Grass-Fed Beef Recipes for a Healthy, Hard Body
by Josef Brandenburg
I don't know about you, but I'm not terribly interested in eating a half pound of horse flesh with cucumbers on the side every morning. This is what Christian Thibaudeau tells us he eats for breakfast, and more power to him, but seriously, sautéed slices of Seabuscuit every single day would get pretty tiresome after about the second week. Of course, that goes for just about anything.
So what do you do when you've run out of healthy food options and you're beginning to loathe your diet? Watch out, that's what. You're setting yourself up to fall way off the hard-body wagon, and once you do, it's too easy to catch the fast train going the other direction. You know the one I mean. That's right, the Man Tit Express, with non-stop service to Lardassville. So stay on the wagon, get your ass in the kitchen, and try some of these excellent beef recipes today. You really can love your food and look good naked.
Oh, and because we want to both look good naked and be healthy, the beef we're after in all these recipes is grass-fed beef. TC's written several articles about the overwhelming superiority of grass-fed beef, but let's review.
From Health Food To Poison
Real beef, that is to say grass-fed beef, is a bona fide health food. It's packed with high quality protein, omega-3s, and even conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). It's also low in the things that you need less of: saturated fat and omega-6s. And it's delicious.
A grass-fed New York strip, practically dripping with beneficial fatty acids.
The corn-fed crap they sell in the grocery store is not real beef. It's poison that looks and tastes sort of like beef. The problem is corn. And as you might suspect, the government is behind it.
Cattle are superbly adapted to thrive on high-cellulose foods like grass. That's why they're called herbivores ("grass eaters"). When you feed cattle a diet based on corn, soybeans, and other grains, they gets fat and sickly, just like people. The meat becomes loaded with pro-inflammatory omega-6s and saturated fat; the anti-inflammatory omega-3s are practically nonexistent.
In an actual free market economy, only an idiot would grow corn, because it costs about a dollar more to produce a bushel of corn than the corn is worth. And you can't eat debt. However, in our country, the government pays farmers to raise corn that the market doesn't want. These subsidies have created a vast surplus of corn, which is sold to feedlots and force-fed to obese couch-potato cows.
It takes about 16 pounds of corn and soy to make just onepound of grain-fed beef. Multiply that by the thousands of tons of grain fed beef produced annually in this country. Under normal supply and demand, corn-fed beef wouldn't exist: it's only possible (by which we mean "profitable") because of about 5 billion dollars a year in government subsidies.
Simply stated, the government uses your tax dollars to pay off farmers and cattle growers who produce inferior food that in fact poisons you. Think about that on April 15.
A Grass-Roots Revolution
Government regulation is largely responsible for the problem of corn-fed, junk-food beef, but we the people are the solution to bring back the healthy meat our ancestors ate and thrived on. We need to start a grass-roots revolution by demanding grass fed beef, and paying the extra few bucks for it.
It's still a bit of a chore to find good grass-fed beef at the local supermarket. Even Whole Foods rarely carries it, although Trader Joe's sometimes does. The best way to get it locally and reliably is at a farmer's market. Here are two great sites to find one near you: Eat Wild, and the USDA's Farmers Market Search. You can also order beef by mail at Tropical Traditions.
Bring it On!
Most of these recipes are not super-quick, but they aresuper-efficient. You only have to cook once to produce three to five delicious, healthy meals. All can be scaled up to make even more meals, or larger portions for larger guys. Always use organic ingredients whenever possible, as they're better for taste, nutrition, and the environment.
Tillie's Low-Carb Grass-Fed Chili
My girlfriend Tillie came up with a great turkey chili recipe, which is even better with grass-fed beef in terms of nutrition and taste. This is an easy, relatively fast recipe that will yield multiple servings of chili that are packed with omega-3s, CLA, protein, fiber, green veggies, and taste.
1 pound grass-fed ground beef 1080 kcal
1 packet chili spice mix (I like Wick Fowler's brand chili spice mix. All of the components are in different packets. Toss the "Masa" flour in the trash.) 120 kcal
1 can whole stewed tomatoes 140 kcal
3/4 to 1 package frozen French cut green beans 120-140 kcal
1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grass-fed cheese per serving 115 kcal
2 tablespoons sour cream per serving 52 kcal
1. Turn heat to medium-high under a heavy bottomed pot. Add meat and brown.
2. Add tomatoes, and follow spice mix directions (leave out the Masa flour!). Add remaining ingredients, except cheese and sour cream.
3. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Top with cheese and sour cream and enjoy.
1,460 kcal for batch, 167 kcal for toppings per batch: divide it up according to your goals and needs. For example, 3 servings = 650 kcal per serving.
Green Cakes & Steak
Potato pancakes are delicious, but like all fried starch, they're almost certainly a one-way ticket on the Man Tit Express. I missed them terribly, though, so my mother (bless her heart) came up with a low-carb version made out of zucchini. They're green, but they don't taste green. They just taste good, and they're even better with a dollop of sour cream and applesauce on top. My favorite way to eat them is on the side of a nice spice-rubbed, grass-fed steak. Mazel tov! Not that sour cream and steak on the same plate is exactly Kosher, but we'll give you a pass.
The Beef: Ingredients
4 6-oz grass-fed steaks 405 kcal
A handful of my spice rub (see my previous article for the recipe)
The Beef: Directions
1. Rub meat thoroughly.
2. Cook meat however you like it: grilled, broiled, medium, well, rare.
The Cakes: Ingredients
4 medium or 7 small zucchini 132 kcal
1 small onion 29 kcal
2 eggs (farm eggs if you've got 'em) 140 kcal
2 tablespoons olive oil 240 kcal
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons sour cream (grass fed if you can find it) 104 kcal
1 cup applesauce 100 kcal
The Cakes: Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. In a food processor use grater attachment to grate all veggies, and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Beat egg, salt and pepper in a separate cup and add to bowl of veggies. Mix well. (Some zucchini are more watery than others; if you notice liquid accumulating in the bowl, pour it off.)
4. Place large spoonfuls of the mix onto olive oiled baking sheets, and flatten with spoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes per side. Cakes should stick together well. If not, add an extra egg because zucchini doesn't come in standard sizes.
2,365 kcal per batch of steak and zucchini latkes: divide it up according to your goals and needs. For example, 4 servings = 591 kcal per serving (including 1/4 cup apple sauce and 1 tablespoon sour cream on top of green cakes).
Low-Carb Eggplant Parmesan
When I was a vegetarian, complete with boobies, a jelly-roll, and no muscles, Eggplant Parmesan was my favorite thing to get at a restaurant. When I decided to ditch the tits and pack on some mass I needed a way to enjoy my old favorite dish without compromising my physique. So, I called my mom and she came up with this low-carb Eggplant Parmesan recipe. She also said maybe she should be writing my articles. Oy vey!
Anyway, this great new recipe's got the eggplant, cheese, and sauce that I love. It's also got lots of high-quality animal protein and healthy fat to make me big and strong, without any breading and pasta to make me squishy and sleepy. Thanks, Mom.
1 very large eggplant (or 2 medium) cut into 1/2" thick slices 136 kcal
1 pound ground grass-fed beef 1080 kcal
1 jar low-sugar pasta sauce 420 kcal
2 cups part-skim grass-fed ricotta cheese 480 kcal
6 oz fresh mozzarella 360 kcal
1 egg (farm eggs are best) 70 kcal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese 108 kcal
1 pinch Nutmeg
Pepper to taste
Spray olive oil 100 kcal
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice eggplants and place on oiled baking sheets. Cook for 8 minutes per side.
2. While eggplant is cooking, brown beef in a large pan with high sides. Add jar of pasta sauce, and turn off heat immediately. In a medium bowl mix pepper, nutmeg, ricotta, egg, and parmesan cheese. Slice mozzarella and set aside.
3. Remove eggplant and turn oven down to 350°F.
4. In a large casserole dish spread a very thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom. Then add eggplant, ricotta, and sauce in alternating layers. Top with mozzarella.
5. Bake for 30 minutes.
2,754 kcal per batch: divide it up according to your goals and needs. For example, 4 servings = 688 kcal per serving.
Six-Pack Beef Stew
Almost all stew recipes call for coating the meat in copious amounts of white flour, and then to fry it in great gobs of fat. That pretty much unravels the nutritional benefits of the meat and veggies. And frying white flour creates acrylamide that is most definitely carcinogenic.
On top of that, beef stews generally contain a whole bunch of potatoes. While that might be fine to eat if you just lifted weights, it's not such a good idea if you've got body fat to drop. But stew doesn't really taste right without the potatoes. Turnips to the rescue! They're white, they taste like potatoes in a stew, and almost all the carbs are from fiber.
One thing, though: stews take a long time to cook. You can get it into the oven in about 20 minutes, but it will need to cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The good news is that you don't need to watch it, stir it or anything else. You can drive to the gym, lift, and drive home, take a nice long nap, do work, or anything else while it cooks. Just be home in time to take it out of the oven.
2 pounds boneless grass-fed beef (chuck, shank), trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1" cubes 1927 kcal
4 tablespoons tomato paste (no high-fructose corn syrup!) 60 kcal
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 20 kcal
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped 69 kcal
3 medium turnips, cubed 102 kcal
5 large carrots, cubed 148 kcal
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 cup water
1 cup red wine 198 kcal
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Chop veggies and meat.
2. Brown meat cubes in olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or some other heavy large oven-safe pot with a lid).
3. Add remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer.
4. Place Dutch oven in oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is fork tender.
2,524 kcal per batch: divide it up according to your goals and needs. For example, 5 servings = 505 kcal per serving.
With just a little forethought you could have an absolutely amazing lunch, dinner, or snack. You could marinate the beef before you leave for work: the marinade takes 5 minutes to make. You could marinate the beef before you go to bed, and then cook it when you get home the next day, etc.
Serve this with a side of steamed sugar-snap peas, and drizzle on the peanut sauce. Or, if you just lifted, try it with a side of sliced, steamed sweet potatoes or good old brown rice.
The Beef: Ingredients
1/3 cup soy sauce 66 kcal
1/2 — 1 teaspoon Splenda (depending on how sweet you like it)
3 tablespoons lime juice 20 kcal
3 tablespoons vodka or brandy (nearly all the calories cook off) 195 kcal
1 tablespoon peanut oil 120 kcal
1 heaping tablespoon Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste 15 kcal
1 1/2 pounds 1/2" thick grass-fed steak, cut into 1" squares 1620 kcal
Skewers, metal or bamboo (optional, you can just cook the pieces with no skewers at all)
The Beef: Directions
1. Mix everything but the beef in a large bowl.
2. Put beef into marinade, and let it marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
3. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes if you're going to grill over flame.
4. Grill or broil 5 — 8 minutes depending on how well-done you like it.
5. Serve with peanut sauce and veggies.
The Peanut Sauce: Ingredients
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup natural peanut butter 420 kcal
Juice of 1 lemon or lime 10 kcal
1 teaspoon of Splenda or Xylitol (granulated)
1/2 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste 25 kcal
The Peanut Sauce: Directions
1. Add all ingredients to boiling water. Stir, lower heat, and simmer until it thickens some: about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Pour over meat and/or veggies.
2,491 kcal per batch: divide it up according to your goals and needs. For example, 4 servings = 649 kcal per serving including 1 cup peas (26 kcal per servings), and 3 tablespoons peanut sauce. There is generally always left over peanut sauce and the alcohol cooks away, so the real calorie count is actually lower.
But enough damn recipes! Get out there and eat some beef!
Josef Brandenburg is an award-winning fat-loss expert based in DC, specializing in helping normal, busy people create the bodies they want, in the time that they actually have to create them. Visit his website and find out more.
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