Under 30 Minutes to Low-Fat Beef Chili

It has been so cool outside in Birmingham the past few days, so I made one of my kid’s favorites-Basic Low-Fat Chili recipes. With 260 calories and 4.4 grams of fat per serving, you can feel good about eating this heart-warming, simple chili, which my kids love.


My 10 Chili-Making Tips:

1. If your chili is too thick, use broth to dilute it.

2. If the chili is too thin, add tomato paste.

3. Use the best beef you can buy, and add it first.

4. Use fresh vegetables.

5. Cook the chili a day before you plan to eat it.

5. Use dried spices that are fresh.

6. Make a double batch for future meals.

7. Serve leftover chili in tacos, spaghetti, burritos or as a filling in omelets or quesadillas.

8. A touch of unsweetened cocoa powder or coffee give chili an earthy flavor.

9. Freeze leftover chili in an airtight container in individual servings for easy, quick heat-up.

10. Serve as a “Chili Bar” with accompaniments such as sour cream, Greek yogurt, shredded cheeses, onions, crushed blue corn tortilla chips, chopped cilantro and chopped tomatoes.

Note: If you don’t have time to make this recipe. Here’s an awesome shortcut. Purchase the Publix Brand Chili Seasoning Mix and combine with beef, tomato sauce and red kidney beans (as directed on the package), and it tastes like homemade.

Sunday Night Dinner: Mediterranean Burgers

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Burger night is always a huge hit at my house because the kids love it whether I make regular cheeseburgers or more unique such as Mediterranean Burgers. These are wonderful with ground beef, ground turkey or even ground lamb. I like to serve them with Greek-style yogurt (my favorite is Fage) mixed with diced cucumbers, fresh herbs and a touch of lemon and garlic.

Hearty Comfort Food: Traditional Beef-Sausage Lasagna

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My brother-in-law, Eric, requested that I give him some hearty “manly” recipes on my blog. I promise Eric, as summer nears, I will offer up more grilled meats as I am one girl who can, and loves to grill. But, since we’ve had a cool snap down in Alabama this week, I thought a Beef-Sausage Lasagna would be appropriate and truly comforting. I decreased the fat as much as possible using egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese and lean ground beef. This recipe is hearty and very delicious. 

Memorial Day Dinner: Easy Sirloin Steak-Vegetable Kebobs

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I love making kebobs this time of year, especially for Memorial Day. It’s the beginning of summer, and the kids are out of school. The combination of sirloin steak  and vegetables are awesome, and this recipe will work with chicken, shrimp or all of the above. If you don’t have time to make this simple marinade, I love Thomas Marinade (found at Fresh Market) and Moore’s Marinade. Also, most groceries have prepared kebobs in the meat section to simplify your life even more. Enjoy hanging outside and happy Memorial Day!

Super Bowl Favorite-Tomato-Basil Sliders

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Okay, I am having a slightly busy week…all because of these Tomato-Basil Sliders. I am in Nashville to be on WTVF News Channel 5 “Talk of the Town” on Friday, and I will be in Birmingham on WBRC Fox 6 TV on Saturday morning preparing this recipe and a few others for Super Bowl Sunday that I will post in the coming days.


Sliders are very popular this year, and this recipe is very special. Using marinara, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes create such a flavorful burger that you won’t even need any toppings. And, they’re low-fat, and you can substitute ground turkey or pork if you wish. Adults and kids love them, and I hope you will too! Wish me luck, Alison


Sun-Dried Tomato Sliders

These proportions also work perfectly as a meatloaf in a 71/2- x 4-inch pan.

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (or regular is fine)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup marinara sauce

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 egg whites

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 (1-ounce) Parker House rolls

Ketchup, lettuce leaves

Preparation

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Divide dough into 8 equal portions, shaping into a 1/4-inch patty. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Place patties in a grill pan and grill 3 to 5 minutes each side or until done. Serve on cut sides of rolls and top with marinara, ketchup and lettuce, if desired.

Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Low-fat, low-calorie manicotti? Is that possible? With only 325 calories and 8.5 grams of fat, I can say, yes, that is possible. This combination of lean ground beef, fat-free ricotta, egg white and fresh herbs creates a delicious and easy manicotti recipe. I developed this recipe for Laura’s Lean Beef Company a few years ago, and it has been a family staple for a few years. Feel free to use ground turkey or pork instead of beef if you choose. Also, you can prepare it a day ahead and bake it the next day.

 

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package manicotti

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 egg white

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Preparation

1. Cook manicotti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic 5 minutes or until meat is browned; drain and let cool slightly.

3. Combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and next 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the meat mixture and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon 1/2 cup marinara sauce in a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch baking dish. Fill manicotti shells with the meat mixture and arrange in a single layer in prepared dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and is heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

New Year’s Resolution: Low Calorie, Low-Fat, Low-Carb Beef Empanadas

How about a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb appetizer to start the New Year? Is it really possible? Yes, it is… With bowl games going on and the Superbowl on its way in a few weeks, I thought I would share this appetizer recipe I developed recently for Laura’s Lean Beef Company. Each Empanada only has 85 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 carbs, so you can indulge without breaking your New Year’s resolution. Using wonton wrappers and baking them in the oven is the key to their ease and delicious success.


Beef Empanandas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound lean ground round

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup canned low-salt yellow corn, drained

1/3 cup salsa

1 tablespoon tomato paste

20 wonton wrappers

Cooking spray

Salsa, low-fat sour cream (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cook ground beef, onion and next 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet 5 minutes or until beef is browned; drain. Add corn and next 2 ingredients and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool.

3. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, spoon 1 tablespoon beef mixture into center of each wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners together and pinch the points to seal, forming a triangle. Place wrappers on a wire rack and repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and beef mixture.

4. Place empanadas on lightly greased baking sheets and coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once or until golden. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.