Deadline nears for beef cook-off contest
AMES – The Iowa Beef Industry Council is calling on home cooks to start grilling, broiling, roasting, stir-frying and stewing on their healthy beef menu ideas for the 2013 National Beef Cook-Off recipe competition.
Iowa home cooks have until Monday to submit their best beef recipes online at www.beefcookoff.org for a chance to win $25,000 and a trip to the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington, D.C.
This year’s contest theme is “Making the Most of MyPlate,” which will encourage delicious, healthy recipes from a variety of food groups. Entrants are asked to develop original and tasty beef-focused recipes that include broadly appealing ingredients from the fruit and vegetable, grain products and dairy products groups. The MyPlate initiative is led by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and is designed to help consumers make better food choices.
“The recipe contest is all about creating fresh, simple to prepare recipes with a healthy focus,” said Nancy Degner, executive director, Iowa Beef Industry Council. “We are encouraging Iowa home cooks to choose ingredients from a variety of food groups, including lean beef, to create their mouthwatering recipes.”
The 2013 National Beef Cook-Off features four unique contest categories demonstrating beef’s versatility and encourage creativity with a variety of ingredients, cuts and preparation methods.
This year’s contest also includes two new sponsorships. The sponsorship with the California Avocado Commission features a pairing of lean beef and fresh, California avocados in easy California cuisine recipes. The sponsorship with the United States Potato Board pairs lean beef and fresh potatoes in easy and healthy international cuisine recipes.
The four recipe categories include:
• Belt-Tightening Beef Recipes, which are healthy and affordable beef recipes that are great values to prepare.
• Semi-Homemade Beef Recipes combining beef and fresh ingredients with prepackaged food products.
• Real Worldly, Real Simple Beef & Potato Recipes, which are easy and healthy lean beef and fresh potato recipes that feature international flavors.
• Craveable Fresh Beef & California Avocado Recipes, which are easy, fresh beef and avocado recipes highlighting California cuisine and cooking trends.
To enter the contest, participants must visit www.beefcookoff.org and use the online entry form. Contest participants may submit multiple recipes in all of the various contest categories as long as they meet the contest rules and criteria, which are provided on the website.
All original recipes entered will be reviewed and judged based on taste, appearance, convenient preparation and cooking, and healthfulness and nutritional balance.
A group of food marketing and culinary professionals will select 20 finalists in June. Consumers will have the opportunity to select the 21st finalist recipe via online voting. From the 21 finalists, seven $1,500 regional winners will be announced in July.
One different $25,000 grand prize winner will be announced, from the remaining 14 finalists in November at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington, D.C. The grand prize winner will be selected based on the highest overall scoring recipe.
To view the complete contest rules and explore winning recipes from past contests, visit www.beefcookoff.org. The contest is open to legal U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older and reside in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.