Ground Beef 5 Ways

by in 1 Food, 5 Ways, September 7, 2009

Stuffed Peppers
Folks may warn you away from red meat, but don’t believe them. Beef can be part of a healthy diet and provide good amounts of iron and protein. The trick is to choose the right recipes, use lean cuts and stick to smart portions. Here are five easy ways to enjoy ground beef guilt-free.

Sloppy Joes
Okay, so Sloppy Joes are an obvious one, but still a beloved classic. Forget the canned stuff (and lose all the extra sugar and salt that comes along with it) and make your own. It’s pretty easy to make your own sweet and sour sauce and mix it in with ground beef and veggies (more fiber). We serve ours up whole grain rolls or over brown rice or quinoa with a fresh garden salad on the side.
RECIPE: Sloppy Joes

Stuffed Peppers
To keep the calories and fat in balance, make ground beef a smaller part of the meal, not the main attraction. With all the peppers in season right now, I’ve been playing with some different versions of this basic stuffed pepper recipe.
RECIPE: Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Taco Salad
Ground beef in a salad? Absolutely! All you need is a mix of veggies, beans and a sensible portion of ground meat for this easy weeknight dinner (leftovers make a tasty lunch, too). Beans add fiber and energy-boosting B-vitamins, thiamin and riboflavin. Beef also contains two different B-vitamins (Niacin and B12) that helps with energy and healthy red blood cells. I created an easy recipe that everybody loves.
RECIPE: Dana’s Taco Salad

Mini Burgers
We can’t skip burgers on this list. Get the flavor for less calories and fat by downsizing. These little sliders work as fun finger food for guests or can be a complete meal along with green beans or potato salad.
RECIPE: Mini Memphis Burgers

This thick, flavorful meat-and-veggie sauce goes great with pasta or slices of bread. This recipe, from Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis, does it right — one pound of meat for six people, not two! I like to serve my Bolognese with small portions of whole grain pasta (about 1.5 cups cooked per person) and a big salad.
RECIPE: Simple Bolognese Recipe

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Comments (36)

  1. Alicia says:

    Is lean ground beef better than ground turkey? We are ground turkey eaters. Should I switch to ground beef? Or just buy it occasionally to mix things up a bit??

  2. Sarah says:

    I like ground turkey as well. I think they're both good, and our family eats both (more turkey than beef.) I know that poultry (chicken and turkey) is better than red meat. Something like… lots red meat is proven to cause heart problems and cancer and all sorts of other problems. But they say that about everything these days… I think having red meat every once in a while is alright, but every night is unhealthy.

  3. danawhite says:

    Hi Alicia –
    I would recommend mixing it up. Turkey breast does tend to be lower in fat than lean beef but they can both fit into a healthy diet. Make sure to always get ground turkey breast meat, "ground turkey" is much higher in fat and calories.

  4. Rachel says:

    I made tacos last night with 96% lean ground beef and they were SO good!! Sometimes beef is underrated.

  5. Joe says:

    I found a recipe where shredded purple cabbage was added to the Sloppy Joes. I tried it, and it is great. Cabbage adds fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus also adds a crunch. Kids love them just as much as the regular ones. I always reduce or eliminate the salt in recipes, and let people add their own. Many recipes are plenty salty without adding what is specified, as the dish gets salt from other ingredients.

  6. Paige says:

    The comments they made in the article are true. Ground beef is an excellent source of protein and vitamins and is healthy when consumed as part of a healthy diet. Aside from lean ground beef there are also 29 other lean cuts of beef available to consumers.

  7. Alicia says:

    Thanks! I'll start mixing it up a bit then! :-) So 96% lean ground beef is the best kind out there? Sorry, I'm not used to buying red meats, so I have no idea what to look for.

  8. Susan says:

    My husband's cholesterol has gone up recently so we are eliminating anything that thinkmis high in cholesterol and adding in more whole grains. We hope this can keep it at a level where he doesnt have to go on medications. Because of this, we eliminated beef. Are we doing the right thing?

  9. danawhite says:

    Hi Alicia –
    The type of ground beef to use may vary depending the recipe you're preparing. I typically like to use the 90% lean – in some recipes the 95% or higher can get a little dry.

  10. beow says:

    My favorite store carries a 93% lean ground beef which I find to be a great compromise between taste and healthiness for ground beef. Just switching from a 80% to 93% beef is a big fat difference…

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