Quick & Easy Meat Sauce

Quick & Easy Meat Sauce Low Fat Recipe

Quick & Easy Meat Sauce
Serves 3
Can be doubled | Makes great leftovers | Can be frozen
Vegetarian Substitutes

There’s just something about a hearty pot of homemade meat sauce, sometimes nothing else will do. I don’t get cravings for red meat too often, but when I do, it’s almost always for this recipe. As the cold weather season approaches, the craving has struck. And since it’s so quick and easy to make, I’ve just whipped up a big batch! I enjoy this rich, flavorful meat sauce not only with pasta, but also with brown rice, boiled potatoes, or even mixed together with steamed vegetables for a delicious, nutrient packed bowl of goodness. I usually make a double or triple batch (shown here) and freeze it in smaller portions so I’ll  have a few quick meals on hand for when the craving strikes again.     ~ Susan

Ingredients:

1 lb very lean ground beef – we get our pasture-raised beef from a local farmer
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped scallions
1 tablespoon dry granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes – try Muir Glen organic
1 6 oz can tomato paste – mixed with 2/3 cup water
sea salt to taste

Instructions:

Heat a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add scallions and sauté for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add ground beef and use a spatula to break up the meat as it cooks, until it’s all crumbled into small bits and cooked throughout.

Add herbs and spices, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste/water mixture.

Add sea salt to taste, stir it all together and bring it up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, let simmer for a few minutes, just until you see the oil separating from the sauce. It’s ready!

I recommend making enough for leftovers – it only gets better.

Serving Suggestions:

It’s great with whole grain pasta. I love it over sliced boiled potatoes or a bowl of brown rice too.
You can serve it over a bed of steamed vegetables if you want to eat low carb.
When I reheat leftover portions of the sauce I like to add any combination of broccoli, chopped green beans, carrots, mushrooms, spinach and/or kale.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

Grind seitan in a food processor until it’s coarsely “crumbled” and use that in place of the beef.

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Asian Style Flank Steak

Asian Style Flank Steak
Serves 3 to 4
Can be doubled| Can be halved| Makes great leftovers

Being Hindu, beef was never a part of my diet. While my parents didn’t forbid my sister and I from trying it outside the house, I had eaten it only a handful of times and in small doses like a bite of a McDonald’s hamburger or in a lasagna and never really took to the taste. My impression of beef as a high-calorie food with a sub par taste changed when I became pregnant with my daughter.  I was looking for ways to bump up my iron intake- a key nutrient when you’re expecting- and turned to my good friend and amazing nutritionist Allison who suggested that I try flank steak. She explained that the calories are on par with chicken breast, it’s low in fat and that few foods can match its iron content.

I’ve always heard that your child ends up liking what you ate frequently during pregnancy, and maybe flank steak is one of Meenakshi’s favorite foods because I ended up enjoying this meat often thanks to Allison’s introduction. Now, it’s on the menu in our house at least once a month, and we prepare it in several different ways. Our latest creation is this Asian marinade which infuses the meat with a deep ginger and garlic taste. We love these flavors  and tend to go heavy on them, but you can adjust the amount you use to your liking. Remember when you slice the cooked steak, cut it against the grain, which makes for an absolutely succulent texture.

Ingredients:

1 pound flank steak
1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (you can use less or more)
1 tablespoon of minced ginger (you can use less or more)
2 teaspoons sesame oil (canola is a fine substitute)
1/4 to 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey or agave
Red chili flakes to taste
Salt and black pepper if needed, to taste.

Instructions:

Marinate the flank steak in all the ingredients for at least an hour and for up to 2 hours.

Preheat a non-stick grill pan or regular pan on medium-high.

Cook steak to liking. The amount of time will depend on the thickness of the meat. My steaks tend to be medium-thick and average four minutes a side.

Serving Suggestions:

Sliced shiitake mushrooms and thin slices of red pepper sauteed in a touch of oil or any steamed vegetable like green beans topped with lightly sauteed garlic slices are great veggie sides with this dish.

To get in your whole grains, try brown rice or soba noodles mixed with chopped scallions, ginger, a little soy sauce and some red pepper flakes.

Substitutes:

Use this marinade for cubed tofu, seitan, salmon, chicken breast or tuna steaks.

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