Most cardiologist agree that beef is something that should be eaten in moderation. Granted, you can increase the health factor by choosing leaner cuts like filet mignon, lean ground beef, and beef tenderloin. But, the next problem is the sauce: Steak is often prepared in a way that adds a lot of sodium, and sodium + beef’s inherent saturated fat = a heart attack on a plate.
Beef does, however, have some health benefits. It’s rich in protein and iron, and organic lean beef has been shown to be a good source of vitamin B-12, which has anti-cancer benefit and may prevent osteoporosis.
So, aside from the standard “everything in moderation” mantra, how do we get the benefits of beef without clogging the pump? Let’s look at the recipe at the bottom of the post.
This recipe gets two very important things right: It calls for a cut of beef that is naturally lower in fat, and it stays away from cream sauces and cheese, instead opting for naturally low fat and low calorie herbs and wine for flavor. Unfortunately, it also calls for soy sauce and beef stock, and even though these are low sodium versions, there’s still room for improvement.
First, replace the rest of the beef stock with an additional 3/4 cup of wine and 3/4 cup of water. Then, replace the soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce, which has sodium, but only around 3% of your daily value per serving (as opposed to the 25% or so in low sodium soy sauce).
Worcestershire sauce is probably my favorite replacement for soy sauce. It’s not QUITE the same flavor, but it’s pretty close, and most people don’t miss it. Not only is it much lower in sodium than soy sauce, but most brands in the US are gluten free. And, although traditional Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies, Annie’s Naturals makes a vegan version.
TL;DR: Feel free to play around with our Holiday Gift-a-Meal recipes and make your substitutions if you’re watching your sodium intake.
4 shallots, finely chopped
1/2lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 cups dry red wine
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock
freshly ground black pepper
4 (4oz) filet mignon steaks
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1. In a small saucepan, set roughly 1 inch of water to boil. When the water boils, add the asparagus, cover, and remove from heat. Set aside to steam.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes. Add 1 cup wine and 3/4 cup beef stock and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Remove mushrooms to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to high and cook wine mixture until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes).
4. Season steaks with pepper. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add steaks. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side, until desired doneness is reached. Set aside and keep warm.
5. Combine soy sauce, 1/2 cup wine and remaining consommé to skillet; scrape skillet to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Add mushroom mixture and dried thyme; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over steaks and asparagus. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.