the star of your next meal and makes the perfect paring for my Best-Ever, Super-Secret Beef Chili. Bake up a batch of this old-fashioned quick bread in a cast iron skillet for the crunchiest crust, a country-style presentation and a surprising health benefit – extra iron in your diet!
You heard me right, cooking and baking in cast iron can fortify a recipe with iron transferred from the pan. Iron is an essential mineral that the body uses to deliver oxygen to the body via our red blood cell. On average 10 of American women are iron deficient with one recent study suggested that more than half (56%) of recreational joggers and competitive runners suffer from an iron deficiency that may negatively affect performance. Runners, cyclists, CrossFit athletes and other athletes typically need more iron in their diet than the average Joe because this essential mineral is lost via menstruation, pregnancy, sweat, GI distress, and even repetitive foot-strike (“footstrike hemolysis”). Also, some chronic medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease can prevent the prober absorption of iron.
The more acidic a food (like tomato sauce), the more iron will be leached from the pan, but even baked goods like this cornbread can get an iron-boost from cast iron cookware. On average, one cup of cast-iron skillet food gains 6 to 8 milligrams of iron, helping you to meet daily allowance of this mineral (For women aged 19-50, the RDA is 18 milligrams per day).
However, don’t just count on cast-iron or iron supplements to get the optimal amount – getting iron from fresh foods is optimal. Beef, spinach, broccoli, beans, legumes, and dates are all high-iron choices, you can find out more on this earlier blog post I wrote about Anemia in Runners.
Here are some iron-rich recipes to serve up with this cornbread!
Note, I originally developed this Jalapeno Feta Cornbread recipe for Litehouse Foods, using their deliciously tangy, creamy artisan feta cheese.
Also, let me just add — this cornbread is off the hook drizzled with honey — I like the new Truvia Nectar, a honey/stevia blend that has 50% fewer calories and carbs. Get a free sample! #sponsored #UseLikeHoney
What do you cook in cast iron? Cornbread fan? Do you make yours plain, or mix “extras” in? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer
I felt it for a second, the cooler morning that is. So I pulled out fringy scarf, boots and slow-cooker – yeehaw, fall weather is here. But, it was a total fake out, ended up being 90 degrees that day. Even though I shed my fall finery, my Crock Pot creation was a dinner winner not about to be tossed. Rich, meaty, hearty and amazing nutritious thanks to wholesome ingredients like lean beef, pumpkin, acorn and butternut squashes.
You absolutely must pin this photo below if you like healthy, hearty and helpful!
I originally made this recipe for my friends at BeefLovingTexans.com, I almost tried to call it Chili but then remembered some Texans don’t think beans belong in chili. Well, heck, I don’t care – I think everything belongs in chili! This one has a bit of chipotle chili powder to add smoky spice, but feel free to tone it down or kick it up with your favorite chili seasonings.
The beauty of this recipe is just dumping all the ingredients into a slow cooker and walking away. I prefer to sear my chili meat (I cubed up a sirloin steak) because that magical caramelization process that happens in the skillet creates a deeper, more complex flavor. But, if you are pressed for time, the stew still turns out dang delicious if you just dump the uncooked beef straight into the slow cooker crock.
I was worried the kids would be suspicious of the trio of winter squashes in the dish – pumpkin, acorn and butternut. But, they loved it and a new autumn family favorite was born – especially when paired with some cast-iron skillet cornbread. I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe in photo below — it’ll be served up on the blog next week! COME BACL!
So, why don’t you make this Steak & Squash Harvest Stew for supper this weekend – free yourself up some time to hang out with the family, hit a hay ride, visit the pumpkin patch, get lost in a corn maze. It’s also a great little warmer-upper for those chilly afternoons tailgating and talking all things football or for the neighborhood Halloween potluck!
So, do you have a special family chili (errrr, I mean “stew” recipe)? Doing any special fall activities this weekend? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
I hope you have a big spoon at the ready, my recipe for Best-Ever Beef Chili is, well, THE BEST! With freezing temperatures and heated football bowl games going down, this big pot of spicy, rich and blissfully beefy chili is what to serve by the mug, bowl or trough.
I typically make chili by breaking down a roast into bite-sized chunks, my kitchen stampeded causing Southwestern Steak Chili is a family favorite. However, the kids love ground beef (and so does my food budget) and requested a chili made with their favorite food group — hamburger meat!
Won’t lie, I was a little worried that the ground beef would come out dry and the beefy taste might get downed out by bold chili spices. After reading an article in Cooks Illustrated on achieving “better browning through science,” I knew I had to try their technique of using a baking solution on meat to enable proteins to attract more water and hold onto it during cooking and also create a higher pH level to speed up the desirable Maillard reaction (basically, the harbinger of caramelization). My dad reported success using this method to keep steaks juicy and tender, and I hoped this easy hack would help improve the taste and texture of my chili’s ground beef.
So, how does this baking soda beef hack work? Typically, when ground beef is cooked on the stove top, so much water and liquid is expelled that the beef chunks just end up steaming in their own juices — very little actually browning happens. When cooked to the point of most water evaporating, the batch of beef will be unpleasantly overdone. However, by gently tossing a baking soda solution with the meat (about ¾ teaspoon baking soda to 2 tablespoons water for 2lbs of grind) and letting sit for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking , beef loses less liquid, browns faster and tastes better. I tried it myself with 80/20 Chuck Ground Beef and I must say, I was impressed! The ground beef cooked “as-is” was almost immediately was sitting in a pool of liquids (as you can see from the picture) and when taste-tested seemed a little rubbery and bland.
However, the baking soda treated beef immediately started to brown in the pot. And, while there was still a fair deal of liquid released, it was noticely less so than the previous batch (Cook’s illustrated said about 10% less liquid, I felt like maybe even a little more). More noticeable though, was the taste – the baking-soda treated batch had a richer, more complex caramelized flavor and was markedly juicier. In fact, the cooked beef was so yummy; I worried about taste-testing my way through the whole pile before I even started the rest of the chili!
So, my final recommendation on this “baking soda treatment” is definitely try it and see what you think! It does take little bit of pre-planning because you have to let the solution sit on the meat for 20 minutes, but you can have that going while you prep the other ingredients.
So, here is my Best Ever Ground Beef Chili recipe, – every spoon is a mouthful of meaty goodness. It’s rich and spicy, without being too heavy or too “hot” for kids – I think you’ll really like it. But, feel free to use this baking soda technique with any beef chili recipe!
If you’re looking for other delicious chili recipes, check out this collection I curated for Mode! And, also head over to the Texas Beef Council for more inspiration.
Do tell, do you put beans in your chili? Do you like spicy or mild? What toppings do you put on top? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
First of all — HAPPY NEW YEAR! Before I move forward into 2016 with all the healthy recipe ideas that are bouncing around in my head, I wanted to share my most loved recipe pins from the last 12 months. If we’re not already following each other on Pinterest, let’s connect today! So, here you go — a collection of pins that are my most popular.
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash – This simple-to-make sweet potato dish is paired up with cauliflower for a creamy, dreamy side dish for Thanksgiving or any other time of the year. This side dish recipe has been pinged on Good Housekeeping, Canadian Running Magazine, Glamour and a zillion food, health and wellness blogs.
(Slow Cooker) Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunch – Crunchy cereal, pretzels and an assortment of nuts get a sweet upgrade with a coating of caramel and chocolate. The secret surprise is that this easy snack mix recipe is made in the slow cooker!
Black Bean, Zucchini and Corn Tacos – This summer-inspired vegetarian meal is quick and easy dinner solution for the patio – when the season passes, just swap out the zucchini for a winter squash like butternut!
Balsamic Slow Roasted Tomatoes – Scrumptious beyond imagination, this easy veggie recipe turns what I consider to be a typically bland tomato (if purchased from a consumer grocery store) into a magical topping for salads, eggs, steaks, pasta and more. Also, freezeable!
Mom’s Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad – This versatile veggie salad can be served as a side dish, atop a bed of lettuce or as a relish for tacos. Inspired by my mom’s family favorite recipe and kicked up with a little of my chipotle chili powder addiction. A winner in the California All-American Avocado Recipe Contest.
Brain-Boosting Cinnamon Peach Smoothie – One of the things I love most being a healthy food bloggers is explaining how the ingredients in my recipes help optimize well-being. For example, the cinnamon and natural sugars in this smoothie recipe help improve alertness and brain function – the perfect snack for study sessions or work day pick-me-ups.
Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce – I made this quirky barbeque sauce to accompany my Brisket Tacos with Watermelon Rind Relish for the SXSW Taco Takedown in Austin this year. Basically, in Austin, the weirder and wackier the better and this crazy condiment stole the show!
Southwestern Steak Chili – This delicious chili recipe fills the kitchen with the scent of smoky, spicy goodness and just might cause a stampede to the table. A bowl full (or two) makes a hearty, happy and healthy meal for even the hungriest hombres in your home.
Strawberry Greek Yogurt Tart – Not only is this strawberry tart gorgeous, it’s better for you made with protein-packed Greek yogurt and a gluten-free chocolate crust. A stunning finale to any celebration or Sunday dinner.
Also, don’t miss my Running and Fitness Recap (with Bloopers) from last week.
And, because everyone else is doing it (haha), my #BestNine2015 on Instagram. These are the nine most “liked” posts, but not necessarily my favorite – it’s a bunch of abs, inversions and the peculiarly popular yellow shorts.
What is YOUR favorite recipe of 2015? Please share the link or just give me the down and dirty description in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer
Ring-ding-ding! Come and get it – I’m serving up Southwestern Steak Chili for dinner and you are about to miss it. A big bowl full of this hearty goodness will squash your “hangries” and fuel you up for whatever adventures you’ve got coming up – whether that’s just some causal mechanical bull riding or running roughshod right over a marathon goal (speaking hypothetically, of course).
Nutritious ingredients magnified by down-on-the-ranch seasonings create wonderful smells while simmering on the stove top – expect a stampede to the dinner table. Folks I know usually make chili with ground beef, but this easy recipe takes it to a whole ‘notha, fork-slinging level with beef stew meat. Meat labeled beef stew is whatever your butcher feels like cutting up that day. So, if you are looking to save a buck and want some control over what you’re eating, try sirloin or round for a lean option or chuck if you want juicier, fall-apart action.
I’ve used a can of pinto beans (hubby likes these best) and a can of black beans (my favorite) – but you can use whatever variety you prefer including the traditional kidney bean. Chipotle chile powder is my ace in the hole in this pot of chili. I mix up a blend of standard chili powder along with some chipotle power to add smoky undertones – chipotle peppers are just smoked jalapenos. Oh, and an awesome way to boost up the smoky, roasted flavor is to use canned fire-roasted tomatoes – this post isn’t sponsored, but Muir Glen makes a great organic option.
Southwestern Steak Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs beef stew meat in 1 to 1 ½ chunks (or cut your own from sirloin or round)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle or can Mexican beer
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (I used Muir Glenn)
- 1 (15-ounce) can chile or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (7-ounce) can salsa verde
- Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cubed stew beef and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring gently. Remove from pan.
- Add chopped onion to pan and sauté 3 – 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, chile power and cumin to pot and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly. .
- Add beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return beef to pan. Stir tomatoes, beans and salsa verde; bring to boil.
- Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat and simmer approximately 90 minutes or until beef begins to fall apart with fork.
- Serve with favorite chile topping such as sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips.
- Serves 6 – 8.
[Tweet “Southwestern Steak Chili causes dinner time stampede! #beeflovingtexans]
What kind of chili person are you — beans, no beans, beef, turkey, vegetarian, etc?