My husband and I have been trying to think up several clever ways to save money since I am now a stay at home mom. Along with not eating out, eating leftovers as lunch and clipping coupons, we have found that eating several meatless meals a week has helped in the budget crunch. Not only is it good for our wallets, but it does a number for our health as well. We found that we were consuming far too much red meat to be considered healthy. Sure, we could have just switched to poultry and fish, but those are still costly avenues. It just seemed most logical to cut some meat out of our diets- and our wallets!
Hold the meat!
What was a meat-eating girl to do?!?! I knew I wanted to go the meatless route, but I wasn’t sure how to make nutritious balanced meals sans meat. It’s easy to get caught up in the pasta, bread and cheese craze when you are trying to cut out meat, but alas, this would not be healthy. To solve my woes I pulled out my favorite cookbook once again, The Betty Crocker Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today, The New Edition. The book has a whole vegetarian section full of yummy and well balanced meatless meals.
Taking the plunge…into veggies
I decided upon a veggie and bean burger. I bought all of the required items, which was great because I already had most of what was needed in my pantry at home, broccoli in my garden out back and my handy dandy Kitchen Aid 3 cup food processor waiting in my cabinet. I chopped up all of the necessary ingredients using the processor, mixed everything together as instructed and browned them in a skillet on the stove top.
The taste test
I have to admit that after I had done the first step, chopping the broccoli and mushrooms into tiny food processer bits, I was a bit scared of the soil smell it was letting off. I mistakingly told my husband that our food smelled like dirt. This is not the best move when you are trying to make a satisfying meal that you have never tried before. We both sat down to our plates a little scared to take the first bite. I went ahead and chomped down on my burger….yum! It was SO delicious! It by no means tasted like a meat burger, but it had a very pleasant taste all its own. It took my husband another minute or so of sniffing it to dig in, but once he did he was just as impressed as I was.
The moral of the story
It can be rather scary to try something new, especially when you wonder if eating meatless will really be satisfying when you are used to ground beef, steak and pot roast. Rest assured, it was delicious and my belly is still full! I challenge all of you try out at least one meatless meal per week if you don’t already. You can start with the recipe below!
1. using a food processor finely chop up 1/2 cup broccoli florets and 4 medium fresh mushrooms.
2. boil 1/4 cup of water. mix in 1/4 cup instant rice, cover and let sit for 5 minutes then mix the broccoli/mushroom mixture in with the rice.
3. mix one drained can of garbonzo beans, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 garlic clove in the food processor until smooth. Mix this into the rice/veggie mixture.
4. mix 1/3 cup italian style dry bread crumbs in to mixture.
5. create 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown patties 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown in a heated skillet containing 3 tablespoons of oil.
6. lay upon a hamburger bun dressed with your favorite ingredients.