Tag Archives: Ground Beef

Beef and Veggies Make Ahead Meal

Beef, carrot and potato one dish meal

(This blog is written by Zane Ehnes, UNL graduate student in Community Nutrition and Health Promotion.)

A very popular trend right now, especially among young adults either in college or beginning their professional careers, is meal prepping! Meal prepping is an easy and quick way to make meals ahead of time that are healthy and nutritious go-to meals for during the busy work week that will keep you on track for your fitness goals, whether they are to build muscle, lose or maintain weight!

For this week’s meal prepping, I decided to go with a ground-beef and potatoes recipe that seemed cost friendly but also easy to make! I did alter the recipe just a little bit to add more nutrition. The recipe calls for two main ingredients, beef and potatoes, but I thought adding carrots for antioxidants and beta-carotene and garbanzo beans for plant protein and fiber would be nice additions. These additions also are a cheap way to get more servings out of your recipe.

potatoes, carrots and garbanzo beans being prepped for a meal

This recipe is quick and easy to make with just a few common ingredients and little preparation.

Beef & Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 93% lean ground beef
  • 4 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 medium carrots, chopped (remove the green tops)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef seasoning packet, suitable for flavoring 1 pound of ground beef (Check if there is a low sodium version. In my recipe I used a taco seasoning packet, but you may use whatever you prefer. For example, chili seasoning, or any seasonings you have on hand at home.)
  • 1 (16-oz) can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (reduced sodium or no salt added)

Directions

  1. Brown 1 pound ground beef in large skillet, drain the fat.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, water and seasoning packet to the skillet.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
  4. Uncover, add beans and cook until excess water evaporates.
  5. Divide into equal portions in food containers, refrigerate for up four days.

Recipe slightly adapted from a recipe by Colorado State University and University of California at Davis, Eating Smart Being Active Recipes and featured in USDA Mixing Bowl at http://bit.ly/2fK9AVg

ground beef, carrots, potatoes and hamburger meals

Reheat and enjoy your pre-prepped meals within four days of preparing them.

Zane’s Tips:

  • Draining the fat from less lean cuts of ground beef removes much, but not all, of the fat. With the leaner options you aren’t paying for the excess weight from fat that you end up draining. And a comparison of the final yield and costs of a lean and a higher fat ground beef shows there is very little difference in cost once the fat is removed (pictured below). Use the US Department of Agriculture’s Ground Beef Calculator to determine the difference in nutrients between different percentages of fat and lean per similar weights of ground beef.
  • Rinse the garbanzo beans with water. This will help reduce the sodium by about 40%.
  • Prefer different vegetables? Go ahead and alter this recipe in any way that fits your preferences!
  • Transfer food, no more than 2-inches deep, into shallow containers.
  • Refrigerate within 2 hours after preparing.
  • Cover loosely with lid; close lid after food has cooled. Eat within 4 days.

Comparison of 80% Lean and 93% Lean Ground Beef

I wanted to show a visual comparison of cooked ground beef with different fat percentages. Below I have pictured on the left a glass-measuring cup filled to the top with 93% lean ground beef. On the right is a picture of the glass-measuring cup filled with 80% lean ground beef.

The important thing is I started out with about the same amount of both varieties. I had 1.07 pounds of the 93% lean ground beef and 1.05 pounds of the 80% lean ground beef.

You can see how cooking the ground beef dramatically changes the amount you end up with after draining away the fat. When comparing the price per pound of the two types of ground beef, the actual cost difference per cup was only about 15 cents.

Next time when you’re shopping for ground beef, remember the variety with the higher fat content may be cheaper but the cost difference isn’t that much. And … if you’re using it in a recipe where you can’t drain the fat, you’re adding excess calories to your final product.

meat-comparison

Comparison of 93% lean and 80% lean ground beef after browning and removing the fat

Stuffed Bell Pepper

pepperfinished

This blog was created by guest blogger, Sunny Arnold, a dietetic undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Do you love to host parties but don’t know what to serve? Are you looking for a new way to incorporate protein, vegetables and grains into your meals? This delicious stuffed bell pepper recipe gives a fresh look at healthy eating with new, exciting flavors. (The secret ingredient is a bit of cinnamon.) Sound interesting? Try it out!

This recipe can contribute to the USDA’s daily recommendations of three cups of vegetables, six ounces of protein and 6-8 ounces of grains (according to a 2,000 calorie diet). Make it optimally healthy by choosing whole grain brown rice, low sodium diced tomatoes and 90% lean ground beef. This recipe requires only about 20 minutes prep time and 40 minutes cook time!

Yield: 5 servings
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time:  1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 5 bell peppers (green, red, orange or yellow)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions:

1.   After washing the bell peppers, cut off the tops and remove the membrane and seeds from the inside.

IMG_1076.jpg

Clean, ripe bell peppers ready to be cut!

Peppers after tops are removed

Peppers after tops are removed

2.    In a large bowl, combine ground beef, rice, diced tomatoes, lemon juice and spices! Mix!

IMG_1081

Try whole grain brown rice!

yum

It may not look pretty yet, but it will soon!

3.   Scoop the meat mixture from Step 2 into the open bell peppers with a spoon!

4.    Put the stuffed bell peppers in a large stock pot on the stove. Add water to the stockpot to a depth of about 1 inch. Cover the stock put and cook on low for 30-40 minutes until rice is soft!

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Enjoy!

Recipe Source: http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/stuffed-bell-peppers