Serious Eats: Recipes
Healthy & Delicious: Italian Wedding Soup
There's a misconception among healthy eaters that beef is a bad thing. While that assumption is startlingly true for those who overdo it, it has the unfortunate side effect of scaring otherwise cautious people away from the occasional burger. Don't be fooled: beef can be part of a wholesome diet if eaten in moderation and as an element of a dish, rather than the main focus.
Cases in point: Joy Manning's entire Meat Lite series on Serious Eats, and Italian Wedding Soup from Catherine Walther's Soups + Sides. Each serving contains 2 to 3 ounces of ground beef, just enough to flavor the dish, but never so much as to give you indigestion.
While those mini-meatballs are undoubtedly the high point, the generous helping of vegetables—onions, celery, kale, and escarole—really beef the soup up (so to speak), and make it thoroughly nutritious. A little Parmesan added at the end is a nice touch, as well, providing both a little bit of salt and a tiny bit of creamy goodness.