Okay, I’m a food nerd so, I looked it up. It’s a little complicated but, Salisbury steak is probably named for Doctor James Salisbury who advocated adding meat to people’s diets late in the 19th century to promote better health. He actually suggested a preparation which looks a little bit like my mum’s old recipe which would stretch back to the 30’s. Essentially, seasoned ground beef shaped into a patty, smothered in brown sauce almost always served with mashed potatoes. Something like it was served for lunch at our girl’s daycare and it was a huge favourite.
From time to time I would haul out the old recipe and serve it up and usually got good reviews. But all that red meat and potatoes is considered pretty lethal for more mature metabolisms so I looked for ways to make a healthier version. I chose to mix it up a bit and now go half and half lean ground beef and lean ground turkey and, to be more conscious of the sides, I serve it with roasted veggies and mashed cauliflower.
Now, here’s the thing about ground beef and ground turkey. If you choose lean ground beef and match it to generic ground turkey, the beef comes out equal or in front of the turkey in all critical categories but one. Lean ground beef typically has fewer calories, less cholesterol, more micro nutrients like vitamins and minerals and the same amount of protein as ground turkey. It’s also generally considered to be more flavourful.
So, where does turkey win? Ground beef has significantly more saturated fat than ground turkey which makes it more heart healthy. If you can choose ground turkey that is made primarily from breast meat, ground turkey can actually have fewer calories. And, mixing turkey with beef and adding seasonings addresses the flavour issue while still improving its health impact.
Finally, I couldn’t conceive of serving Salisbury steak without mashed potatoes… or at least something that looked, tasted and felt like mashed potatoes. I found and now serve an easy buttermilk garlic mashed cauliflower as a healthier, much lighter alternative. It really works. Try it.
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