(NC) Are your healthy eating habits taking a break during lockdown? Many of us turn to cravings like ice cream and chips during this stressful time, but we need to eat well to stay healthy. Nourishing meals can boost our immune system and help prevent us from getting sick.
Look for foods containing nutrients that fortify your defences and support physical and mental health. Zinc, vitamin B6, selenium and iron can build resistance to infection.
Nutrients that keep your energy up include iron, protein, vitamins B12 and B6, and niacin. And for strength, protein, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are essential.
A great option for getting many of these immune-boosting nutrients is red meat, which plays an important role in overall health and is a key protein food in Canada’s food guide. Beef and pork are efficient, providing many essential nutrients in a modest portion size with few calories.
For a delicious way to incorporate more red meat into your diet, try this tasty barbecue flank steak meal that pairs powerful protein with a seasonal peach and quinoa salad. It’s the perfect summer meal the whole family will enjoy.
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
• 1 lb (500 g) flank marinating steak
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• ¾ tsp salt, divided
• ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 2 peaches, cut into wedges
• 6 cups mixed greens
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
• ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
• 2 cups cooked red quinoa (approx. 1 cup raw)
• ½ cup torn basil leaves
• 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
• 5 oz burrata cheese, drained (optional)
1. Whisk oil with vinegar, honey and mustard. Place half into a plastic re-sealable bag; reserving remaining portion. Pierce steak all over with a fork and add to bag along with crushed garlic; massage to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
2. Remove steak from marinade; pat dry with paper towel and discard excess marinade. Season steak all over with ½ tsp each salt and pepper.
3. Grill over medium-high heat, turning at least twice, for 8 to 10 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F (63°C) for medium rare when inserted sideways into steak. Transfer to a plate. Loosely tent with foil. Rest for 5 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, lightly brush peaches with some of the oil. Place in grilling basket; grill for 2 minutes per side or until well-marked but still firm.
5.Whisk remaining salt and pepper into reserved dressing. Toss with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber and onion until well coated. Add quinoa and basil; toss to combine.
6.Arrange salad on a shallow serving platter. Top with grilled peaches, burrata and sunflower seeds. Carve steak, against the grain, into thin slices and serve with salad.
Check out the Healthy Plates. Inspiring Meals. guide for more recipe inspiration, available at canadabeef.ca/mycanadianbeef.