Red meat gets a bad rap, with its health benefits often overshadowed by concerns about saturated fat and cholesterol. But in reality, there are plenty of healthy red meat recipes and plenty of types of it that have much to offer. While you don’t want to over-consume it, red meat contains necessary nutrients like the form of iron known as heme, which is easier for your body to use than iron from plant sources.
There’s also more to red meat than beef: Lamb and bison are readily available nowadays and are nutrient-dense proteins that don’t have too different a price point from beef, especially if you purchase them ground or as larger cuts. And pork, despite marketing campaigns of the 1980s, is also red meat and is grown nowadays with significantly less fat than in the past. Ahead, we have eight different healthy red meat recipes that are delicious so that you can eat this valuable protein source in fun and interesting ways.
1. Harvest Bowl with Ground Bison
Celebrate the festivity of fall with this harvest bowl recipe that features acorn squash and the unique flavor of maple vinegar, which is made from maple syrup. Ground bison and roasted vegetables are topped with wojape, which is a traditional Native American sauce. The use of fresh berries in it will add even more fiber to the dish than the roasted vegetables already contribute, as well as a fruity, tangy flavor. Served over wild rice cooked with spinach, this dish is bursting with healthful components.
Try the recipe from The Gingered Whisk.
2. Gyro Salad
Love all the Greek flavors of a gyro, but don’t enjoy the feeling of having eaten lots of bread? This gyro salad gives you all the punch of a gyro, but the lamb skewer is served over red-leaf lettuce instead of wrapped in bread. You have the option of choosing tzatziki, Greek salad dressing, or any other vinaigrette. Feta, cucumber, and tomato add richness and freshness to the lamb skewer, and we love the additional topping suggestions that include kalamata olives, sliced onions, or julienned carrots.
Try the recipe from Hot Pan Kitchen.
3. Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Skillet
A perfect weeknight meal when you’re short on time but big on hunger, this ground beef and sweet potato skillet is a healthier take on the classic meat and potatoes combo. The seasoning combo includes garlic, onion, and chili powder for a kick, and the vegetable mix includes a full pound of Brussels sprouts. Beef broth ensures no shortage of meaty flavor that cooks deep into the ingredients, enriching the vegetables thoroughly. Leftovers will keep well, stored in the refrigerator.
Try the recipe from The Whole Cook.
4. Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
You might not think of pulled pork as a healthy main dish, but the truth of the matter is that it’s the store-bought barbeque sauce that brings the health value of this dish down. This slow cooker pulled pork uses a homemade sauce so that no sneaky ingredients are involved in your dinner. To get the sweetness you expect from a bbq sauce, non-caloric natural sweetener stevia is used. Smoked salt and smoked paprika impart a smoky flavor that isn’t otherwise attainable from a slow cooker.
Try the recipe from Healthy Recipe Blogs.
5. Sheet Pan Zesty Lamb Chops and Cauliflower
There’s something irresistible about sheet pan dinners, and this zesty lamb chops and cauliflower recipe is no exception. Brightened with the addition of pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped mint, the presentation is as elegant as the dish is filling and wholesome. The gaminess of the lamb is countered with both lemon juice and red wine vinegar, and a Mediterranean herb mixture and plenty of minced garlic pack even more of a punch into the dish.
Try the recipe from Simple Bites.
6. Bison Bolognese
Bolognese isn’t always the healthiest choice for a sauce, but this bison bolognese could be the nutritious star of any meal. It uses multiple bell peppers, onion, and lots of fresh garlic, relying on the flavors of herbs and seasonings rather than the usual milk and fat for a bolognese. If you prefer to avoid red wine you can opt for a splash of red wine vinegar instead. Serve this over any alternative pasta, or even halved spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
Try the recipe from Or Whatever You Do.
7. Sheet Pan Parmesan Pork Chop and Vegetables
A traditional dinner combination is given a healthy makeover with this pork chop and vegetables sheet pan recipe. You’ll use a pound of green beans and lots of red skin potatoes, and by sticking with bone-in pork chops there will be flavor and texture thanks to the collagen in the bones. Parmesan cheese is considered one of the healthiest cheeses around, and it’s an excellent choice because just a couple of tablespoons per serving adds a big heap of cheesiness. If you avoid dairy, sprinkle some nutritional yeast instead.
Try the recipe from Julie’s Eats and Treats.
8. Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables
As the weather cools, recipes like this slow-cooked beef pot roast with vegetables become all the more tantalizing. Roasts are budget-friendly cuts of beef, enabling you to feed a family or large group of friends at a fraction of the cost of steak. Bone broth is included, which lends more protein than a stock would, and if you aren’t accustomed to using parsnips this recipe is the perfect way to try them. They’re sweeter than most other root vegetables and will contrast any bitterness from the Brussels sprouts nicely.
Try the recipe from Real Simple Good.
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