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Enchilada Casserole

The cost of beef is going up. I’ve read a few different articles that peg the increase anywhere from 4% to 10% and this is a following a record increase of 5% in 2013!  When I was in Oregon last week I bought beef at Trader Joe’s I was shocked at the prices. Almost $10 a pound for a cheap cut of steak. Hamburger was over $7.

When we first moved here our food budget was super tight. We wanted to be able to enjoy high quality grass-fed beef and the only way we could do that was to purchase a little and make it stretch. We joined a CSA and got 10 pounds each month.  We made that 10 pounds stretch for the entire month (we did also have local meats like antelope and trout). Combining meat with beans or using it in soups, stews and casseroles can produce a very filling (and nutritious) meal without using a big chunk of meat.

When I would cook a big chunk of meat, AKA a roast, these would become Stretchy Meals and that one roast would be stretched into two or three meals. Those three meals might looks something like this;

  • Day 1: Traditional Roast Beef served with potatoes, carrots, onions (I cook it all together) and make gravy out of the drippings to go over the potatoes.
  • Day 2: Burritos.
  • Day 3: Beef ‘Stroganoff’ over rice. Not a real Stroganoff but my version. Mushrooms (sauteed), the leftover veggies from the roast, the leftover gravy, bite size beef chunks all cooked together until hot and then add sour cream to it. Yum.
See the list below for other ideas for using leftover roast plus our favorite meals that can really stretch a pound of beef.
Design a Soup

With Beans:

Navajo Tacos
Taco Soup
Beef and Bean Enchilada Casserole
Super Flexible Stuffed Burritos
BBQ Style Beans

With Vegetables or Starch:

Sourdough Pockets
Stuffed Peppers (see budget friendly notes at the bottom)
West African Beef
Sort of Goulash
Kimbap (we make it like sushi but use a small 1/2 pound steak  or leftover roast beef for the meat)
Design a Casserole
Curry Lo Mein Style Dinner
Design a Stew/Soup
Design a Meat Salad (great use for leftover roast)
Meat Potpie (great use for leftover roast)
Meatloaf Burgers (uses a pound of ground beef to make burgers for the entire family)
Quick and Easy Gyros (uses a pound of ground beef to make gyros for the entire family)

What is your favorite way to stretch beef?


Shared at Simple Lives Thursday

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