As I made dinner last night I realized that our stew dinner is one of those meals that also helps keep our budget in check. I've mentioned before that when we buy meat we generally distribute it into smaller portions, which cuts down on how often we need to buy meat. The last time that we purchased stew meat we bought a large package. Looking at it we decided that it could be split into 4 separate bags. Yesterday after allowing the meat the thaw, I cut the pieces even smaller. (I don't know how they expect you to be able to eat some of those pieces but I made sure they were bite size). Even though I make this meal in the crock pot I still sear the meat before putting it into the crock pot. Here is the total amount of stew meat used.
To that I added cut up red potato's and carrots.
(I cut the potato's and carrots the day before while preparing dinner and stored them in that plastic container with water until I added them to the crock pot. I drained the water.)
The plan was to make homemade biscuits to go with this meal, but I was out of baking powder so I decided to use some of the clearance bread we bought earlier this week.
So, was there meat in every bite? No. Did it taste good? Yes. Did I care that I didn't eat a piece of meat with every bite? Not one bit.
I also did something similar with our burritos. I've slowly been cutting back from using 1 lb of ground meat. We are only down to 3/4 lb but it's an improvement. I added a grated carrot (it was the consistency of baby food and didn't stretch the meat but added more nutrients to the food) and chopped up a portabello mushroom. After the meat was almost done cooking I added the mushroom and carrot and mixed it up well. I also cooked some spicy rice. Once everything was finished I mixed the meat mixture and rice together. We added cheese and ate it in tortillas. It was delicious and filling. I honestly think that next time I can go down to 1/2 lb, especially if we have it with rice. Once you add in the rice, cheese and fixings (lettuce, tomato, salsa) you can't tell that there is less meat and it doesn't affect the flavor. Plus, it means that we are eating more veggies.