Meat and potatoes are a dynamic duo at the dinner table, and a perfect match-up of comfort-inducing protein and carbohydrates. Whether you feed a meat-and-potatoes man, or you have meat-and-potatoes kids, serve a number of beef-and-potato combinations that keep your family satisfied, without offering the same three meals in rotation.
Moms want to feed their families nutritious meals, and a common misconception is that chicken is a hands-down healthier choice than beef. While chicken offers many nutritional benefits, there are a number of beef cuts that qualify for a lean rating by the government. In addition, a small serving of the leanest beef cuts, such as eye round roast or steak, offer considerably more B12 vitamins, zinc and iron per serving. And while some see the potato as a simple starch, potatoes also offer an array of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium and folate.
Light and Easy Dinner
For a healthy dinner, petite tenders, or tenderloin medallions, go from the refrigerator to the table in less than 45 minutes. Toss the beef and thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes with olive oil and herbs or ranch seasoning, and broil them together on a pan until cooked through. Use the cooking time to throw together a green salad topped with creamy dressing, or microwave mixed frozen vegetables while you start a load of laundry. If you want dinner with a more robust flavor, toss the steak in a maple syrup-soy sauce glaze and broil with sliced fingerlings.
After Tuesday night's baseball practice and ballet class, odds are that you won't feel like coming home to face the potatoes and steak waiting for you, so the slow cooker is the key to cooking happiness for many busy moms. Spend just a few minutes in the morning layering sliced potatoes with strips of round steak, spices and beef broth or cream of mushroom soup, and your tired family will walk in the door to a delicious, warm dinner. If you don't have steak on hand, lean ground beef seasoned with ranch-flavored mix is an excellent substitute. Pot roast that is surrounded by chunks of new potatoes and a red wine-beef broth braising liquid is a classic combination that is fork-tender.
The Ease of Leftovers
Leftover beef and potatoes make dinner a delight and a time-saver. Sauté sliced bell peppers with leftover steak tossed in a quick broth made from bouillon, cornstarch and soy sauce. Instead of pouring the pepper steak over rice, spoon it over leftover mashers instead. Shepherd's pie is a great "kitchen sink" dinner, too. When you combine leftover steak, roast or ground beef with an onion gravy and mixed vegetables, top it with a layer of leftover mashed potatoes before broiling. You'll have a dinner that satisfies hungry stomachs on a cold night. If you want to really impress the munchkins, make individual shepherd's pies in small ramekins. There's something about each child getting his own meal that's a bit of a giggle.
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- Beef Its Whats For Dinner: Lean Cuts Wallet Guide
- University of Illinois: Potato
- "Cooking Light"; Dinner Tonight: Quick and Healthy Menus in 45 Minutes (or Less)
- "Taste of Home The New Slow Cooker"; Jennifer Olski; 2007
- ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images