Lean meats are packed with nutrients like B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and B6), which help the body’s metabolism, aid in red blood cell formation and play a vital role in our nervous system; iron, found particularly in red meat, helps maintain energy and carry oxygen through the bloodstream (and is especially important for teenage girls and women in their child-bearing years); magnesium, which is vital for building bones; and zinc, which is essential for our immune system.
Eating lean beef, lamb, pork, and poultry can be part of a reasonable weight management program that also includes generous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables.
While skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets may qualify as your best bets, red meat can be healthy if kept lean, eaten in small portions and in moderation. For the leanest ground beef, look for ground round, followed by ground sirloin, ground chuck and then regular ground beef (but aim for at least 90 to 95 percent lean, which contains about 5 grams of total fat per serving). Other lean options include:
- Beef cuts with “loin” or “round” in the name (top round, round tip, top sirloin, bottom round, top loin and tenderloin)
- Pork products with “loin” or “leg” in the name (tenderloin, top loin roast, top loin chop, center loin chop, sirloin roast and loin rib chop)
- Lamb cuts with loin chop, arm chop and fore shanks in the name.
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 (1/4 lb) boneless skinless chicken breast
- Olive oil for brushing chicken
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pound chicken lightly between sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness.
With a pastry brush, lightly brush chicken with olive oil.
In resealable plastic bag, combine cheese, crumbs and all seasonings; shake well.
Transfer mixture to plate; dip each chicken breast in cheese mixture, turning to coat all sides.
Arrange on a nonstick baking sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.
Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
- Cooking Spray
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Place the pork in a large zip-top plastic bag, add 1/3 cup of the marinade and seal. Refrigerate remaining marinade for later use. Toss bag gently to coat. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Remove pork from marinade; discard the marinade in the bag. Tie kitchen string around the pork tenderloin in 3 places. Put the pork in a small roasting pan coated with cooking spray.
Roast the pork for 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reaches 145 degrees. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle pork with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cut into slices and serve.
Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Butter
- 1 1/2 lb flank steak
- 1 tablespoon olive Oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Cooking Spray
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Make the Gorgonzola butter by mixing together the butter and cheese. Set aside in a serving ramekin.
Rub the olive oil and crushed garlic over the meat, season with salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes.
Heat an indoor grill pan on high heat and spray with cooking Spray. Or heat the broiler and spray the broiler pan with cooking spray
Cook the steak 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until cooked to the desired degree. Let the meat stand five minutes before slicing.
Cut beef into thin slices across the grain and serve with Gorgonzola butter.
Lamb Chops with Parsley Garlic Sauce
- 6 thick lamb loin chops or 12 thin lamb loin chops
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup unseasoned Japanese Panko crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divided
Preheat oven to 425°F. Season lamb chops all over with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Make the sauce by combining the Panko breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, remaining salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Spread the surface of each lamb chop with about 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard.
Press the breadcrumb mixture lightly onto the lamb chops on top of the mustard. Bake lamb chops until cooked to desired doneness, about 20 minutes for medium rare. Thick chops will take longer than thinner ones so adjust timing accordingly.
Remove chops from the oven and let rest on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before serving.
Apple, Sage and Turkey Meatloaf
- 2 apples, cored, peeled and grated
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2/3 cup Italian-style (seasoned) bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup no-sugar-added barbecue sauce
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine apples, onion, bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes to soften bread crumbs. Add turkey, sage, egg, salt and pepper and mix until combined.
Turn the mixture onto the baking sheet. With water-moistened hands, shape the mixture into a loaf about 10 inches long and 5 inches wide.
Spread the top of the loaf with the barbecue sauce and bake until the meatloaf is lightly browned and cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should register 165°F), 50 to 60 minutes.
Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
For the Love of Cooking
January 5, 2016 at 9:36 am
They all look terrific.
January 5, 2016 at 10:09 am
Parmesan chicken is always a delicious meal, but your flank steak with gorgonzola butter and lamb chops with parsley garlic sauce sound to die for too! I’ll have to try these out in the coming weeks 🙂
January 5, 2016 at 10:12 am
Thanks Mary Frances. I hope you like the recipes.
January 5, 2016 at 11:47 am
Will eventually get round to try making meat loaf – it intrigues me!
January 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm
Ah it does. Quite delicious according to my husband.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
January 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm
Very good advice and some I wish more people would heed. We live in a college town in the midwest and in the county next door you could say are “free spirits”. No makeup, no meat, no soap, no deodorant. Long scraggly hair, Birkenstocks with heavy woolen socks. Anyway, their complexions look ashen and they just look unhealthy. I believe you do need meat to get all your vitamins. If you’re a vegan I think it takes extra work to get all the nutrients you need. We don’t eat a lot of meat — but we do eat some kind of protein at night. I love your recipes!! Buona serata.
January 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm
I am not in favor of giving up meat totally but we are trying to eat less and in smaller portions. The reason for this post is to share that there are lots of cuts of meat that are lean but taste delicious if you prepare them correctly. Thanks so much Marisa for your insight.
Our Growing Paynes
January 5, 2016 at 2:54 pm
This is making me wish I had some meat in the fridge. Grocery shopping tomorrow! All of it looks amazing.
January 5, 2016 at 3:18 pm
I like the sound of your meatloaf…a new way to prepare one of my favorite meals.
Amanda | What's Cooking
January 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm
That flank steak with gorgonzola butter….omg. I also love that meatloaf. I was sucked in by that picture of all the meat. I don’t know why it’s so beautiful to me. Great options here and thanks for the lessons on cuts. It really makes a difference. Happy New Year!
January 5, 2016 at 3:57 pm
Happy New Year, Amanda. Thank you for your comments. Hope you like the meatloaf.
January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Good article and recipes as always!
January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.
January 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm
I made Parmesan Chicken last night! I included too much Parmesan this time, so it was a bit too strongly flavored, but we’ll definitely try it again.
January 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm
Great. You really only need a little to flavor the breadcrumbs. I am glad you are going to try it again.
January 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm
The bread crumbs were home made too. Very easy to make, a good use for stale bread, and less expensive than buying breadcrumbs.
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