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Tasty Two-for-One Meals

With some planning, even the busiest families can have a hearty, nutritious and delicious homemade meal on the table in 30 minutes or less. Plus, some recipes can do double duty and serve as the foundation of a second meal, too. Start with a large dish and enjoy half of it. Then save the rest to transform into a delicious new dinner the next night.

A tasty Asian stir fry can become an easy, savory soup. Make a flavorful Southwestern steak, beans and rice dish one evening, then add a few key ingredients to create quick and satisfying wraps.

Offering the nutrition your family members need, the flavors they crave and fast preparation the family chef will appreciate, these "two-for-one" meals will find a permanent place in your recipe collection.

Monday...

Start the week with a hearty meal that features delicious Asian flavors. Stir-fry lean, juicy Certified Angus Beef sirloin in heart-healthy canola oil. Finish the dish with a cornucopia of vegetables and rice, the ideal flavor carrier for ethnic cuisines.

Ginger-Beef Stir Fry with Rice

2 pounds Certified Angus Beef boneless sirloin steak, about 3/4-inch thick, trimmed
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 1/2 cups matchstick-cut carrots
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups (4 oz) sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups sugar snap or snow peas
1/8 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, optional
6 cups hot cooked medium or long grain rice

Cut beef in half lengthwise and then slice thinly; set aside. Combine soy sauce, cornstarch and ginger; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Set aside. Heat large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Working in 3 batches, add 1 tablespoon canola oil, coating bottom evenly. Add one-third of beef and cook 1 minute or until browned, stirring constantly. Remove from skillet and set aside. Repeat with remaining 2 batches. Return skillet to heat; add remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. When hot, add carrots, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add soy sauce mixture, beef, peas and pepper flakes to vegetables in skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until sauce thickens. Serve over hot rice. "Two-for-One" shortcut: Reserve 4 cups cooked stir fry and 3 cups cooked rice for tomorrow. Full-size recipe makes 8 servings.


...Tuesday

Busy cooks know easy preparation is vital. Use last night's stir fry to put a new--and tasty--spin on supper.

Spicy Ginger-Beef & Rice Soup with Lime

3-4 medium green onions
3 cups reserved cooked medium or long grain rice
2 (14 oz) cans reduced-sodium beef broth
4 cups reserved Ginger-Beef Stir Fry
1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot
1/8 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1 medium lime, cut in wedges

Thinly slice whites of onions and set aside. Diagonally slice green onion tops and set aside separately. Place rice in microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High 2 minutes or until heated through. In large saucepan, bring broth to boil over high heat. Add stir fry mixture, white part of onions, ginger and pepper flakes. Return to boil and then remove from heat. Spoon equal amounts of soup into four bowls, mounding 3/4 cup rice in center of each. Top with remaining sliced onion greens. Serve with lime wedges. TIP: To form a mound of rice, place serving of rice in custard cup, press down slightly and invert over bowl. Makes 4 servings


Wednesday...

Families love this satisfying, simple dish. Certified Angus Beef steak boasts consistently mouthwatering flavor, juiciness and tenderness. It's complemented by canola oil's light taste, which allows tangy, sweet and spicy flavors to shine through. Rice's versatility ensures it's the perfect partner to unite these ingredients.

Southwestern Steak, Black Beans & Rice

2 pounds Certified Angus Beef boneless top sirloin steak, about 3/4-inch thick, trimmed
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 medium lemons
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups hot cooked medium or long grain rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Preheat grill or broiler. Rub both sides of steak with 2 tablespoons canola oil. Mix chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt; rub onto steak. Grill or broil steak 10 minutes for medium-rare, turning halfway through cooking, or to desired doneness. Place steak on cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain; set aside. Meanwhile, grate 1 tablespoon lemon zest and combine with juice from two lemons and remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in large bowl. Add tomatoes, black beans and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and mix well. Add hot rice and toss to blend. Place rice mixture on serving platter and top with beef slices. Garnish with cilantro and additional lemon wedges, if desired. "Two-for-One" shortcut: Reserve half the rice mixture and steak for tomorrow. Full-size recipe makes 8 servings.


...Thursday

Steak, seasoned rice and a light canola oil dressing become the heart of a delicious wrap. Get the whole family involved by putting all ingredients on the table and letting everyone make their own.

Southwestern Steak, Black Beans & Rice Wraps

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups reserved Black Beans & Rice
8 (10-inch) sun-dried tomato, spinach or flour tortillas
2 cups reserved cooked, sliced Southwestern Steak
4 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup salsa
2 ripe medium avocados, peeled, seeded and diced

In large bowl, combine canola oil and lemon juice. Add reserved Black Beans & Rice and toss gently to blend. If desired, warm mixture in microwave on High 2 to 3 minutes. Working with two tortillas at a time, warm tortillas in microwave on High 15 seconds and place on cutting board. Spoon 1/2 cup of Black Beans & Rice down center of each tortilla. Top each with 1/4 cup sliced steak, 1/2 cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons salsa and 1/4 cup avocado. Fold up bottom and wrap two sides over. Repeat. Makes 8 wraps. TIP: For lighter style wraps, use Bibb lettuce leaves in place of tortillas.

For full soup and wrap recipes, other meal ideas and cooking tips, visit www.usarice.com, www.canolainfo.org and www.certifiedangusbeef.com.

Date: 8/22/06


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