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:

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

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

Pumpkin Touchdown Chili

Pumpkin Touchdown Chili

Every time I make this recipe I get a little blast from the past, to the first time I went on live TV.  It was one of our first cold days of the season so it felt like it was about 20 degrees outside.  We got the brilliant idea to feature our cooking demo outside, and I of course had to look the part so no coats were allowed. They also positioned us behind our “Wellness Bus” so there is a not-so-subtle purring of the engine in the background that I felt I had to scream over. It was pretty memorable. Don’t worry it’s archived to be able to look back on forever.

I decided to dust off this recipe recently when we were without a kitchen for a few weeks. I was so sick of take out and convenience food and this vegetarian chili was the perfect solution. The only downside was that I had to wash my slow cooker in my bathroom sink… it was rough, but so worth it. The pumpkin and cinnamon combination adds richness that you never knew you were missing in chili.  If you are tempted to skip out on the apple cider vinegar, then don’t blame me, because it rounds out the chili for flavor perfection.

If you are a meat lover I can pretty much guarantee you won’t miss it in this dish, but you can of course add any favorite meat or even double the recipe to make room for extra friends. Prepare a batch of Pumpkin Touchdown Chili for the BIG GAME. It will bring you comfort no matter what the outcome of the game.

Pumpkin Touchdown Chili
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Pumpkin adds richness to this comforting meal.
Pumpkin Touchdown Chili
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Pumpkin adds richness to this comforting meal.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add black beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, cinnamon, mexicorn, chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons reserved Adobo sauce. Stir together until well combined. Add the vegetable broth.
  3. Bring chili to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apple cider vinegar. Season with salt to tastes. Serve hot.
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Slow Cooker Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers

Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers
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Servings
6 People
Servings
6 People
Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers
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Servings
6 People
Servings
6 People
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Slice the tops off of the bell peppers and remove seeds and veins.
  2. Grate large chunks of cauliflower over a bowl, until the whole head resembles coarse rice. Squeeze out any extra moisture of the cauliflower by placing it in a paper towel or a cloth, if necessary.
  3. Mix the veggies, flax seed, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and garlic into the cauliflower rice. In a separate bowl, mix together the ground beef and taco seasoning. Dump the ground beef mixture into the cauliflower rice mixture, and combine with your hands.
  4. Divide mixture evening among the peppers. Pour 2 cups of water into a slow cooker, and turn it on to low. Then place the peppers into the slow cooker and cover. Cook for 4 hours.
  5. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve turn the temperature up to high. During the last few minutes of cooking, top each pepper with a remaining cheese.
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Weeknight Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

Weeknight Pepperoni Pizza Chicken

The story of this recipe started a while back. It was a busy day and dinner was quickly approaching, I was trying to figure out what I could throw together. I found myself making “The Best Ever Parmesan Chicken,” or at least that was what the recipe was called. In my cursory glance at this recipe, I thought I had all the ingredients, or at least all the ones that I needed. This recipe called for garlic croutons as the coating for the chicken, as I started preparing this recipe I realize that most of the taste for this recipe came from those croutons which I didn’t have.

I searched all the reviews for garlic crouton sub recommendations and none of the suggestions were something that I had. So in a desperate attempt I opened my fridge and my eyes fell upon pepperoni. The recipe I started with fueled the flame for what would later be dubbed Pizza Chicken in my house, but the final product in no way resembled the recipe it came from.

When I heard that the theme for March’s Recipe ReDux was “Spring Cleaning” using only ingredients you have in your pantry. I knew this recipe was the one. It literally was created out of desperation on a busy night, and has since lived on.

 

Pizza Chicken
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Pizza Chicken
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Spread half of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  4. Place chicken breast halves in the dish and spread veggies around chicken breast.
  5. In a small bowl mix together red pepper flakes, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, and dried basil. Sprinkle mixture over chicken and veggies.
  6. Place 2-3 pepperoni slices on each breast half and cover with remaining sauce and cheese.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  8. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes until chicken is browned on top and cheese is melted.
Recipe Notes

To make the recipe cook quicker, divide the chicken and veggies into a 9x13 pan and an 8x8 pan to spread them out.

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Did you miss these recent posts from the Kansas City Dietitian?

Pomegranate Recipes Roundup

I realized that my love for pomegranates has turned into an obsession. Going back through the recipes I’ve posted over the years, I’ve found that pomegranates are one of my most reoccurring ingredients, and honestly, can you blame me? I even...

Easiest Ever Black Bean Chili

Easiest Ever Black Bean Chili

A few weeks ago I was in the grocery store, waiting in a long line and enjoying the few moments of shopping without a tag along, I innocently struck up a conversation with the couple behind me. I commented on one of the items in their cart, they indulged this dietitian and shared with me their recipe for their family favorite Black Bean Soup.  On this particularly cold Kansas City day, I resisted the urge to run back to gather all the necessary ingredients to make this recipe for myself that evening and instead made mental notes to jog my memory for another snowy day. This is my re-creation of my grocery store friends’ recipe. It has quickly become a family favorite, thinned with broth for a soup or omit the broth all together for a rich and savory chili.

When I heard the Recipe ReDux theme for January was eating healthy on a budget I knew this recipe was IT. It is healthy, inexpensive, and the easiest ever!  I hope that you take this, make it, and share it with the person in line behind you at the grocery store. It a recipe too good and too easy not to be passed along.  Maybe I should change the name to friendship black bean soup?

Easiest-Ever Black Bean Chili
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Easiest-Ever Black Bean Chili
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large stock pots. Bring to boil, and simmer until ready to serve. Garnish with avocado slices, sour cream, or shredded cheese and serve with chips.
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Squash and Kale Risotto

Squash and Kale Risotto

 

Squash and Kale Risotto

If you are looking for a healthy and hearty one-pot meal, this is the one for you.

Don’t let the “1-hour” cook time turn you off. Farro, an ancient grain, gives this dish a nutty taste and chewy texture. It does require continual cooking, but you only have to check on it and stir it every 10 minutes or so. It doesn’t require constant supervision and you don’t have to be tethered to you stove.

You can find Farro near the rice section, or in the healthy foods section of most stores. You can sub farro for rice in many of your favorite dishes. Farro is a whole grain, and in just one serving it has 7 grams of fiber!

I love that this recipe uses frozen veggies (squash and kale), that means this is an easy meal to keep on hand for a week that you haven’t had time to get to the grocery store.

Chicken sausages, have a much cleaner ingredient list than hot dogs or other sausages and have a lot less fat.  Speaking of hot dogs, the chicken sausages are usually found near them in the grocery store.

 

Yields 2

Squash and Kale Risotto

5 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 5 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Farro
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or additional broth)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 6 oz frozen cooked squash
  • 1/4 cup frozen kale
  • 2 Chicken sausages, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese grated or shredded

Instructions

  1. Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add garlic and cook for two minutes more.
  2. Add wine (can sub additional broth if you prefer) and increase to high heat. Stir frequently until it is mostly evaporated. Add farro and 1/2 cup broth. Stir frequently until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add basil.
  3. Continue this step by adding the broth by a 1/2 cup and cooking until absorbed until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in squash and kale until squash is melted and creamy.
  4. Stir in chicken sausage until heated through.
  5. Serve warm with parmesan sprinkled on top.
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https://www.kansascitydietitian.com/2016/03/squash-and-kale-risotto/