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Beef Up The Holidays

img_0022.jpgBeef has gotten a bad reputation from some nutrition experts and the media; America’s favorite protein has been criticized for its fat content. However, many consumers are surprised to learn that 51% of the fat found in beef is monounsaturated, the same fats found in heart-healthy olive oil. This is the message being shared by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), who are cooperating in a holiday campaign focusing on eating right and incorporating heart-healthy beef into a well-balanced diet. The organizations have hosted several cooking demonstrations featuring the talents of Sanaa Abourezk, owner of Sanaa’s 8th Street Gourmet in Sioux Falls, SD.

In these demos, Chef Sanaa stressed the importance of protein in the diet.

“Most breakfasts are all carbohydrates; avoid them and eat protein right away in the morning. Protein is important. By avoiding protein, we get hungry and end up overeating on sugars and empty carbohydrates,” she explains.

Beef is also the preferred entree for special occasions. A growing body of evidence shows that beef can be part of a well-balanced diet that doesn’t increase heart disease risk factors. AHA recommends two, 3-oz. servings of lean meat/day. When choosing beef, AHA says to choose USDA Choice or Select grades of beef rather than Prime, and trim off any exterior fat. Cuts that are labeled “loin” or “round” usually have the least amount of fat, according to AHA.

Below is one way to enjoy heart-healthy beef. What’s your favorite way to serve beef during the holidays?

Smoky Paprika-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin With Roasted Root Vegetables


2-3 lbs. of well-trimmed center-cut beef tenderloin roast

1.5 lbs. baby red potatoes, cut in half

1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces

1 lb. cipollini onions, trimmed, blanched and peeled

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

4 tsp. smoked paprika

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper and salt

1/4 cup olive oil


1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place seasoning ingredients, except olive oil, in food processor; cover and process until parsley is chopped, stopping and scraping side of container as needed. With the motor running, slowly add oil through the opening in cover, processing just until combined.

2. Press 3 tbsp. seasoning mixture evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Reserve remaining seasoning mixture.

3. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 425°F oven 35-40 mins. for medium rare; 45-50 mins. for medium doneness.

4. Meanwhile, combine remaining seasoning mixture, red potatoes, sweet potatoes and cipollini in large bowl; toss to coat. Transfer vegetables to metal baking pan. Place in oven with beef roast. Roast 35-45 mins. or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley and salt, as desired.

5. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare and 150°F for medium. Transfer roast to carving board and immediately sprinkle with remaining parsley. Tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15-20 mins.

6. Carve roast into slices; season with salt, as desired. Serve with vegetables.