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By Family Features
Special to Valley News 

Diversify the dinner menu


Last updated 5/16/2019 at 5:29pm

Courtesy photo

From sandwiches to salads, the versatility of beef can help home cooks build out a full menu with a wide array of protein-rich dishes, such as Beef Parmesan Sandwiches.

Crafting quick, easy, nutritious meals is one of the most common goals for home chefs, yet it may sometimes be difficult to keep the menu feeling fresh and new. By introducing a variety of ingredients, home cooks can broaden the horizons of their family's dinner options.

For creative family meals, consider these globally inspired recipes that highlight inventive ways to incorporate beef as a main ingredient in nearly any dish. From sandwiches to salads, the versatility of an ingredient like beef can help home cooks build out a full menu with a wide array of protein-rich dishes. With recipes like these, beef can become a staple on the family's weekly menu.

Beef Parmesan Sandwiches

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Serves: 6


6 beef cutlets, 3 ounces each

Salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg wash

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup vegetable oil

12 tablespoons tomato sauce

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

6 slices provolone cheese

6 slices mozzarella cheese

6 sub rolls


Heat oven to 350 F.

Pound each beef cutlet between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap until 1/4-inch thick.

Blot meat dry. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge in flour; shake off excess. Dip in egg wash and dredge in breadcrumbs.

In large skillet over medium heat, heat about 1/8-inch oil to about 350 F. Working in batches, add breaded cutlets to hot oil and pan fry first side until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn once and pan fry second side until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 F, about 1-2 minutes.

Drain on paper towels or wire rack set over baking sheet.

Add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce to each beef cutlet and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese on top. Add one slice provolone and mozzarella cheese to each cutlet.

Place them in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt.

Add cutlets to sub rolls and serve.

Beef Za'atar Flatbreads

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


1/4 cup za'atar seasoning

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 package of flatbreads

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 pound ground beef

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 tomato, cored and chopped

Chopped parsley, for garnish


Heat oven to 425 F. In small bowl, combine za'atar seasoning and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Spread about 1 tablespoon za'atar mixture on each flatbread. Arrange flatbreads on large baking sheet; set aside.

In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat remaining olive oil. Cook onion 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef and cook 4-5 minutes until no longer pink, stirring to break up meat.

Remove skillet from heat; stir in feta cheese. Spoon 1/4 beef mixture onto each flatbread. Sprinkle each flatbread with tomato. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until hot. Sprinkle each flatbread with parsley.

Mediterranean Grilled Salad

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


1 large orange

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 12-ounce beef cutlet, pounded to 1/4-1/8-inch thick

1 bulb fennel, trimmed, halved and cored

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups cooked farro

2 cups packed baby arugula

1 head radicchio, cored and torn

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

1 ounce Parmesan cheese


Grate 1/2 tablespoon zest from orange; reserve orange. Stir zest into salad dressing.  

Using a knife, remove skin and pith from the orange. Use a knife to cut between fruit and membrane to release each orange section. Squeeze membrane to extract 1/4 cup juice; reserve juice and orange sections.

In bowl, whisk reserved orange juice, mustard and salad dressing. Remove 1/4 cup dressing to re-sealable food storage bag. Add beef cutlets to dressing in bag. Re-seal bag and turn several times until they are coated with dressing; set aside.

Prepare grill or heat grill pan over medium-high heat on stovetop. Remove beef cutlets from dressing; discard dressing. Grill cutlets 5-6 minutes, turning once. Remove them from heat. Place on cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Thinly slice fennel halves and place in bowl. Add red onion, farro, arugula and radicchio; toss. Add beef, orange sections, reserved salad dressing and hazelnuts.

Draw blade of vegetable peeler across surface of cheese to make thin ribbons. Toss to coat with dressing. Divide salad among four bowls.

Beef, Spinach and Tomato Arepas

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Serves: 4


1/2 pound beef cutlets

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 green onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups packed baby spinach

4 arepas, 5 inches in diameter

1/4 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese


Courtesy photo

Keep the menu feeling fresh and new with Beef, Spinach and Tomato Arepas.

Pound beef cutlets into 1/4-1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch strips. Place in bowl and toss with cumin and chili powder.

In 12-inch, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook beef strips 1-2 minutes. Remove them to plate; keep warm. In same skillet over medium heat, cook green onions and garlic 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt; over high heat, heat to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes until slightly reduced.

Stir in spinach. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until spinach wilts and is tender. Return beef to skillet; heat through.

To serve, heat skillet or griddle over medium heat. Toast arepas on each side until lightly browned and heated through, turning once.

Cut each arepa in half horizontally. Top bottom half of each arepa with beef mixture. Sprinkle each with cheese; replace arepa tops.

Funded by the Beef Checkoff.


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