Showing posts with label stretching meat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stretching meat. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Taco Turnip Tamale Pie (Stretching Meat Part 4)

Taco meat, shredded turnips and enchilada sauce make up the filling in this tamale pie.

When I first started blogging, about 2ish years ago, I frequently talked about how I add shredded vegetables to stretch a pound of ground meat. I do this in tacos, in burgers, and in meatloaf. The benefits of this technique are twofold:  I am boosting the amount of vegetables in my family's diet in ways that my family will eat them [because I'll be honest, the kids are not Open-faced Shaved Beet Sandwich fans] AND I'm using the produce from our farm share in a timely manner.

In the long term I want to increase the amount of vegetables we eat [hey, it's part of the reasons we joined a CSA in the first place]. But when I open the fridge and see a crisper full of turnips 2 days before the next farm share pick up, the short term goal of using ALL the produce becomes paramount. I was getting desperate creative, looking for ways to use them, when I came up with this.

Normally if I'm clueless about dinner I'll thaw a package of ground beef and make tacos or taco salad. Because I add veggies to the base of meat often, we don't use the whole amount of taco meat and frequently have leftovers. This was a great way to repurpose a leftover and use turnips.  I've made root vegetable enchiladas [and need to make the photos of that one prettier], so I know the combo of enchilada sauce + turnip is pleasing to my family.  I just pumped it up a bit.

This could be another concept recipe--a way to incorporate a variety of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share vegetables into a dish--like my Fast CSA Greens and Pasta Concept recipe. Just with root vegetables this time.

For other tips to feed your family from the farm share, check out this post. For other recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipe Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index. For other recipes using ground beef, check out this round up of 106 Food Blogger Recipes Using Ground Beef.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Beetloaf, a Story about a Meatloaf

Valentine's Day is coming, and I'm sharing pink food. Beets are my go to pink food coloring for that vibrant color that is surprisingly found IN nature.

This story, as all good stories do, starts with a package of beef liver. You may think that's a weird way to start a post entitled Beetloaf. Let me be clear--just because I'm calling this Beetloaf in no way implies a lack of meat. There are many excellent vegetarian loaf recipes out there and this is not one of them. This just happens to be a meatloaf that also contains beets and, as it happens on my FB page, when I post something innocuous sounding like Roasted Beet & Arugula Pizza, my friends nickname it Beet-za. Today I'm skipping the middleman and going straight to the nickname:  Beetloaf.

Now, before Robert Barker arrived in our lives I didn't know what to do with all the beef liver in the freezer. [My neighbors kept bringing me more, slipping it in the house alongside the eggs when I wasn't looking.] I looked for ways to incorporate liver into our lives, much like I look for ways to incorporate beets into our meals. I hit upon an idea--what if I used beets + liver together? I know I like pickled beets in my Open-faced Liver Postej Sandwiches, so it stands to reason that I'd like them together in the same pan. I decided to add a pound of pork sausage and a pound of ground beef to the liver + beets primarily because I'd already done a mostly vegetable meatloaf, my {48.3% Meat}Loaf, and I knew the additional meat would be a hit with the teenagers. It was--my daughter dumped ketchup on it and declared it 'acceptable' (when in doubt, ketchup is my #5 tip to get your family to eat from the farm share). My son went so far as to say it was 'good'--high praise from him--and complain after I started using all the liver for Robert Barker--that he wanted to eat more beetloaf.

BOOM! Liver + beets are in our bellies and out of the freezer. That's a big win in my book.

For other recipes using liver you're going to have to wait until I create additional categories for my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, but there is a search function on the left sidebar in the meantime. For other recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other recipes using ground beef, please see my recipe round up of 106 Food Blogger Recipes using Ground Beef.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mexican Chicken Lentil Rice Bake (Salad?)

Most home cooks, and even the professionals down the road at Dorothy Lane Market, know the value of turning to a Kitchen Sink type recipe when faced with a fridge full of dinner building blocks.  I'm pretty sure a lot of classic Hot Dish combinations came about because a cook looked to his or her fridge/freezer/pantry for a substitution instead of trekking to the store.  Even though my local store is only a 1 mile (Map My) walk away, complete with a water dish for the waiting Simon, I'd rather use what I've got on hand.  Sometimes, the result is good enough to be written up and appear here.
I was mulling over what to call this dish while working a Hunger Study 2014 survey site.  My fellow volunteer, Bob, kept offering title ideas that were more general.  I kept coming up with very specific titles.  This was our compromise--it's got the Mexican Chicken Bake part from Bob and the Chicken Lentil Rice part from me.  You know, in case I do a Mexican Chicken Bake using garbanzo beans, Maui onions, zucchini, butternut squash, and orzo next. Or something.  Who knows?

Because I only used 2 large chicken thighs to feed 6-8 servings, I'd say this qualifies as a meat-stretching meal.  The chicken flavors the lentils, which add fiber and more protein to the dish.  Using leeks, corn, and salsa verde all put up from my seasonal CSA farm share pumps up the vegetable content, the rice binds it together, and the cheeses make it all tasty.  We ate this the first time a bit like we eat Taco Farro:  with tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce.  Leftovers went into thermoses for school, onto salads for lunch, and scooped up as a pre-dinner snack by a tortilla-chip-weilding hungry spouse.

Keep this Kitchen Sink idea in mind if you want to create a "less meat, more fiber" flavorful meal for your family.  It appealed to all of us, and I hope it appeals to you.