Your Healthy Eating Toolkit for the New Year

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Many of us begin each new year with a list of resolutions, but by the end of January most if not all of those resolutions will likely have gone by the wayside, especially ones that concern diet and food. Why is it so hard to stick with these things? Well, old habits can be hard to break, and undertaking any kind of drastic change takes a special kind of willpower. If you have a specific goal -- to lose a certain number of pounds for your spring break vacation, then you do at least have that motivation. But no matter what your goal is, the key thing is to be realistic. Are you really going to give up carbs forever?

I'm a realist. I know I can't achieve those things. I don't think they're sustainable. But that doesn't mean to say I don't want to change some of my habits. So if your goal is to eat better, lose some weight, get fitter, you can do those things by setting achievable targets, by making small changes here and there that add up to a lot. So be patient, don't be disheartened if progress seems slower than you expected; in the case of weight loss, you're not going to lose weight faster than you put it on (and if you do, you won't stick to whatever method that got you there)

Here are a few things to help you if your goal is to eat less fat.

Olive Oil - Getty Images
Olive Oil. Getty Images

Know Your Fats

So you want to eat low fat. Well, that's fine. But know that your goal should not be to eliminate fat from your diet. Some people, for specific medical reasons, have to eat very low fat. Most of us, though, do not. Because some fat is needed in our diet for healthy skin and hair, for the proper absorption of certain vitamins, and so on, the goal should be to cut excess fat and to choose better-for-you fats, as I explain in "Good fats, bad fats." More »

Low Fat Foods - Fiona Haynes
Low Fat Foods. Fiona Haynes

Stocking Low Fat Foods: The Pantry

What will help you in your quest to reduce the amount of fat in your diet is to purge your pantry and restock it with healthier options. That way, you have the necessary ingredients on hand to prepare healthier meals, and little to tempt you off your chosen path. More »

Healthy Refrigerator - Martin Poole/Getty Images
Healthy Refrigerator. Martin Poole/Getty Images

Stocking Low Fat Foods: The Refrigerator

Same goes for the refrigerator. It's good to purge your refrigerator a few times a year, especially after the holidays and other celebrations. Plus, you're likely to find some out-of-date items you'd long forgotten about, so it's a useful exercise in any case. find out what you should be keeping to help you eat better. More »

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30 Ways to Cut Fat at Mealtimes

In your everyday life, it's easier than you think to trim fat here and there. Here are 30 ways to effortlessly cut fat from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More »

Stop Sign - Ariel Haynes
Stop Sign. Ariel Haynes

10 Things You Should Stop Doing

Now that you have a good idea of what you can do to cut fat, here are 10 things you should stop doing, the first of which might surprise you. More »

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Chicken Chili Bean Stew

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Chicken-stew.JPG - Fiona Haynes
Chicken and Chili Bean Stew.  Fiona Haynes

One of the best ways to enjoy chicken is in stew, where it can cook to succulent perfection amid an array of vegetables smothered in a flavorful sauce. This chicken stew is made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which although higher in fact than chicken breasts, impart a rich, satisfying flavor. The other advantage of using a slightly higher fat meat is that it doesn't dry out or fall apart easily. I also take the view that in a stew, the meat doesn't have to dominate.The beans are an added source of protein, and the flavors and texture are rounded out nicely with the vegetables.

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can pinto beans with chili seasonings
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a medium oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken thighs.

Brown the chicken on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add celery, onion, carrots, and bell pepper to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes until beginning to soften.

Return chicken thighs to the pot.

Add canned chili beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and water to the chicken and vegetables.

Stir, cover, and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with whole grain rice or artisanal whole grain bread.

Serves 4

Per Serving: Calories 402, Calories from Fat 46, Total Fat 5.2g (sat 1.2g), Cholesterol 94mg, Sodium 750mg, Carbohydrate 56.7g, Fiber 12.2g, Protein 32.4g

Tips and Suggestions:

  • If you prefer, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Can't find chili beans (I use S&W brand)? Use your choice of pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans and add your own seasoning when cooking the chicken and vegetables. I would suggest 2-3 tbs of chili powder and a tablespoon of chili. Additionally, add 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and cook with the list of vegetables.
  • Can't find fire-roasted tomatoes? No problem; simply use regular canned tomatoes instead.
  • You can make this stew in a slow cooker. If you have time, brown the chicken first. Place vegetables in the bottom of a four-quart slow cooker, top with browned chicken, add beans, tomatoes, and water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
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    Tangy Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015
    chicken-legs.JPG - Fiona Haynes
    Tangy Roasted Chicken Drumsticks.  Fiona Haynes

    In answer to the question, what would you like for dinner, my daughter suggested chicken drumsticks. As much as she likes chicken breasts, as I do, she thought it was time for a change. now chicken drumsticks are obviously higher in fact than chicken breasts, but that's OK. The leg meat is very flavorful, very forgiving of overcooking -- leg meat is moist -- and because it has a richer flavor than chicken breasts, you don't really need to eat as much of it.

    So the next question I asked my daughter was how we should cook the chicken drumsticks. With lemon, garlic and lots of black pepper, she suggested. Simple, but undoubtedly tangy and flavorful.

    Ingredients
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
    • 2 cloves garlic grated/minced
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks (6-8)
    • Pinch of salt
    • Generous grinding of freshly ground pepper
    • Prep Time: 480 minutes
    • Cook Time: 40 minutes
    • Total Time: 520 minutes
    • Yield: 3-4 servings
    Preparation

    Combine olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, oregano, and thyme in a small bowl.

    Place chicken drumsticks in a large resealable plastic bag and pour oil and lemon mixture over the chicken. Seal the bag and move the chicken around from the outside to make sure all the drumsticks are well coated.

    Place bag in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or overnight.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Meanwhile, heat a large oven-proof skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray on a medium to high heat.

    Remove chicken drumsticks from the bag with tongs and add to the hot pan. Cook the chicken, turning the drumsticks occasionally for 3-4 minutes.

    Add the marinade from the plastic bag and coat the chicken.

    Turn off the heat and carefully transfer the ovenproof skillet to the preheated oven.

    Roast the chicken drumsticks for 25-30  minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Serve with crisp green vegetables and either whole grain rice or quinoa.

    Two drumsticks per serving.

    Per serving:

    Calories 263, Calories from Fat 132, Total Fat 15.3g (sat 1.6g), Cholesterol 96mg, Sodium, 47 mg, Carbohydrate 0g, Fiber 0g, Protein 29.6g

    Tips and Suggestions:

    • Remove skin before or after cooking. Keeping the skin on while cooking keeps the meat juicy and succulent, but as the leg meat is naturally more juicy in the first place, removing the skin before cooking is fine.
    • Use fresh thyme and parsley in place of the dried thyme and oregano, if preferred
    • For an extra kick and an added dimension of flavor, add 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger and if you prefer more of an Asian accent, in addition to the ginger, add  2 tbs of reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari (which, unlike soy sauce, is gluten free) to the marinade, and omit the thyme.
    • If you prefer, use chicken thighs instead of drumsticks
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    Baking the Low Fat Way

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    One of the big challenges of adapting recipes to make them low fat or "lighter" is making those recipes not only taste good, but also have a good texture. Fat, of course, contributes greatly to both of these qualities, especially in baking. In baking, the interplay of certain ingredients relies on precise measurements, and in some cases, there really is no adequate substitute for, say, butter or eggs. Something generally has to give. So I can't say with one hundred percent honesty that you simply won't be able to tell the difference between a full fat version and a lighter one -- you most likely will, to some degree. But that doesn't automatically make the revised recipe a poor one. It may make it a little less rich, slightly more dense, perhaps. At the same time, by taking some precautions, we can avoid some of the pitfalls of low fat baking -- principally dryness and too much density -- by remembering a couple of key things: measuring flour properly (do not dip, scoop, and pack your cup -- gently spoon flour into measuring cup and level off with the back edge of a knife), and do not over-mix ingredients.

    Cake Mix - Fiona Haynes
    Cake Mix. Fiona Haynes

    1.  Making Low-Fat Cakes from Cake Mix

    Nothing beats homemade cakes or muffins, but sometimes when time is short it's OK to cheat and use those oh-so-convenient boxes of cake or muffin mix. In general, it's better, and cheaper, to opt for cake or muffin mix over the ready-made packaged cakes or bakery muffins you'll find on display at the grocery store because you can still exercise some control over the contents. More »

    Low Fat Blueberry Muffins - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Blueberry Muffins. Fiona Haynes

    2.  Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

    Warm, fresh blueberry muffins are hard to beat. I've cut the fat in these muffins by using a small amount of heart-healthy canola oil instead of butter or margarine, and fat-free milk instead of whole or 2% milk. Low fat buttermilk would work well, too. More »

    Low Fat Banana Cake - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Banana Cake. Fiona Haynes

    3.  Low Fat Banana Cake

    This low-fat banana cake is an indulgent treat, but with very little saturated fat, you shouldn't feel too guilty. But if you prefer to omit the frosting, that's just fine. Just a note about the bananas: the riper the better! More »

    Low Fat Morning Glory Muffins - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Morning Glory Muffins. Fiona Haynes

    4.  Morning Glory Muffins

    These wholesome, healthy and delicious muffins are especially good warm. Perfect for popping into lunch boxes or as an an after-school treat, these muffins will be gobbled up before the kids realize they're eating some veggies! For an extra nutritional boost, replace half the flour with whole wheat flour. More »

    Low Fat Pineapple Cake - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Pineapple Cake. Fiona Haynes

    5.  Easy Pineapple Cake

    This cake couldn't be simpler. It's meant to dense and fruity, and it makes a great cake to serve around Easter time, although you can make it for any season or occasion. More »

    One Bowl Chocolate Cake - Fiona Haynes
    One Bowl Chocolate Cake. Fiona Haynes

    6.  One Bowl Chocolate Cake

    A one-bowl cake means less clean up; a one bowl cake that needs only one cake pan means even less clean up. A low fat, one-bowl, one-layer cake also means less fat and fewer calories per slice. A win-win situation all round. This chocolate cake doesn't even need frosting, especially if you enjoy it warm. More »

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    A Lighter Easter Brunch

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    There is plenty of good news surrounding Easter Sunday for those who observe the religious holiday. And in terms of more earthly matters, such as your waistline, these Easter brunch options may also be good news. While lighter, these dishes are delicious additions to your Easter table. And in light of new dietary guidelines, which no longer demonize eggs, you can go ahead and eat these dishes without feeling as guilty about dietary cholesterol (subject, of course, to any dietary restrictions advised by your doctor).

    Savory Spring Bread Pudding - Fiona Haynes
    Savory Spring Bread Pudding. Fiona Haynes

    Savory Spring Bread Pudding

    This tasty and filling savory bread pudding dish is colorful, hearty, and delicious. It makes great use of seasonal asparagus.

    For best results, be sure to use stale bread (a day or two old). I say Italian here, but any artisanal bread will work beautifully. A whole wheat sourdough would be perfect, as well as adding a little extra fiber. More »

    Low Fat Crepes - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Crepes. Fiona Haynes

    Low Fat Crêpes

    Crêpes are thin pancakes which can be eaten in the same way as pancakes or rolled up with a filling of your choice. I like to sprinkle powdered sugar and lemon juice over mine and serve them with fresh fruit. Or you can drizzle them with warm maple syrup. More »

    Sausage and Mushroom Brunch Casserole - Fiona Haynes
    Sausage and Mushroom Brunch Casserole. Fiona Haynes

    Sausage and Mushroom Brunch Casserole

    This sausage and mushroom casserole saves fat calories by using chicken sausage, liquid egg substitute in place of some of the eggs, and reduced fat cheese. But feel free to use whole eggs and dispense with the egg substitute if you prefer. Do use whole grain bread if you can for added fiber. Prepare this casserole ahead of time. Refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning. More »

    Whole-Wheat Pancakes - Fiona Haynes
    Whole-Wheat Pancakes. Fiona Haynes

    Whole Wheat Pancakes

    Why settle for store-bought pancake mixes when you can so easily make your own, more wholesome pancakes? These whole-wheat pancakes are light and delicious. Serve with powdered sugar and warmed fruit compote or maple syrup. More »

    Light Asparagus Strata - Fiona Haynes
    Light Asparagus Strata. Fiona Haynes

    Light Asparagus Strata

    Thanks to eggs, cheese and milk, traditional stratas are high in fat and calories. Thankfully, you can lighten these dishes by using a blend of eggs and egg substitute, nonfat milk, and reduced fat cheese. It also uses whole wheat bread for an extra nutritional boost. To save time on the day, make this strata the night before or a few hours ahead if it's more convenient. If so, simply cover and refrigerate the strata until about a half hour before you want to bake it. More »

    Low Fat Herbed Zucchini-Mushroom Frittata - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Herbed Zucchini-Mushroom Frittata. Fiona Haynes

    Herbed Zucchini and Mushroom Frittata

    This light and fluffy Herbed Zucchini and Mushroom Frittata is perfect for Easter or Mother's Day. I use egg substitute to lower the amount of cholesterol, but you can also use a combination of whole eggs and egg whites if you prefer, or stick with whole eggs. Frittatas can be cut into triangles, small squares and can be served either warm or at room temperature. More »

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    10 Super Foods for a Healthy Diet

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    While there are all kinds of conflicting dietary claims out there, we can agree that there are some foods that belong in almost any diet. Here are 10 super foods for a healthy diet -- some of them do actually contain fat, but rest assured that these particular foods contain heart-healthy fats, and can form part an overall healthy diet.

    Avocado.jpg - Iacaosa moment/Getty Images
    Avocado. Iacaosa moment/Getty Images

    Avocados

    We should all include avocados in our diet, even if we eat low fat. While an avocado does contain fat, it's mostly in the form of healthy, monounsaturated fats, the kind associated with lowering cholesterol. The humble avocado is not only a good source of fiber, it's also a good source of potassium (more so than a banana), a number of B vitamins, folate, vitamin E and vitamin C. In addition to providing the main ingredient in guacamole, mashed avocado makes a great substitute for mayo in a sandwich, and it is also delicious chopped or sliced in salads.

    Blueberries.jpg - Karen Schuld/Getty Images
    Blueberries. Karen Schuld/Getty Images

    Blueberries

    Dusky indigo blueberries are packed with fiber and full of disease-fighting antioxidants. The contain almost no fat and are delicious by themselves, stirred into oatmeal or atop your morning cereal, or added to a healthy smoothie recipe. Need some ideas? Here are some blueberry recipes for you to try.

    broccoli.jpg - Adam Gault/Getty Images
    broccoli floret. Adam Gault/Getty Images

    Broccoli

    Broccoli is probably the most divisive of vegetables. It tends to rank among people's favorite or most hated veggie. I didn't like it much as a child, probably because it was overcooked. Now, it is definitely one of my faves. Which is a good thing, because broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, fiber and is a good source of many other key vitamins and minerals. Raw broccoli florets make a delicious snack, but I also enjoy steamed broccoli, broccoli soup, and any Chines dish that features broccoli. More »

    Eggs-GettyImages.jpg - Getty images
    Eggs. Getty images

    Eggs

    Those on low fat diets have often limited the number of eggs they eat based on the thought that the high level of dietary cholesterol is a factor in raising blood cholesterol. Well, the good news is that the latest dietary guidelines no longer suggest limiting eggs, as research shows no direct link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. The other thing with the poor egg's reputation was what it's often combined or paired with: often high-fat items such as cheese, sausage and bacon. Yet in its unadulterated form, for a mere 70 calories each, eggs pack a huge nutritional punch. Eggs are a good source of protein and contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, folate, phosphorous, riboflavin, vitamins A, D, E and B-12. Personally, I like nothing better than a soft-poached egg on wheat toast as a weekend breakfast option or a light lunch. More »

    Kale.jpg - Joff Lee/Getty Images
    Kale. Joff Lee/Getty Images

    Kale

    I know, kale is kind of the "it" girl right now, kicking arugula to the curb. It features in salads and smoothies, and it's also rather delicious sprinkled with a little olive oil and black pepper, and roasted. Kale is loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and it's a good source of fiber. I used it recently in this chicken, kale and white bean stew.

    Lentils.jpg - Westend61/Getty Images
    Lentils. Westend61/Getty Images

    Lentils

    Lentils are a great source of protein, an excellent source of folate, fiber and are packed full of all kinds of other minerals and vitamins, including iron. Long loved by vegetarians, lentils can also grace the plates of meat and fish lovers too. Enjoy lentils in a soup or as a base on which to serve some white fish, as I do with this cod and lentils dish.

    Oats.jpg - Westend61/Getty Images
    Oats. Westend61/Getty Images

    Oatmeal

    Oats are a great source of fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer, making it an ideal breakfast cereal. If I eat oatmeal, which I do frequently, even in the summer months, I don't feel hungry again until lunch time. The soluble fiber in oatmeal is also thought to lower cholesterol, so is good for heart health. The other great thing about oatmeal is that you can add another of our super foods to it -- blueberries -- for a  stellar start to your morning.

    Southwestern Quinoa Salad - Fiona Haynes
    Southwestern Quinoa Salad. Fiona Haynes

    Quinoa

    For those who can't eat wheat, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a great alternative to pasta and couscous. Even if you can eat wheat, a side dish or salad made with quinoa makes a nice change. Quinoa provides all eight essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein, making it popular with vegetarians. It's also a good source of iron, fiber and B vitamins. Despite its status as a super grain, quinoa is technically a seed. More »

    Broiled Salmon With Lemon Sauce - Fiona Haynes
    Broiled Salmon With Lemon Sauce. Fiona Haynes

    Salmon

    The American Heart Association recommends we eat fish at least twice a week. While salmon is obviously a "fatty" fish, the fats are the heart-healthy kind. Chock full of omega 3 fatty acids, which the body needs but can't manufacture, salmon should be included in all our diets, including low-fat ones. More »

    Walnut - Javier Pais/Getty Images
    Walnut. Javier Pais/Getty Images

    Walnuts

    While nuts are undoubtedly high in fat, they can still be a part of an overall lower fat diet. Walnuts, for example, are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), which, as we have noted with salmon, the body must have but is unable to make by itself. Walnuts also contain fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, and protein. I don't recommend gorging on walnuts for a snack; but adding some sprinkled walnut pieces to your favorite muffin recipe, adding a couple of tablespoons to your morning oatmeal or yogurt parfait, will give you a nice nutritional boost.

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    Low Fat Holiday Baking

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    When the holidays come around, one of the things I like to do most is bake. But if you're trying to cut fat, baking can present something of a challenge. The thing about baking is that it really is as much a science as it is an art, and as such there are tried and tested formulas that ensure the success of a cake or a cookie recipe. When it comes to low fat baking, and sugar-free baking too, there is some trial and error involved because we are messing with these formulas.

    Fat plays a central role, not only for flavor, but also for texture: chewiness, crispness, and what we call the "melt in your mouth" quality. Fat makes baked goods tender, by coating the proteins in flour, which inhibits gluten. So while you can bake without using fat, you will have a product with a very different flavor and texture -- very likely dense and possibly rubbery.

    So if you really do want to ditch the fat, you must change your expectations. With some experimentation, you may be able to approximate the taste and texture of a cookie or cake that's made with its regular, no-substitution ingredients, but you can't expect it to be exactly the same.

    That said, you can make perfectly yummy treats with a fraction of the fat and calories of their original counterparts. Which is why I generally use some butter in cookie recipes, for instance, although I do generally use vegetable oil, specifically canola oil, in muffins and quick breads.

    You must remember one key thing: when you measure flour, be sure to lightly spoon flour into your measuring cup and level with a knife. If you pack flour directly into your cup, you will have too much in terms of weight.

    So here are some lighter recipes for cookies, cakes, and muffins for the holidays and beyond.

    Healthy Cranberry Bars - Fiona Haynes
    Wholesome Cranberry Bars. Fiona Haynes

    1.  Wholesome Cranberry Bars

    Wholesome and delicious, these cranberry bars make a great holiday treat. and even once the holidays are over, you can make them using other fruit such as blueberries or raspberries. if you want to lessen the amount of sugar, you can try using one-third of a cup or your preferred sugar substitute that's suitable for baking . More »

    Low Fat Cranberry Orange Muffins - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Cranberry Orange Muffins. Fiona Haynes

    2.  Low Fat Cranberry Orange Muffins

    These delicious cranberry orange muffins have just the right balance of sweetness and tartness. The other thing about these muffins is that despite being low fat, they really are tender and light. More »

    Low Fat Thumbprint Cookies - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Thumbprint Cookies. Fiona Haynes

    3.  Thumbprint Cookies

    I firmly believe a little butter is necessary with these. I use just a 1/4 cup. Enjoy these little cookies with a cup of nonfat cocoa. This is the perfect cookie recipe for kids to make. More »

    Low Fat Holiday Cookies - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Holiday Cookies. Fiona Haynes

    4.  Holiday Sugar Cookies

    With almost half the butter of most sugar cookies, you can treat yourself to one of these low fat Christmas cookies without feeling too guilty. Top with sprinkles before baking or add a glaze afterwards using confectioner's sugar, lemon juice and some food coloring. More »

    Chocolate Crinkles - Fiona Haynes
    Chocolate Crinkles. Fiona Haynes

    5.  Chocolate Crinkles

    Get your chocolate fix with these low fat, low calorie chocolate crinkles. The keys to these soft chocolatey delights are to refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, and to roll them in plenty of powdered sugar before baking. More »

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    Five Lower Fat Dishes Made With Lean Ground Beef

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    Beef is one of the biggest sources of fat in our diet, and yet it is an important source of protein, zinc, iron, selenium and vitamin B12. We can certainly live without it. Or we can compromise by choosing lean or, better still, extra-lean beef so we can benefit from the key minerals and protein, but without consuming as much fat. To be clear, the terms "lean" and "extra lean" should not be interpreted as being the same as "low fat." Lower in fat, yes; low fat, not quite. You see, when you see that the package of extra lean ground beef contains 5 percent fat, it's referring to the percentage weight of the product, not the percentage of total calories.

    Four ounces of extra-lean ground beef (95 percent lean, 5 percent fat) is worth 155 calories, with 5.6 g of fat, or comprising 33.3 percent of its total calories.

    Still, it is always better, if you choose to eat red meat, to go with as lean a cut as possible. The concern, from the point of view of cooking, is having dry meat without the fat to add the juiciness. But you can easily compensate. Here are some lower-fat recipes using lean or extra-lean ground beef that work very well.

    Low Fat Mini Meatloaves - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Mini Meatloaves. Fiona Haynes

    Mini Meatloaves

    These low fat mini meatloaves are a big hit with kids and adults alike. For one thing, they're just the right size. Made from extra-lean ground beef and packed with shredded veggies, these mini meatloaves are packed with protein and minerals that all low fat dieters must have. Enjoy these low fat mini meatloaves with skinny mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. More »

    Low Fat Southwestern Burger - Fiona Haynes
    Southwestern Burgers. Fiona Haynes

    Southwestern Burgers

    These tasty, low fat burgers use extra-lean ground beef combined with mashed black beans to reduce fat content and make moist, flavorful patties. The jalapeno pepper, cumin and cilantro add a nice little kick. More »

    Low Fat Beef Tacos - Fiona Haynes
    Beef Tacos. Fiona Haynes

    Beef Tacos

    These low fat beef tacos make a delightful family-style dinner, where everyone can make their own tacos, starting with some warmed corn tortillas and seasoned extra-lean ground beef.  More »

    Low Fat Shepherd's Pie - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Shepherd's Pie. Fiona Haynes

    Shepherd's Pie

    This a low fat take on a classic English dish. Shepherd's Pie was traditionally made with leftover meat, either lamb or beef. This is a recipe that can be made ahead and frozen for later use. I often prepare it one day and use it the next. If you want to reduce the fat content further, use only 3/4 pound of beef and add an extra cup of vegetables--more peas or some sweet corn. More »

    Low Fat Pinto Bean and Sweet Corn Chili - Fiona Haynes
    Low Fat Pinto Bean and Sweet Corn Chili. Fiona Haynes

    Beef, Pinto Bean, and Sweet Corn Chili

    This is a quick and easy skillet chili dish that can be on the table in half an hour, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights. More »

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