Eating real food can get costly. Especially when it comes to purchasing the right kind of meat. Pastured chickens, wild fish and grass-fed beef can really rank up the food bill. Ditching the meat could help but I like meat. I’ll let you in a little secret… I could probably go without meat for a while but my husband would probably faint. Actually I lied, I don’t think I could go without bacon.
But wait a minute, this post isn’t about bacon. I recently bought grass-fed meat at the grocery store for $7.19 for a pound. I’m sure the ground beef at my local farmers market would have been better but for over $10 a pound, I went with the former. I had a problem justifying spending that much money for a part of one meal, though. So how do I stretch a pound of pricey but oh so tasty and healthy ground beef? Mushrooms! That’s how. Really, mushrooms are your best friend when it comes to saving you money.
Now I have been making this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers for a while now but I wanted to make it last a little longer than one meal. Basically what I am doing is doubling the recipe but using a pint of mushrooms in place of an extra pound of ground beef. See what I did right there? Pretty tricky, huh? My husband doesn’t even notice the missing beef in the meal and I get not one, but two meals in one night! Okay, now this is starting to sound like an infomercial. So let’s say it again, for the price of one meal, you can get two meals! Buy one now, get one for later… absolutely free! Okay now I’m done.
Oh and did I mention this meal is easy to make? Cook some rice, chop some mushrooms, onions and garlic and saute those all with some ground beef. Mix it with some sour cream, divide it in half and top it with delicious cheese.
Bake one and freeze the other. Did I mention I like cheese?
Serve it with a salad or some cooked greens and you have a well rounded meal. For even more added nutrition, cook that rice in chicken bone stuck.
Beef and Mushroom Rice Casserole
2 cups wheat rice
4 cups chicken bone stock
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
8 oz crimini mushrooms
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups sour cream
2/3 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine rice and chicken stock in a large stock pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop mushrooms, dice onion and mince garlic. In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Once beef is half way cooked through, add mushrooms, onions and garlic. Season with garlic powder, oregano and thyme.
Once beef is done cooking, mix into rice and combine with sour cream and milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into two 8 x 8 or equivalent sized pans, top with cheddar cheese.
Bake one casserole in oven for 30 minutes.
To freeze the other casserole, do not bake and completely cool it, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. When you are ready to serve, remove it from freezer the day before, thaw in the refrigerator and bake.
This post is apart of Real Food Wednesday.