Top Story Ideas for Summer

Celebrate National Picnic Month with a Fun-Filled Family Outing

Looking for a fun activity to do with the family during the summer months? How about a picnic? July is National Picnic Month and we’ve got some tips and tasty beef recipes to bring along in your cooler next time you pack up for a picnic. Whether you’re dining al fresco in the park or soaking up the sun on the beach, there are a few things to keep in mind to guarantee a memorable day. 

Chow down. Bring your family favorites to enjoy! Sandwiches and wraps are perfect picnic options, and we’ve got a few favorites we like to bring along. Our customizable Roast Beef & Veggie Wraps and Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches can be made with deli roast beef and your favorite veggies! Or use up your leftover grilled steak and whip up East West Flank Steak Wraps or Steak & Sugar Snap Pea Pasta Salad

Don’t forget food safety. Make sure to pack all perishables, like cheeses, fruits and vegetables, dips or meat dishes in an insulated cooler to ensure they stay within a safe temperature. And avoid eating foods that have been left out of the cooler for more than two hours.  

Get active. Engage the family in a friendly game of Frisbee, catch or soccer! Or invest in your kids’ favorite yard games to bring along. We can’t think of a better way to get in your exercise while also spending time with loved ones. 

 

How to Batch Cook Shredded Beef

Whether you’re a busy parent trying to make nutritious meals for the family, a fitness enthusiast looking for the right way to fuel your active lifestyle, or just looking to improve the way you prepare meals at home, planning meals in advance has many benefits. Not only can it save you time and keep you on a budget, planning meals with nutrient-rich beef paired with vegetables and whole grains provides you and your family with a balanced plate and nutrients like zinc, iron and protein needed to keep your family focused and strong for everyday success. Follow the steps below to help you conquer meal planning with shredded beef like a pro – just throw a roast in the slow cooker at the beginning of the week and enjoy pre-planned meals for the next few days!

Choose Your Cut. Start with a cut that’s ideal for slow cooking, like a Chuck Roast, Shoulder Pot Roast or Bottom Round Roast. A two to three pound roast makes approximately eight to 12 3-oz. portions. 

Cook Your Roast. Place 1 large onion, chopped, and 2 tablespoons minced garlic into your slow cooker; place roast on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours, or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or until roast is fork-tender. To get the most flavor from your roast, brown your meat before cooking. Start by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Slowly brown beef on all sides. After browning, season with herbs and seasonings, as desired.

Prep Your Meals. Remove roast from slow cooker. Skim fat from cooking liquid, if necessary, and reserve 1 cup onion mixture. Shred beef with two forks. Combine shredded beef and reserve onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Portion into 3-oz. servings, about the size of a computer mouse, for about 25 grams of protein per serving. Transfer each portion to reusable storage containers and add to each your choice of ½ cup of starchy vegetable or whole grain, like sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, and 1 cup of your favorite vegetable, like broccoli, asparagus or green beans. Seal your containers and place in the fridge for convenient, balanced and nutritious meals on the go. Make sure to consume your batch-cooked beef within 3 to 4 days. 

 

Tackle Weeknight Meals with Ground Beef like a Pro

With school back in session, activities and homework in full swing, getting a nutritious meal on the table is just one extra thing to worry about. Worry no more, we’re here to provide you with quick and easy recipes and tips for one of the most versatile cuts of beef – Ground Beef.

First things first, let’s address the question of frozen Ground Beef. It’s a freezer staple, but how do you shortcut the thawing process in a pinch. If you’ve got five minutes and a microwave, you’re all set. It’s so easy, you almost won’t believe it. Learn how in this video.  

You also have a variety of options when it comes to cooking Ground Beef. You can grill up Calypso Beef Burgers or Mediterranean Beef Meatball Kabobs. Or throw a pound in the skillet (minimal clean-up is a plus!) and whip up a Beef & Asparagus Pasta Toss. And for something cozy, serve up a family favorite, like customizable Five-Way Mini Meatloaves.

 

LONG LEAD: No Fuss Holiday Dishes for a Crowd

Holiday gatherings and special occasions with friends and family don't have to be stressful or time consuming. Keep entertaining casual and inviting with family-style dishes with simple, nutritious foods. Check out our tips and recipes to make moments with your loved ones unforgettable. 

Let’s start with starters…appetizers, of course! Mini Meatball Appetizers with Apricot Dipping Sauce and Beef Pinwheels will be guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Plus, get the kids involved by recruiting them to help form mini meatballs or pinwheels. How’s that for teamwork!?

Now, on to the main course! Keep it simple with casserole-style dishes that taste delicious, but don’t break the bank or create kitchen chaos. Country Beef Breakfast Sausage, Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Bread Pudding or Beef Stuffing with Apples & Cranberries can serve as a tasty main dishes or side – your choice! If you’re looking for something more traditional, a roast is always a great go-to dish for entertaining. We recommend Black Tie Beef Roast with Chocolate-Port Sauce and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes or Thyme-Rubbed Beef Round Tip with Roasted Onion ad Pear Wild Rice, which sound fancy, but are surprisingly easy to prepare.


Please contact lkearns@beef.org to obtain high resolution images and full recipes.

For more story ideas please see our Feature Story Ideas and Monthly Story Ideas sections.


Your Source for Planning Holiday Editorial

Beef's versatile flavors and preparation methods lend themselves to every season. Turn to us to get a jump start on the latest seasonal flavors and culinary trends, and be sure to check in for special calendar markers such as the summer grilling season. We'll inspire you with recipes that make the most of farmers' markets, home gardens and cooking methods that fit the season. Whether you’re planning a summer grilling story in December or an après-ski menu in August, we can help set your editorial table.