Low-Calorie Comfort Food:
Harvest Festival Minced Beef & Vegetable Casserole
I love this time of year, as you will all know if you read my last post for elderberries and preserves, Elderberries, Hedgerow Harvests and A Cornucopia of Preserves for the Autumn Pantry. It’s not just the obvious change in meals, from salads and summer berries to stews and comfort food, but it’s the whole seasonal package…..kicking dried leaves on a country path, storing the wood ready for wood fires, the amazing colours of the trees as their leaves don their autumn attire, pumpkins, fruit and vegetables, straw, wheat and amazing sunsets……harvest loaves, dusky hedgerow berries and nuts…..the first frost and sparkling starry nights – it’s a wonderful time of year. But, if you are following a diet, as I am, then diet food can seem a little “blah” and salads, much though I LOVE them, just don’t fit the bill once the mercury starts to fall. What is needed to feed the soul on a low-calorie diet day is a hearty, filling casserole, and this new recipe of mine for Harvest Festival Minced Beef & Vegetable Casserole is perfect, especially as it comes in at a FABULOUSLY low 270 calories per portion, or only 300 calories when served with another NEW 5:2 recipe I WILL be sharing this week, for “faux mashed potato”, which is in fact mashed cauliflower!
This recipe is just fabulous, a hearty hug in a bowl of minced beef with seasonal root vegetables and lots of lovely gravy……by using just 200g (about 8 ounces) of minced beef, and padding the recipe with lots of veggies, it makes a low-calorie casserole with bags of flavour and a scant amount of calories. I then experimented with another new recipe by serving the meal with mashed cauliflower, in lieu of mashed potatoes, and it worked like a dream! I am rather taken with the cauliflower when dieting, and many of my readers will know I have shared a recipe for cauliflower Crust Pizza, which is amazingly tasty and a fabulous low-calorie substitution for the usual bread crust – you can see my recipe here: Low-Calorie Cauliflower Crust Pizza: Gluten Free, Paleo and 5:2 Diet Pizza Recipe.
The faux cauliflower mash was perfect as an accompaniment to the casserole and I pepped it up a bit with lots of black pepper, and some low-fat spread for a slightly creamy texture – watch out for the recipe later on this week. As you can see from the photos, the casserole was a generous portion and by using very lean minced beef, I was able to save lots of calories. I have shared the calories for all types of minced beef below, from high fat to very low-fat, and you can see how much you can save by using a very low fat minced beef, and the difference is quite frankly staggering.
Calories in Minced Beef:
100g Minced Beef 70% lean meat/30% fat = 332 calories
100g Minced Beef 80% lean meat/20% fat = 254 calories
100g Minced Beef 85% lean meat/15% fat = 215 calories
100g Minced Beef 90% lean meat/10% fat = 176 calories
100g Minced Beef 95% lean meat/5% fat = 136 calories
I hope you will enjoy my recipe for Harvest Festival Minced Beef and Vegetable Casserole, if you make it, as much as we did last week, and look out for my faux cauliflower mashed potatoes coming later this week too. That’s all for today, I will be back soon with more new recipes, news and chat – have a great week, and see you soon! Karen