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Monday, June 11, 2012

Fancy tacos: stretching the beef

So, I made stuffed shells a few weeks ago and after browning the hamburger with garlic and onions, I realized I had way more than I needed. I used what I needed for my recipe and put the rest-probably a half pound or so in the fridge. Fast forward two's nearly 2 o'clock and I'm looking around trying to figure out what to make for dinner. A quick scan of the fridge yields tortillas, cheese, salsa, sour cream. Perfect, tacos it is. Eyeing my left over ground beef, I happily close the fridge and go about my day not worrying about having to take anything out of the freezer. Fast forward again a few hours...I pull out my ground beef, peel off the lid and realize that I do not have enough meat for all of us. It's now too late to thaw any additional meat. When I was a kid my mom used to always mix her taco meat with refried beans. I knew that I didn't have any of those, but the thought sent me in the direction of the pantry where I knew I had black beans. I also had left over corn in the fridge so I threw that in too.
What a happy accident this turned out to be. My family LOVED it! In addition to being totally delicious and looking like I made fancy tacos, I was able to get more vegetables and fiber and protein into my family. Score!!

Have you had any culinary "happy accidents" recently?
How about any tips for stretching your meal ingredients?  I'd love to hear 'em!


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