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How to Cook a Low Fat, Calorie Counted Roast Beef Sunday Lunch

Gabriel loves to cook all kinds of foods, from baking to a full roast dinner and, of course, burgers.

Make And Rate

Sunday Lunch For Six

There is nothing better than a Sunday roast to put a smile on our faces than a calorie counted Sunday roast. Sit back and read on. Sunday lunch just got healthier for all the family.

  • Chose a nice lean tender joint of topside beef for roasting. You will need 1 and 1/2 Ib in weight. Cook your joint for 20 min per pound for rare beef, 30 min for rare medium and 40 min for medium well. We're doing a rare medium beef to day, so about 45 to 55 min. Always rest your meat for 20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to settle and makes carving easier. I have chosen beef for this particular Sunday, but by all means opt for lamb, pork or chicken. They all make a wonderful Sunday lunch.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 F, 180 C or gas mark 4. Seal your meat in a roasting tin on the hob first (turning the joint till all the meat is just coloured). Place your meat in the oven on a wire rack over the roasting tin (I bought the same one as advertised below, it's fantastic for separating meat from the juices). Add a large sprig of rosemary and thyme to the roasting tin for extra flavor. The roasting tin will gather the juices while the meat cooks on the wire rack, and will be the base for your gravy later.
  • Prepare all your vegetables before hand, that way everything is ready to be cooked and your service area will be clutter free.
  • Par boil your potatoes in salted water for about 10 min. Allow 4 medium chunks per portion. I always cook extra though, as my family love roast potatoes. Strain and shake the pot a little to create rough edges. Steam for about 20 min. Heat 2 table spoons of oil in a roasting dish in the oven for 5 min, add the potatoes and shake to coat in the oil. Place the potatoes in the oven. They will take 30 to 40 min. Turn the potatoes two or three times to get them really crispy. At this point our meat has been roasting for about 35 min.
  • Once your potatoes have been in the oven for about 10 min. Lightly boil your baby carrots in water with an orange cut in quarters (stab the orange skin a few times with a knife to release more citrus juice). When they are just cooked remove to a side dish, squeeze over some of the juice from one of the orange quarters and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Keep warm in the oven. As with the carrots lightly boil your swede, mash with 15 grams of butter and sprinkle with a little cracked black pepper and parsley. Again keep warm in the oven.
  • The beef is now cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to rest. Our potatoes are more than halfway through cooking and we have two prepared vegetables just gone into the oven. Make your gravy from beef gravy granules (as instructions on the carton, bisto is good) add an extra spoon of granules for thick gravy. Remove the beef and wire rack from the roasting tin. Place the roasting tin with the beef juices and herbs back on the hob add the bisto gravy mix and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes, add a little water if needed. Strain the gravy to get a lovely smooth consistency and return to the roasting tin and keep warm over a low heat.
  • Lightly boil your florets of broccoli and/or cauliflower which ever you prefer, and the green beans in salted water (or fresh peas) for about 10 min. While the last of the vegetables cook, put your yorkshire puddings (Aunt Bessie's are fab just follow the instructions on the packet) into the oven. Always use a non-stick muffin tray (see the one recommended below, it's the same one I have). Preheat 6 dinner plates (I like to use my amHomel white plates to serve) a gravy boat and 3 serving dishes for your vegetables. Strain your florets and green beans and steam.
  • Carve your beef. Remove plates and serving dishes from the oven, along with the carrots, swede and yorkshires. Remove the florets and beans from their pots to their serving dishes adding 15 grams of butter to the beans. Place the sliced beef on the plates with a yorkshire pud. Spoon over some gravy and serve.
  • While you dish up get a helper to deliver the vegetables to the dining table.
  • Lastly pour the remaining gravy into the warm gravy boat (invest in a good size gravy boat for all that delicious gravy) and take the roasties from the oven to the table. Blissful and delightful: the perfect roast beef Sunday lunch with all the taste, non of the fuss and low fat too. Absolutely perfect.

This roasting pan with rack is an excellent product which I love using, I highly recommend it: easy to use and to clean...

Only use nonstick bake ware to ensure nonstick yorkshire puddings, this muffin pan works a treat and is easy to clean...

Roast Beef Sunday Lunch

Roast Beef Sunday Lunch

I like to use my amHomel white plates to serve my roast dinner, they look good and are microwave, oven and dishwasher safe...

The Calorie Bit

I have broken down the calorie intake from this Sunday lunch as follows...

  • 4 oz of roast topside will cost you 180 calories
  • 10 gram of butter = 70 calories, we used 2 x 15 gram (swede and beans) = 210 calories divide by 6 (dinner for 6) = 35 calories
  • a portion of potatoes (4 medium chunks (4 oz)) will set you back less than 150 calories, 2 x 15 ml of oil = 256 calories, divided by 6 = 42 calories added to 4 oz of potatoes 23 calories each = 92 calories, total 134 calories
  • Aunt Bessie's yorkshire pudding x one (36 gram) comes in at 91 calories
  • gravy made from granules with meat juices will hit about 80 calories per 50 ml serving
  • carrots, swede, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and fresh peas come under zero calorie foods, meaning they use more energy been digested than the actual energy they contain

This Sunday lunch with all the trimmings touches the calorie scale at 520 calories. The best thing about this lunch is everyone can enjoy it: the calories are only just over 25% of the recommended daily calorie allowance (2000 for women, 2500 for men).

Cooking plenty of vegetables bulks up your plate, a little added butter really adds flavor and carrots love orange. Choosing a lean joint of beef will give you wonderful meat juices and adding the juices to your granules will give you a tasty gravy without ladling on the fat. The herbs add a delicious flavour too and by all means experiment with your favourite.

Stick to your 4 chunks of roast potatoes and you won't ruin your waistline. The idea of using the pre cooked yorkshires is down to three things: time, exact calories, and Aunt Bessie's really are very good. However, if you really are being strict on yourself: lose the yorkshire pud and bring your plate down to a meager 429 calories. Half your gravy portion and you'll hit an amazing 389 calories.

Most low fat ready meals can't beat this lunch on calorie content. You really can eat your Sunday roast with all the family without feeling guilty, or indeed buying special diet food just for you. Welcome to the land of the living were food is celebrated and your diet is for life and not a fad. Healthy eating does not mean bland and boring food.

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The Classic Art of Roasting: Buy this book, I think it's fantastic...

An Easy Three Course Sunday Lunch

  • A tasty low fat and low calorie starter is parma ham and melon. One slice of parma ham (85 gram) and a wedge of melon will add 66 calories to your Sunday lunch. If you use watermelon instead of cantaloupe, this starter is a mere 36 calories as watermelon comes under zero calorie foods. See Zero Calorie Foods below to the right of the page.
  • If you really must have dessert, go for fresh strawberries with a 50 ml scoop of plain ice cream, or my favorite 20 ml of fresh pouring cream, costing a slim 90 calories. Strawberries are also on the zero calorie food list.
  • Don't worry if you like a glass of wine a 175 ml glass (which is large) tips the calories to 113 for a class of dry white wine and 122 calories for a glass of red wine.
  • The total for this scrumptious three course meal including a large glass of red wine = 768 calories. If you pass on the yorkshire pudding and half your gravy portion, the total calories = 637 calories.
  • As you're having a good lunch opt for a poached egg on buttered toast using 10 gram of butter for your breakfast = 220 calories.
  • If you have room for supper go with something light: 50 gram of buffalo mozzarella cheese and sliced beef tomatoes will round off your day adding 135 calories to the total. If you like cold roast beef, buy a bigger joint and serve as leftovers with a small mixed green leaf salad. A 75 gram portion comes in at a neat 120 calories, add a teaspoon of horseradish and the total stays at 135 calories.

Melon and Parma Ham Starter

Melon and Parma Ham Starter

Strawberries and Cream For Dessert

Strawberries and Cream For Dessert

A Glass of Wine Won't Ruin Your Waist Line

A Glass of Wine Won't Ruin Your Waist Line

Hints & Tips

  • There is 5 ml in a teaspoon.
  • There is 15 ml in a tablespoon.
  • Invest in a drinks measure as an easy and quick guide to liquids. I have a 25 ml, 35 ml and a 50 ml, either bribe your local landlord or purchase the measures in any good home store. It makes life really easy in the measuring department.
  • Invest in a ladle with measurements in the actual scoop, brilliant for soups and sauces.
  • When measuring butter, use a tablespoon and level off, or weigh the butter to the whole required amount and then cut into separate portions.
  • To get the medium roast potato chunk portion exactly right, weigh the boiled potatoes, when the needle hits 4 oz that's your personal limit to roast.
  • Use herbs to add flavor to your foods. Update your knowledge on what herbs go well with different meats and vegetables: sage with pork, lemon and thyme with chicken, mint with peas etc.
  • Get used to reading labels, a lot of the work in weighing is done for you already.
  • Always cook the same meal for everyone, that way you won't feel your sacrificing, simply use a few hints to deliver a wholesome meal that doesn't pile on the calories.
  • The most important thing is to enjoy and maintain a healthy relationship with your food. Eating is a sociable occasion and to be enjoyed. Healthy eating is for life and a few treats here and there is also important.

A healthy relationship with your food is very important, there's nothing wrong with the odd treat: It's perfectly normal and more importantly a little of what you fancy is good for you.

A Delicious Dessert That won't Ruin Your Waist Line

  • Perfect Pavlova
    Serves 6 4 large very fresh egg whites 200 grams of (very fine crystal) caster sugar sieved pinch of salt Set your oven to 130 C, 260 F or just under gas mark 2. Line a baking tray...

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson


Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 18, 2010:

absolutely, lets make it a party!

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on May 17, 2010:

I have rated up just because of the good job you did at making me hungry. Am I invited too? lol

Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 15, 2010:

usually about 2pm, the more the merrier :)

mtsi1098 on May 15, 2010:

This looks very good - what time is lunch on Sunday :)

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