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Ground beef is a very versatile meat that can be the main ingredient in many meals. While not all ground beef is healthy, many different healthy ground beef dishes can be made by incorporating some that is made from lean cuts of beef. Meat that contains less than 10% fat is considered lean. When cooking with lean ground beef, it is important to drain any fat left in the pan, after preparing the meat, to keep a dish healthy. Recipes that combine lean ground beef with vegetables and whole grains tend to be low in calories and fat while providing protein and nutrients.
One of the most popular healthy ground beef dishes is spaghetti with either a meat sauce or meatballs. When making ground beef meatballs, whole wheat bread crumbs should be used. A rich tomato sauce can be made with either fresh or canned tomatoes, both which have many nutrients. For a thoroughly healthful dish, the sauce, with either the meatballs or simply browned meat, can then be served over whole wheat pasta.
Tacos made with lean ground beef are typically healthy and filling. The meat should be seasoned with a blend of spices to give it extra flavor. Whole wheat tortillas can hold the meat and then toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, low-fat sour cream, and low-fat cheese, can be added. Tacos are often served with a Mexican-style rice, which can be made with long-grain brown rice to include extra nutrients and fiber.
There are also many recipes for soups that are healthy ground beef dishes. Such soups can be hearty while also being low in fat. Homemade or low-sodium beef broth should be used in these recipes. Adding vegetables to the dish provides extra taste and texture, as well as many vitamins. A number of different vegetables may be called for, depending on the recipe.
Several healthy ground beef dishes call for the minced meat to be stuffed into a vegetable. Stuffed tomatoes or bell peppers are easy meals to make, and usually consist of a flavorful beef filling that is well-seasoned. After being stuffed, the tomatoes or peppers are then usually baked in the oven and result in a dish that has a lot of taste, nutrients, and flavor.
Shepherd's pie is a popular ground beef recipe that generally consists of a mixture of beef and vegetables covered with a mashed potato crust. In addition to using lean ground beef, this traditional dish can be made more healthy by using a butternut squash, sweet potato, or carrot puree crust in place of the mashed potatoes. Vegetables commonly found in a shepherd's pie include peas, carrots, onions, and cut green beans.
You can even make lasagna a little more healthy if you use zucchini slices or spinach instead of noodles. You can also use part skim cheese, and that helps cut down on the fat content.
The healthiest way to eat is to use ground turkey or veggie crumbles, though. I use ground turkey most of the time. It does just as well as ground beef.
Still, you do want a good burger once in a while, and that's when I get out the grill and the hubs grills the burgers. Ground beef isn't that unhealthy. It's all the fat-laden stuff people tend to put with it.
One way to make sure your ground beef is a little healthier is to really drain it. I put my browned ground beef in a paper-towel-lined colander and let it drain before I put it in my sauce or the dish. I also use nonstick cooking spray instead of oil. That usually works pretty well.
Spaghetti is usually pretty healthy if you do use whole wheat pasta and you make your own sauce (easy to make), and you don't add much sugar.
The biggest mistake people make is using ground round and then covering it with cheese and potatoes or pasta. That's a bad idea if you're looking to eat a little more healthfully.
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