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Celebrate National Nutrition Month with beef

Asian Beef and Wild Rice Salad

March is National Nutrition Month and America's favorite protein, beef, is here to help you celebrate in a delicious and easy way. Recognized by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as a nutrient-dense food, lean meat -- including lean beef -- makes it easier to "enjoy our food, but eat less" as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage.

Did you know that a 3-ounce serving of lean beef (about the size of a deck of cards), is a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients including Zinc, Iron and Protein? A single serving of beef provides nearly 50 percent of the Daily Value for protein and studies suggest that protein satisfies cravings faster and helps you feel full longer.

You may be surprised to hear that choosing lean beef as a source of high-quality protein is actually a calorie-saver. A three-ounce serving of lean beef is, on average, about 150 calories.

You would need to eat 6 tablespoons (564 calories) of peanut butter to get the same amount of protein. Lean beef is also the perfect partner for your favorite fruits, vegetables and whole grains, making it even easier to build a colorful and balanced meal.

There are many simple and easy ways to create a healthy plate at any meal. This Asian Beef and Wild Rice Salad combine whole grains, vegetables and lean beef into a delicious meal.

All this meal needs is a serving of low-fat/not-fat dairy and a serving of fruit and you'll have a delicious and balanced meal to enjoy.

For more information on recipes, nutrition information and about how to include nutrient-rich lean beef in your daily breakfast routine, visit or contact Holly Swee at (605) 224-4722.

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

Asian Beef and Wild Rice Salad


2 beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 10 ounces each)

2/3 cup light Asian-style dressing, divided

1-1/4 cups long-grain and wild rice blend (not quick-cooking)

2-1/2 cups boiling water

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1-1/4 cups hothouse cucumber, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into thin slices

1-1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed *One and one-third cups fresh sugar snap peas, cut diagonally in half, may be substituted for edamame.

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. Place beef steaks and 1/3 cup dressing in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat.

Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, cook rice in boiling water according to package directions omitting butter and salt, if desired. Place in large bowl; cool.

3. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 7 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, times remain the same) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.

4. Add bell pepper, cucumber, edamame, 2 tablespoons green onion, cilantro and

remaining 1/3 cup dressing to rice; toss to combine. Season with salt, as desired.

5. Carve steaks into slices. Place rice salad on serving plate. Arrange steak over rice; top with remaining 2 tablespoons green onion.

Marinade time: 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Total recipe time: about 1-1/4 hours.

Makes 4 servings.

-- Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff Program