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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

Food safety when eating outdoors

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Photo by Quaritsch Photography from Unsplash.com

It may already be September, but summer is far from over! There’s still plenty of warm and sunny days perfect for picnics and barbecues. Unfortunately, this time of year is also a favorite for foodborne bacteria that cause foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning), which multiply faster at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. 

Follow the tips below to keep your food safe when eating outdoors.

Before your picnic or barbecue

  • Defrost meat, poultry, and seafood in the refrigerator. If you thaw by submerging sealed packages in cold water or defrost in the microwave, the food should be cooked immediately afterward.
  • Never reuse marinade that touched raw foods unless you boil it first. Instead, you can set some of the marinade aside before marinating food to use for sauce later.
  • Marinate foods in the fridge, not the countertop.
  • Wash all produce before eating, even if you plan to peel it. The knife you use to peel it can spread bacteria into the part you eat. Fruits and vegetables that are pre-cut or peeled should be refrigerated or kept on ice to maintain quality and safety.
  • If your picnic site doesn’t offer clean water access, bring water and soap or pack moist disposable towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.
  • Don’t forget to pack a food thermometer!

Packing coolers

  • Place food from the refrigerator directly into an insulated cooler immediately before leaving home.
  • Use ice or ice packs to keep your cooler at 40 °F or below.
  • Pack raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler, or wrap it securely and store at the bottom of the cooler where the juices can’t drip onto other foods. Place beverages in a separate cooler; this will offer easy drink access while keeping perishable food coolers closed.
  • Minimize the time coolers are held in the trunk of the car, as the trunk can get very hot. Bacteria can multiply rapidly at high temperatures. Once at the picnic site, keep food in coolers until serving time (out of direct sun) and avoid opening the lids often.

Grilling

  • Have clean utensils and platters available. Cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the right temperatures ─ use a food thermometer to be sure (see FDA’s Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart). Keep cooked meats hot at 140 °F or warmer until serving time — set them to the side of the grill rack to keep them hot.
  • When removing foods from the grill, place them on a clean platter. Never use the same platter and utensils for cooked food that you used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

Time and temperature 

Don’t let hot or cold food sit in the “Danger Zone” (between 40 °F and 140 °F) for more than 2 hours – or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 °F. If they do, throw them away.

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NewsMakers

Skipping breakfast may increase chance of kids and teens developing psychosocial health problems

It is not only important to eat breakfast, but it’s also important where young people eat breakfast and what they eat.

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Photo by Leti Kugler from Unsplash.com

Young people who eat healthy breakfasts at home have better psychosocial health, shows a recent study in Frontiers in Nutrition. While previous research has reported the important role of a nutritious breakfast, this is the first study to look at the reported effects of whether kids eat breakfast, as well as where and what they eat. These results provide valuable insights and recommendations for parents and their children.

“Our results suggest that it is not only important to eat breakfast, but it’s also important where young people eat breakfast and what they eat,” said first author Dr. José Francisco López-Gil of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Cuenca, Spain. “Skipping breakfast or eating breakfast away from home is associated with increased likelihood of psychosocial behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Similarly, consumption of certain foods/drinks are associated with higher (eg, processed meat) or lower (eg, dairies, cereals) odds of psychosocial behavioral problems.”

Breakfast matters

In this study, López-Gil and his collaborators analyzed data from the 2017 Spanish National Health Survey. This survey included questionnaires both about breakfast habits as well as children’s psychosocial health, which included characteristics such as self-esteem, mood, and anxiety. The questionnaires were completed by the children’s parents, or guardians, and the results included a total of 3,772 Spanish residents between the ages of four and 14.

Among the most important results, López-Gil and the team found that eating breakfast away from home was nearly as detrimental as skipping the meal entirely. The authors suggest that this may be because meals away from home are frequently less nutritious than those prepared at home.

The results also showed that coffee, milk, tea, chocolate, cocoa, yogurt, bread, toast, cereals, and pastries were all associated with lower chances of behavioral problems. Surprisingly, eggs, cheese, and ham were linked with higher risks of such issues.

Beyond nutrition

Although this study is limited to Spain, these findings are consistent with research performed elsewhere. The availability of nutritious breakfasts at schools would likely influence the results in some locations.

But other factors, such as the social and family support that young people can receive during breakfast at home, may also play a role in the observed benefits. The authors emphasize the need for further studies to understand the cause-and-effect relationships behind their observations, but they still suggest the usefulness of these results.

“The fact that eating breakfast away from home is associated with greater psychosocial health problems is a novel aspect of our study,” said López-Gil. “Our findings reinforce the need to promote not only breakfast as part of a healthy lifestyle routine, but also that it should be eaten at home. Also, to prevent psychosocial health problems, a breakfast that includes dairy and/or cereals, and minimizes certain animal foods high in saturated fat/cholesterol, could help to decrease psychosocial health problems in young people.”

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Nutrition

It doesn’t matter much which fiber you choose – just get more fiber

The benefit of dietary fiber isn’t just the easier pooping that advertisers tout. Fermentable fiber — dietary carbohydrates that the human gut cannot process on its own but some bacteria can digest — is also an essential source of nutrients that your gut microbes need to stay healthy.

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Photo by Nadine Primeau from Unsplash.com

That huge array of dietary fiber supplements in the drugstore or grocery aisle can be overwhelming to a consumer. They make all sorts of health claims too, not being subject to FDA review and approval. So how do you know which supplement works and would be best for you?

A rigorous examination of the gut microbes of study participants who were fed three different kinds of supplements in different sequences concludes that people who had been eating the least amount of fiber before the study showed the greatest benefit from supplements, regardless of which ones they consumed.

“The people who responded the best had been eating the least fiber to start with,” said study leader Lawrence David, an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University.

The benefit of dietary fiber isn’t just the easier pooping that advertisers tout. Fermentable fiber — dietary carbohydrates that the human gut cannot process on its own but some bacteria can digest — is also an essential source of nutrients that your gut microbes need to stay healthy.

“We’ve evolved to depend on nutrients that our microbiomes produce for us,” said Zack Holmes, former PhD student in the David lab and co-author on two new papers about fiber. “But with recent shifts in diet away from fiber-rich foods, we’ve stopped feeding our microbes what they need.”

When your gut bugs are happily munching on a high-fiber diet, they produce more of the short-chain fatty acids that protect you from diseases of the gut, colorectal cancers and even obesity. And in particular, they produce more of a fatty acid called butyrate, which is fuel for your intestinal cells themselves. Butyrate has been shown to improve the gut’s resistance to pathogens, lower inflammation and create happier, healthier cells lining the host’s intestines.

Given the variety of supplements available, David’s research team wanted to know whether it may be necessary to ‘personalize’ fiber supplements to different people, since different fermentable fibers have been shown to have different effects on short-chain fatty acid production from one individual to the next.

“We didn’t see a lot of difference between the fiber supplements we tested. Rather, they looked interchangeable,” David said during a tour of his sparkling new lab in the MSRB III building, which includes a special “science toilet” for collecting samples and an array of eight “artificial gut” fermenters for growing happy gut microbes outside a body.

“Regardless of which of the test supplements you pick, it seems your microbiome will thank you with more butyrate,” David said.

The average American adult only consumes 20 to 40 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber, which is believed to be a root cause behind a lot of our common health maladies, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders and colon cancer. Instead of having to go totally vegetarian or consume pounds of kale daily, convenient fiber supplements have been created that can increase the production of short-chain fatty acids.

The Duke experiments tested three main kinds of fermentable fiber supplements: inulin, dextrin (Benefiber), and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) marketed as Bimuno. The 28 participants were separated into groups and given each of the three supplements for one week in different orders, with a week off between supplements to allow participants’ guts to return to a baseline state. 

Participants who had been consuming the most fiber beforehand showed the least change in their microbiomes, and the type of supplement really didn’t matter, probably because they were already hosting a more optimal population of gut bugs, David said.

Conversely, participants who had been consuming the least fiber saw the greatest increase in butyrate with the supplements, regardless of which one was being consumed.

In a second study the David lab performed with support from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, they found that gut microbes responded to a new addition of fiber within a day, dramatically altering the populations of bugs present in the gut and changing which of their genes they were using to digest food.

Using their artificial gut fermenters, the researchers found the gut microbes were primed by the first dose to consume fiber, and digested it quickly on the second dose.

“These findings are encouraging,” said graduate student Jeffrey Letourneau, lead author of the second study. “If you’re a low fiber consumer, it’s probably not worth it to stress so much about which kind of fiber to add. It’s just important that you find something that works for you in a sustainable way.”

“It doesn’t need to be a supplement either,” Holmes added. “It can just be a fiber-rich food. Folks who were already eating a lot of fiber, which comes from plants like beans, leafy greens, and citrus, already had very healthy microbiomes.”

“Microbiota Responses to Different Prebiotics Are Conserved Within Individuals and Associated with Habitual Fiber Intake” by Zachary Holmes, Max Villa, Heather Durand, Sharon Jiang, Eric Dallow, Brianna Petrone, Justin Silverman, Pao-Hwa Lin, and Lawrence David appeared in Microbiome.

“Ecological Memory of Prior Nutrient Exposure in the Human Gut Microbiome” by Jeffrey Letourneau, Zachary Holmes, Eric Dallow, Heather Durand, Sharon Jiang, Verónica Carrion, Savita Gupta, Adam Mincey, Michael Muehlbauer, and James Bain, Lawrence David appeared in ISME Journal.

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