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I Like Meat March 16, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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When I was 13, I somehow got hold of a copy of Mother Jones magazine.  After reading an article about veal calves, I went downstairs and informed my mom I wasn’t eating that anymore.  Banning veal from my diet was my gateway to vegetarianism, and I ended up a happy lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 10 years.

Enter my husband, who says he’ll eat spinach if it’s mixed into something (as in, not on it’s own or on top of something) but when I put it in stuff he pokes at it and asks “Is that spinach?”  I have to admit, he was a bad influence on me, because not long after our relationship began, I started eating fish and poultry again.  I stayed strong on the red meat front, however, for over twenty years until I drastically changed my diet to avoid migraine triggers (it’s a longer list of no-no foods than you can imagine).  I’ve since found that sometimes in restaurants the only thing I can eat is a steak.  Hunger wins out over ideals.  Sorry.  Well, not really.

I still have friends and family that freak out when they see me eat meat.   Maybe it’s because I enjoy it so much.  I love my beef rare.  Really rare.  Blue, even.

But, you can’t always go for the filet mignon.  Sometimes, you need a concoction that is easy on the cook, easy on the wallet, and easy on the waistline.  I have it on good authority that the following recipe is delicious:

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

Servings: 4

4 medium russet potatoes
8 oz 93% lean ground beef
1 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 cup water
1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese, divided
.5 cup fat free sour cream (Tilamook is the best!)
3 scallions, chopped
.5 tsp kosher salt
.25 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1) Bake potatoes in microwave according to manufacturer’s instructions (or pierce clean potatoes all over with fork, cook for about 20 minutes on medium, turning a couple of times).

2) Meanwhile, brown beef in large sautee pan over medium high heat, about 3 minutes. Remove beef from pan and discard fat.  Place broccoli and water in pan, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain broccoli.

3) Cut off top third (lengthwise) of each potato and save for other use or discard.  Carefully scoop out insides of each potato, leaving an intact shell.  Mix the beef, broccoli, sour cream, .5 cup cheddar cheese, scallions, salt and pepper into potato innards.   Replace potato mixture into each shell (you will have to mound it up pretty high). 

4) Arrange potatoes into a microwave safe baking dish, sprinkle remaining .5 cup of cheddar over the tops, and nuke for about 5 minutes or until hot.

Calories 282.9
Fat 4.5 g  
Cholesterol 39.7 mg  
Sodium 639.3 mg   
Total Carbohydrate 35.1 g  
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g  
Protein 26.1 g

Served with some roasted veg and a big salad, this makes quite a meal.  Of course, I can’t eat this as prepared because of the dairy and the scallions, so I just leave those out for myself.  Without the dairy, though, the beef, potato and broccoli mixture is a bit dry and crumbly.  I have found that adding a few tablespoons of chicken stock or get this – applesauce – to the potato can add just the right amount of moisture.  It probably also will reduce the calories per serving but I haven’t bothered calculating.

There are infinite ways you could modify this recipe to fit your tastes and dietary requirements.  You could flavor this up with diced jalepenos, red pepper flakes, or any spice or herb that takes your fancy.  To reduce the carbs, you could sub steamed cauliflower for a portion of the potato innards.  To lower the fat and boost the fiber, you could try a can of canellini beans in place of the beef.  I wish I could try that one, but unfortunately beans are a migraine trigger.  If you try it, or any other modifications, let me know how it turns out!



1. Ian - March 21, 2012

For truly good meat, you have to go back to the farm. Free range, grass-fed (for beef), pesticide/gmbh free fed animals have amazing taste and texture, nothing like the mass-produced stuff.

Remember, a happy cow makes a yummy cow.

2. Maureen - March 23, 2012

Fed this tonight to one 20 something living at home college grad, one fanatical cycling husband always in search of carbs and calories, and me. Big hit, thanks!

3. starshipexercise - March 23, 2012

Ian, I agree that grass fed beef is the way to go. I will go to great lengths (and expense) to get the good stuff, or as my husband calls it, “Hippie Meat.” As if I would eat hippies.

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