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Barbecue, BBQ, barbeque. Talk about confusing! Not only does the word "barbecue" have multiple spellings, but it also has multiple meanings. "Throw it on the barbecue." This implies a cooking method where food is cooked outdoors, generally on a grill. "We're having a Memorial Day barbecue." In this instance, barbecue is a gathering where food is cooked outside over a fire, on the grill, or in the smoker. "Let's have barbeque pork sandwiches." Here, barbecue refers to a type of food, usually a meat covered in a sweet or tangy sauce. However, you spell it or use it, Memorial Day often starts the barbecue season, and it's important to keep food safety in mind.

Before marinating raw meats, read the recipe to see if part of it is to be used as a sauce. If so, save a portion before letting it come into contact with raw meats. When taking food off the heat source, use a clean platter, not one that held raw meat. Always use a food thermometer and cook to safe temperatures ( Enjoy the season of barbecue!

Grilled Steak and Peppers Salad with Pears (Printable PDF)


2 cups (4 oz.) whole grain rotini pasta, uncooked

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

½ teaspoon olive oil

12 oz. boneless choice beef top sirloin

2 pears, cored and sliced thin

3 cups arugula

¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar

¼ cup 100% white grape juice or apple juice

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

1 Tablespoon salt-free Italian herb blend

In a small bowl, whisk all vinaigrette ingredients; set aside. Boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions; drain. Heat grill. Rub peppers with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Grill whole peppers, turning as needed, until skin begins to brown and bubble. At the same time, grill beef sirloin to 145°F, turning once. Remove from grill, let cool slightly. Slice peppers into strips, discarding seeds and stem. Cut sirloin across the grain into thin slices. Slice pears into thin wedges. Toss arugula and pasta in large bowl. To serve, evenly divide pasta-arugula onto four plates, arrange beef, peppers, and pears on top, drizzle with vinaigrette, and sprinkle with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 360 calories, 12 grams fat, 330 milligrams sodium, 44 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 27 grams protein

Source: USDA Mixing Bowl