Optimal protein and mouth-watering taste: beef held over a flame.
Disclosure: I received beef product mentioned in the post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
How much protein is enough? It’s a question frequently asked by strength and conditioning coaches, and perhaps it’s one that you too have asked. The RDA for protein ( set at 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight), is considered the amount nessessary to cover protein losses, a margin of error and prevent protein deficiency. But is it enough for you?
I’m a stickler for consuming 20-30 grams of protein at each of three meals per day (also an important consideration when I am designing diets for the health and well-being of my patients). I base this on the current scientific evidence that underscores the importance of optimal intakes of high-quality protein and timing of protein throughout the day to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, improve metabolic function and support healthy aging.
Let me explain the power of protein. Protein builds and repairs muscle. It helps with weight loss and the ability to reduce body fat. It gives us the feeling of fullness which helps reduce mindless eating. I challenge you to consume 20- 30 grams of protein at each meal and feel the difference.
Not all protein is created equal. For me, chosing protein wisely means selecting easily digestible sources and high quality or ‘complete proteins’ found in animal based foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and low fat milk/dairy. I consume a variety of protein sources, including lean beef; a three ounce portion provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutritients. I am posting a recipe that will fill any healthy plate and satisfies my desire for a classic summer food: beef held over a flame. I teamed it up with fresh harvested figs, and unified them on a bed of baby arugula top with with Monterery Jack cheese and a Merlot vinaigrette. This is the meal that provides optimal protein and mouth- watering taste! WIN! WIN!
Grilled Beef and Fig Kabob Salad with Merlot Vinaigrette
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 3/4 cup Merlot
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 1/4 pound Top Sirloin Steak, boneless cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 16 basil leaves
- cooking spray
- Himalayan salt to taste
- 12 firm fresh brown turkey figs
- 5 oz. baby arugula
- 2 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 8 wooden (8 inch) skewers
1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before putting on grill.
2. Combine wine, balsamic vinegar, honey and thyme in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 15 minutes). Discard thyme.
3. Preheat grill.
4. Thread 6 beef cubes alternating with basil leaves onto each of 4 (8 inch) wooden skewers.
5. Thread 6 fig halves onto each of 4 (8 inch) skewers, cut sides facing the same direction. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with Himalyan salt.
6. Place skewered beef and basil onto grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill a total of about 12 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Brush beef with half of wine mixture during final minute of cooking.
7. Place fig skewers on grill, cut side down. Grill 3 minutes; turn over and grill one additional minute.
8. Divide arugula between 4 plates. Top with skewers of grilled beef and figs. Drizzle with remaining Merlot vinaigrette. Finish with grated cheese and garnish with additional thyme.