Shelly’s Cooking Corner – Grilling the Beef

Succulent pieces of juicy, lean beef dripping with muscle-fortifying flavor are a quintessential part of summer grilling and an integral component to a bodybuilder’s diet. With a mouthwatering marinade or a rub of herbs and spices, red meat effortlessly surpasses the bland taste of white-flesh fish, chicken, or cuts of lean pork.

The following recipes transform beef tenderloin, flank steak, and top sirloin into easy to grill dishes you can enjoy throughout the grilling season.

Beef naturally has a higher fat content, which lends to its unbeatable flavor. Very lean cuts of beef can be used but may lack flavor and tenderness. To further reduce the fat in these recipes, cut the amount of olive oil in half.

Recipe 1.  Beef Tenderloin with Shitake Mushrooms and Green Beans (Makes 2 servings)

Saucy shitake mushrooms and tender green beans add earthy flavor and tantalizing texture to the succulent slices of steak. With this dish, getting your protein and vegetable quota is quite the tasty endeavor. Sugar snap peas or hulled edamame (fresh soybeans) can replace the green beans for variety. Regular button mushrooms, sliced portabello, or other wild mushrooms can be substituted for the shitake.


  • 2 (5-ounces each) trimmed beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or more to taste
  • Pinch of salt or more to taste
  • Coarse-ground pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • Pinch of salt or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce or tamari


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Rub steaks with olive oil and season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, simmer green beans in salted boiling water for five minutes. Drain and hold aside. In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over a medium flame and add shallots and garlic to the pan, cooking until soft.

Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add sherry and soy sauce, cooking to reduce by one third.

Add green beans to pan, tossing to coat with sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.

Wipe the grill grate with oil, using tongs and a paper towel. Place steaks on grill, cook for two minutes on each side to seer the outside.

Reduce heat to medium, if using a gas grill, or move to a cooler part of the charcoal grill and cook for an additional four minutes on both sides.

Remove steaks from grill, allowing them to rest for 5 to 6 minutes and then slice against the grain into one-inch slices.

Top each steak with mushrooms, green beans and sauce and serve.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Calories 490; Protein 40 grams; Carbohydrates 19 grams; Fiber 3 grams; Total Fat 24 grams (Saturated Fat 6 grams; Monounsaturated Fat 13 grams; Polyunsaturated Fat 5 grams); Cholesterol 110 milligrams; Sodium 602 milligrams.

Recipe 2.  Grilled Flank Steak with Rosemary Garlic Paste (Makes 2 to 4 servings)

Flank steak is a cut gaining in popularity, particularly for fajitas. A simple wet rub of rosemary, garlic, and olive oil infuses the beef with fabulous flavor. Slices of the steak can be paired with steamed quinoa or brown rice and leftovers can be warmed and wrapped in whole wheat tortillas with fresh salsa for next-day meals.


  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak


Chop garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Use the flat edge of the knife and crush garlic and salt into a paste.

Add rosemary and olive oil and continue to mix into a paste. Rub on steak and set aside.

Preheat grill to high. Wipe the grill grate with oil, using tongs and a paper towel.

Grill the steak until the steak is seared and brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip the steak using tongs and grill until the interior of the steak is cooked just less of your desired doneness, 2 to 5 minutes for rare or medium-rare depending on thickness of steak and heat of the grill.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let steak rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak very thinly against the grain and serve.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving, based on 4 servings):

Calories 278; Protein 36 grams; Carbohydrates 1 gram; Fiber less than 1 gram; Total Fat 13.5 grams (Saturated Fat 4 grams; Monounsaturated Fat 7 grams; Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 grams); Cholesterol 108 milligrams; Sodium 159 milligrams.

Recipe 3. Tropical Beef Kebabs (Serves 4 to 6)

Kebabs are a must on the backyard grill. Warm weather cooking wouldn’t be the same without chunks of beef threaded on skewers with juicy fruit and crisp-tender vegetables. The large selection of fruits and vegetables make kebabs a dish with near-infinite variations. For best flavor, allow beef to marinate 6 to 8 hours or overnight. To keep wooden skewers from flaming on the grill, soak them in water for 30 minutes before skewering food. Metal skewers do not need to be soaked.

Marinade – Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Meat: 1 1/4 pounds top sirloin, trimmed, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes*

Fruits and Vegetables – Ingredients

  • 3 cups pineapple cubes (1-inch cubes)
  • 3 limes, cut into 1/4-inch slices (do not peel)
  • 1 medium orange or red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 red onion, halved, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper to taste


To maximize flavor, cut beef into cubes then butterfly each cube by placing the tip of the knife in the center of a cube and slicing down so that only one half of the cube is cut all the way through. This will increase the surface area exposed to the marinade. When skewering, simply hold the cut together and slide on skewer as an intact cube.

Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add cubes of beef. Toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, preheat grill to high.

Place fruits and vegetables in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients until well-coated.

Thread each skewer with a piece of pineapple, an onion wedge, a slice of lime, a cube of beef, and a square of bell pepper. Repeat sequence two more times, a total of three times per skewer.

Grill kebabs, turning a one-quarter turn every 1 to 2 minutes, or until beef is browned and cooked to medium-rare.

Transfer to a serving platter and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving, based on 6 servings):

Calories 279; Protein 22 grams; Carbohydrates 14 grams; Fiber 2 grams; Total Fat 15 grams (Saturated Fat 5.5 grams; Monounsaturated Fat 7.5 grams; Polyunsaturated Fat 2 grams); Cholesterol 68 milligrams; Sodium 49 milligrams.

Written by Shelly Sinton

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