500-Calorie Meal Recipes Featuring Beef

You may think that 500 calories can be quite a lot of food, but it only is if you're eating only vegetables. By adding protein-rich foods, such as lean beef, trimmed of as much fat as possible, you're actually going to feel more satisfied for a longer time after eating.

Eating smaller portions of high-quality protein allows you to eat less food because lean protein is slower to digest in the body — so that by the time your body digests the beef, it's likely time to eat again.

These recipes utilize many different cuts of beef as their main ingredient. The beef is always trimmed of as much as possible of visible fat and paired with bulky vegetables and seasoning that turns a sometimes-boring meal into a complete dining experience.

Skinny Slow-Cooked Chili

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 5 hours

Yield: 2 servings

8 ounces very lean ground beef

1 cup water

1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 chopped onions

2 teaspoons medium chili powder

2-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

Pinch red pepper flakes or more

Pinch dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 cup quarter-inch diced zucchini

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring often to break up lumps.

  2. Place the browned beef in a small (3- to 4-quart) slow cooker with all the ingredients except the zucchini. Cover and cook 4 hours on the low setting. Add the zucchini, stir well, and cook for another hour.

  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot, garnished with the scallions.

Per serving: Calories 192; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 60mg; Sodium: 1,067mg; Carbohydrates: 14g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 25g.

(Recipe by Annabel Cohen)

The beef must be very lean for this, recipe to be calorie friendly. Use at least 95 percent lean beef. You can also substitute white-meat chicken or turkey breast for the beef.

Seared Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Cauliflower with Truffle Salt

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

4 cups cauliflower florets

1/4 cup water

Truffle salt to taste

8 ounces center-cut beef tenderloin

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

  1. Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup of water and cover with plastic wrap.

    Cook on high power for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender (check after 6 minutes). Use a fork to smash the cauliflower, and season with truffle salt and place back in the microwave oven.

  2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.

    Add the beef to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes (for medium-rare) on all sides or until the desired degree of doneness. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pan, add a bit of salt and pepper and thyme, and sauté until the mushrooms just give up their liquid. Lightly season with more salt and pepper if desired.

  3. Heat the cauliflower until hot or warm by cooking in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes.

  4. Slice the beef against the grain into half-inch slices. Serve the beef with the cauliflower and mushrooms. Drizzle the collected juices from the beef and mushrooms over the top.

Per serving: Calories 248; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 67mg; Sodium: 974mg; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 32 g.

(Recipe by Annabel Cohen)

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