This is one of those recipes that you really can’t screw up. I like those recipes. It means that I can improvise, use what’s good, what I have, etc. and it will still turn out delicious.
Many years ago I found this recipe for stuffed zucchini boats. I made it a few times but in the middle of the hot summer in Michigan, when the vegetables are really good, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on a hot oven. I remedied this by slicing the zucchini and cooking in the same pan where I cooked the meat mixture. It was good, too.
We recently purchased 1/4 cow and we have A LOT of ground beef (96/4, too). I was shopping yesterday and fresh asparagus and green beans were calling to me. All those things together screamed for me to adjust my recipe. Here’s what I came up with:
Mister, a skeptic at first, declared it delicious – definitely a keeper! He suggested mushrooms instead of green beans. Not a bad idea…
I think the best part is that it makes roughly 6 cups and works out to about 120 calories per cup (depending on your exact ingredients and amounts. You could easily double or triple this recipe to feed a family. We both ate about 2 cups and were stuffed for under 250 calories.
The cast of characters:
1 lb ground beef (not pictured)
3 cloves (more or less to taste) garlic, minced (not pictured)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup (about) fresh green beans, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup (about) fresh asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 bunch green onions, clean and diced
Salt and Pepper
How to do it:
- Brown ground beef in a large frying pan. Salt and pepper as needed. Drain and sent aside.
- Add minced garlic to pan and stir. Cook about 1 minute until it begins to brown and soften.
- Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add tomato sauce and return to a simmer.
- Simmer about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning. Stir and return to a simmer.
- Simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/3.
- Add meat back in. Stir.
- Add green beans. Cook 3 minutes or until nearly done to your liking. I like mine soft so I cooked mine a little longer. I also put the lid on the pan but cracked it so steam could escape. I didn’t want too much water to build up in the pan.
- Add asparagus. Cook 1 minute with lid cracked.
- Stir. Remove from heat.
- Add green onions. Stir. Serve.
You could use any kind of ground meat you prefer. You could also leave it out completely or add tofu instead.
Feel free to substitute the vegetables to your liking or to what’s fresh and looks good. Adjust cooking time accordingly.