It is no secret that four legged meats, especially beef and
pork that were fattened in feedlots, comprise one of the
highest sources of fats in the American diet. If you want to
keep some of your recipes, but lower the fat by ten to fifty
percent, you can substitute some soy foods for part. This is
easiest to do with meals which can be made from ground beef.
I have yet to find an artificial meat cutlet, molded from
tofu and / or TSP/TVP = Textured Soy/Vegetable Protein, to
taste very good. But I have learned to like tofu and tempeh
for themselves. I have made “beef stew” with tempeh
replacing all the meat, and omelets with mashed tofu instead
of cheese, and served without sausage or bacon. I also like
angel hair pasta mixed with spices, soy sauce, and an equal
mixture of ground beef and tofu.
The scientific test for success was that I have eaten my
invented recipes more than once, and without any regrets.
So, what about meat loaf? It looks like a natural test case.
One should realize that fat in the starting meat will be
mostly trapped in the final dish, so start with lean ground
beef. Major groceries should have 5 to 10 percent fat ground
beef. If not, ask for some to be made from their leanest
cuts. If you extend the meat by folding in crushed crackers
or bread crumbs, realize that such will help trap fat.
Here is my experiment of a recent weekend.
First, start an oven heating to about 375 Fahrenheit, plus
or minus 25 degrees. It will be ready when the dish is.
I placed 12 ounces (a common standard package size) of extra
firm tofu (least water content) in a round ceramic baking
dish, then used a manual potato masher to reduce it to
paste. I then added 3 cups of lean ground beef, and blended
thoroughly, until the color was uniform. Along the way, I
had tossed in some diced garlic, blended green herbs, two
tablespoons of real soy sauce, and some fresh ground black
pepper, but no salt. Other people might want to include some
diced green or red pepper, some tomato sauce or fresh diced
tomatoes, and similar.
By the way, I use Mori-Nu brand of tofu, because it comes in
aseptic packages which require no refrigeration.
I cut two medium potatoes length wise into quarters, then
sliced fairly thinly. I also diced up a double handful of
pre peeled baby carrots. After shaping the meat into a round
loaf which did not touch the sides of the dish, I placed
potato around the sides, then the carrots over every thing.
I topped the dish with its clear glass cover, then placed in
the oven for an hour. This made the potato and carrot slices
tender but not mushy. The resulting juices made a great
gravy. After serving, I added a small amount of “lite salt”,
which is a 50 – 50 blend of potassium and sodium chloride.
Readers can vary the proportion of tofu. My meat loaf had a
very nice consistency, neither rock hard nor crumbly soft. I
would like to know if readers still got good results using
After the left overs had spent a night in the refrigerator,
I saw no globs of congealed fat, which confirmed that the
meat was lean. Of course, the fat absorbed back into the
loaf was not visible. I reduced the saturated fats in the
meal, but I did not eliminate them.
Baking the potatoes with the meat, rather than making mashed
potatoes, meant no temptation to add butter or margarine.
** Diet with FACTS, not MYTHS. **