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Posts Tagged ‘no grain’

Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Many of our customers are interested in healthy living and eating. Some for health reasons and some because of the Paleo diet, which is really popular right now. Regardless at to why you are eating grass fed beef, anyone can agree that adding more vegetables into your diet is a great thing, but sometimes you can get burned out on the same old side dish. Therefore, I am listing my family’s top three, which all pare well with grass fed beef.

For one of the most popular ways to cook grass fed beef is to grill hamburger patties. If you are trying to avoid the starch of potatoes, a good substitute for potato salad is pea salad. It is one of my favorites.

Pea Salad
2 lbs frozen peas
3 eggs, hard-boiled
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Thaw out the frozen peas in water while your are peeling and slicing your eggs. Drain the peas and place in a large bowl. Add the sliced eggs and cheese. Stir in the mayonnaise. You want the peas coated but not swimming in condiment. Season to your personal taste. Refrigerate and serve cold.

With our summer gardens producing prolifically, we are eating fresh vegetables daily. Everyone loves vegetables like okra fried, but as the head cook of our house, who wants to fry food? It makes a mess not to mention it is not the healthiest way to eat. So, I roast many of my vegetables, but one that you might not consider roasting is one of the best: okra. If you like fried okra, you will love roasted okra and so will the kitchen clean-up crew.

Roasted Okra
Fresh okra (I usually cook 3-4 lbs for my family.)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and cut off the top of the okra. Then cut it up in 1/4″ slices. Pour about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and coat the bottom of a cookie sheet. Place the okra slices on the sheet. Pour about 2 more Tbsp of olive oil on top of the okra. Then season with salt and pepper to your taste. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once.

I love to stir-fry using grass fed round steak, but we try to avoid grains. Who doesn’t like fried rice? So I substitute the rice for cauliflower. Don’t wrinkle your nose; it is delicious.

Cauliflower Fried Rice
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
Tamari sauce or soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas or carrots, thawed (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and cut up the cauliflower in chunks. Using a grater or the grating attachment on your food processor, grate the cauliflower. It now looks similar to long-grain rice. In a wok or large pan, melt the 2 Tbsp of butter. Once it is melted, place the cauliflower rice into the pan. Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. It will be tender, but still firm like rice. Push the “rice” to the sides of the pan, and now melt the 1 Tbsp of butter left. As it melts, beat two eggs in a small bowl and then pour into the middle of your pan. Salt and pepper the eggs. As they are frying, flavor your rice on the sides with some tamari or soy sauce. I would guesstimate about 1 1/2 Tbsp-2 Tbsp. If you really love the sauce, use more. Turn the eggs to finish cooking. At this point, add the extra vegetables if desired. Once the eggs are cooked, chop them up and stir in with your rice. Cover, turn off the heat, and keep warm until ready to serve.

These three vegetable side dishes go well with different cuts of grass fed beef. It feels great to see your family eating and enjoying such healthy fare. Try them and let me know what you think.

Weaning Grassfed Calves

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Traditionally, a rancher who wanted to wean some calves would separate them from the herd and pour feed to them.  The calves would fatten up on the grain until the rancher decided what to do with them.  He/She would decide which calves needed to return to the herd, which ones he/she was going to continue to fatten up to eat, and which ones he/she would sell.  With a grassfed herd, the traditional way to wean is out.  One cannot wean their calves on grain and sell them as grassfed.

Some of our weaned calves.

Some of our weaned calves.

Therefore at Cross Creek Cattle Company, we wean differently.  We still separate the calves from their mothers.  In order to make the transition less stressful, they are separated by a stout metal fence.  The cow and calf can still see each other and call to one another.  The calves just cannot nurse.  Usually by the second day the cows decide to leave their calf and go grazing in a different pasture.  Sometimes a cow will decide sooner.  Either way the cow knows where her calf is and she knows that it is fine.

The calves have access to plenty of water, hay, and grass.  We carefully monitor the grass situation to ensure that the calves have what they need.  After a week or so, we begin feeding them alfalfa pellets, which is dehydrated alfalfa grass in pellet form.  Alfalfa is a high-quality grass.  It is high in protein.  Therefore, the calves do well on it.  Unfortunately, alfalfa does not grow well in this area, which is why we choose to feed it in pellet form.

However, cows can bloat on such rich grass if their bodies are not adjusted to it slowly.  We begin with 1/2 pound of alfalfa pellets per calf a day.  We slowly work them up to 2 pounds a day of alfalfa.  This helps to ensure that their body condition does not fall behind while they are going through the transition of weaning.

We have several pens in which to graze so that they always have a good supply of grass.  We even use electric fencing to help us separate large pastures into smaller grazing fields.  This ensures that all the grasses are getting eaten.  Sometimes cows will selectively eat a pasture.  Then a rancher has to come behind them and shred the grasses that are left.  This is a waste.  It is like a child who will not eat their vegetables and a parent who throws them away every evening.

Our calves look just as good as the traditionally weaned calves.  They have maintained great body condition without the use of grains and other feeds.  They have eaten grass in several forms: fresh in the pastures, dried in the form of hay, and dehydrated in pellets.  Grass and water is really all a cow needs.  It is healthier for them and for us, which is why we raise grassfed beef.

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