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Easy, Healthy Beef Recipes

Beef has a bad rap, but it can be good for you -- it's a great source of protein, iron, and heart-healthy B-vitamins. Choose lean cuts and grass-fed meat to make your meal a healthy one. Try these easy, healthy recipes with beef, from burgers and steaks to salads and sandwiches.

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Chris Gallo
Tina Rupp
Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak
Kate Sears
Evan Sklar
Chris Gallo
Joseph Deleo
Joseph Deleo
Amy Kalyn Sims
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Prev 1 of 10 Next

Steak and Pepper Tacos

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
3 ounces steak strips
1 1/2 cups sliced green and red bell peppers
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 small (6-inch) whole-grain tortillas
4 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Make It
In a skillet, saute olive oil, cumin and garlic for 1 minute. Add steak strips and cook about 5 minutes. Add pepper and onion slices and cook for another 8 minutes. Place mixture in tortillas and fold. Top with salsa and sour cream.

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Grilled Steak

Ingredients
2 boneless strip steaks, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick

Marinade
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Vinaigrette
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons canola oil

Salad
12 cups arugula
1 cup thinly shaved Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Make It
Coarsely chop the parsley leaves and the garlic. Transfer to a small bowl, mix with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Rub marinade over the steaks and refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Add oil, whisking until dressing is emulsified.

Turn the grill to medium-high heat and brush the racks with olive oil. Scrape off any excess marinade from steaks, and grill about 6 inches over heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. With a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, cut steaks, across the grain, into 18 thin slices.

Toss arugula with dressing to coat. Divide among 6 plates. Top each with steak strips, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

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Prev 3 of 10 Next

Chipotle Beef Wrap

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 6- to 8-ounce lean steak
1 tablespoon canned chipotle in adobe, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 large whole wheat tortillas
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
Lettuce and tomato

Make It
Rub olive oil in a heavy skillet. Saute steak over high heat until medium rare to medium, turning once (7 to 10 minutes). Set aside until cool; slice thinly. Stir together chipotle in adobe and mayonnaise; spread on tortillas. Add 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro to each; top with beef and lettuce and tomato. Roll up.

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Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1 pound flank steak

Make It
Preheat the broiler and coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients except steak in a small bowl; rub mixture over the steak. Broil 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until cooked. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Serve with a green salad.

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Hearty Beef Chili

Ingredients
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10-ounce can chopped tomatoes and green chili peppers, undrained
2 cups vegetable juice or tomato juice
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds beef or pork stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 15-ounce black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Reduced-fat cheddar, low-fat sour cream and cilantro (optional)

Make It
In a 6-quart cooker, combine both cans of tomatoes, vegetable juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic. Mix in the meat, onion, celery, and pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in the drained beans, then cover and cook for 15 minutes more (if using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting). Ladle chili into bowls. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, if desired.

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Prev 6 of 10 Next

Meatball Sandwich

Ingredients
4 meatballs
1 whole-grain hot-dog bun
2 tablespoons spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup sliced green pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 medium orange

Make It
Warm meatballs in microwave. Place on bun with sauce and peppers, and sprinkle with cheese. Warm sandwich in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Serve orange slices on the side.

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Prev 7 of 10 Next

A Better Burger

Ingredients
1 slightly beaten egg white
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound lean ground beef
6 whole-grain buns
Shredded carrot, sprouts, mixed greens, tomato slices, and/or red onion slices (optional)

Make It
Combine egg white, water, bread crumbs, carrot, onion, sweet pepper, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and ground beef; mix well. Shape mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties. Grill burgers on an oiled grill rack for 7 minutes. Turn and grill 8 to 11 minutes more or until no pink remains. Serve burgers on buns with vegetables, as desired.

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Prev 8 of 10 Next

Steak Salad with Lemon-Walnut Vinaigrette and Whole-Grain Roll

Ingredients
3 ounces steak
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 cups baby spinach
1 whole-grain roll

Make It
Grill or broil steak until it reaches about 160 degrees F. (medium), and slice. In a blender or mini food processor, pulse lemon juice, oil, walnuts, and mustard until smooth. Toss spinach and steak slices with dressing. Serve with whole-grain roll.

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Prev 9 of 10 Next

Spinach-Pesto Meatball Soup

Ingredients
1 16-ounce package frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs
2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup reduced-fat basil pesto
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Make It
Combine one-half of a 16-ounce package frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs, two 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, one 15-ounce can cannellini beans, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup reduced-fat basil pesto. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in 2 cups baby spinach and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2009.

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