As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Americans are some of the world’s top beef eaters. In fact, a 2012 report shows that the average American consumes nearly 300 pounds of beef per year and that beef now only comes in second to chicken when it comes to the country’s most popular meat. However, there are some health risks connected with eating red meat, such as clogged arteries and increased cholesterol, so if you are looking for other dishes that are savory yet heart healthy, there are a number of alternatives to choose from.
Whether you buy it canned or fresh, salmon makes a viable alternative to beef because of its versatility. Whole salmon steaks can be prepared either in the oven or on the grill, and canned salmon can be fashioned into patties if you find yourself craving a burger. Not only is this fish rich in taste, it is also full of heart-healthy elements, such as omega-3, and calcium, which is essential for bone health. While it is a bit costlier than other types of fish, the number of ways it can be prepared may be worth the price.
While you might not think that beans are a suitable replacement for beef, in truth, lentils are packed with protein and fiber, as well as magnesium, which carries a number of benefits for the body. Lentils can be prepared seasoned in a slow cooker or mashed to create patties or cakes, which is a fine choice if you are pursuing a vegan lifestyle. You can choose from either green or red lentils, and the price per pound ranges from $1.50-$ 1.80, depending on where you purchase them.
If you want the taste of meat without the heaviness or concerns about cholesterol, you may want to consider using ground turkey in your recipes. Ground turkey typically has about two to five grams of fat per serving, where a serving of beef tenderloin can have as much as sixteen. If you are watching your weight, this can have a positive impact on your diet. This is also a highly versatile meat, as it can be formed into patties, put into chili and stew, and used almost anywhere in place of ground beef.
Ground turkey may also be good for your wallet. While prices vary from state to state, beef is usually more expensive than turkey, averaging anywhere from .66 to .75 cents more per total cost and about ten to twenty cents per pound more as well. Depending on how much ground turkey you buy, this could save you quite a bit on your annual grocery bill.
Hummus has increased in popularity over the past few years and comes in a variety of flavors, from plain to olive, pine nut, and roasted basil. It is also inexpensive, ranging from about $1.80-$2.00 for eight ounces. While you might not think of hummus when you think of an alternative to beef, this food, which is made from a blend of chickpeas or sesame seeds, is surprisingly rich and robust. Like lentils, it is also packed with protein and fiber. Thanks to the variety of flavors hummus comes in, you can create a number of healthy dishes that are both savory and satisfying.
While tofu has gotten a bad rap over the years, it is actually a fine alternative to beef, especially if you are living a vegan lifestyle. This food is made from bean curd and thickened soy milk and accepts marinades remarkably well. You might consider pairing tofu with a dressing made from Hampton Foods mayonnaise products, which are plant based and a viable food for those living a vegan lifestyle. Learn about Hampton Creek and its products here, where you can discover a variety of products to help you create delicious tofu meals.
Thanks to tofu’s highly moldable shape, you can create a variety of patties and cakes for either grilling or baking. Other dishes you can make with tofu include tofu tacos, stews, kabobs, stir fry, and soup. Making all these dishes will not impact your wallet either, as the cost of tofu per pound is typically two dollars less than a pound of lean ground beef. This can add up to big savings on your grocery bill over time.
While it might not be easy to change your eating habits and consume less beef, these five tasty alternatives may make the transition a bit smoother. Do not be afraid to try a variety of recipes and keep an open mind when it comes to new and surprising flavors, as you just might find a favorite that pleases your palate and keeps your heart healthy.