Healthier Steak Fingers & Black Pepper Gravy

Healthier Steak Fingers & Black Pepper Gravy

This post is a collaboration with the Kansas Beef Council on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own. 

Healthy Meal Plan Checklist 

I get asked all the time, how do I make a healthy meal plan? Most people think it has to involve a complicated recipe, expensive ingredients or, at the very least, must be a boring salad. I am here to tell you none of those are the case. My healthier steak fingers recipe is the perfect example. A healthy meal starts with a lean protein. In this case we are using tenderized round steak. It is tenderized so that even though it’s lean, it won’t be tough. Using beef for these fingers brings an unbeatable taste. Picking beef as your lean protein provides 10 essential nutrients and you never have to check the ingredients list because beef is just one simple ingredient.  To complete your healthy meal, just add a healthy fat and a fiber-rich carb. In this case we are adding ground flaxseed, which is both a healthy fat and a fiber-rich carb. Flax nutritionally provides a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and acts as the gluten-free breading and gravy thickener for these healthier steak fingers. 

 

The Steak Fingers 

Growing up, country-fried steak was one of my favorite meals. These steak fingers are my take on country-fried steak. Steak fingers are made by first dredging in a milk and egg mixture, then tossing in a coating of flour and spices. Most traditional recipes would then fry the coated fingers in oil. For my steak fingers we are using ground flaxseed as the coating, which means this recipe is naturally gluten-free. Then we skip frying them in oil and instead bake them. The end result? A delicious and healthy comfort food. If you are looking for more beef recipes, be sure to check out www.kansasbeef.org/one-simple-ingredient

The Gravy 

No steak finger is complete without a little gravy. For this simple gravy we used ground flaxseed instead of flour and let me tell you, you won’t miss it. This goes great as a dip for the steak fingers, or I like to put them on mashed cauliflower to get a veggie side in for my picky eaters.  My favorite flax is Manitoba. It has a two-year shelf-life and is the smoothest I have ever worked with, which makes it great as a steak finger coating or in a gravy.

Healthier Steak Fingers and Black Pepper Gravy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 -2 Pounds Tenderized Round Steak or Cube Steak
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili (ancho or cayenne will work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • For Gravy:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Slice the steak into 1" fingers
  4. Place flaxseed and all the spices in one shallow dish and mix well to combine. In another shallow dish whisk together milk and egg.
  5. Dredge steak fingers in the dish containing the milk and egg, then in the dry ingredients. Put on the cookie sheet. Continue until all fingers are coated.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, flip and continue cooking for 5 more minutes until slightly browned and cooked through. Optional: Broil for the last few minutes if you prefer a crispier coating. You can also try putting it on an oven-safe cooling rack to bake.
  7. For the gravy: Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add flax, pepper, salt, and garlic salt, whisking constantly.
  8. Slowly add in milk, whisking until it thickens. Serve immediately.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2020/02/healthier-steak-fingers-black-pepper-gravy/

Find out more about the Kansas Beef Council and all they do to support Kansas farmers:

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ksbeef

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KansasBeef/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChKfCz9R5HHqw-jSzjM6AUw (where they have lots of recipe ideas)

Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies

Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies


turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
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Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
Print Recipe
Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Form into balls, and place them on a cookie sheet or plate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Note: if you are putting eye balls or other decorative sprinkles on them, put them on before placing them in the fridge.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
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{Healthy} Brownie Recluse Spiders

{Healthy} Brownie Recluse Spiders

I’ll be honest, as a mom of a picky eater, there are lots of times I just want to throw in the towel and feed my child M&Ms and cupcakes all day. I trick myself into thinking she’d be happier, and I would be too. Recently I was listening to a  webinar about picky eating by a couple of other dietitians. I walked away from that webinar with a renewed sense of direction for helping my picky eater. They said the goal should be to get your child to eat an orange and green fruit or vegetable most days. This goal provides adequate nutrition for growing bodies, even if your picky eater’s palate is limited. After a couple of failed attempts, we resorted to a few favorites, like my sweet potato waffles and then I went back to my original thought, that maybe feeding my child M&M’s and cupcakes didn’t have to be a bad idea.

When I first pulled these out of the oven my little picky eater didn’t want anything to do with them. So, I asked her if she wanted a cupcake, and in true picky eater fashion, she told me, “no, she didn’t like them”. UGH! They are chocolate, I thought, WHOSE child are you?!?

Putting my best Halloween-loving mom brain on, I decided to make my little “cupcake” (they really are more of a brownie, but my daughter doesn’t know what a brownie is yet) into spiders. I grabbed her favorite candy, M&Ms of course, and another favorite snack, pretzels, and made these fun, Brownie Recluse Spiders. Adding a little spider frenzy was all that it took to make my little picky eater into a believer.

Note: While I love the curled legs of the pretzels I have to admit they did take a few extra minutes to make, so if you are trying to make these quickly, grab pretzel sticks instead.  I have also made this recipe with bananas instead of pumpkin. You can sub it out one-for-one but as you’d probably expect they are a little bit sweeter, not a bad thing for most people. I would also recommend using dark cocoa powder if you are using banana to minimize the strong taste of banana.

 

Check out the full video on how to make these fun treats. 

{Healthy} Brownie Recluse Spiders
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{Healthy} Brownie Recluse Spiders
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare mini muffin tins with non-stick spray.
  2. Add peanut butter to a sauce pan and melt over medium heat.
  3. Add ingredients to a large bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin tins. (Unlike, typical muffins and cakes the batter will not smooth out as it bakes, so try to smooth the tops before baking). Bake for 20 minutes or until baked through.
  5. Allow brownies to cool and add 8 pretzel "legs" and 2 chocolate candy eyes to each brownie.
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Protein Donuts with Chocolate Lavender Ganache

Protein Donuts with Chocolate Lavender Ganache

If you read my last post, you know that my life lately has been all about Magnolia, with my trip to Waco, the silo’s half marathon, and getting the Joanna Gaines’ cookbook for my birthday.  I decided to follow up that post with one along the same theme.  During my Waco trip we visited the Magnolia Table restaurant, and tried Joanna’s Lemon Lavender Donuts. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.  I already knew that I loved lavender for it’s therapeutic aroma, but didn’t have a lot of experience with it’s culinary uses.

Lavender seems to be just the thing to, with one simple ingredient, elevate a food from something you’d get at a gas station to a culinary delight. Or to put it another way it takes your 99 cent donut experience to 5 dollars a pop. I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate National Donut Day then with a lavender infused donut delicacy. Unlike it’s “typical” donut counterpart this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free,  low in sugar, and high in protein. With almost 10 grams of protein per donut, you are sure to find it satisfying, and as you can see, picky-eater approved.

A few notes about baking with lavender

Lavender (at least in Kansas) is typically found in specialty foods stores like Whole Food’s in the dried spices and herbs section. You may also find fresh lavender at a farmers market, that you can dry and then use. Make sure to buy culinary lavender. Culinary lavender is a particular species of lavender that has the sweetest and most fragrant aroma making it great for use as a cooking herb. Lavender, used as a herb, is similar to rosemary, in fact it is often paired in seasoning blends with rosemary. I LOVE the flavor of rosemary but unless it is brushed on top of bread or chicken, I want to taste it, not see it. Lavender has a leaf structure similar to rosemary, that is best ground down either with a food processor or mortar and pedestal. A little of it goes a long way, and helps to bring out the rich flavors of the ganache and the subtle sweetness of the donut. If you don’t have a donut pan you can easily make this yummy recipe into cupcakes, you will just want to watch the baking time depending on the size of cupcake tin that you use.

Protein Donut

Healthy Chocolate Frosting
Protein Donuts with Chocolate Lavender Ganache
Print Recipe
1-step rich and decadent chocolate lavender ganache perfectly complementing these slightly sweet protein donuts.
Servings
8 Donuts
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
8 Donuts
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Healthy Chocolate Frosting
Protein Donuts with Chocolate Lavender Ganache
Print Recipe
1-step rich and decadent chocolate lavender ganache perfectly complementing these slightly sweet protein donuts.
Servings
8 Donuts
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings
8 Donuts
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Protein Donut
Chocolate Lavender Ganache
Servings: Donuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add eggs to a large bowl and beat well with a stand mixer or hand mixer.
  2. Add in tahini, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup and beat together.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together both flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. For best results, spoon batter into pan, or place batter in a large ziplock bag and snip off a corner to pipe batter into the donut pan.
  6. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small pan add ingredients for ganache. Wish together over low heat until melted. Top donuts immediately. Note: If ganache is too thick, it has been cooked at too high of heat.
  8. Top with optional ingredients such as sprinkles, or coconut flakes.
Recipe Notes

Lavender: Dried lavender needs to be ground down to a powder before incorporating into ganache, this can be done with a coffee grinder or other small processor.

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Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Skillet Brownies

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Skillet Brownies

February is Heart Month and I don’t think I could call myself a nutrition blogger without at least one blog post dedicated to celebrating our heart. What brings a heart more happiness than CHOCOLATE? I’m excited to introduce a pair of guest bloggers for this post, Carolyn & Sarah Schmidt are sisters and nutrition students. Don’t let the term student fool you, they know their way around the kitchen and are passionate about finding alternate paths to health with food. They shared with me this chocolaty deliciousness and I knew I had to find a way to share it before Heart Month was up.

Carolyn & Sarah: We love our desserts! Honestly, we feel like every meal is another opportunity for a little sweet treat… preferably something chocolate. When we think of chocolate we reach for the good stuff, dark chocolate, (at least 70% cacao or higher). That 70% means that it is high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals  like iron, magnesium, and manganese. All which promote heart health. This dessert not only tastes sweet, rich, and ooey-gooey, but the ingredients in it are providing your body with all-natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can’t get a better deal than that!  So… we’ve created a delicious dessert that we absolutely love!

Scanning through the list of ingredients you may see one that you aren’t as familiar with: collagen peptides.  Collagen has been getting a lot of attention lately… but what exactly is collagen and how does it benefit you other than add protein to your dessert or smoothie? Collagen is the most widely used and abundant protein found in our bodies! It is basically everywhere: bones, GI tract lining, skin, tendons, hair, nails, blood vessels… the list goes on and on. Our body naturally makes collagen, but as we get older, this process  begins to decline. Although research is still pending it is thought that dietary collagen may help aid in healing, particularly joint associated conditions such as arthritis and joint pain.  If you chose to skip the collagen peptides in this recipe you can sub out another favorite protein powder for a similar result.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Brownies
Print Recipe
This dessert not only tastes sweet, rich, and ooey-gooey, but the ingredients in it are providing your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can’t get a better deal than that!
Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Brownies
Print Recipe
This dessert not only tastes sweet, rich, and ooey-gooey, but the ingredients in it are providing your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can’t get a better deal than that!
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and prepare a cast iron skillet with a little oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Mash avocado and ripe bananas in a bowl.
  3. Add in nut butter and mix well.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients into we ingredients until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan and spread.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the middle is done.
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Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Brownies

Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Brownies
Print Recipe
This dessert not only tastes sweet, rich, and ooey-gooey, but the ingredients in it are providing your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can’t get a better deal than that!
Peanut Butter Banana Skillet Brownies
Print Recipe
This dessert not only tastes sweet, rich, and ooey-gooey, but the ingredients in it are providing your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can’t get a better deal than that!
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and prepare a cast iron skillet with a little oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Mash avocado and ripe bananas in a bowl.
  3. Add in nut butter and mix well.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients into we ingredients until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan and spread.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the middle is done.
Share this Recipe