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Nutrition

Sizzling meals made for summer

Taking your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary starts with chef-inspired recipes that call to mind the flavors of the season.

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Summertime, for many, represents an opportunity to enjoy freshly cooked meals while enjoying time outdoors. Taking your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary starts with chef-inspired recipes that call to mind the flavors of the season.

Whether you’re a steak enthusiast who enjoys nothing more than a tender cut or a summer burger connoisseur looking for a fresh twist on tradition, these recipes call for high-quality beef from Omaha Steaks. Created by Omaha Steaks Executive Chef David Rose, the New York Strips Oscar-Style complement the thick, juicy, marbled flavor of the steaks with sauteed asparagus, bearnaise sauce and jumbo lump crab meat. Or turn your attention to Fried Lobster Po Boy Burgers with pimento remoulade sauce for a tempting way to combine two summertime favorites – seafood and burgers.

Visit OmahaSteaks.com for more summer meal inspiration.

Fried Lobster Po Boy Burgers
Recipe courtesy of Omaha Steaks Executive Chef David Rose
Prep time: about 20 minutes
Cook time: about 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Pimento Remoulade: 
            1/2       cup mayonnaise 
            1 1/2    tablespoons minced pimentos
            1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
            1          tablespoon minced bread and butter pickles
            1          pepperoncino (seeded and minced)
            1/4       teaspoon smoked paprika
            1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
            1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            1          tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
            3          dashes hot sauce
                        kosher salt, to taste

Fried Lobster Tails:
                        Vegetable oil, for frying
            1/2       cup all-purpose flour
            1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, divided
            1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
            1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
            1/4       teaspoon smoked paprika 
            1          large egg
            1          tablespoon water
            2          dashes hot sauce
            1/4       cup potato chips, finely blended in food processor
            1/3       cup panko breadcrumbs
            1          tablespoon minced flat leaf Italian parsley 
            2          Omaha Steaks lobster tails (5 ounces each)

Cheeseburgers:
            1          pound Omaha Steaks premium ground beef
                        salt, to taste
                        freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
            2          tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
            2          brioche buns
            2          slices yellow cheddar cheese
            3          leaves romaine lettuce, shredded

To make pimento remoulade: In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, pimentos, mustard, pickles, pepperoncino, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, lemon juice and hot sauce until well incorporated. Season with salt, to taste.

To make fried lobster tails: Preheat grill to 400 F and add oil to 10-inch cast-iron pan about 1/2-inch deep.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika until well incorporated. Set aside.

In separate medium bowl, whisk egg, water and hot sauce. Set aside.

In third medium bowl, whisk potato chips, panko breadcrumbs and parsley until well incorporated. Set aside.

Cut lobster tails in half lengthwise, remove meat from shell and season with remaining kosher salt and black pepper.

Toss halved lobster tails in flour mixture first, egg mixture second then potato chip mixture third, coating thoroughly.

Fry lobster tails 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Close grill lid between flipping.

To make cheeseburgers: Preheat grill to 450 F using direct heat. Form ground beef into two 1/2 pound patties, each about 1/2-inch thick.

Using thumb, make dimple in center of each patty to help cook evenly.

Season both sides of burger with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread butter on each cut side of buns.

Grill burgers 4-5 minutes per side for medium doneness.

Add one slice cheddar cheese on each burger, close lid and grill about 30 seconds to melt cheese. Remove patties from grill to clean plate. Place buns cut sides down on grill grates and toast 20-30 seconds, or until well toasted, being careful to avoid burning.

To assemble: Place desired remoulade on buns. Place cheeseburgers on bottom buns. Top each with two fried lobster tail halves. Place handful shredded lettuce on lobster tails. Top with buns.

New York Strips Oscar-Style
Recipe courtesy of Omaha Steaks Executive Chef David Rose
Prep time: about 30 minutes
Cook time: about 3 1/2 hours
Servings: 4

Sauteed Asparagus:
            1/2       pound jumbo asparagus (about 1 bunch), blanched in salted boiling water
            3          tablespoons olive oil
            2          garlic cloves, minced
            2          tablespoons minced shallots 
                        salt, to taste
                        freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bearnaise Sauce:
            1/4       cup white wine vinegar
            2          tablespoons minced shallots 
            1          tablespoon chopped tarragon 
            3          egg yolks 
            2          tablespoons water, plus additional for boiling, divided
            2          dashes hot sauce 
            12        tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
                        salt, to taste 
                        freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat:
            1          pound jumbo lump crab meat
            2          tablespoons kosher salt

New York Strip Steaks:
           4          Omaha Steaks Private Reserve or Butcher’s Cut New York Strips (10 ounces each
                       salt, to taste
                       freshly ground black pepper, to taste
                       water
           4          tablespoons grapeseed oil
           4          tablespoons unsalted butter
           3          garlic cloves
           2          fresh thyme sprigs

To make asparagus: Cut asparagus stalks into 1/4-inch pieces. Heat large pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil.

Add garlic and shallots to pan; lightly saute about 20 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add asparagus to pan; saute about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

To make bearnaise sauce: In small saucepan, bring vinegar, shallots and tarragon to boil then reduce to simmer 3-4 minutes until reduced by about half. Cool to room temperature.

Bring medium pot half full of water to slow boil.

In small bowl, whisk egg yolks, vinegar reduction, water and hot sauce until well incorporated.

Place bowl over pot of boiling water and continue whisking ingredients until it starts to emulsify and becomes sauce-like. Alternate whisking on and off heat every 30 seconds to prevent eggs from scrambling.

Gradually add melted butter, continuously whisking until sauce becomes rich with ribbony consistency and sets up. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time and whisk to desired consistency.

To make crab meat: In medium bowl, lightly toss crab meat with salt until well coated.

To make steaks: Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season heavily with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring steaks to room temperature.

Place sous vide immersion circulator in pot of water and set to 5 F below target doneness.

Place seasoned steaks in sous vide bag or zip-top bag and cook 2 hours.

Remove bag and remove steaks from bag. Pat steaks dry with paper towels.

Warm large cast-iron pan over high heat and add oil. Add steaks, butter, garlic cloves and thyme leaves. After about 1 minute, steaks should start to brown.

Flip steaks and baste with butter until caramelized. Remove steaks from pan and rest 7-8 minutes.

To assemble: Place asparagus on bottom of plate. Top with steaks (whole or sliced), crab meat and bearnaise sauce.

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Nutrition

Body clock off-schedule? Prebiotics may help

Dietary compounds shown to protect against jet lag-type symptoms.

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Photo by Daily Nouri from Unsplash.com

Whether it’s from jetting across time zones, pulling all-nighters at school or working the overnight shift, chronically disrupting our circadian rhythm—or internal biological clocks—can take a measurable toll on everything from sleep, mood and metabolism to risk of certain diseases, mounting research shows.

But a new University of Colorado Boulder study funded by the U.S. Navy suggests simple dietary compounds known as prebiotics, which serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria, could play an important role in helping us bounce back faster.

“This work suggests that by promoting and stabilizing the good bacteria in the gut and the metabolites they release, we may be able to make our bodies more resilient to circadian disruption,” said senior author Monika Fleshner, a professor of integrative physiology.

The animal study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, is the latest to suggest that prebiotics—not to be confused with probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut—can influence not only the gut, but also the brain and behavior.

Naturally abundant in many fibrous foods—including leeks, artichokes and onions—and in breast milk, these indigestible carbohydrates pass through the small intestine and linger in the gut, serving as nourishment for the trillions of bacteria residing there.

The authors’ previous studies showed that rats raised on prebiotic-infused chow slept better and were more resilient to some of the physical effects of acute stress.

For the new study, part of a multi-university project funded by the Office of Naval Research, the researchers sought to learn if prebiotics could also promote resilience to body-clock disruptions from things like jet lag, irregular work schedules or lack of natural daytime light—a reality many military personnel live with.

“They are traveling all over the world and frequently changing time zones. For submariners, who can be underwater for months, circadian disruption can be a real challenge,” said lead author Robert Thompson, a postdoctoral researcher in the Fleshner lab. “The goal of this project is to find ways to mitigate those effects.”

How a healthy gut may prevent jet lag

The researchers raised rats either on regular food or chow enriched with two prebiotics: galactooligosaccharides and polydextrose.

They then manipulated the rats’ light-dark cycle weekly for eight weeks—the equivalent of traveling to a time zone 12 hours ahead every week for two months.

Rats that ate prebiotics more quickly realigned their sleep-wake cycles and core body temperature (which can also be thrown off when internal clocks are off) and resisted the alterations in gut flora that often come with stress.

“This is one of the first studies to connect consuming prebiotics to specific bacterial changes that not only affect sleep but also the body’s response to circadian rhythm disruption,” said Thompson.

The study also takes a critical step forward in answering the question: How can simply ingesting a starch impact how we sleep and feel?

The researchers found that those on the prebiotic diet hosted an abundance of several health-promoting microbes, including Ruminiclostridium 5 (shown in other studies to reduce fragmented sleep) and Parabacteroides distasonis.

They also had a substantially different “metabolome,” the collection of metabolic byproducts churned out by bacteria in the gut.

Put simply: The animals that ingested the prebiotics hosted more good bacteria, which in turn produced metabolites that protected them from something akin to jet lag.

Are supplements worthwhile?

Clinical trials are now underway at CU Boulder to determine if prebiotics could have similar effects on humans.

The research could lead to customized prebiotic mixtures designed for individuals whose careers or lifestyles expose them to frequent circadian disruption.

In the meantime, could simply loading up on legumes and other foods naturally rich in the compounds help keep your body clock running on time? It’s not impossible but unlikely, they say—noting that the rats were fed what, in human terms, would be excessive amounts of prebiotics.

Why not just ingest the beneficial bacteria directly, via probiotic-rich foods like yogurt?

That could also help, but prebiotics may have an advantage over probiotics in that they support the friendly bacteria one already has, rather than introducing a new species that may or may not take hold.

What about prebiotic dietary supplements?

“If you are happy and healthy and in balance, you do not need to go ingest a bunch of stuff with a prebiotic in it,” said Fleshner. “But if you know you are going to come into a challenge, you could take a look at some of the prebiotics that are available. Just realize that they are not customized yet, so it might work for you but it won’t work for your neighbor.”

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Nutrition

The best teas to drink for health

Study after study shows the benefits of drinking tea, essentially verifying what your ancestors believed back in ancient times. The humble tea plant – a shrub known as Camellia sinensis – has long supplied an answer to some ailments.

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Photo by Loverna Journey from Unsplash.com

While studies have shown the health benefits of drinking tea, the variety of options can be overwhelming. A dietitian from a top American hospital, Cleveland Clinic, explains how different teas offer different benefits.

Beth Czerwony, MS, RD, CSOWM, LD, from Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition with the Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute, says: “Study after study shows the benefits of drinking tea, essentially verifying what your ancestors believed back in ancient times. The humble tea plant – a shrub known as Camellia sinensis – has long supplied an answer to some ailments.”

Here, she discusses which popular teas are advised for common ailments.

Best for Overall Health: Green Tea

“Green tea is the champion when it comes to offering health benefits,” says Czerwony. “It’s the Swiss Army knife of teas. It covers a lot of territory.”

A medical literature review offers a snapshot of those benefits, she adds, linking the consumption of green tea to:

  • cancer prevention;
  • fighting heart disease;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • anti-inflammatory treatment;
  • weight loss; and
  • lower cholesterol.

According to Czerwony, the healing power of green tea is linked to catechin, an antioxidant compound found in tea leaves. It helps protect cells from damage caused by out-of-hand free radicals reacting with other molecules in the body.

Best for Gut Health: Ginger Tea

Studies show that ginger naturally combats nausea, making it a go-to remedy for dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy, notes Czerwony.

Ginger also offers proven digestive benefits by helping the body move food from the stomach to continue its digestive tract journey. Speeding up that process works to calm indigestion and ease stomach distress, she explains.

“Ginger relaxes your gut, which can make you a lot more comfortable if you’re having tummy trouble,” Czerwony says.

Alternatively, peppermint tea can also serve as an aid against indigestion. “Peppermint, however, is best for issues lower in your gut. It can actually aggravate higher-up issues such as acid reflux,” she advises.

Best for Lung Health: Herbal Tea

The anti-inflammatory powers in herbal teas can help loosen airways tightened by conditions such as asthma, says Czerwony. She recommends herbal teas featuring turmeric, cinnamon or ginger as a way to keep the air flowing.

As an added benefit, drinking a hot cup of herbal tea can also help clear congestion by loosening mucus, says Czerwony.

Best for Sickness: Peppermint Tea

“Menthol packs quite the punch when it comes to fighting a cold – and peppermint tea is packed with menthol,” says Czerwony, “It really kicks up your immune system.”

She says peppermint tea works well to relax sore throat muscles, relieve nasal congestion and even reduce a fever. “It’s also loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties to give you a healthy boost.”

She also suggests trying echinacea, hibiscus or elderberry tea when someone does not feel well.

Best at Bedtime: Chamomile Tea

The daisy-like chamomile plant contains apigenin, an antioxidant compound and snooze inducer, explains Czerwony. She says apigenin attaches itself to receptors in the brain and works to reduce anxiety, building a peaceful calm that leads to drowsiness.

Valerian root tea also is a good option, she says.

What about black teas?

Black tea offers many of the same benefits as green tea, which makes sense when you consider they’re made from the same plant leaves, says Czerwony.

So why are they different? “Leaves used to make black tea are allowed to age and oxidize, turning them brown or black. Green tea leaves are processed earlier when they’re still green. Hence, the name. Black tea generally has more caffeine than green tea— a key selection factor if you’re concerned about limiting your caffeine intake,” she says.

“There are so many teas to choose from,” concludes Czerwony. “Try different varieties and see what works best for you.”

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Nutrition

How to enjoy whiskey this summer

Select “young” whiskey. If adding ice cubes to give it a chill, you don’t want to dilute aged whiskies. You alternatively can chill whiskey in the refrigerator before drinking.

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Photo by Vinicius "amnx" Amano from Unsplash.com

Over the years, whiskey has become increasingly popular and is a beverage people typically drink year-round. Shots Box, an alcohol subscription service offering curated, craft, artisanal, and small-batch spirits, is here with some tips on how to best enjoy whiskey during the summer months.

  1. Select “young” whiskey. If adding ice cubes to give it a chill, you don’t want to dilute aged whiskies. You alternatively can chill whiskey in the refrigerator before drinking.
  2. Choose a lighter variety. When picking a whiskey to enjoy in the summer, single grain Scotch or Irish whiskey are usually lighter malts and bourbons, making them easier to enjoy in the warm weather.
  3. Pick an option that’s lighter, sweeter, and with a natural hint of citrus.
  4. Balance or adjust the flavor by mixing with stone fruits, summer vegetables, or pair with tea.

“As whiskey continues to grow in popularity, there is no better time than the summer to enjoy it,” said J.C. Stock, Chief Executive Officer of Shots Box.

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