healthy grains to pair with beef

5 Healthy Grains to Pair with Beef

Feb 22, 2022 |  ,

Whether you have a goal to eat healthier in the new year, you’re looking to switch up your meal routine, or you want to impress your dinner guests, you don’t need to compromise on flavor or experience. Regardless of your meal occasion, a tasty, healthy grain and a delicious cut of beef can make the perfect duo for healthier eating (and wine and dining).

While “whole wheat” might come to mind when you hear “healthy grain,” there are plenty of tasty, easy-to-prepare, and fun-to-try grains that pair exceptionally well with beef. Read on to learn more about trending grains to add to your grocery list!

1. Farro (Pair with Natural Angus Chuck Roast, Stew Meat, or Ground Beef)

Farro has been well-loved (particularly in Italy) for thousands of years. According to leading sites like POPSUGAR, the ancient grain, originating from Mesopotamia, is making it into mainstream eats across the globe for its nutritional qualities and unique flavor. Farro offers a low-gluten, high-fiber alternative to traditional grains and rice, adding a nutty flavor and chewy texture to dishes like soups, salads, or even risotto. In meals like beef stew, farro enhances the hearty texture and adds nutrients such as vitamin B3, magnesium, and zinc.

farro grain with natural angus steak

Farro pairs particularly well with Natural Angus chuck roast or stew meat in soups, or you could try it with Natural Angus ground beef in a risotto with red wine and mushrooms. Either way, you’re in for a protein-packed, flavorful meal that also boasts plenty of vitamin B and minerals (learn more about the health benefits of beef).

2. Quinoa (Pair with Natural Angus Steak or Ground Beef)

While quinoa has become less of a trend and more of a staple in recent years, we couldn’t make this list without including this fiber-rich, protein-heavy, ancient superfood. Quinoa can be enjoyed on its own, as a side, or as an ingredient in your main dish. Quinoa is the seed of a plant, meaning it technically isn’t a grain, but health experts still consider it a whole-grain food for its nutrients and other properties. Quinoa can add extra protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals to new or traditional beef dishes alike.

quinoa with natural angus steak

If you’re looking to up your protein game with a gluten-free, versatile ingredient, try quinoa with Natural Angus beef cuts such as ribeye, flank steak, top sirloin, or ground beef. Ribeye with a side of garlic mushroom quinoa creates a balanced flavor and offers the juicy, buttery flavors that come with a good steak. Sirloin steak and quinoa make for an excellent burrito bowl—cook to your liking and pair with your favorite southwest toppings, such as black beans, corn, and pico de gallo. You can also swap out the rice for quinoa in our favorite recipe for Braised Sirloin Tips.

Quinoa always works well in Mediterranean-style dishes, so creating a Greek-inspired bowl is a delicious way to mix up your meal. Top quinoa with flank steak, tzatziki sauce, cucumbers, and tomato.

3. Barley (Pair with Natural Angus Stew Meat, Tenderloin, or Sirloin)

Barley is another classic powerhouse grain that frequently makes an appearance in soups (hello, beef and barley!) and stews. Barley is hearty, chewy, and subtle, yet offers numerous health benefits. According to Harvard Health, barley is rich in fiber, with about three times the amount per serving as oats, particularly in a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol. Barley also has several vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and folate.

barley with natural angus steak

Combine Natural Angus stew meat with celery, mushrooms, diced carrots, your favorite seasonings, and some dry red or white wine for a delectable beef and barley stew.

Looking for a non-soup option? Barley also pairs well with steak. Try Natural Angus beef tenderloin in this recipe for Three-Pepper Tenderloin with Mushroom & Leek Barley. You can also create a beef barley skillet dinner with Natural Angus sirloin, barley, and diced vegetables.

4. Bulgur (Pair with Natural Angus Ground Beef, Ribeye, or Hanger Steak)

Deemed “the whole grain for busy people” by Bon Appetít, bulgur (also spelled “bulgar”) is a tasty, versatile whole grain that only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Coming from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean roots, bulgur is light and nutty in flavor, and like other grains, provides a chewy texture when cooked.

bulgur grain with natural angus steak

Like quinoa, bulgur is rich in fiber and vitamins. It is particularly high in manganese, magnesium, and iron. Bulgur goes well with a wide variety of dishes — from burgers to stew, and even tabbouleh salad. Mix bulgur into Natural Angus ground beef patties for added texture and nutrients. Try bulgur as a side with a mouthwatering ribeye and mushrooms, or try hanger steak with a warm bulgur salad made with turnips and mint.

5. Brown Rice (Pair with Natural Angus Strip Steak, Sirloin, or Flank Steak)

Last, but not least on our list, is brown rice. Another trending favorite, brown rice provides B vitamins, dietary fiber, magnesium, manganese, and other nutrients. According to Cleveland Clinic, brown rice can also help you manage cholesterol and feel fuller longer.

brown rice with natural angus steak

Like many of our trending grains, brown rice has a subtle, earthy flavor, making it a versatile ingredient for many recipes. An easy substitute for white rice, brown rice is a favorite in Asian-inspired beef recipes like Mongolian beef (featuring New York Strip steak), steak fried rice (made with sirloin), and beef and broccoli (with flank steak or top sirloin).

Brown rice is also appetizing in rice pilaf paired with flank steak or in a southwest steak bowl (use skirt steak or sirloin with your favorite burrito bowl ingredients).

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Thinking of all the new recipes you can add to the menu this year? Check out our other blog posts for more cooking tips, recipes, or inspiration for creating fine dining at home and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay on top of the latest food (and beef) trends!