Protein Packed Day with Beef
guest blog post by Brooke Young, Iowa Beef Industry Council
The weather is warming up, and Americans are firing up their grills. There is no better time to celebrate all the great benefits of beef than during May Beef Month!
As a young female who has recently found a hobby in running and fitness, I’ve realized first-hand all of the benefits of lean beef. Beef is one powerful protein. In fact, one serving of lean beef (3 ounces) contains 25 grams of protein with only 154 calories!
Research has shown there are health and wellness benefits to consuming protein in balanced amounts at each meal. Protein is beneficial for anyone looking to maintain/build muscle, looking for weight or appetite control, or simply striving for better overall nutrition.
With this information, the beef checkoff in April launched a 30 Day Protein Challenge. This is a fun, step-by-step program to incorporate more protein into the everyday diet. Join the conversation using #ProteinChallenge on Twitter and Facebook.
I compare the 30 Day Protein Challenge to training for a 5k or marathon. You’re not going to get up off the couch one day and run a marathon. You’re going to follow a step-by-step training guide to build strength and endurance. The same is true for the 30 Day Protein Challenge. In fact, the first 5 days are spent journaling and reviewing, then slowly building the “endurance” to consume 25-30 grams of protein three times a day. The best part? Trying new recipes and incorporating beef into breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Throughout the challenge, it was obvious to me that I was not consuming enough protein for breakfast, the most important meal of the day. I would often times grab a granola bar on my way out for work, but then I’d find myself reaching for snacks mid-morning. By incorporating a protein-packed breakfast into my day, I was able to take control of my appetite and stop the urge for mid-morning snacking.
Below is a quick, easy recipe to put your protein into your morning. For more cooking tip, recipes, or to find out more about the Iowa Beef Industry Council, visit www.iabeef.org
Beef & Egg Breakfast Mug
- 1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
- 1 cup chopped fresh vegetables such as tomato, baby spinach, bell pepper, zucchini or green onion
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack or American
- 8 large eggs
- Salt and pepper (optional)
- Toppings (optional): dairy sour cream, salsa, sriracha, ketchup
*Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage
- 1 pound ground beef (93% lean or leaner)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Mix all ingredient in a large bowl. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.
- Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Remove skillet from heat; let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Evenly divide beef and vegetables into eight food-safe quart-size plastic bags. Close securely and refrigerate up to 4 days.
- For each serving, spray one 6 to 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; whisk with fork. Stir in 1 bag refrigerated beef-vegetable mixture.
- Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30 seconds. Remove from oven; stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH 30 to 60 seconds or until egg is just set. Stir.
- Top with cheese. Let stand 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Toppings, if desired.
For Taco Seasoning Variation, prepare beef as directed above, substituting 1 packet (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix for herbs and seasonings in step 1.