Special to the
Opelika Observer

Alabama beef cattle producers encourage consumers who are finding themselves in the kitchen more often than usual to utilize beef in their family meal plans during the “Stay at Home Order” issued by Gov. Kay Ivey on April 3.
In response to growing concerns of COVID-19, consumer frenzy led to escalated retail buying, with beef sales at grocery stores up 75 to 95% in mid-March compared to a 2019 report, according to CattleFax.
“It’s a reflection of the times,” said Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) Executive Vice President Erin Beasley. “Families would typically be eating out more often this time of year because of busy springtime schedules. With more meals prepared at home than usual, family meal planners are on the hunt for new recipes that change up the status quo.”
On April 3, Parade Magazine released an online article outlining 85 Ground Beef Recipes to Make Dinner a Whole Lot Easier. This article offers ideas for slow cookery, casseroles and even keto-friendly recipes. Meals such as Grilled Cheeseburger Pizza, Chili Cornbread Casserole and Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Subs upcycle familiar favorites into new, exciting dishes for families to enjoy.
“Great timing,” one River Region consumer noted. “We bought 10 pounds [of ground beef] last week when we couldn’t find other meat at the store. There were some things I haven’t done in ages like nachos with toppings, patty melts, meatball subs and a couple variations of recipes like stroganoff.”
On April 2, Alabama-based Registered Dietitian, culinary instructor and cookbook author Dr. Carolyn Williams unveiled the first of her new 10 Minute Dinners Series on her blog and YouTube channel – a dish titled Oven Flank Steak. “This is one of my favorite go-to’s when I need an easy dinner and also a win that the kids will eat, and it’s so beyond simple that I had to share it,” she is quoted in her YouTube instructional video.
The dish only requires two ingredients, flank steak and seasoning, and can be served as-is or sliced to star in fajitas, sandwiches or quesadillas.
‘Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner’ is also a great tool for consumers who are looking for recipes or even an educational outlet for their new homeschoolers. The website, funded by the Beef Checkoff program, features thousands of unique beef recipes, explores the many cuts of beef, introduces viewers to America’s beef farmers and ranchers and is a tool for exploring beef’s bold nutrition.
While a majority of consumers are largely navigating the new territory of working from home, Alabama farmers are still at work as agriculture was an industry deemed “essential” by the governor.
“Alabama’s cattlemen are working for you every day to ensure that your family can continue to enjoy a high-quality, safe and nutritious product at home,” said ACA President and Elba resident Larry Reeves.
For more information about beef or beef recipes, visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.