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The 30 percent solution; here are meat-salad combinations that meet guidelines for nutritional balance.

A wholesome challenge in planning good, balanced menus is to keep the number of calories from fat in our diet at 30 percent or less.

Actually, it's easier than you might think, even when you serve cuts of meats that have a reputation for being rich." Success depends on thoroughly trimming the meat of fat, cooking the meat with little or no added fat (barbecuing is tailor-made for the task), and balancing the meat with carbohydrates in appropriate proportions. That's why these main dishes are paired with salads of grains, legumes, or pasta.

They are tasty, handsome, satisfying, and easy to prepare. And they include lots of make-ahead steps.
Grilled Minted Lamb Chops
and Mushrooms with Pilaf Salad
or Lentil Salad
 4 lamb loin chops, cut about 1 inch
 thick (about 1 1/2 lb. total)
 1 teaspoon olive oil
 2 tablespoons dry vermouth
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
16 medium-large (with caps about 1 1/2
 in. wide) mushrooms
 Pilaf salad or lentil salad (recipes
 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes
 Mint sprigs

Trim and discard fat from chops. Rinse meat, pat dry, and put in a plastic bag, about 4-quart size. To bag add oil, vermouth, pepper, and chopped mint. Seal bag and rotate to mix ingredients well. Set in a bowl and chill at least 30 minutes or up until the next day.

Rinse and drain mushrooms; trim off discolored stem ends. Thread mushrooms through caps onto slender skewers.

Lift chops from marinade, and pour marinade into a small bowl. Brush mushrooms with marinade. Place chops on a lightly greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level for only 2 to 3 seconds); place mushroom skewers around edges where heat is less intense. Cook chops until browned but still pink in center (cut to test), about 10 minutes, turning once. Cook mushrooms until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, turning several times. Serve chops, mushrooms, and salad from a large platter; garnish with cherry tomatoes and mint sprigs. Add salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving with pilaf.. 426 cal. 25 percent from fat); 29 g protein; 12 g fat; 52 g carbo.; 168 mg sodium; 63 mg chol.

Per serving with lentils: 488 cal. 28 percent from fat),. 42 g protein, 15 g fat; 49 g carbo.; 70 mg sodium; 62 mg chol

Pilaf salad. Rinse and drain 1/2 cup wild rice. Put in a 2- to 3-quart pan; add 1 3/4 cups (1 can, 14 1/2 oz.) regular-strength chicken broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil on high beat. Reduce beat and simmer 20 minutes.

Rinse and drain 3/4 cup long-grain brown rice; add to wild rice. Continue to cook until both rices are tender to bite, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from heat and, with a fork, stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup sliced black ripe olives. Cover and chill until cool, about 30 minutes, or up until next day. With a fork, stir in 1/2 cup unflavored low-fat yogurt, I cup halved cherry tomatoes, and salt and additional lemon juice to taste. Makes 4 cups.

Lentil salad. Sort and remove any debris from 1 1/2 cups ( 10 to 11 oz.) lentils; rinse and drain lentils, then put in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Add to pan 1 tablespoon mixed pickling spices and 3 cups water. Bring to boiling on high heat, then cover and simmer until lentils are just tender to bite, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain lentils well, then add 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed), and 2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil. Let stand until cool; if made ahead, cover and chill up until next day.

Core, peel, and chop I large firm-ripe tomato; also stem, seed, and finely chop 1 small fresh hot green chili. Mix tomato, chili, 1/2 cup sliced green onions (including tops), 2 tablespoons slivered fresh mint leaves, and salt to taste with lentils. Makes 5 cups.
Barbecued Brisket with Kasha Salad
 Brisket is usually simmered long and
gently, but it is also excellent when treated
with meat tenderizer and grilled just
until rare; grilled longer, the meat
gets tough.
 1 piece (3 to 3 1/2 lb.) center-cut fresh
 beef brisket
 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
 1/2 cup catsup
 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches long
 2 tablespoons each cider vinegar and
 firmly packed brown sugar
 1/3 cup each water and dry white wine
 Unsalted meat tenderizer
 Kasha salad (recipe follows)
 About 1/2 cup finely chopped green
 onions, including tops

Trim and discard surface fat from brisket. Put meat in a plastic bag, about 4-quart size; add onion, catsup, horseradish, cloves, cinnamon, vinegar, brown sugar, water, and wine. Seal bag and rotate to mix well. Set bag in a pan and chill for at least 2 hours or up to I day.

Lift brisket from bag and pour marinade into 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan. Pat meat dry and apply tenderizer according to package directions. Place meat on a lightly greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of low coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 6 to 7 seconds). Cook, turning often, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 135 to 140 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes (cooked longer, the meat gets very chewy). Transfer meat to a carving board, drape with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes for juices to settle.

Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; pour through a strainer over kasha salad, then sprinkle green onions on salad.

Thinly slice brisket across the grain, cutting at a slant to make wide pieces. Accompany with salad. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Per serving. 322 cal (27 percent from fat); 23 g protein; 9.6 g fat; 38 g carbo.; 207 mg sodium; 60 mg chol

Kasha salad. Rinse 1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats (kasha) and drain well. Put in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan and stir over medium-high heat until grains are dry and smell lightly toasted. Add 2 cups regular-strength chicken broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice.

Bring to boiling over high heat, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes; remove from heat and let stand until liquid is absorbed, at least 10 minutes or until cool. Pour into a salad bowl; rinse and dry frying pan. Use kasha warm or let stand at room temperature up to 2 hours. If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day; stir with a fork to separate the grains.

Stem enough seedless green grapes to make 4 cups; rinse and drain.

When brisket is cooked and resting to slice, place frying pan over high heat. When hot, add 3 cups of the grapes and swirl about until grapes are hot and skins begin to pop, I or 2 minutes. Pour into bowl with kasha and mix gently; top with remaining grapes. Makes 5 cups.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
with Couscous Salad
 Pork tenderloin, well trimmed, has
about the same amount of internal fat as
skinned chicken breasts.
 2 pork tenderloins (3/4 to 1 lb. each)
 1/4 cup soy sauce
 2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
 1 pound edible-pod peas, ends and
 strings removed
 Couscous salad (recipe follows)

Rinse meat and pat dry; trim silvery membrane and any fat from tenderloins. Fold thin end of each tenderloin under to make meat evenly thick; tie to secure.

Put meat in a plastic bag, about 4-quart size; add soy, sake, honey, ginger, and garlic. Seal bag and rotate to mix ingredients well. Set bag in a bowl; chill at least 30 minutes or up until next day.

Rinse and drain peas. Bring about 3 quarts water to boil in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat. Add peas and cook, uncovered, just until they turn a brighter green; drain and, at once, immerse in cold water until peas are cool. Drain and use, or cover and chill up until next day.

Lift meat from marinade; pour marinade into a small bowl. Lay meat on a lightly greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of medium coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds). Cook and turn to brown evenly, brushing frequently with reserved marinade, just until meat is no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test) or until a meat thermometer inserted in center of thickest part registers 150 to 155 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. Put meat on a large platter; mound peas and the salad alongside. Thinly slice meat and serve with peas and salad. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 335 cal (8.5 percent from fat); 27 g protein; 3.2 g fat; 48 g carbo.; 588 mg sodium; 55 mg chol

Couscous salad. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring to a boil on high heat 3 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth. Add 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard; stir in 2 cups couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes; stir with a fork to fluff, then let stand, uncovered, until room temperature; if made ahead, cover and chill up until next day. Stir with a fork before serving. Makes 8 cups.
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Title Annotation:The Good Foods of Summer: A Special Section; recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Previous Article:Cool company appetizers in waiting.
Next Article:Triumphs for junior cooks.

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