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Espresso-Bourbon Steak with Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Hearty meets heart-healthy

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Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, including diet, nutrition and exercise, helps combat heart disease. Since I live in the great state of South Dakota and we have many farmers and ranchers who produce beef, I feel it's important to share with people the science-based research which continues to show lean beef is good for heart-health.

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Thanks to the 2012 BOLD study (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet), we know there is substantive evidence that eating lean beef daily as part of an overall healthy diet can actually lower cholesterol -- and is as effective in doing so as the gold standard heart-healthy diet, which often emphasizes other animal or plant proteins and limits beef.

Did you know that many popular beef cuts are lean? In fact, 67 percent of all beef muscle cuts sold at retail meets the government guidelines for lean. An easy way you can identify lean beef choices is by looking for the words "loin" and "round" in the name.

Additionally, we are pleased to have support from the American Heart Association through their Heart-Check mark program for these beef cuts that meet AHA's criteria for saturated fat, cholesterol and an overall healthy eating. To learn more about the Heart-Check mark approved cuts go to http://bit.ly/1dKQN1S.

The Heart Check mark cuts include:

• Sirloin Tip Steak (USDA Select grade)

• Bottom Round Steak (USDA Select grade)

• Top Sirloin Stir-Fry (USDA Select grade)

• Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (USDA Select grade)

• Top Sirloin Filet (USDA Select grade)

• Top Sirloin Kabob (USDA Select grade)

Building a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle around foods that you enjoy is important for diet adherence. Be sure you include plenty of fruits and vegetables daily as well as whole-grains and low-fat or non-fat dairy along with your lean protein. It's also recommended you find ways to incorporate physical activity along with relaxation techniques into your daily routine.

This Espresso-Bourbon Steaks with Mashed Sweet Potatoes is one of my all-time favorite meals when I want an at home date night. I typically use whatever favorite lean steak I have on hand. The bright, colorful mashed sweet potatoes paired with tender green beans and beef is a delicious and eye appealing meal.

For more information regarding this new research and heart-healthy recipes visit www.beefnutrition.org or contact Holly Swee at (605) 224-4722.

Espresso-Bourbon Steaks with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Total recipe time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 4 ounces each) or 2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)

Salt and pepper

Steamed green beans

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe follows)

Place 9 ounces peeled and cubed sweet potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in large saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. Combine potatoes, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Beat until mashed and smooth.

Espresso-Bourbon Sauce:

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Combine all sauce ingredients, except pepper, in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened and reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper. Keep warm.

2. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill tenderloin steaks, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes (top loin steaks 15 to 18 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with sauce.

3. Meanwhile, prepare Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

4. Evenly divide sauce onto 4 plates. Place steak on top of sauce. Serve with Mashed Sweet potatoes and green beans.

Makes 4 servings

-Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program

-- Holly Swee is the director of nutrition and consumer information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

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