Healthy Recipes: Main Courses

Thai-Style Beef & Noodle Salad

Makes 4 servings

This beef and noodle salad is tossed in a dressing inspired by the interplay of sour, salty, and sweet flavors typical of Thai cuisine.

10 ounces well-trimmed beef sirloin 1/2 teaspoon salt 8 ounces spaghetti 1/4 cup ketchup 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 4 scallions, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, shredded 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1-inch dice

  1. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the meat with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until medium-rare. Place the beef on a plate and let it stand for 10 minutes. Then thinly slice the beef on the diagonal, and cut the slices into bite-size pieces. Reserve any juices on the plate.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, the ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add the drained pasta and toss well.
  4. Add the beef pieces and any juices from the plate, the scallions, carrot, and apple. Toss well to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 413 calories, 9.5g total fat (3.4g saturated), 47mg cholesterol, 3g dietary fiber, 58g carbohydrate, 24g protein, 787mg sodium. good source of: beta carotene, selenium, vitamin B12, zinc.

Beef Stew

Makes 4 servings

The two ingredients that have earned this stew its title are peanut butter and sweet potatoes—though in Africa the potatoes would more likely be yams, which are similar in taste but botanically different from sweet potatoes. The peanut butter adds a wonderful richness of flavor for a modest amount of fat: 2.7 grams per serving, and almost all of it unsaturated.

3/4 pound beef top round, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 2 tablespoons flour 2 teaspoons olive oil 6 scallions, thinly sliced 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup chicken broth 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons creamy peanut butter

  1. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a nonstick Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate.
  2. Add the scallions and garlic to the pan and cook until the scallions are tender, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter. Return the beef to the pan, cover, and cook until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 412 calories, 11g total fat (2.7g saturated), 77mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 43g carbohydrate, 36g protein, 614mg sodium. good source of: beta carotene, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc.

Smart Beef Meatloaf

Makes 6 servings You can get a beefy meatloaf without all the saturated fat if you use a couple of tricks: Start with a meat mixture that stretches a small amount of beef with lean turkey breast, then add sautéed mushrooms for meaty flavor and moisture, and bulgur to “beef” up the texture.

2/3 cup bulgur 1 1/3 cups boiling water 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 10 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped 6 ounces green beans 5 cloves garlic, minced 6 ounces top round of beef, cut into large chunks 10 ounces lean ground turkey 3 large egg whites 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the bulgur and boiling water. Let stand until the bulgur has softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry. Return the bulgur to the bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and green beans to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are richly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 cup water, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a food processor and pulse on and off until evenly chopped (there should still be some texture, and it should not be a puree). Add the vegetables to the bowl with the bulgur.
  5. Add the beef to the food processor (no need to clean the bowl) and pulse on and off until coarsely ground. Add to the bowl along with the turkey, egg whites, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Mix until well combined. Spoon the mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake until the loaf is firm and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the loaf out of the pan onto a platter. Serve the meatloaf warm or at room temperature.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 240 calories, 8.5g total fat (2.3g saturated), 51mg cholesterol, 5g dietary fiber, 21g carbohydrate, 22g protein, 643mg sodium. good source of: niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6.

Orange-Glazed Roast Pork

Makes 4 servings

Pork tenderloin is the leanest cut: For 3 ounces of cooked, it has only 4.1 g fat (1.4 g saturated), compared with, for example, pork shoulder, which has 11 g fat (3.7 g saturated). Pork tenderloins are often packed 2 to a vacuum-sealed plastic package. Use the one you need, wrap the other and freeze it for a later date. You can serve the pork on its own (see below for a menu suggestion), slice it for sandwiches, add it to a salad, or toss in a pasta sauce.

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate 1 1/4 teaspoons dark brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3/4 pound pork tenderloin

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, mustard, and pepper.
  2. Place the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan and brush with the soy sauce mixture. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and a meat thermometer reads 160°F.
  3. Transfer the pork to a plate and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice the pork slightly on the diagonal into G-inch-thick slices, reserving any juices that collect on the plate. Serve the pork with the pan juices.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 119 calories, 3.1g total fat (1g saturated), 55mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber, 4g carbohydrate, 18g protein, 224mg sodium. good source of: niacin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6.

Broiled Tuna with Mango Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings

A nectar is a fruit juice that includes the fruit pulp and is invariably sweetened. It makes a nice basis for a quick, low-fat salad dressing. The yellow bell pepper is here because it has a mild, sweet flavor and contributes nice color to this dish, but you could just as easily use a red pepper.

3/4 pound tuna steak 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 cloves garlic 1/2 cup mango nectar 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 1 1/2 cups canned pinto beans (rinsed and drained) 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 3 scallions, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the tuna with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Broil the tuna 4 inches from the heat, turning once, for 7 minutes, or until the fish just flakes when tested with a fork. Set aside to cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. In a small pot of boiling water, cook the garlic for 2 minutes to blanch. Drain and finely chop.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the garlic, mango nectar, vinegar, oil, and mint. Stir in the beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, and scallions, tossing to combine.
  4. Gently fold in the tuna and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 261 calories, 4.9g total fat (0.8g saturated), 41mg cholesterol, 7g dietary fiber, 27g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 479mg sodium. good source of: fiber, folate, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C.

Pan-Fried Grouper with Orange-Carrot Sauce

Makes 4 servings

Grouper is a flavorful, meaty-textured fish and is well worth a trip to a fish market, because you’re unlikely to find this fish in supermarkets. If grouper isn’t available, substitute red snapper, sea bass, tilapia, or tilefish.

1 tablespoon olive oil 4 skinless grouper fillets (6 ounces each) 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup dry white wine 2/3 cup orange juice 1/3 cup carrot juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon water

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Dredge the grouper in 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Add the grouper to the skillet and cook until the fish just flakes when tested with a fork, about 2 minutes per side. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to a platter and keep warm.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Boil until the wine has evaporated by half, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the orange juice, carrot juice, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch and the water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Spoon the sauce over the fish.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 240 calories, 5.2g total fat (0.9g saturated), 60mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber, 9g carbohydrate, 32g protein, 366mg sodium. good source of: omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B6.

Zesty Lime-Broiled Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

This dish is pretty, elegant, and simple to make. Serving suggestion: Though these shrimp are delicious by themselves, you might want to try a fresh salsa or relish to go with them.

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons light brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the lime zest, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cayenne. Add the shrimp, tossing to coat, and let marinate while you preheat the broiler.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the shrimp on a broiler pan, drizzle the marinade over them, and broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and opaque throughout.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 85 calories, 0.8g total fat (0.2g saturated), 135mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber, 4g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 422mg sodium. good source of: selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin D.

Sautéed Shrimp with Basil & Cherry Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

Serving suggestion: If you like, turn this into a one-dish dinner by tossing the shrimp and its sauce with a bowl of pasta. Serve a salad on the side.

2 teaspoons olive oil 2 scallions, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, slivered 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (red and yellow) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic, and cook until the scallions are slightly softened, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque on the outside but still a bit translucent in the center, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes, basil, and salt to the skillet and cook until the tomatoes are softened and begin to get juicy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Return the shrimp to the skillet. Stir until opaque throughout, about 1 minute. Stir in the mint and serve.

From The Wellness Kitchen, by the editors of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter and the staff of the Wellness Kitchen

per serving: 108 calories, 3.3g total fat (0.6g saturated), 135mg cholesterol, 1g dietary fiber, 4g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 454mg sodium. good source of: selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 12 Aug 2010

Last Modified: 11 Oct 2011