Stretch Meat Further
Wouldn’t it be great to stretch meat further? Meat is a big expense in the family grocery budget. I do everything I can to try and stretch that dollar. The first thing that comes to mind in trying to stretch meat further is to have meatless meals a few times a week. Well, if your family is like mine, preparing a meatless dish is like asking them to go get a root canal. (How DARE I suggest such a thing- sheesh!) My husband does not consider a meal a “meal” unless there is some kind of meat in it. I guess you could say he is a meat snob. Well, this girl is pretty determined to stretch meat further in this household. So here are some ideas to help you stretch meat further. They are simple. There is no magic involved. This is just what I do. It works for my family.
The 2 main rules I follow are:
1. Do NOT serve the meat as an entrée by itself. They will look at the little piece you have given them and their mind will trick them into thinking that they are still hungry- no matter what else you serve with it!
2. Cut up your meat into small pieces and use heavy fillers to mix with it. Heavy fillers include potatoes, bread, rice or pasta, and beans. When they see meat they are happy folk. They won’t even notice that you are filling their bellies with other stuff.
Here are some ideas of meals you can cook to stretch meat further:
- Stir Fry
- Fried Rice
- Pizza and Calzones
- Soups and Stews
- Tacos & Burritos
- Meatloaf- don’t be afraid to use lot’s of breadcrumbs or oatmeal. (Some even used Cream of Wheat in their meatloaf in the 1940’s to help stretch meat further during the war.) Keep in mind the more fillers you use- the more spices it will need.
- Pot Pies
- Fish Patties
You have lots of choices. Be creative. I have included an original recipe that uses just 1 chicken breast to make 6 servings, yes six! My family loved it and didn’t even realize I was skimping on the meat. Shhhhhhhh…we won’t tell them.
Garlic Bread Chicken Melts
- 1 loaf of pre-made garlic bread (I always get mine in the marked down section)
- 1 green bell pepper- cut in thin strips
- 1 medium onion- cut in thin strips
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 large chicken breast- boneless, skinless- cut in small chunks
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Bake the garlic bread in the bag according to package instructions. When finished turn oven on broil.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in frying pan.
- Add onions, peppers, and chicken. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and veggies are no longer crispy.
- Separate the garlic bread in two long halves. (Most bread comes pre-cut) and evenly spread the chicken mixture on top of each garlic bread half.
- Sprinkle 1 c. of cheese over meat mixture on each piece of bread.
- Broil in oven until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
Cut each half of the garlic bread into 3 pieces. Serve with a salad and you have a complete meal.. Enjoy!