Convenient Beef Products out your grocer’s meat case often. These items are not shelf stable, they must remain refrigerated, and they have expiration dates. If you don’t think you'll use a product before its expiration date, freeze it as soon as possible. As you would do with fresh beef, thaw pre-cooked products in the refrigerator or microwave oven and use them Photo by Gabe Palacio/Image Direct within two days of thawing. The beef industry has responded to consumer demand Other new beef products include seasoned and/or for convenient meal solutions by developing a variety marinated beef products that are ready to be of pre-cooked and pre-seasoned beef products. Your cooked. Complement these entrees with salads family can sit down to pot roast “like mom used to and side dishes. They are suitable for dinner make” after only 10 minutes in the microwave, or a parties, holiday gatherings or a simple meal with nutritious salad or pasta dish made with pre-cooked family and friends. beef strips. Today's consumer can find more than 100 new beef products nationwide which will reduce time Don’t forget to check out the frozen foods section in the kitchen as well as provide a nutrient bundle of at your local grocery store. Several companies iron, zinc, protein and b-vitamins. have developed frozen meals with pasta, beef, vegetables and sauce. These quick-to-fix meals Advances in technology have are prepared in one pan and, when allowed food manufacturers to served with a fruit salad, meet Food Beef is a good source of essential develop a completely cooked nutrients: Guide Pyramid recommendations product that can be re-heated in for a balanced meal. the microwave without having a § Zinc - improves health and “warmed over” flavor. These supports the immune system, Beef is an important component of helps fight off colds and viruses, “heat and eat” beef products and aids memory and brain the Food Guide Pyramid because it provide consumers with fresh function provides significant amounts of tasting beef meals in a fraction of § Iron - helps support the immune several key nutrients. The new beef the time required for traditional system, carries oxygen to body products contain these same tissues and enhances energy preparation. There are a variety production essential nutrients, like zinc, iron, of products available including § Protein - essential to build and protein and many B-vitamins. beef stew, pot roast, roast beef maintain strong muscles Many of them are also low in fat, and even pre-cooked steaks with § B-vitamins - vital to normal saturated fat and cholesterol, and gourmet sauces. In addition to growth and development, help can be designated lean according to unleash the energy in the food fully cooked entrees, there are we eat.1 USDA labeling guidelines. Most are also prepared ground beef moderate in sodium and fit easily crumbles, sirloin strips and 1. Mahan, Kathleen L., Escott- into a heart healthy diet. However, Stump, Sylvia. Krause’s Food shredded beef products. The Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 9th the amount of sodium in these crumbles can be used for making Edition. W.B. Saunders products varies, so if you are on a spaghetti sauce and tacos, or strips Company. Philadelphia: 1996. salt restricted diet, be sure to check can be tossed with fresh veggies the Nutrition Facts label. for an easy, healthful meal. Not all of these products have national Pre-cooked and pre-seasoned beef products are distribution, but several manufacturers have available in the fresh meat case of most major grocery developed similar products. Different grocery stores. Many of these products are widely distributed, store chains carry different brands, so be sure to and new ideas are being developed everyday, so check check all the retailers in your area.