Recipe: Heart healthy recipes for Valentine's Day

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- February is American Heart Month and the Wisconsin Beef Council has recipes that are certified by the American Heart Association.

To talk about an economic way to enjoy two healthy meals, News Channel 7 was joined by Angie Horkan with the Wisconsin Beef Council.

Enjoying lean beef in a heart-healthy lifestyle is easier than you think with these recipes featuring lean beef, fresh vegetables and whole grains.

Beef Pot Roast with Cider Gravy and Maple Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
1 beef Shoulder Roast Boneless (3 to 3-1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup unsalted beef broth
3/4 cup apple cider
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut crosswise into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons brandy or water

Instructions
Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place beef roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Remove roast; pour off drippings and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Add onion and thyme to stockpot; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth and cider; increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until browned bits attached to stockpot are dissolved. Return roast to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-1/2 hours.
Cook's Tip: Fresh apple cider is sold filtered and unfiltered. Filtered cider looks clear and is lighter in color than unfiltered cider, which is deep brown and cloudy due to apple pulp particles. Unlike apple juice, fresh cider is perishable and must be refrigerated before opening. Always purchase pasteurized cider.
Add sweet potatoes and garlic to stockpot; continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes and pot roast are fork-tender.

Remove roast; keep warm. Remove sweet potatoes and garlic with slotted spoon to large bowl, leaving cooking liquid in stockpot.
Add maple syrup, ginger, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to sweet potatoes. Beat until sweet potatoes and garlic are mashed and smooth; keep warm.
Cook's Tip: Sweet potatoes may also be mashed using a food processor.
Skim fat from cooking liquid; stir in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened.
Cook's Tip: To easily skim fat from cooking liquids, use a fat or gravy separator. The spout on this special pitcher is positioned at the bottom so as fat rises to the surface the liquid below can be poured off separately.

Carve roast into slices; serve with mashed sweet potatoes and gravy.
Alternate Cooking Method:
This recipe can be made in a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. For optional browning, select Sauté or Browning setting on pressure cooker. When pressure cooker insert is hot, brown beef roast on both sides; remove beef. Add oil and onions; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth, cider, 2 large thyme sprigs, salt and pepper; top with beef roast. Close and lock pressure cooker lid. Use beef, stew or high-pressure setting on pressure cooker; program 60 minutes on pressure cooker timer. Use quick-release feature to release pressure; carefully remove lid. Add potatoes and garlic. Close and lock pressure cooker lid. Use beef, stew or high-pressure setting on pressure cooker; program 10 minutes on pressure cooker timer. Use quick-release feature to release pressure; carefully remove lid. Continue as directed in Step 4, making sure to remove thyme sprigs from cooking liquid and placing liquid in medium sauce pan. (This recipe variation was tested in an electric pressure cooker at high altitude. Cooking at an altitude of less than 3000 feet may require slightly less cooking time. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Test Kitchen Tips: Fresh apple cider is sold filtered and unfiltered. Filtered cider looks clear and is lighter in color than unfiltered cider, which is deep brown and cloudy due to apple pulp particles. Unlike apple juice, fresh cider is perishable and must be refrigerated before opening. Always purchase pasteurized cider.
Sweet potatoes may also be mashed using a food processor.
To easily skim fat from cooking liquids, use a fat or gravy separator. The spout on this special pitcher is positioned at the bottom so as fat rises to the surface the liquid below can be poured off separately.

Creole Steak with Jambalaya Rice

Ingredients
4 beef Sirloin Tip Steaks, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) no-salt added diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in 3-quart saucepan until hot. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, press remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning evenly onto beef Sirloin Tip Steaks. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cooking in batches, place steaks in skillet (do not overcrowd) and cook 1 to 3 minutes for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning once. (Do not overcook.) Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with remaining steaks and oil.
Stir tomatoes and rice into saucepan with vegetables. Cover and continue cooking 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.

Serve steaks topped with rice mixture.