health

3 easy recipes to help you beef up your diet.

You’re Better on Beef
Thanks to our brand partner, You’re Better on Beef

I tried really hard to be a good person last month.

I swear. Cross my heart, etc.

I’m a bit of a regular at the local Red Cross blood donation centre (humble brag) and I had noticed it’d been a while between visits. So like a good O negative blooded gal, I decided to check in and help save three lives.

When I pricked my finger for the initial blood test, I was told that my iron was low. Too low. After another few tries and a proper test of the blood from my arm it was confirmed – I was iron deficient.

Being told you’re deficient in anything is a bit of a blow but being told I wasn’t getting enough iron really shocked me. I’m certainly no vegetarian and I like to think I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet.

beef recipes
“I’m certainly no vegetarian and I like to think I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet.” Image via iStock.

But when I started to think about it, I actually couldn’t recall the last time I ate red meat. I bloody love the stuff but it had just kind of… dropped out of my diet. And it seems I’m not the only one. One in three women aren’t getting enough iron from their diets and one in five are iron deficient.

So of course being the high achiever I am, I decided to challenge my new deficient title by making a concerted effort to incorporate the Australian Dietary Guidelines’ recommended serves of red meat into my diet.

Despite the recent furore around red meat, experts recommend a controlled intake of lean meat as part of a balanced diet to get enough of nutrients like iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin B12.

With beef being my dead set favourite of that food group, I set about planning my weekly meals to include three to four serves of the stuff, at 65 grams a pop. So if you’re one of the ‘one in five women’ out there who have found themselves in my iron deficient boat, these recipes will help.

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Monday lunch: Thai beef salad.

beef recipes
YUUMMMMM. Image via Instagram @eatmarlborough

Ingredients:

65g beef rump steak

2 cups mixed lettuce leaves

4 cherry tomatoes, quartered

¼ cup of cucumber, halved and sliced

¼ cup of red capsicum, thinly sliced

A pinch of roughly chopped Thai basil (or regular basil) leaves

A pinch of roughly chopped coriander leaves

1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts

1/4 cup bean shoots

1 tbspn lime juice

1 tspn rice malt syrup

1 tspn fish sauce

¼ tspn soy sauce

1 tspn sesame oil

2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 garlic clove

1 small fresh red chili, seeds removed

Method:

This one is super simple. Fry the steak to your liking, let it rest and then slice it thinly. Mix the salad ingredients. Mix the liquids to make the dressing. Serve. Or if you’re transporting it to work, I find a mason jar works well. Place the beef and dressing at the bottom, the salad above it and when you’re ready to eat just bung it in a bowl.

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Tuesday dinner: Karniyarik.

beef recipes
Eggplant? Good. Beef? Good. Image via iStock.

You could mistake the sound of this Turkish dish for someone sneezing but I can assure you, it tastes much better.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

30 ml olive oil

½ an onion, finely diced

1 small red capsicum finely diced

65g lean minced beef

125g tomatoes, finely diced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 big pinch of chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 garlic cloves, sliced

Garlic yoghurt, to serve

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Peel the eggplant lengthways in a striped fashion and cut in half.

3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the eggplant on high heat for a few minutes until evenly browned. Set aside.

4. Add onion to the hot frying pan, stir until soft and then add the capsicum.

5. Add the beef, garlic, diced tomato, tomato paste and parsley and cook for another five minutes.

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6. Smoosh the insides of the eggplant to make a bit of room to add the beef mixture, pile it high.

7. Bake for 30 minutes.

I serve mine with a handful of baby spinach and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Times this recipe by four to serve the rest of the family or have leftovers for lunch.

Thursday dinner: beef burritos.

beef recipes
“This recipe makes a substantial batch, so limit yourself to the 65 gram serve of beef and save the rest for later.” Image via iStock.

This recipe makes a substantial batch, so limit yourself to the 65 gram serve of beef and save the rest for later.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

750g chuck steak thinly sliced

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¾ cup of black beans.

500ml (2 cups) salt reduced beef stock

400g can corn kernels, drained, rinsed

2 tomatoes diced

½ bunch fresh coriander, leaves chopped

6 tortillas

Method:

1. Fry the steak over medium heat with one-third of the oil until browned. Set the beef aside.

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2. Add the onion, garlic and spices to the pan and cook for two minutes. Return the beef to the pan, adding the tomato pasted and cooking for another minute.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low, add the black beans and simmer until the liquid has pretty much evaporated, this should be around 30 minutes.

4. Combine the corn, tomato and coriander to make a salsa. Serve the combination with wholemeal tortillas. Add some guacamole and sour cream if you like. Yum.

Sunday brunch.

If you didn’t manage to keep some leftovers from your meals throughout the week, never fear – it’s easy to beef up your Sunday brunch. I like to add a lean beef sausage into my regular omelette mixture with a little bit of fetta, diced tomato and baby spinach. Scoff it down with a glass of orange juice as the vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron.

There you have it, the recommended three to four serves of red meat easily (and deliciously) incorporated into a week of healthy eating. Despite not realising anything was wrong before, after a fortnight of including more beef into my diet, I noticed a marked difference in my energy levels and mood.

It wasn’t just myself (and my much chagrined boyfriend and co-workers) who benefitted. When I headed back to the Red Cross blood donation centre a few weeks later, I was in the clear.

What’s your go-to beef recipe? 

If you’re still looking for inspiration, here are a few other choices beef suggestions:

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Nothing fuels your fire like the Iron in Beef. For the chance to win a weekend away at Gwinganna, Fitness First PT sessions & more, show us a moment when you have been ‘on fire’ by posting a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #fuelyourfire and also tagging @beefandlambteam For T&Cs visit beefandlamb.com.au/beefironcompetition

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