Extra Lean Beef Tacos with Homemade Seasoning

My husband and I absolutely love tacos. When I first started watching the preservatives in my diet I hit upon another version of this recipe, which mixes up your own homemade seasoning rather than the stuff in the envelopes. We sometimes opt to use ground turkey, but prefer your classic beef tacos in most cases and make it as healthy as we can by using extra lean ground beef. The recipe below is a doubled version of the original, since we usually use the meat for taco salad later in the week, and then freeze the rest for yet another taco salad on a separate busy weeknight. For a low-carb, or, rather, low-starch version, make the beans a topping instead of mixing it in and skip the shells. Perhaps sprinkle on a couple crushed tortilla chips with plenty of avocado or guacamole, and a side of red bell peppers (roasted or fresh). Serves 8 Ingredients 2 lb organic ground beef (93% lean) 2 whole sweet onions, diced Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp minced onion 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp cornstarch <1/4 tsp ground red pepper 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp ground cumin 1 can no-salt added canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained Serve with: baked hard taco shells, fresh diced tomato, fresh diced sweet onion, light cheddar, salsa, avocado or guacamole, and light sour cream or plain yogurt   Directions Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a very large skillet on medium-high. Saute the ground beef, onion, and garlic until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent. Drain. Mix in a cup or bowl: minced onion, salt, chili powder, cornstarch, ground red pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Add the seasoning to the cooked ground meat along with beans, if you’re using them in the recipe itself. Stir to combine, add 1 1/2 cups of water and stir again. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to continue simmering for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to frequently. Add a little more water if you don’t make it to the time to simmer, but finish with nearly all liquid absorbed. Serve in taco shells with all the...
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Loose Ground Beef Sandwiches

My mom first introduced me to the original of this ground beef recipe, called “Iowa Loose-Meat Sandwiches,” which supposedly comes from premiere chef Mario Batali. I’ve revamped it to make it much healthier, primarily by using much leaner, organic ground beef. It has unique flavors and functions like a sloppy Joe–with just a smidge of added sugars. For a low-starch option serve on low-carb bread or mix with cauliflower rice. The extra servings freeze well. Serves 8 Ingredients 2 lb organic ground beef (93% lean) 1 whole sweet onion, diced 1 cup low-sodium or no-salt added chicken broth 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp light brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground black pepper Whole wheat hamburger buns or whole grain bread slices   Directions Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a very large skillet on medium-high. Saute the ground beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes. Pile a serving of meat between two bun halves or bread slices....
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Low-Carb Pizza!

I’ve written about how I’m on a journey to resolve insulin resistance and eat a prediabetes diet. As such, I’ve tried several low-carb pizza crusts in my quest to resolve my love for pizza with my need to limit starches. Without much gluten some crusts tend to completely fall apart when you go to roll them out. This cauliflower pizza crust is my husband’s current fave (and he doesn’t even need to eat low-carb!) However, since it’s still a bit labor-intense (not to mention adds yet more cheese to an already cheesy dish), I’ve opted to just use whole grain flat tortillas, which already naturally reduce the amount of carb due to their size and fiber content. If I’m to be honest, though, what I personally end up doing is just scraping off the super yummy toppings and eating them off the fork, along  with a salad side. After all, most low-carb pizza crusts are really just a conduit for the toppings. Here, I’ve included the two variations we tend to enjoy again and again. Serves 6-8 Ingredients 4 whole grain flat tortillas For the chicken pesto pizza: 1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded 1/4 cup prepared pesto 2 slices light provolone cheese, cut into very small squares 1 cup light or organic mozzarella cheese 2 medium tomatoes, chopped For the mushroom chicken sausage pizza: 1/2 cup low-sugar pizza sauce 1 1/2 cups light or organic mozzarella cheese 1 container Cremini mushrooms, rinsed, microwaved for 2 minutes, then drained 1 container shiitake (or other exotic) mushrooms, rinsed, microwaved for 2 minutes, then drained Directions Cook and shred the chicken, and also microwave the mushrooms– if you haven’t already done so. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets with olive oil, and place two tortillas on each baking sheet. On two of the tortillas: Spread the pesto evenly, then top with the cut provolone pieces, shredded mozzarella cheese, and cooked shredded chicken. On the other two tortillas: Spread the pizza sauce evenly, then top with the mozzarella cheese and squeezed-dry mushrooms. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, pull the pesto pizzas out to top with the tomato chunks, then return to the oven to cook both trays another 5 minutes. Serve the pesto pizza with additional pesto for...
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Thai Beef Stir-Fry

This yummy Thai recipe uses organic ground beef, but you could easily swap it out for lean steak slices. The low-carb version would use the cauliflower rice indicated here. Or, if you don’t need to worry about going low-starch then simply use already cooked brown rice in place of the riced cauliflower, and add an additional veggie side. Either way it’s a wonderful, savory dish loaded with fresh flavors! And the double dose of cruciferous (cauliflower and broccoli) make it an incredibly healthy recipe. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 1 lb organic ground beef (93% lean) Lots of fresh garlic (~ 6-10 medium cloves), minced 1/2 whole sweet onion, diced 4-8 scallions, sliced 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced 1 small bunch of broccoli flowerets, separated 2 Tbsp liquid aminos or reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 1/2 tsp chili paste Optional: 1/4 cup Thai basil, chopped Frozen cauliflower rice (equivalent to 6 servings) 1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped, for garnish   Directions Cook the cauliflower rice separately, or simply thaw and drain. At the same time, blanch the broccoli flowerets. Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a very large skillet on medium-high. Saute the ground beef, garlic, and onion until the beef is no longer pink and the onion and garlic are translucent. Drain. Mix in the scallions, ginger, and broccoli, cooking for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is al dente. Mix in the liquid aminos (or soy sauce), chili paste, optional Thai basil, and cauliflower rice, stirring until all flavors are combined. Serve with the chopped peanuts and additional chili paste and soy...
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