Meat is a mainstay on many dinner tables around the world, and when eaten in moderation and prepared properly, it can make a healthy contribution to people’s diets. Though there can be a lot of fat contained in meat, there are also plenty of simple cooking techniques that can be used to create dishes that tantalize your taste buds without compromising your wellbeing.
Don’t Forget the Prep Work
Creating rich and indulgent dish ideas that are also nutritious is one thing, but top chefs from Michel Roux Jr to Jamie Oliver know that healthy meals owe a lot to preparation as well.
When you’re catering for yourself, try to look for local meat cuts that have ‘chunk’ or ‘loin’ in the name, as they tend to be leaner options, and check the lean meat content on packeted meat like minced beef. Remember to trim as much fat from red meat as you can, and it’s a good idea to do this as soon as you can, rather than leaving it untrimmed in the fridge or freezer.
Healthy Cooking Methods
Grilling is superb if you’re keen to reduce calories. You don’t need to add any fat to food when you prepare it in this way, and much of the natural fats found in meat render out. For the tastiest results, it pays off to marinate your protein of choice.
For example, Key West chicken is a real treat. To serve four, simply place four skinless and boneless chicken breast halves in a bowl with three tablespoons of soy sauce, one tablespoon of honey, the same quantity of lime juice and a chopped garlic glove. Cover the meat in the sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling until the juices run clear. The dish goes perfectly with rice or potatoes.
Another healthy way to prepare meat is to casserole it, and beef is ideal for these dishes. To create a warming winter meal for four people, toss 800g of beef chunk or blade steak in seasoned flour and brown in a lightly oiled pan.
Cook in batches to avoid stewing. Remove the meat from the pan and reduce the heat. Add a drop more oil, a large chopped onion, two chopped garlic cloves, two chopped leeks, four chopped celery sticks and two chopped carrots.
After five minutes, return the beef along with a cup of red wine, a cup of beef stock and two 425g cans of diced tomatoes. Bring to the boil before reducing the heat, covering and simmering for an hour. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 30 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Get Inspired with Healthy and Flavoursome Recipes
Of course, there are many other ways to approach healthy cooking with meat, from broiling to stir frying with oils like canola. If you’ve been inspired to create your own health-conscious menu and fancy seeing it prepared to the highest standards by a professional chef, why not enter it in the Thomson Cruise Kitchen Competition? You might win a cruise to the Caribbean to dine on your own food designs!
Photo Credit By: freegreatpicture.com