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Traditional Meatloaf

18 Jan

I already have 2 fantastic meatloaf recipes on this blog, which are go-to comfort recipes for me.  However, I wouldn’t call either of them “traditional” meatloaf. I recently bought an instant pot electric pressure cooker, and I found myself wanting to try a meatloaf recipe in it, but that also led me to realize I hadn’t cooked a normal, traditional meatloaf in a long time.  So, I considered all the things I loved about my 2 existing meatloaf recipes, and added what I know about traditional meatloaf, and came up with this one.  A mommy’s on a diet original.  I’ve listed the traditional oven baking directions below, with a note at the very bottom for how to do this in an instant pot.

If you like meatloaf, try my other 2 recipes for Sweet and Sour Meatloaf, and Individual Meatloaf Muffins for a different flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 25 Saltine Crackers
  • 1 (5 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup ketchup
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP prepared mustard

 

Instructions

  1. Crush all 25 of your crackers and place them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add beef, tomato sauce, ¼ cup water, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl.
  3. If you’re using onions, put them in the microwave with 1 TBSP water for 30 seconds to soften, then dump into beef mixture
  4. Mix everything in the bowl together well. You can wear gloves and use your hands to do this, so you can really get in there and incorporate everything well.
  5. Form your loaf into whatever shape you like it and place it inside a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes. And then remove meatloaf.
  7. Mix all Sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and pour evenly over the top of meatloaf.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 400 and continue baking 15 minutes or until center of loaf reaches 160 degrees.
  9. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, and let it rest

 

Makes 8 servings= 263 Calories per serving


Editors Note: If you use 96%  or 97% lean beef, decrease calories by about 30 per serving.  Add another 2 TBSP water to beef mixture before baking to try to make up for loss of moisture with lower fat content. I recommend using a higher fat content (but still lean) like 90-93% lean.

Instant Pot Directions:

To make this in an instant pot, use 1 cup of water in the pot, and add a trivet.  Shape your meatloaf and create a platform to hold it using several layers of aluminum foil.  Place your meatloaf on foil, shaping the edges of the foil loosely up around the sides of your loaf. Top with about 2/3 of the ketchup mixture. Place the foil and the loaf on to of the trivet, and cook by sealing your pressure vent, selecting manual, 40 minutes, high pressure. Allow you can quick release the steam (QR).  Remove the meatloaf from the pan by lifting the trivet handles before taking the temp of the meat (if you take the temp inside the very hot pot, it will not give you an accurate reading) Use a digital meat thermometer to test center of the loaf, and if it hasn’t reached 160, place back in for 5 additional minutes at a time, QR, until temp is reached.  Once it’s done, spread remaining ketchup over the meatloaf, take it out of the pot and stick the meatloaf, foil and all on a baking sheet and throw it all under the broiler for a few minutes until ketchup is thick and sticky.  Allow the meatloaf to sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Mississippi Pot Roast

16 Jan

This recipe is crazy popular on the internet.  I have seen variations of it all over the web, and nearly everyone gives it 5 stars, so while i thought the combinations of flavors were unique, and I wasn’t sure how it would meld together, I decided to give it a try anyway.  I can’t take credit for the idea of mixing these ingredients together. However, i will take credit for putting a slight spin on it, in that i’m going to make it in the Instant Pot I recently purchased, I’m using pepper rings instead of whole peppercinis (i think they’ll be easier to eat) and I’m going to use light butter and bulk up the recipe with some veggies to make it a little more calorie friendly.  I will give slow cooker (crock pot) instructions below as well, since I know many of you may not have a pressure cooker available.

Editors Note: On second thought…Make the Gravy. This is literally the best brown gravy i’ve ever made in my life.  It is very rich and flavorful!

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb roast (I used lean, top round)
  • 1 envelope of Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 envelope of dry au jus mix
  • half a 16 oz jar of banana pepper rings + 1/2 cup of the juice
  • 2 TBSP oil of your choice
  • 4 TBSP of light butter (50 cal per tbsp)
  • 1 can of beef broth (only if you’re using an Instant Pot. not needed for crock pot)
  • 1 onion, quartered, Baby Carrots and 12 little potatoes (optional, not included in calorie count below. please track calories for veggies separately based on what veggies you use)

Editors Note: Note, I am using whole small potatoes with the skin on.  There is not much liquid starting out in this recipe if you’re using the crock pot, so i’d be afraid to use cut up potatoes with the inside exposed, as they might oxidize and turn black during cooking. If using the Instant pot, cut up potatoes or even turnips or radishes would work.

Instructions:

If using a Crock pot:

  1. Use paper towels to dry the meat well.  Salt and pepper meat to taste.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the meat on all sides to seal in the flavor once it begins to cook.
  3. If you’re using the veggies, toss them into the bottom of the crockpot here.
  4. Place meat in crockpot, and pour envelops of au jus and ranch directly on top of the meat.  Rub spices into the top and sides of the meat the best you can. Place peppers (but not juice yet) on top of the meat along with the butter.
  5. Pour the pepper juice around the sides of the meat.
  6. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  7. Shred or slice the beef.  Remove the veggies for serving. Serve with or without peppers.  You can use corn starch to thicken the remaining juices into a gravy if you like (calories for corn starch not included here).  If this is something you want to do, remove your meat and veggies, pour the juice from the crockpot into a small pan. Disolve the cornstarch into about 1/2 cup of water. Pour cornstarch slurry into your pan drippings and whisk until thickened.

If using the Instant Pot (IP) electric pressure cooker

  1. Use paper towels to dry the meat well.  Salt and pepper meat to taste.
  2. Turn your IP on saute and wait for it to become hot. Heat oil in the IP and brown the meat on all sides to seal in the flavor once it begins to cook.
  3. Remove meat from IP and pour in pepper juice and broth. Deglaze the pan by scraping off all the bits of meat that stuck to it during browning.
  4. Place meat inside the IP, and pour envelops of au jus and ranch directly on top of the meat.  Rub spices into meat the best you can. Place peppers on top of the meat along with the butter. Don’t put your veggies in at this point or they will turn to mush.Leave them out. We will get to those later 🙂
  5. Using the Manual setting on your IP, set the timer to 60 minutes at high pressure.  Make sure your steam vent is in the closed position.
  6. Once your 60 minutes is up, allow the IP to depressurize naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes before Quick releasing (QR) the remaining pressure.
  7. At this time, open the IP up and check your meat for doneness.  If the meat is tender, and at 180 degrees in center, you’re good to go.  If not you might try bringing it back to pressure in 10 min intervals using QR until it reaches the texture you like.
  8. Once meat is a good texture, add veggies into the pot around the meat.
  9. Use the manual setting again, with the pressure valve closed, and set the IP for 6 minutes.
  10. Cook for 6 min and then Quick Release.
  11. Cut or shred your meat, and remove veggies.  Serve with or without the peppers. You can mix about 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch with some water, and add into the broth if you wish to make gravy.  Just use the saute feature on the IP and wisk the mixture together until it thickens.  Note that corn starch* and veggies are not counted in the calories shown below.

Makes 6 Servings.  Calories reflect meat only. Calculate Veggies separately based on what veggies you choose to use.

6 Servings= 343 Calories per serving

*If you use 3 TBS of cornstarch to thicken the gravy, and still have 6 servings, calories are slightly increased to 358.

Italian Meatball Sliders

26 Oct

This is a recipe that I originally tried through a home delivery service.  I ordered it, made it, liked it, but I saw a lot of opportunity to alter it and make it more calorie friendly, so that’s exactly what I did.  This is one we’ve eaten about 3 time in my house now, and the kids love the little surprise of melted cheese in the middle.  The husband loves that he can have a “meatball sub” basically for much lower calorie count. Either way, this one is a winner, and I hope you guys enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean beef (i used 92%)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese (shreds, not powder)
  • 2 low calorie mozzarella string cheese sticks*
  • 1 cup of prepared pizza sauce
  • 8 mini slider buns*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together: Ground beef, garlic powder, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix thoroughly using a spoon or clean, bare hands.
  3. Place the mozzarella sticks on a cutting board and cut them each into 4 even segments.
  4. Form 8 meatballs from the ground beef mixture you’ve made and spread them evenly over the foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Use your thumb to press a deep well in the center of each meatball, large enough to insert one of the pieces of mozzarella.
  6. Shape the top of the meatball to cover the mozzarella, sealing the cheese in tightly so it reduces the amount of overflow that occurs during cooking/melting.
  7. Bake the meatballs for 25-30 minutes in the oven.
  8. Once meatballs are done, remove meatballs and foil from the pan and place the buns on the baking sheet, tops and bottoms separated from one another so the center of the bun is facing up.
  9. Place the buns into the oven and broil breifly until they are lightly browned.  Don’t take your eye off of them… it doesnt take long to go from lightly brown to “somebody call the fire department!”
  10. In a small skillet, heat the pizza sauce to warm, and place meatballs, cheese side up into the sauce.  Use tongs to move meatballs around just enough to pick up some sauce on the outsides.
  11. Remove buns from oven, and place 1 meatball on each bottom bun.  Spoon a little sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with extra parm if you’ve got it, and place the top bun over the meatball.  Enjoy.

*Editors note:  I used premade slider buns that were 80 calories each. My cheese sticks were 50 calories each.  You can freeze the cheese sticks ahead of time if you feel yours melted too much during cooking.

Serving size= 2 Sliders   446 calories

Serving 1 slider= 223 calories

**NOTE: I am no longer following weight watchers and am no longer comfortable calculating weight watchers points values with any accuracy.  Please feel free to use your ww recipe builder to calculate points if necessary.

meatball

 

Beef Eggroll Tacos

20 Mar

I love the idea of fusion cuisine:  Taking 2 cultures and smooshing them together to create something delicious.  I also, incidentally, love food trucks.  My favorite food truck is a little place called “traveling kitchen” in Louisville, Ky.  They serve korean street tacos.  A beautiful mix up of korean and mexican cultures, and they are delicious.  That’s where I drew inspiration for this one.  That, and a recipe for a low carb dish that people call “crack slaw”… These are yummy.  You can adjust the chili paste if you like things spicy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP of minced garlic
  • 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix (cabbage, carrots, etc from the produce aisle)
  • 3 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp asian chili paste
  • 1 packet of splenda no-calorie sweetener
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 12 small (6 in) flour tortillas (mine were 110 calories each)
  • Pickled Onions
  • Sriracha to taste

Instructions:

1. Season ground beef with salt and pepper, and brown in a large skillet. Remove beef from the skillet and set aside.

2. Heat sesame oil in the same pan you used to cook the beef.  Add the garlic and slaw mix, and cook on low-medium heat, stirring frequently.  Cook until slaw mix is cooked through and cabbage becomes almost transparent.

3. Add beef back to the skillet, along with:  Soy sauce, chili paste, splenda, ginger, and vinegar.

4. Cook all together, stirring regularly, for about 3-5 minutes.  Taste before serving, and salt/pepper according to taste.

Garnish with pickled onion and sriracha if desired.  (Sriracha sparingly–it’s super spicy)

*picture below does not show pickled onions or sriracha- not reflected in calorie count (though the calories are minimal)

Makes 12 generously stuffed tacos (2 per serving)

1 serving= 390 Calories

  

 

 

 

Beef and Barley Soup

14 Sep

This is a soup that I’ve only experienced from a can.  Nobody in my family ever made anything with “Barley” in it.  I wasn’t even sure what barley was until probably college… I knew it came in a can of vegetable beef soup, and that was about it.  But for some reason the other day I thought to myself… self… “i’m gonna make beef and barley soup, and I already know what i want in the broth!”  So, I set out throwing together ingredients, and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  Best part? This all cooked in the crock pot while I was 2 hours away at a baseball game.  It’s about as low maintenance as you can get.  My husband doesn’t enjoy soup, so I often share what I make with my neighbors.  They gave it their official seal of approval, so here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of cubed stew meat (beef)
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced (fresh or canned) mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 40 oz of beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 can of condensed french onion soup (i used campbells)
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked pearl barley

Directions:

  1. The first thing I did was take the stew meat, which is already cubed into about 1 inch cubes, and i cut the pieces into 4’s.  I wanted this soup to have lots of pieces of easy to chew beef, vs having big hunks of beef like a stew.
  2. Once you’ve cut your beef, place it in the bottom of the crock pot, and throw everything else right in on top of it.
  3. Stir the mixture around a couple times and then cook the whole thing for 8-10 hours on low.
  4. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Makes 9 (1 cup) servings= 185 Calories per serving

Appx 4 weight watchers points plus per serving

Beef and Mushrooms

29 Jul

It’s funny that this recipe happened to coincidentally be posted right after a very similar chicken recipe. Regardless, I thought this was yummy, and sort of reminded me of beef stroganoff. I liked this dish over rice, and will make it again. It could easily be “beefed up” (Pun intended) to be a real stew by adding your favorite veggies (I’m thinking celery, carrots…) Anyway, enjoy.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of stew meat

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (12 oz) can of clear diet soda (sprite zero, diet 7 up, etc)

1 envelope lipton onion soup mix

1 small-medium onion, chopped

1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, ¼ tsp-1/2 tsp)

 

Directions:

  1. Place everything except mushrooms into a crockpot and cook on low 4-6 hours.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook an additional hour, stirring periodically.

Serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, etc…

 

Makes 4 servings

350 Calories per serving

Appx 11 weight watchers points plus per serving

Vegetable Beef Soup

18 Mar

Hi Friends!  Winter is winding down here in Kentucky, so I thought I would take this last cool week (i hope) to make a pot of Vegetable soup.  Now, Veggie soup is something I’ve made since, well, I don’t even remember when.  But, for whatever reason, I never thought to post it here.  Veggie soup is so versatile, which is one of the things I love about it.  For instance, nobody in my family ever made meatless vegetable soup, but I cooked it for 10 years during my vegetarian days.  My mom always included stew meat, and my granny always made it with ground beef.  Today, we’re going to go the ground beef route, but if you’re a vegetarian, you could easily just leave the beef out, so I’m going to mark this one “vegetarian friendly” over there on the categories column as well.

One of the characteristics I always found interesting in my granny’s soup, was her ability to get the ground beef to break up into a very fine texture.  I asked her how she did it like that, and she just said she didn’t really know.  So, after years of experimenting (including a couple of years where i literally poured a whole lb of ground beef into a blender) I finally got my own technique that works.  You’ll notice the “boil and stir” method in my directions below.  If you like big chunky ground beef, you can skip that and omit the broth altogether.  This is not my Granny’s recipe per-se, but it combines her beef technique with my mom’s addition of chopped cabbage, which is my favorite thing about her soup. So this is the best, of both.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 2 cans of original “Veg-all”
  • 1 Large can of V8 juice (use the whole thing- 46 oz)
  • 1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chopped raw cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, on the stovetop, combine 1 lb ground beef and 1 can broth.  Cook on medium, and stir the heck out of the beef until it all breaks up into a weird beefy sludge. (appetizing, i know…but this is how you get the really fine beef I talked about).  Continue cooking on stovetop, and stirring, until all the beef has browned.  Then drain the beef in a colander over the sink.  You don’t even need the broth. It’s strictly for beef-texture purposes.
  2. Now, combine all those other ingredients, including beef, into a crockpot or a large pan on the stove top.  If you’re using the crock pot, cook on low for 5-6 hours.  If you’re doing the stovetop, just simmer it for an hour or so until the cabbage is nice and done.

Makes 10 cups of soup

1 cup = 145 calories per serving

Approximately 3 weight watchers points plus