Happy May Day! What a treat it is to turn the page on the calendar to May. Hopefully we will be turning the page on the cold and snow as well and can enjoy some warm sunshine and spring weather at last!
May Day is an event I remember from my grade school days - we made baskets out of construction paper and filled them with little treats and left them on the door knobs of friends or family on May 1. I still know people who enjoy the fun that accompanies giving May baskets. May Day welcomes and celebrates the coming of spring; it seems to have taken a long time to get here this year!
National Salad Month is also recognized in May. There are lots of options when it comes to salads. Salads have become very popular and are often even the main entree and no longer just a small bowl of iceberg lettuce with French or Thousand Island dressing on it! There are many different types of salad greens available (arugula, butterhead, leaf, radicchio, romaine) and the combinations with noodles, other vegetables and fruits with various types of dressings give a wide variety of choices when it comes to eating a "salad."
In addition to it being Salad Month, May is also Beef Month. As we look forward to getting our grills out for the season, there are lean cuts of meat and poultry that are great choices to grill, and that includes many cuts of beef. Following is a great recipe from the National Cattleman's Beef Association that pairs a lean cut of beef with a tasty salad. What better way to welcome May than serving Beef and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Syrup?
Beef and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Syrup
2 beef shoulder center steaks, cut 3/4" thick (about 8 oz. each)
1 1/2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
4 cups arugula leaves, torn into pieces
6 small heirloom tomatoes (2 each red, green and yellow), sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan shavings
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1. To prepare balsamic syrup, bring vinegar to a boil in medium saucepan; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until reduced to about 1/3 cup (consistency will be syrupy). Remove from heat; cool. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk in oil.
2. Meanwhile, press thyme and garlic evenly onto beef steaks. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 8 to 11 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) to medium (160 degrees) doneness, turning occasionally. If desired, steaks can be grilled to desired doneness as well. Carve steaks into thin slices. Arrange arugula and tomatoes on serving platter; drizzle with balsamic syrup. Top with steak slices; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and cheese shavings.
Makes four servings
Nutrition information per serving: 311 calories; 13 grams fat (4 g saturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat); 68 mg cholesterol; 748 mg sodium; 18 grams carbohydrate; 27 grams protein.
Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. In addition to her column, you can also find nutrition tips and ideas on the blog she writes at www.averastorycenter.org.