Food is our fuel and everyone is pressed for time, even cowboys. Protein needs must be considered every day and especially during physically stressful times. Because protein is needed not only to maintain energy levels, it also is needed to help control hunger and maintain lean muscle mass and muscle replenishment for hard working cowboys and cowgirls facing extreme conditions, students learning, and anyone thinking and working hard all day.
When I knew Pops, he was in his later years and his days of punching cattle were numbered. His concept of food was drastic and his ideals are the most basic of cowboy cooking.
“It’s just food. You’ve gotta eat it, doesn’t have to taste good.” Pops declares as he heaps ‘Cowboy Beans’ on each plate around the campfire.
‘Cowboy Beans’ not only tastes good it is loaded with protein and carbohydrates that we all need for energy to work hard, and to concentrate and ride all day in the pouring rain .
· Brown 2# lean hamburger, drain and set aside (protein 20 grams/85 g serving, 244 cal )
· 1 large can baked beans (protein 14 grams / 1cup serving, 382 cal )
· 1 small onion chopped
Bits of 1 slice of cooked bacon crumbled for flavor
1 small can diced tomatoes (fresh tomatoes when available).
I heat ingredients, until hot and bubbly @ 350, about 20min.
*Ingredients are listed for convenience sake. Cowpokes living far from town are not allowed the luxury of always having fresh ingredients. I have listed alternative fresh ingredients along with the good-old standbys. I do recommend always using the fresher items when available.
*Serve hot with a fresh tossed salad and my kids love this with corn-on-the-cob.
Protein consumption of between 10-35 % of total caloric intake, diminishes hunger and ensures maintenance of healthy muscle tissues. Protein is required to maintain energy balance, satiety and nutrient intake to promote health and support lean tissues in order to reduce risk of chronic diseases. Good quality proteins that are low in fats; fish, lean meats, poultry, whole-wheat cereals and grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy are essential to everyone’s wellness.
Good food and happy tummies are a “cowboys” preventive medicine. You Cowboys like to eat, and will come in from a busy day for a good meal.
Reprinted by kind permission of OLShepp, lives with her family on a ranch in Wyoming where she cooks and writes for the health of it. www.cookingforcowboys.com , provides simple recipes for healthy cooking on a budget.