Tag Archives: potatoes

Beef and Veggies Make Ahead Meal

Beef, carrot and potato one dish meal

(This blog is written by Zane Ehnes, UNL graduate student in Community Nutrition and Health Promotion.)

A very popular trend right now, especially among young adults either in college or beginning their professional careers, is meal prepping! Meal prepping is an easy and quick way to make meals ahead of time that are healthy and nutritious go-to meals for during the busy work week that will keep you on track for your fitness goals, whether they are to build muscle, lose or maintain weight!

For this week’s meal prepping, I decided to go with a ground-beef and potatoes recipe that seemed cost friendly but also easy to make! I did alter the recipe just a little bit to add more nutrition. The recipe calls for two main ingredients, beef and potatoes, but I thought adding carrots for antioxidants and beta-carotene and garbanzo beans for plant protein and fiber would be nice additions. These additions also are a cheap way to get more servings out of your recipe.

potatoes, carrots and garbanzo beans being prepped for a meal

This recipe is quick and easy to make with just a few common ingredients and little preparation.

Beef & Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 93% lean ground beef
  • 4 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 medium carrots, chopped (remove the green tops)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef seasoning packet, suitable for flavoring 1 pound of ground beef (Check if there is a low sodium version. In my recipe I used a taco seasoning packet, but you may use whatever you prefer. For example, chili seasoning, or any seasonings you have on hand at home.)
  • 1 (16-oz) can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (reduced sodium or no salt added)

Directions

  1. Brown 1 pound ground beef in large skillet, drain the fat.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, water and seasoning packet to the skillet.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
  4. Uncover, add beans and cook until excess water evaporates.
  5. Divide into equal portions in food containers, refrigerate for up four days.

Recipe slightly adapted from a recipe by Colorado State University and University of California at Davis, Eating Smart Being Active Recipes and featured in USDA Mixing Bowl at http://bit.ly/2fK9AVg

ground beef, carrots, potatoes and hamburger meals

Reheat and enjoy your pre-prepped meals within four days of preparing them.

Zane’s Tips:

  • Draining the fat from less lean cuts of ground beef removes much, but not all, of the fat. With the leaner options you aren’t paying for the excess weight from fat that you end up draining. And a comparison of the final yield and costs of a lean and a higher fat ground beef shows there is very little difference in cost once the fat is removed (pictured below). Use the US Department of Agriculture’s Ground Beef Calculator to determine the difference in nutrients between different percentages of fat and lean per similar weights of ground beef.
  • Rinse the garbanzo beans with water. This will help reduce the sodium by about 40%.
  • Prefer different vegetables? Go ahead and alter this recipe in any way that fits your preferences!
  • Transfer food, no more than 2-inches deep, into shallow containers.
  • Refrigerate within 2 hours after preparing.
  • Cover loosely with lid; close lid after food has cooled. Eat within 4 days.

Comparison of 80% Lean and 93% Lean Ground Beef

I wanted to show a visual comparison of cooked ground beef with different fat percentages. Below I have pictured on the left a glass-measuring cup filled to the top with 93% lean ground beef. On the right is a picture of the glass-measuring cup filled with 80% lean ground beef.

The important thing is I started out with about the same amount of both varieties. I had 1.07 pounds of the 93% lean ground beef and 1.05 pounds of the 80% lean ground beef.

You can see how cooking the ground beef dramatically changes the amount you end up with after draining away the fat. When comparing the price per pound of the two types of ground beef, the actual cost difference per cup was only about 15 cents.

Next time when you’re shopping for ground beef, remember the variety with the higher fat content may be cheaper but the cost difference isn’t that much. And … if you’re using it in a recipe where you can’t drain the fat, you’re adding excess calories to your final product.

meat-comparison

Comparison of 93% lean and 80% lean ground beef after browning and removing the fat

Cabbage, Potatoes and Cheese Skillet Casserole

Cabbage, potatoes and cheese skillet casserole recipe

Photo by Alice Henneman

I was intrigued by this recipe I found on USDA’s “What’s cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl“. And, decided to try it with the local, seasonal foods I had on hand this week: Cabbage, potatoes and onions. The recipe said it made 5 servings; however, there were just two of us. We ended up eating every bit of it at one meal … there was something about the flavor that was tasty yet a comfort food type of feeling. Maybe it was the melted cheese and walnuts on top?

Try it and see what you think … the recipe follows.

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Tasty Microwave Potato Chunks

potatoes

No peeling or oven required when making these tasty potato chunks.

csa-week-3

The foods I’m cooking with this week. 

Yesterday, I made the kale in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from my farmer, Pekarek’s Produce into Kale Banana Smoothies and smoothie cubes. In this post, I’ll tell you what I did with the new red potatoes.

I created a potato recipe that could make in the microwave as I didn’t want to heat up my stove. The really convenient thing about new potatoes is you don’t need to peel them. This recipe for “Tasty Microwave Potato Chunks” is quick to make and microwaves in about 10 minutes. I think you’ll also like my quick method for making “Toasty Potato Chunks” from any leftovers.

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Crushed Red Potatoes

smashed-potatoes-final

The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was the name and the fact I didn’t  have to peel the potatoes! Plus, while the potatoes were boiling, I could gather the other ingredients and clean up my preparation dishes and utensils.

Potatoes have gotten a bad rep as being “fattening” – however as you
can see from the nutritional information, potatoes can make a delicious side dish that is reasonable in calories, low in cholesterol and high in potassium.

Recipe courtesy of United States Potato Board at http://www.potatogoodness.com

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

The combination of reduced-fat sour cream and olive oil might seem unusual but it yields a delicious taste and texture in these crushed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (see my note at end)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine sour cream, shallots, parsley, milk, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and set aside.
  3. Drain the potatoes and crush — but do not completely mash — potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon. Stir in the sour-cream mixture. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 122 Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 54mg Vitamin C: 19.8% Fiber: 2g Protein: 3g Potassium: 562mg

Alice’s Notes:

  • If you want slightly creamier potatoes, slowly stir in extra milk at the end until desired consistency.
  • I substituted 2 tablespoons of chopped sweet onion for the shallots.

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