Quick Reference – Meat, Beans, Grains, and More

I get really tired of searching for basic information every time I make certain foods. So, I asked one of my cooking groups if anyone knew where to find all the info in one easy to use place, and got a couple of very helpful links.

Proportions and cooking times for beans and grains can be found at Vegetarians in Paradise.

This USDA Safe Food Handling Page has everything from doneness temperatures of meat to how long leftover pizza will keep when refrigerated or frozen. There is a lot of helpful information here. However, I must warn you, the doneness temperature information is incomplete. Roasts, whole birds, etc., raise in temperature by about 10 degrees after you take them out of the oven, so if you wait until they reach the desired doneness to remove them they will be overcooked. Also, they don’t list rare beef because it is not longer considered “safe”.

You can find more information on temperatures and times for roasting beef at What’s Cooking America? They explain the beef doneness issue –
“To satisfy government home economists, the Beef Council says rare beef means an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Well, that is ok if you like well-done and dry meat. If you like moist, rosy meat (like I do), rare begins at 120 degrees F. and starts to become medium rare at 125 to 130 degrees F.”

There is a great article on the Mar Jennings Site that explains more about meat and your health. Here is an excerpt:

“While many people will eat red meat well-done, it is not the healthiest option. It destroys the enzymes and denatures the proteins. What does that mean? Raw food in its natural state contains enzymes which help you digest it. When you fiddle with the food by cooking it, you destroy the enzymes and make your body work harder to break it down so that you can utilize the nutrients. It’s the same for protein. When proteins are denatured, it means that the protein molecule structure has been altered from its original state. Combine this with a high saturated fat content and you don’t exactly have a health food. Therefore, I always recommend eating red meat rare or medium rare. Well done meat is dead food and is best avoided.”

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