Category Archives: Beef

Why Eat Grass Fed and Pastured Animal Products

In my last post, Nutrient Rich Meals, I mentioned the importance of using grass fed and pastured animal products. As I thought about it, I realized I should be more explicit why I made that recommendation. So, here we go . . .

There is an old saying, “You are what you eat,” which is absolutely true. For eons nutritionists have been emphasizing that food choices are directly linked to health and quality of life.

The food choices we make and the nutrients found in those choices provide the building blocks for new cell growth. Without adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients, our bodies cannot replenish and regenerate efficiently. Empty calories or unhealthy foods weaken our foundation for health and wellness.

The same nutritional principles apply to animal meat and products that we consume – not just fruits and vegetables. As the drive for faster, more efficient, and cheaper ways of producing meat products has increased, the quality has decreased.

Many of the “modern-day” factory farm operations feed their animals empty-calorie foods designed to fatten them up quickly so that they can be slaughtered in much shorter-than-normal time frames. They are also fed genetically-modified crops that have been sprayed heavily with pesticides and fed foods that are not appropriate for the animals’ digestive systems.

For example, cows were meant to feed on grass and have a digestive tract that works in a very specific way for that type of diet; but, factory farms cows are forced to eat grains such as corn instead of grass. In addition to being the wrong type of food for their digestive system and cannot be digested properly, the sugars in corn increase the fat content to dangerous levels and cause illness and disease.

Chickens also love to roam free and when allowed to do so eat bugs, greens, and whatever else they can find. When they are cooped up indoors and kept from the greens they love so much, there can be serious health problems.

In addition, you may have heard horror stories about diseased animals that die in factory farms and are recycled as food for the remaining animals. Just the thought of it makes me want to never eat meat again – but I am not a vegetarian.

If the old adage is true and we are what we eat, the question is – “What will be become if we continue to eat animal products that come from factory farms?”  That is a scary thought and has been one of the drivers behind the every-increasing popularity of the grass-fed and pastured foods movement.

Many consumers, including me, are no longer comfortable eating factory-farmed meat and eggs. They prefer to shop for beef from cows that have been allowed to graze freely and eat the healthy food that they were intended to eat with minimal pesticide ingestion because it is a much healthier choice.

Grass Fed Beef Stats

Grass-fed meat is lean and has a fat content that closely resembles wild game. The lower fat content actually helps improve cholesterol levels rather than raise them. Even though the meat still has a fairly high fat content, it is low in the bad fats associated with high cholesterol, and it is very high in the good fats, the omega-3 fatty acids. The nutritional quality that results from grazing in green pastures translates into lean cuts of meat and delicious milk that are nutritionally superior and much healthier for the body.

Cage Free EggsThose same people are also more likely (if possible) to buy farm fresh eggs from farms where the chickens are cage free and allowed to roam and eat grass, seeds, bugs, fruit, and other foods more natural to them. At the very least, they are willing to pay more for cage-free eggs offered in the local grocery stores.

Eggs produced by pastured chickens are said to have about 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids than eggs produced by factory-farmed chickens. You know you have an egg from pastured chickens the moment you crack one open. It will have a dark orange yolk indicating that it is rich and full of nutrition. They also taste much better than other eggs. It is difficult to ever “go back” once you have tried them.

If you are like me and still love your meat and eggs, you would be very wise to choose the best products available, which come from grass fed and pastured animals.

Never forget – you are what you eat!

Moderation or Abstinence?


McDonalds Big Mac and Fries
Image by Simon Miller

Moderation or abstinence is always a valid question when it comes to foods that are not particularly healthy, such as fast foods. It has been suggested that fast foods should not even be referred to as food – at least not in the nutritional sense.

You may tell yourself that fast foods every once in a while can’t possibly hurt you. But, you are wrong. The fact is they have no nutritional value, they are filled with empty calories and additives – and they are addictive. Would you indulge in heroine occasionally if someone told you that once in a while wouldn’t hurt you . . . of course not! Use the same good judgment when it comes to fast foods.

Because they are addictive, it is almost impossible to eat fast foods in moderation; In other words, the only thing that works is abstinence. If you think you can control the addiction (as most addicts believe about their drug of choice), you will continue to eat large amounts of junk food and suffer the dire consequences for the rest of your “much-shorter-than-necessary” life.

On the opposite end of the spectrum – raw fruits and vegetables can be eaten in abundance – no limits. It is basically impossible to eat too many, except for the popular high-fat fruits we discussed in the previous post: avocadoes, bananas, olives, and coconut, which should be eaten in moderation. But, even eating the high-fat fruits in large amounts is far healthier than stuffing yourself with donuts and potato chips on a regular basis.

It is difficult to over eat high-water content foods because they fill you up so fast. This includes some fruits and vegetables. For example, watermelon and strawberries are about 92 percent water. Other fruits with high water content are grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches and bananas. High-water content vegetables include lettuce and cucumbers. As a result these foods have a built-in moderation factor.

Moderation is important when eating heavier, higher-calorie foods such as rice, beans, grains and nuts – especially if you are struggling with being overweight.

If you can commit to a healthier diet and start doing a little research, you will find there are many, many combinations of healthy foods that are not only nutritious, but also delicious. When you start feeding your body well and eliminate empty-calorie snacks from your diet, there is a very good chance that you will not miss the bad foods. I know it may take a little time, but the health dividends are well worth it.

Nature offers abundance, not deprivation. So, focus on natural foods as much as possible. Trying changing up your diet – for example, rather than eating a slice of caramel apple pie, slice your favorite apple very thinly and eat it with a yummy dip made from dates, cinnamon and a little ice water – pureed in a high-speed blender. It is a sweet and delicious treat that will quell your cravings and help you forget about the empty-calorie, sugar-fat-salt laden treats you were addicted to.

I know I have used some extreme comparisons and donuts or fast foods are not the equivalent to heroine (but I hope I made my point). You may decide that your health is just fine and you see no problem with having an occasional donut or McDonald’s Big Mac. All I ask is that you recognize that neither of those can be called real food and offer absolutely NO nutritional value whatsoever, and do more harm to your body than good.  Also – define your terms. Indulging in your “drug of choice” occasionally should mean: partaking very small amounts – once or twice a year – possible on your birthday or anniversary – even that carries the risk of your falling back into old habits, as with any addiction.

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Swiss Steak Supreme – Recipe of the Week

This is a recipe that I have served my family for years.  I know there are many articles on the dangers of eating too much red meat – and yet steak continues to be one of my family favorites.

Recently I was introduced to a wonderful Website: that is filled with great information. You should visit it often.

Helen Nichols, Editor-in-Chief of the site has written an article based on research about 31 Science-Backed Health Benefits of SteakI think you will find it very interesting.  ENJOY (the article and your steak)!

Swiss Steak Supreme

Swiss Steak Supreme
Image by Larry Cowling
Cully’s Kitchen


  • 1½ pounds top round steak (¾” thick)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, sliced very thin
  • ½ cup mushrooms trimmed and sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1½” X ¼” strips (optional)
  • 1 can (10.5 oz.) condensed French onion soup


  1. Have a 10″ or 12″ inch heavy skillet ready (cast-iron preferred) – with a lid.
  2. Place steak between two heavy pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a wooden mallet or bottom of a small sauce pan to ¼” thickness – then, cut into 6 pieces.
  3. In a 9″ pie plate, stir together the flour, parsley, thyme, and pepper.
  4. Place oil in the skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. Dredge each piece steak in the flour mixture and place in the hot oil – cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Add all remaining ingredients.
  7. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  8. Continue cooking until steak is tender (~50 to 60 minutes).
  9. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and a steamed green vegetable.

Servings: 6

This recipe comes from “Dinner – 55 Easy Recipes” Volume I of the Mama Legacy Cookbook Series. [button link=”” bg_color=”#252e8f” border=”#0c0d0f”]BUY NOW[/button]and enjoy all the amazing recipes. 




Savory Beef Stew – Soups and Stews Series #7

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Savory Beef Stew
Image by essgee51

Savory Beef Stew is a true comfort food in my family. A hearty, nicely flavored classic stew served with hot corn bread or biscuits and real butter is utterly delicious. This is my personal adaptation of a recipe that has been passed down through the generations.


  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (1 tablespoon coarsely chopped and 1 minced)
  • 2 to 2½ lbs beef (brisket or rump), have the butcher cut in 1½” cubes
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • 3 mediums onions, peeled and cut into thick vertical slices
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and into 1” chunks
  • 1 cup fresh peas (thawed frozen peas will do in a pinch)
  • Sour cream (optional) and fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven (with lid).
  2. Add ½ the coarsely chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove the garlic and discard.
  4. Brown the meat in small batches; turn often to brown all sides.
  5. Do not put too much meat in the pan at one time, crowding will prevent even browning.
  6. Season with salt and pepper as the meat cooks.
  7. As each batch is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. (Add more oil, as needed)
  8. When meat is cooked, pour off most of the oil and reduce.
  9. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until soft ~ 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. Stir in the flour and cook (continuing to stir) for about 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in stock and wine.
  12. Return the meat to the pan and add the bay leaf and thyme.
  13. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the lid and add the potatoes and carrots.
  15. Add more stock (or water) if necessary, the stew should be “soupy.”
  16. Bring to a boil (again), reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 45 – 60 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender.
  17. Season to taste with salt, pepper and thyme.
  18. Add the minced garlic and peas, cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes more.
  19. If the stew is too “soupy” for your taste, remove the cover, raise the heat to medium, and let the liquid cook down.

Serve in large heated bowls, garnish with a dollop of sour cream and clipped fresh parsley. (Can also be served over hot, buttered noodles.)

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ALBONDIGAS SOUP (Mexican Meatball Soup) – Soups and Stews Series #2

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Albondigus Soup
Albondigus Soup by Su Lin


Albondigas Soup (traditional Mexican meatball soup) is not only delicious; it is an excellent choice for serving 8 to 10 people very economically.  The soup is loaded with vegetables, yummy seasonings, hamburger, and rice. Add a crisp green salad and warm flour tortillas, corn bread or crusty French bread and the meal is complete.


  • ½ cup medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 cans (10½ oz/each) condensed beef broth
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, snipped (parsley can be substituted if cilantro is not available)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional),
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup long grain rice


  1. Prepare all the vegetables and seasonings (chopping, slicing, mincing, etc.)
  2. In a large, heavy soup pot,  sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until the onion is tender but not brown.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, broth, and water – bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes and carrots – simmer for ~5 minutes.
  5. While vegetables are simmering, prepare the meatballs.
  6. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and mix-in the uncooked rice.
  7. Beat the egg lightly and stir-in the cilantro, oregano, salt, and pepper (and cayenne, if using).
  8. Add egg and seasonings to the beef/rice mixture and blend thoroughly.
  9. Form the mixture into 1” meatballs.
  10. Add a few meatballs at a time to the simmering soup.
  11. When all the meatballs have been added, bring the soup to boiling again.
  12. Immediately reduce the heat to medium or medium low and simmer ~30 minutes or until the meatballs are done and vegetables are tender.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

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