Beef Recipes Low in Fat and Calories
Today I was on a personal mission to do something with the two barley sitting inside my pantry. It was one of those situations where one goes to the market and purchases a box of something because they think they are out of the product - only to arrive home and discover that they actually had several boxes of the product on hand. Such was my barley situation.
While the canned versions can be heated and consumed in a matter of minutes, I have never found canned soup to be 'awesomely delicious'. Commercials will at times convince us otherwise. There is one brand in particular that has the best, most entertaining soup commercials - and actually incited me to purchase a can of one of their new recipes. Frankly, it was horrible. But I sure do enjoy their commercials.
Once I prepared the beef and barley soup, the reaction from my family was 'it's very good'. But something was missing. I'm a very experienced cook and I knew I could make it better.
So directly following meal time I added one more ingredient to the soup pot - which turned my Beef & Barley soup into 'awesomely delicious!'. My family agreed - and I know that the leftovers will go like hotcakes. I'll share my secret ingredient inthis easy recipe which follows below.
If you're a fan of Diet Bites then you already know that I make most of my diet recipes very adjustable so they can be prepared to suit and satisfy personal tastes. My Beef & Barley soup recipe is also very amendable.
I tend to use very little meat in my recipes. When I was at the market there was a package of beef containing four tiny boneless steaks, each of which was about the size of my hand. I used only one of these in this recipe.
On that note, here are the following ingredients that you will need to prepare this recipe.
Very lean beef cut into very tiny pieces
1/2 box of quick-cook barley
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of finely chopped carrots (fresh carrots work best but drained canned carrots can be used in a pinch)
1/2 cup of chopped onion, any variety
4-5 beef bouillon cubes OR you can use beef broth
1 envelope of Pioneer Brown Gravy Mix OR your favorite brand of brown gravy
cooking oil OR cooking spray
Begin by pouring just a very thin layer of oil into the bottom of your soup pot. Add the chopped onion and celery. I also used the green leaf as well as the stalk on the celery. Allow this mixture to cook for a few minutes as this will bring out the lovely flavors of the vegetables.
Add the lean beef and the carrots - then cover with about 6 inches of water. Allow water to come to a full boil and add the barley, parsley and bouillon cubes. Take note that because bouillon cubes are used, salt should be unnecessary in this recipe.
One preparation note about the carrots. You can opt for canned but fresh always tastes best in soups. I peel my carrots then I cut them length-wise, then I cut them in half once again - getting four skinny sticks from one carrot.
Then I chop them into bite-sized bits before adding to the soup pot. If you opt for canned carrots, you'll need to add them at the last or they will cook into mush.
The quick-cook variety of barley takes only a few minutes to get done so keep a watchful eye on the soup pot.
Once it has reached a tender state, add the gravy mixture (which you have diluted with water) to the Beef & Barley soup.
Be sure that you have at least 3 inches of water covering the barley and beef or you will end up with a gravy-type consistency, and because this is a soup we are looking for a loose, rich broth. Youcan always add water if the soup is too thick.
If you haven't guessed by now, my secret ingredient was the brown gravy. It makes the soup taste awesomely delicious! And the soup is very healthy. Barley can assist in controlling blood pressure and it's very rich in dietary fiber so it can work to help you feel full for long periods of time.
This diet soup recipe makes numerous servings. Serve with sweet cornbread and a bit of light margarine for the cornbread. A tall glass of wholesome milk also tastes heavenly with this recipe.
Use only the leanest cuts of beef when dieting, and even when you're not. Unless you're Dracula, cooking guidelines these days advise that we cook our meat until the juices run clear.
Beef can be one of the heftiest choices of protein.
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