Tag Archives: steak

Red Meat and The Paleo Diet

Who doesn’t like a nice, rare filet mignon for dinner?  Or some flank steak, marinated in cumin, orange, lime and garlic, sautéed with peppers and onions and served with Bibb Lettuce warps and guacamole to create Paleo Fajitas?

It’s too bad we can’t eat this type of food that often. Or can we? We’ve all heard “Don’t eat red meat more than once per week” and “Always choose the leanest cuts of meat” from not only our doctors, but also from the media.

Unfortunately, the misconception that eating red meat, in and of itself, can cause certain types of cancers, high cholesterol and weight gain in the case of choosing fattier cuts, often serves as a deterrent for eating what is, in actuality, an outstanding source of protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and fatty acids.

While we’d certainly want to avoid feed-lot, corn-fed beef, if we also ‘steer’ clear (pardon the pun) of 100% grass-fed beef, we’re actually doing ourselves a huge disservice.

To group the two together and present the nutritional value as one in the same would be akin to categorizing all proteins under one heading, where anything from hot dogs to wild salmon are suggested to be basically the same.

Not only does grass-fed beef come from a far more humane source, it’s also much higher in omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (a potent source of antioxidants), Vitamin E and beta-carotene than grain-fed beef.

So how often can we eat it?  Isn’t more than once per week too much?

Eating it in balance, with a variety of other wild proteins, is the key.

Just as we wouldn’t want to eat only pastured chicken breast and wild salmon along with only broccoli and spinach, if we focus on incorporating some grass-fed meat, some wild fish, some pastured chicken, some eggs from pastured hens and some game meats, if accessible, we’ll reach a nicely balanced range of proteins, to accompany an equally varied array of fresh, local, in season veggies.

Now, what about choosing between a rib eye and a filet? Surely, the rib eye is a no-go, isn’t it? Not necessarily.

There’s room on a Paleo Diet for a fattier cut now and then, too.

So long as we stick with grass-fed, adding the more decadent cuts once in a while can often be what keeps us more likely to stay true to our Paleo lifestyle.

The satiating effect of the higher fat content, not to mention the flavor, can be the pièce de résistance of a special occasion meal, providing that beautiful balance so inherent to this healthy approach to eating and living.

Here is a great recipe to try; it’s my Paleoista version of Argentinean Flank Steak with Chimichurri.

Salud!

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2-3

  • 2 lbs grass fed flank steak
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Dried crushed red pepper, optional, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Using a meat tenderizer tool, pound both sides of steak.

2. Place smashed garlic onto flesh of one side and pound into meat with tenderizer tool.

3. Rub thoroughly with olive oil and squeeze lime on top.

4. Combine all dry spices and press into meat.

5. Place in glass or ceramic dish and cover tightly; let marinate in refrigerator at least four hours.

6. Combine four remaining ingredients in mini prep food processor and whiz to combine. Tightly cover and refrigerate.

7. Preheat oven to broil (or light up the barbeque) and cook for roughly three minutes per side for rare, or longer for more done.

8. Remove from heat and let rest while you steam your favorite veggies.

9. Serve together with parsley combination on top.

How to Cook Steak | The Paleo Diet

Spring marks the start of warm weather, a welcome relief as the cold months of winter begin to fade away. For The Paleo Diet Team, this means it’s time to fire up the barbecue and get those sizzling steaks ready for a protein packed feast. Frequently we are asked to share our advice for the best method for cooking meat, especially beef or bison steaks. First, we want you to know that there are many great ways to prepare and cook this Paleo staple. Individual tastes and preferences should always be taken into consideration when planning a meal. While there isn’t a right or wrong way to cook a steak, there are certainly choices to be made for the health conscious to ensure that your end result is not only delicious, but good for you too.

The first step in this dining adventure is a trip to the grocery store. Be sure to select organic, grass-fed beef or bison. This will ensure that you are aligning your animal protein as close to that of our ancestors as possible. Once home, wash the steak with warm water and marinade in the fridge for at least 12 hours. There are many delicious and savory marinades found in The Paleo Diet Cookbook that enhance the flavors of beef or bison. Take your pick enjoy the delectable and savory results!

Once your steaks are infused with the exquisite, flavor enhancing spices and juices, you are ready for cooking. The most important consideration is choosing the healthiest cooking method. If barbecuing is your preference, a gas unit rather than a charcoal unit will be the best choice. Oven broiling works well, but tends to result in a more challenging clean up once the steaks are done. You may prefer cooking your steak on the stove in a pan, which can be done with a small amount of olive oil, or with left over marinade covering the surface of the pan.

Most importantly, however you choose to cook your meat, keep in mind this crucial rule of thumb: Meat should be cooked slowly, at low temperatures. Cooking meats at high temperatures results in the production of Advanced Glycation End-Product (AGE). Basically, that the beautiful, organic, grass-fed steak you so carefully prepare, becomes a potentially harmful protein source if cooked quick. Cook “Slow and Low” and avoid overcooking. Keep meat a bit on the rare side with no charring on the outside. This will ensure a wonderfully healthy outcome for your dining experience.

All the best,

Lorrie Cordain, M.Ed., Co-Author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook

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