Can we just talk about beef for a second? I mean, not too much, because honestly it’s not nearly as interesting as something like FRO YO, but I do want to talk about how it can, in my opinion, be a lot healthier than people think. When I started my weight loss journey, one of the first things I did (after cutting out fast food) was cut out red meat. I don’t want to go into toooo much detail here, but I don’t “cut out” foods anymore; however, it was incredibly beneficial in the beginning when I was literally learning how to eat healthily.
For years, I was very strict and I would only consume ground turkey, but one day I read the nutrition label of my lean ground turkey and compared it to lean ground beef. They were practically identical. If you choose 99% lean ground turkey breast, it is the leanest and the healthiest, but 96% lean ground beef is pretty great too. If you buy ground turkey, it usually comes in several varieties with the leanest being 93% and 99%.
- 93% lean ground turkey has 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, and 21 grams of protein per serving.
- 99% lean ground turkey breast has 120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat and 26 grams of protein per serving.
- 96% lean ground beef has 140 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 24 grams of protein per serving.
So, yes, ground turkey breast is clearly the healthiest, (especially if you compare it to the 80% lean ground beef I see most often at the store that contains 290 calories, 23 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat and 19 grams of protein per serving) but they’re all great options, and ground turkey breast can be expensive, and many people consider it dry. I love it, and I think it works great for tacos and meat sauce, but for things like burgers and meatloaf, I think extra lean ground beef is the way to go.
So my point is, not all red meat is “bad” and not all turkey is “good”. I won’t bore you with more numbers, but check that nutrition label of the less expensive 85% lean ground turkey. Okay, enough nutrition talk, let’s talk about this meatloaf because it is bordering on life changing. First of all, please tell me you love French onion soup as much as I do??? Sweet caramelized onions in a savory beef broth with tons of bread and cheese overflowing the top of the bowl–what’s not to love?
This dish takes all of the best aspects of French onion soup and puts them together in a healthy, hearty meatloaf. It is FILLED with 2 whole onions worth of caramelized onions, bound by oats instead of crusty bread (I promise you can’t even taste them!), and topped off with melty, bubbling gruyere cheese. It’s also incredibly easy (and fun!) to assemble, making it perfect for any time!
French Onion Meatloaf
yield 6 servings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced
- salt and pepper
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup raw oats (if you care about that sort of thing, use gluten-free oats)
- 1 lb 96% lean ground beef (if I haven’t sold you on the beef thing, ground turkey works too )
- 2-3 oz gruyere cheese, sliced or freshly shredded
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large pan, cook garlic and onions in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together egg whites, almond milk and beed broth in a large bowl. When onions have finished cooking, remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes, then add onions, oats and beef to the egg white mixtures. Add salt and pepper if desired (I didn’t). Use your hands to incorporate all ingredients until combined. You don’t need to overmix. The mixture may appear liquidy at first, but just keep lightly tossing with your hands, and it will come together.
- Transfer to prepared loaf pan, and cook for 50-60 minutes until cooked throughout. Remove tinfoil from pan and transfer to a baking sheet. Gently remove tin foil from the sides of your meatloaf, and flatten onto baking sheet (this allows the cheese to ooze down). Top with cheese. Turn your oven to broil and cook for and additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted, browned and bubbly to your liking. Let rest for 5 minutes, then enjoy.