Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meat Eaters Shopping Guide



   Today's post is for my fellow omnivores and carnivores, and if you find yourself in neither category... you are still invited to read on.
   Unlike most cultures, American's tend to prepare their meals around the protein... so, whether you eat meat as the main event, or just a small component, you should know how to find the best product out there .... Here we go:

Meat    
Beef:             
     There are many many different cuts of beef, and each requires a different cooking process.  What all bovine products have in common, is that just one 3 ounce serving providesmuscle-building protein along with Zinc, Iron, and Vitamins B3 and B6.
Leaner cuts such as tenderloin, eye  round, sirloin, and t-bone are  better  prepared by grilling, roasting, and broiling.

Fatter and tougher cuts of meet such as chuck, brisket and rump roast are best braised (cooked in liquid). 

Bison:
    This is a very common alternative to beef, also known as buffalo.  Like beef, it is full of Vitamin B3, Zinc and Iron.  It is also loaded with Vitamin A, which helps prevent cancer.  It is lower in fat than beef, so a great alternative if you are watching your cholesterol.

Great cooking options are grilling, stewing, and roasting.

Venison:
     Fresh deer has a distinctive gamey taste. It is an extremely low fat meat product that is high in Iron, Vitamins B2, B3, and B12.

Cooking preparations are grilling, stewing, jerky and chili.

* when choosing red meat, always check the packaging date... fresh is better.  Any fat should be white to ivory in color.  The flesh should be bright red or dark pink in color... oxidation can effect flavor.

Pork:
    Pork, the other white meat is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, Vitamin B, selenium and phosphorus. When trimmed, pork contains very minimal saturated fat.

Choose the leanest cuts of pork and trim away any visible outside fat before cooking.  Use dry cooking methods such as roasting, grilling,  and searing.

* when choosing pork, always check the packaging date... fresh is better. Any fat should be white to ivory in color. The flesh should be light pink in color.

Poultry:
Chicken:                                                                                                                                              
    This is an excellent source of low fat, low cholesterol protein.  Chicken  contains Niacin and selenium, which aid in cancer prevention and cell repair. 

For an even leaner dish, remove the skin and trim away any visible fat globs before cooking.  Poultry is incredibly versatile and can be cooked with dry or wet methods.

Turkey:
     Although the largest amount of this big bird is consumed during the holidays,  it is a very healthy and tasty option all year long.  Along with Vitamins B3 and B6, turkey contains tryptophan... the stuff that makes you snooze during the Thanksgiving football game.
For a tastey lean dish, remove the skin and trim away any visible fat globs before cooking. Poultry is incredibly versatile and can be cooked with dry or wet methods.

* when choosing poultry, always check the packaging date... fresh is better. Any fat should be ivory in color.  The skin should be ivory to light yellow. The flesh should be pink in color.

Seafood:
Bi-Valve:  
     This is category contains any shellfish that has 2 shells including:
Mussles,  Scallops (bay and sea), Clams, and Oysters.
     These are packed with nutrition and are low in cholesterol and calories.  They contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B12, Magnessium, and Potassium... this makes them especially beneficial for cardio health.

*If purchased fresh (notfrozen) bi-valves should ALWAYS be alive... you can check by tapping the shells... if they close,they are alive.  Shells should not be cracked.  The odor should be light and salty... not very oceanic.

Crustaceans:
    This category contains any shellfish that has a hard shell and a multitude of legs such as Shrimp, Lobster, and Crab.
    These are delicious, mild, and sweet sources of protein.   packed with nutrition and are low in cholesterol and calories.  They contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B6 and B12, Copper, Iron, Zinc, and Calcium which promote healthy brain, reproductive, and immune development.
*If purchased fresh, alive is ALWAYS better.  If you purchase frozen shrimp, shell on will help protect the flesh. The odor of any fish should be light and salty... not very oceanic.


Fin Fish:
    This category contains any fish that have fins and fleshy filets.  This includes a slew of varieties such as:
Halibut, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tilapia, tuna, swordfish, and,
whitefish.

* for whole fish - eyes should be bright and clear.  Dull-eyed fish may be safe to eat, but they are past their prime.  The skin should shine and look metallic and clean.  A fresh fish should smell like clean or lightly brined water.  The gills should be a rich red. Fish Fillets

* for fish fillets - look for vibrant flesh. All fish fade as they age. If the fillet still has skin it should  be shiny and metallic.  Fillets should have no pungent aromas.

      Enjoy your shopping excursions!  And as always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

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