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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nourishing and Frugal: Fall Foods

There's another carnival going on at the Nourishing Gourmet. I thought I'd add what we ate for dinner tonight to the list.

I lived on hamburger stew many a time while I was in college. A big pot, some bread and or salad, and you had a good, nourishing, tasty meal. The next day, I added some water or a few extra vegetables and ate it some more. This could last me a week when I was single. It does seem to be a little like the never ending pot, and is perfect for a family trying to live frugally. If you don't want to eat it all week, make up a big pot, eat it for dinner, add a little more liquid and freeze the rest for another time.

There isn't really a recipe for this. There are a few things I always put in it, but it is pretty flexible and can work with whatever you have and fits your tastes. Tonight, I left out the potato/squash/turnip/rutabaga portion, because we had so much of everything else and didn't add any of the optional things.

Hamburger Stew

1 pound ground beef
Any combination of onion, garlic, shallots, leeks, scallions that you like - I tend to use an onion and five cloves of garlic
About a pound of peppers/celery/carrots used singly or in any combination
About a pound of peeled and cubed potatoes/winter squash/turnips/rutabagas in any combination you wish
About 2 cups of cooked beans (canned or cooked from dry)
About 2 cups of chopped greens such as kale/cabbage/chard/spinach in any combination
2 cans diced or stewed tomatoes (home canned is best, but store bought works fine)
Liquid to cover - any combination of water/bean broth/tomato sauce/meat broth will work
1 bay leaf
A little basil
Freshly ground pepper
About half a pound of corn/summer squash/peas/green beans (optional)

We buy locally raised, pastured beef, so I don't ever drain the fat. I brown the meat, add the onions and cook until they are translucent, add the garlic and any veggies that benefit from a little browning and pre-cooking. Then I add in the cooked beans, the greens, the tomatoes, stir it up and add the liquid, herbs, salt and pepper. I bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook it just long enough to soften the vegetables. If I'm adding the optional, quick cooking vegetables, this is when I do it. I taste to season it, and serve with bread, cornbread, salad, or whatever we have around (like applesauce!).

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Thanks for being part of the carnival! I added your post in (I just close it to avoid spam, or....worse links being added).

Your recipes sounds great!
Last night we had green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef/ground turkey/rice. There was quite a bit of the stuffing left over {planned}, so tonight we had a lentil soup with meat/rice stirred in. It was good.

Of course, Darren said he'd have preferred a big ol' ham bone in there, but TOUGH LUCK for him, LOL.
He's not big on legumes anyway, so I doubt he'd have liked regardless.

That with cornbread muffins and salad,and I'm full!
Thank you for that recipe. I just got some venison mixed in with some beef from Farmer George. I will make this with some of that meat. You have such good ideas. Thanks again.
And where in the world do you find the time to post on your blog? lol.
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