Five Lower Fat Dishes Made With Lean Ground Beef

Wednesday, November 4, 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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