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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

W4DW- Steak and Pasta Salad

Last week I promised to show you how I feed my family of 4 with one leftover steak.  As fast as my boys are growing, I am not sure how much longer I will have a leftover steak when we grill.  My mom came up with the idea for this recipe when I was a kid and it has been a family favorite ever since.  I haven’t really talked about why I think it is important for recipes to be a favorite of the whole family.  We try to eat together as a family almost every night.  That means everybody eats the same thing…I am not a short order cook.  Even when we are super busy in the field, one of us tries to come home and eat the evening meal with the boys…unless the grandparents have volunteered to take care of getting them supper.

May is Beef Month in Kansas and National Salad Month, so here is my family's recipe for Steak and Pasta Salad.  This salad is great for a quick meal or that end of the weekend, Sunday evening meal.  I started with one small ribeye steak, carrots, celery, cheese and vegetable rotini pasta.  You can use whatever vegetables you have in the house and like in a pasta salad.  We have used asparagus, broccoli, and tomatoes before, but I was short on vegies in the house and short on time when I made this.  Your quantities will depend on your family’s tastes and preferences and the fresh vegetables you have available.

Cook the pasta according the package directions and drain.  I then place the pasta in ice water to cool it down quickly and drain when it is cool to the touch.  It seems I never have a lot of time for meal preparation this time of year. Did you know that the protein in beef is referred to as complete, because it delivers all the essential amino acids people need for great health.  Vegetables and grains also contain protein but in lesser amounts.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.  I like to add a tablespoon of Italian salad dressing so the pasta doesn’t stick together.  My boys, like most kids, are addicted to Ranch dressing so they like to put Ranch on it; however, I like Italian salad dressing on mine.  Did you know that Ranch dressing (along with approximately 75% of the items in the grocery store) contains soybeans?

This is a quick and easy way to get a cool meal on the table during the hot summer months.  I like to take the leftovers in my lunch box to the field, but as the boys get bigger, there are fewer leftovers in this household.  We are having a busy week of putting up hay and checking cattle.  We have one bull that is severely injured and won't be breeding any more cows this season.  He is getting TLC at home and we are shuffling bulls around, so all the cows will have a boyfriend.  Have a great rest of the week everyone!  Let me know if you like this quick and simple recipe. 

For more Beef facts and recipes check out -A Kansas Farm Mom.