500-Calorie Meat Menus

On a diet? Juicy steaks can still be on the menu!

From the WebMD Archives

When you hear "diet," juicy steak probably doesn't come to mind. But if you love meat, keep on eating it. Just make sure you choose lean cuts of steak with a relatively small amount of marbling (fat), such as filet mignon, sirloin, strip steak, and flank steak. Ground meat is easy to decipher, just check the label for the "percentage lean" and try to stick with 90%-lean or leaner. Browse through these recipes to choose your main course, then pick from the suggested side dishes, desserts or drinks to round out your 500-calorie meal.

Seared Steaks With Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola

seared steaks with caramelized onions Beef tenderloin is naturally lean and mild-flavored, so it's great paired with the intense flavors of sweet caramelized onions and salty Gorgonzola cheese.

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  • Asparagus drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil (1 cup) (80 calories)
  • Sautéed chard with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a squeeze of lemon (1 cup) (76 calories)

Flemish Beef Stew

flemish beef stew Here's an easy, slow-cooker interpretation of Carbonnades Flamandes, a hearty Flemish stew made with beer. If you can't find a brown ale, use a strong, dark beer (but not a stout).

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  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) (109 calories)
  • Whole-wheat orzo (1/2 cup) (87 calories)

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Bistro Flank Steak Sandwich

Bistro Flank Steak Sandwich Make this bistro-style sandwich, sauce and all, completely on the grill. If you're in a hurry, just grill the steak and garlic and substitute jarred roasted peppers for the grilled ones.

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Mini Meatloaves

mini meatloaves Traditional meatloaf is made with ground beef, pork and veal; here we replace the veal with ground turkey for a tender, flavorful and leaner version of the classic. If you can't find lean ground pork in your supermarket, it's easy enough to make yourself if you have a food processor: just trim the leanest pork you can find (loin is ideal) and cut into chunks, then pulse in the processor.

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Indispensable Meat Sauce for Pasta

indispensable meat sauce for pasta Prosciutto, wine and mushrooms dress up this all-purpose spaghetti sauce; keep some handy in your freezer for a quick dinner. We add bulgur to reduce the amount of ground beef (and boost the amount of satisfying fiber).

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  • Whole-wheat pasta (1 cup) (174 calories)

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Szechuan Braised Meatballs

szechuan braised meatballs Szechuan cuisine, from western China, is full of fiery-hot peppercorns and braised dishes. This recipe gets its heat from prepared Szechuan sauce and crushed red pepper.

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  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) (109 calories)
  • Whole-wheat fettuccine (1/2 cup) (87 calories)

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Beef & Bean Chile Verde

Beef and Bean Chile Verde Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapenos and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking lean ground beef and store-bought green salsa. It's even more delicious a day later and freezes well; make a double batch and store in single-serving portions for easy lunches to go.

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  • Quinoa with a squeeze of lime (1/2 cup) (111 calories)
  • Avocado (one-fourth) with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream (100 calories)

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Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza

Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza Topping the hot-out-of-the-oven crust with fresh greens and diced tomatoes gives this white pizza a summery twist, while the little bit of prosciutto and fontina cheese make it taste like a splurge.

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Artichoke-Scrambled Eggs Benedict

Artichoke Scrambled Eggs Benedict Roasted artichoke bottoms stand in for English muffins in this quick yet elegant supper, saving calories while adding filling fiber. Look for them near other canned vegetables; if unavailable, use two 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts. For a vegetarian option, substitute roasted mushrooms for the pancetta.

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Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens

Black Eyed Peas with Pork and Greens This boldly flavored spin on Hoppin' John replaces fatty salt pork or bacon with lean pork chops. Greens are a traditional accompaniment with the dish; we like the earthiness of kale, but collards or turnip greens would be wonderful too.

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Pork Chops with Orange & Fennel Salad

pork chops with orange and fennel salad Fennel seed-crusted pork chops with a warm citrus-and-fresh-fennel salad is a terrific antidote to a dreary winter day. To keep calories down (and satisfying protein up) select the leanest chops you can find, preferably from the loin.

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Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Grape Sauce

pork tenderloin with roasted grape Here, we roast grapes to bring out their succulent sweetness, then combine them with thyme, mustard and Madeira in an easy, savory sauce for pork tenderloin.

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinated In Spicy Soy Sauce

grilled pork tenderloin spicy soy sauce These sweet and spicy soy sauce-marinated pork tenderloin medallions make for a delicious, healthful and elegant entree. Try this marinade with chicken also. We love the flavor and heat of Thai red chiles -- small red or green chiles, about 11/2 inches long. Look for them in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian markets.

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  • Japanese Cucumber Salad (46 calories)
  • Steamed snow peas with a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce (1/2 cup) (35 calories)

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Lamb Chops with Lebanese Green Beans

lamb chops with lebanese green beans Simple pan-roasted lamb chops are served alongside spiced stewed green beans and tomatoes in a riff on a Lebanese favorite, lubiyeh.

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Rack of Lamb with Warm Apple & Lentil Salad

rack of lamb with warm apple salad Mustard and rosemary complement rich lamb in this elegant meal. Don't let rack of lamb intimidate you -- it's actually simple to prepare.

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  • Nonfat chocolate frozen yogurt (1/2 cup) (100 calories)
  • Red wine (5-ounce glass) (120 calories)

Autumn Chicken Stew

Autumn Chicken Stew This simple chicken stew stars three of fall's best crops -- apples, carrots and parsnips. Serve with toasted whole-grain baguette and a glass of white wine.

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  • Toasted whole-grain baguette (2-inch piece) (132 calories)
  • Small whole-wheat crackers (about 15) (130 calories)

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Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese

chicken breasts stuffed with pimiento cheese Stuffing boneless, skinless chicken breasts with pimientos, scallions and cheese gives them great flavor without a lot of effort. Don't be concerned if some of the filling oozes out while the chicken is baking; just scoop it up from the pan as you serve.

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Saucy Coconut-Chicken Stir-Fry

saucy coconut chicken stir fry Thai flavors of coconut and basil come together in this fresh and spicy chicken-and-cabbage stir-fry. If your family prefers a milder meal, forgo the jalapeno. Serve over brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.

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  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) (109 calories)
  • Whole-wheat fettuccine (1/2 cup) (87 calories)

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Five-Spice Tilapia

five spice tilapia Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar make a quick glaze for tilapia. You'll need a skillet that is 12 inches or larger to accommodate the pound of tilapia fillets -- if you don't have one large enough, use 2 smaller skillets instead or cook them in two separate batches, using more oil as necessary.

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Grilled Steak with Pepper Relish

grilled steak with pepper relish Here, we toss colorful bell peppers in a balsamic-herb vinaigrette and grill them in a foil packet at the same time as the steak. Serve with Goat Cheese Grits with Fresh Corn.

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Tandoori Tofu

tandoori tofu A tandoori-inspired spice rub and smokiness from the grill flavor these tofu "steaks." While you're there, grill some vegetables, too, to serve alongside.

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