Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage

I have seen recipes for unstuffed pepper soup or unstuffed cabbage roll stew and came up with this by ditching the things we hated and keeping the things we liked. This has only a pound of beef in it, but is still very filling. You can increase the salt if you want, but we don’t go crazy with the salt in this house.

This is low-carb and gluten free.

Cost estimate:

Beef or bison: $3 for conventional and $6 for grass-fed organic

Cabbage: $0.50-1

Onion: $0.25-50

Celery:$0.10

Tomatoes: $1.50

Tomato Paste: $0.39

Flour/sugar/seasoning: $0.20

Total: $5.94-9.69

$0.99-$1.62 per serving

Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage

Serves 6

1 lb. ground beef or bison (don’t go too lean, as this is your only source of fat). I get 85% lean.

1 small green cabbage, roughly cut into shreds

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 15-oz cans stewed tomatoes (or 2 cans stewed and 1 can fire roasted)

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 TB flour (Use wheat flour or GF flour to make GF. Can also use oats.This is to just help thicken it.)

1 TB sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Dump everything in a slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Boom! You’re done!

 

Frugal Vegetarian Meal: Roasted Veggie Wraps with Herbal Cream Cheese

Roasted

I don’t usually buy cream cheese, but I had a couple of packs of light cream cheese sitting in my fridge since Thanksgiving. I decided I needed to use it up, along with some zucchini and mushrooms that were getting ready to turn.

I roasted the zucchini and mushrooms in the oven with some red onion, bell pepper, and garlic with a tiny bit of olive oil, and added a drained and rinsed can of black beans at the end of the roasting to add some protein. (Plus, I love beans!)

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I had some Ole herbed spinach low carb tortillas to use up as well, so I mixed the package of cream cheese with some green onions, smeared the tortilla with it, and topped it with the beans and veggies.

The result was absolutely delicious!

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Recipe:

Roasted Veggie Wraps with Herbed Cream Cheese

8 burrito sized tortillas (wheat, corn, or whatever you choose)

8 oz. light cream cheese, softened

1/2 bunch green onions, minced

1 large red onion, diced

2 zucchini squash, diced

8 oz sliced mushrooms, sliced

1 sweet bell pepper, sliced thin

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

(Optional) Diced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese,  fresh basil or cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the vegetables except for the green onions in a 13 x 9 roasting pan. Mix in the garlic and oil and stir to make sure vegetables are coated. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, then add the beans to the pan. Roast until vegetables have softened.

Mix the softened cream cheese with the green onions and stir until well combined. Spread 1-2 TB of the cream cheese mixture into the center of a tortilla and top with roasted vegetables. Top with fresh diced tomato, herbs, or shredded cheese if desired. Fold edges over and serve. Makes about 8 servings.

Frugal Food Adventures: Beef Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable

I’ve tried many recipes for Beef Vegetable Soup, and I have always found that I have to adjust them. Either they have things I don’t like in this type of soup (black eyed peas, pasta, rice), or they are missing elements that I consider essential (Worcestershire sauce, LOTS of okra, lima beans).

This recipe is easy and makes a huge vat. With five of us, it typically lasts 3 days.

Beef Vegetable Soup

10 servings

1-1.5 pounds lean stew beef

1 large onion, finely diced (can use frozen)

1 bag frozen vegetables for soup

1 bag frozen cut okra

1 bag frozen lima beans

3 15-oz cans diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained

1 bouillon cube, flavor of your choice (I usually only have vegetarian in the home)

1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1 TB Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp celery seed

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

6 cups water (I fill an empty tomato can three times)

I don’t brown my meat ( I have no time for that!), but browning your meat will give an additional roasted flavor. If you want to brown your meat, put it in a pan in a couple TB of oil, and brown all sides.

If you are like me, and want the easy route, dump all ingredients into a 6 qt slow cooker right away. Set on high and cook for at least 7 hours. It’s done when the meat is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.

(Note: If you like pepper, feel free to add some to taste. I add mine to my own serving. My kids won’t eat it otherwise.)

Frugal Food Adventures: Veggie Infused Meatloaf

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We don’t eat a lot of meat in our house, but occasionally the natives get restless. We don’t eat seafood because of allergies (I only buy tuna for the food pantry sometimes), and some kind of switch was flipped during my last pregnancy, making the smell and taste of most poultry squick me out and make me gag.  (For some reason, Chick-Fil-A is the only way I can consume chicken without wanting to hurl).

I usually keep ground beef in the freezer, and like to try and sneak extra veggies into my kids whenever possible. I won’t post many recipes of my own, as I’m more likely to try someone else’s creation than make my own, but I will share this one for Veggie Infused Meatloaf. We probably have it once per month, and my kids love it.

Serves 6

1 pound ground beef or bison

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 medium onion

2 cups fresh spinach

1 medium carrot

1 stalk of celery

1 whole egg or 2 egg whites

3 TB ketchup

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Pepper

Mix the beef in a bowl with bread crumbs and season to taste with Lawry’s and pepper. Dump the vegetables into a food processor and process until chopped fine. Add to the beef mixture with the egg, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup and blend until combined.

I often squirt ketchup on top before baking. The meat mixture will look green from the spinach, but this mostly disappears with cooking. My kids think it’s kind of funny.

Place mixture in a loaf pan and bake at 350 for an hour.

The cost will depend on your meat costs, but I try to get grass-fed beef only. This is usually $5-8/lb in my area, and I buy when it is $5 most times.

Beef: $5

Breadcrumbs: $0.10 (homemade, or 2 slices of bread processed)

Egg: $0.22

Carrot: $0.08

Onion: $0.50

Spinach: $0.40

Celery: $0.08

Ketchup: $0.12

Total for recipe: $6.50, or $1.08 per serving.