Stretching meat to feed a hungry family

There are days when they barely eat what I cook.

Did you know tweens are fickle?

Teens too. šŸ™„

They want to eat meat, and meat is expensive, especially reputable meat (pasture raised, for example), so I gotta get creative here.

Today, I started with ground beef.

I made a large Dutch oven of chili which I will serve for dinner tonight as burritos, probably.

Even my mom will get some…last time I served Mexican she was quite impressed. I don’t think they cook Mexican inspired meals back home in their empty nest…maybe I should direct them to the Pioneer Woman for some Tex-Mex inspirations. šŸŒ¶šŸŒÆšŸŒ®

So anyway, back to my chili. I decided to stretch the meat by adding in a bunch of nutritious foods, like navy beans (which the kids claim they don’t like), chopped purple kale, shredded carrots, a lot of diced onion and minced garlic, plus a large bottle of pureed tomatoes. Then I added half a jar of medium salsa (and those who want more heat can add my brother’s home-made hot pepper sauce).

The beans are slightly overcooked and will mesh nicely into the meat mixture. They’ll never know… šŸ™„

So that’s one way one can stretch meat.

Another way would be to add cooked quinoa, or some other grain. I decided not to do that this time…

Tonight, the beef mixture will be rolled into some corn tortillas, topped with cheese and sourcream, and hot sauce if they want. Yum. Perfect food prior to a 90 minute hockey practice, right?

* * *

When it comes to salads, we are struggling a bit nowadays. If you live in North America I’m sure you’ve heard that the E. coli scare is quite real, affecting lettuce, romaine in particular.

The Romaine empire has fallen, and Caesar is dead. šŸ™ƒ šŸ™„ šŸ˜

Honestly, up here in the northern parts winter has arrived and no one really feels much like salad anyway. At least not the leafy green kind.

In our family we tend to happily munch on chopped veggies, like bell peppers, and fennel during the cooler months. Green salads are for spring and summer.

Today, while preparing my chili, I was inspired by Valerie Bertinelli’s cooking show to make a fennel salad with sliced oranges. She mentioned it was appropriate for cooler weather. Only thing missing in my fridge is arugula…maybe I’ll run out and get some quick, later.

Does California get cool weather? That’s where she’s filming…

But she’s right, crunchy/sweet fennel is loved by all here, so maybe I’ll get on that recipe as soon as I can find it online.

That’s my day today. My dog walking was canceled so I shopped for food after schlepping kids from the rink to school this morning, and spent the day preparing meals. I have enough chili to put some in the freezer for another day, the left-over cooked navy beans are cooking up with bacon and onions in the oven for a protein-rich breakfast tomorrow (beans on toast), and the second pound of beef is about to be mixed up into tiny meatballs which I will freeze as well for another day.

Tuesday, it seems, is a cooking day for me. Back to work tomorrow.

How are you spending your Tuesday?

20 thoughts on “Stretching meat to feed a hungry family

  1. This time of year I make lots of soups and chili. Because of the cold. But also because I like both. And my finicky kids are now grown adults and out on their own and, surprise, they eat most anything now that they are cooking for themselves. Amazing how that works.

    Iā€™m with you on eating salads mostly in the spring and summer. I want comfort food during the cold of a Minnesota winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gawd, the romaine lettuce recall came in just before my assistant manager was due to clock out and it was chaos trying to get all the romaine off the shelves and get a system to get an accurate count for our manager’s accounting and I was 1/2 hour late clocking out and our produce department was half empty and and and

    Why cant they just grow lettuce and spinach without contaminating half of the global food supply? It’s seriously ridiculous how frequently Americans have to do without any leafy greens because somebody shat in the lettuce processing facility or whatever it is they’re doing to keep contaminating our green leafy foods

    Sorry. Rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks very appetising, I should really make a chili, I usually make bolognaises from minced beef but I’ll wing it and add every thing from lime pickle to soy sauce…ā€¦ā€¦ā€¦ lol I seem to get away with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good ideas! I make chili and I make rice and bean burritos. But strangely I have never put the chili in the burritos! That way my teens and tween will not really know they are eating the chili (that they pretend not to like…Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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