Mar 19th, 2010 - 11:39:35
Reduced Fat Meat Loaf
By Donald A. Miller, Ph.D.
Sep 15, 2004, 23:19
It is no secret that four legged meats, especially beef and pork that were fattened in feedlots, comprise one of the highest sources of fats in the American diet. If you want to keep some of your recipes, but lower the fat by ten to fifty percent, you can substitute some soy foods for part. This is easiest to do with meals which can be made from ground beef.
I have yet to find an artificial meat cutlet, molded from tofu and / or TSP/TVP = Textured Soy/Vegetable Protein, to taste very good. But, I have learned to like tofu and tempeh for themselves. I have made "beef stew" with tempeh replacing all the meat, and omelets with mashed tofu instead of cheese, and served without sausage or bacon. I also like angel hair pasta mixed with spices, soy sauce, and an equal mixture of ground beef and tofu.
The scientific test for success was that I have eaten my invented recipes more than once, and without any regrets.
So, what about meat loaf? It looks like a natural test case.
One should realize that fat in the starting meat will be mostly trapped in the final dish, so start with lean ground beef. Major groceries should have 5 to 10 percent fat ground beef. If not, ask for some to be made from their leanest cuts. If you extend the meat by folding in crushed crackers or bread crumbs, realize that such will help trap fat.
Here is my experiment of a recent weekend.
First, start an oven heating to about 375 Fahrenheit, plus or minus 25 degrees. It will be ready when the dish is.
I placed 12 ounces (a common standard package size) of extra firm tofu (least water content) in a round ceramic baking dish, then used a manual potato masher to reduce it to paste. I then added 3 cups of lean ground beef, and blended thoroughly, until the color was uniform. Along the way, I had tossed in some diced garlic, blended green herbs, two tablespoons of real soy sauce, and some fresh ground black pepper, but no salt. Other people might want to include some diced green or red pepper, some tomato sauce or fresh diced tomatoes, and similar.
By the way, I use Mori-Nu brand of tofu, because it comes in aseptic packages which require no refrigeration.
I sliced two medium potatoes length wise into quarters, then sliced fairly thinly. I also diced up a double handful of pre peeled baby carrots. After shaping the meat into a round loaf which did not touch the sides of the dish, I placed potato around the sides, then the carrots over every thing.
I topped the dish with its clear glass cover, then placed in the oven for an hour. This made the potato and carrot slices tender but not mushy. The resulting juices made a great gravy. After serving, I added a small amount of "lite salt", which is a 50 - 50 blend of potassium and sodium chloride.
Readers can vary the proportion of tofu. My meat loaf had a very nice consistency, neither rock hard nor crumbly soft. I would like to know if readers still got good results using more tofu.
After the left overs had spent a night in the refrigerator, I saw no globs of congealed fat, which confirmed that the meat was lean. Of course, the fat absorbed back into the loaf was not visible. I reduced the saturated fats in the meal, but I did not eliminate them.
Baking the potatoes with the meat, rather than making mashed potatoes, meant no temptation to add butter or margarine.
** Diet with FACTS, not MYTHS. **
Dr. Donald A. Miller is author of "Easy Health Diet" http://easyhealthdiet.com/diet.htm, "Easy Exercise All Ages" http://easyhealthdiet.com/eeaa.htm, and numerous free articles on health http://easyhealthdiet.com/articles/
Seven of ten deaths are caused by preventable diseases.