For the last five months, I’ve been making a conscious effort to increase my iron intake (doctor’s orders). Unfortunately, my lab tests seem to indicate that I’ve been doing just the opposite…eating less iron. Although I’m very discouraged that my levels haven’t improved, I’m continuing to follow these orders, and eating the most iron-heavy food out there (at least the one’s that I can stomach), including, but not limited to:
Eggs (the yolks are iron-heavy)
Shellfish (this will be much easier in the summer!)
I’ve been diligently been cooking/eating red meat at least twice a week, and I’m pretty sure if I eat any more green vegetables I’ll turn into one. Plus, I eat walnuts and raisins in my oatmeal every day. So what, I ask, am I doing wrong? Apparently, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States. Who knew? NOT ME!
Hopefully, by increasing my consumption of iron-heavy foods even more, along with consuming more iron supplements, my iron levels will increase.To be honest, I’m getting sick of plain old hamburgers, I’m tired of tacos, and I don’t crave a big steak very often. My Grandmother’s original Barbeque Beef and Bean Chili has recently been my go-to red meat recipe. It’s full of flavor, simple to assemble, versatile, and only has 6 necessary ingredients. You could easily turn this into a vegetarian recipe by subbing additional types of beans (such as kidney or cannellini) in for the lean meat, or using tofu or another meatless alternative.
BBQ Beef ‘n Bean Chili
1 package lean hamburger meat
½- ¾ container BBQ sauce (I used honey flavored)
1 can Baked Beans ( I used a homestyle blend, 14.5oz)
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
1) Coat skillet with cooking spray.
2) Thoroughly cook hamburger meat on medium heat.
3) Once cooked, add BBQ sauce and beans to the mixture.
4) Stir thoroughly, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
5) Add molasses (Don’t forget to spray your measure with cooking spray!), Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Stir into the mixture.
6) Cover, and turn down heat to low. Simmer the dish for 5-10 minutes, or until it reaches your desired thickness.
This is the perfect dish to serve with a side of cornbread, in a whole-wheat sandwich roll, or on top of a salad (spinach for me, of course!). For a heavier barbeque flavor and a thinner consistency, use more sauce. For less flavor and thicker consistency, use less sauce. I typically stick with ½ a container of sauce because I’ve learned that a little barbeque sauce goes a long way!
Tonight, I stuck with good ol’ green vegetables as my side dish: a combination of broccoli, green beans, and brussel sprouts. See Mom, I really am trying!!!!
What are your favorite iron-filled foods? Any recipe ideas to share?