Recipes included: Beef ‘n’ Noodles, Steamed Baby Carrots
What’s for dinner? How about beef ‘n’ noodles covered with rich, beefy gravy? Add some buttery, spicy baby carrots for a company-worthy meal that comes in at… wait for it… under 400 calories. To increase the healthy-eating quotient with a kick of added fiber and nutrients and even lower GI (glycemic index), use whole wheat egg noodles rather than regular white noodles.
Beef ‘n’ Noodles
- 1.5 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 1″ish chunks = 938 cal
- 2 TBS olive oil = 238 cal
- 1 onion, chopped = 44 cal
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped = 20 cal
- 32 oz carton beef broth = 60 cal
- 2 beef bouillon cubes = 10 cal
- 1/3 cup flour = 152 cal
- 3/4 cup water
- salt to taste
- LOTS of pepper
- 12 oz pkg whole wheat egg noodles = 1260 cal
- Optional: 32 oz carton beef broth to cook noodles
Total 2722 cal / 7 servings = 389 cal per serving
This is perfect for my chosen 400 max calorie meal. However, I love me some steamed baby carrots with beef ‘n’ noodles so I’m going with:
Total 2722 cal / 8 servings = 340 cal per serving + 46 cal per serving of baby carrots (recipe below) = 386 calories per meal
To make Beef ‘n’ Noodles in an Instant Pot:
- On saute setting, saute chopped onion and garlic and quick sear beef chunks in olive oil. Just dump it all in there at once.
- Add beef broth.
- Place lid on IP; set on manual for 15 minutes. Allow to slow release 10 minutes, or whenever you get around to it.
- Remove beef from broth. Place in large bowl; set aside.
- Set IP to saute setting. Toss bouillon cubes into broth; bring to simmer.
- Place the flour and water in a jar or container with tight-fitting lid (!); shake hard for 30 seconds or so until it’s smooth.
- Slowly pour flour/water mixture into the simmering broth while stirring. Stir and simmer until thickened. Turn off IP. Season gravy to taste. Be generous with the pepper!
- Pour gravy over beef reserved in the bowl.
- Dump noodles into IP (no need to even rinse the pot first – let it scrub itsownself); cover with water (or beef broth). Set IP to manual, 4 minutes. Quick release to avoid overcooking.
- Divide the noodles, beef and gravy between your chosen number of containers/servings.
Steamed Baby Carrots
- 1 lb pkg baby carrots = 160 cal
- 2 TBS butter = 204 cal
- Tony Chachere’s More Spice Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning mix or just salt and pepper)
- 1/3 cup water
Total 364 cal / 8 servings = 46 calories per serving
Yes, you can save 26 calories per serving by eliminating the butter on the carrots. No, you can’t take mine away. :p
- Place baby carrots and water in a microwave steaming bowl (or a bowl you can cover with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in it to release steam).
- Dot top with butter; sprinkle with seasoning mix.
- Cover. Nuke 6-7 minutes or til carrots are tender.
Just for fun, since I still had my grocery receipt, I figured out the cost of this indulgent entree. The total came to $13.86, not counting the incidentals like olive oil, flour, and butter. For 8 meals it came to $1.73 each. So still under $2 each with everything figured in. I like to do that sometimes, figure out the cost of meals I cook compared to the cost of prepared meals that are even close in size and quality. Doesn’t take much figuring to see that the hour I spent preparing these 8 entrees – a half hour of that playing a computer video game while the meat cooked – was very profitably spent.