Good food, FAST (and cheap)!

We are starting a new category of posts here at Native Mothering called Food and Fitness. We will use this category to share inexpensive recipes that can feed a few or a crowd, as well as information about diet, fitness, and weight loss. Our first recipe is a classic meal made fast and cheap.

Mini meat loaves with roasted potatoes and steamed green beans

Meat loaves

1.5 lbs ground meat (I used ground chuck because it was on sale for $1.88 a lb, but any ground red meat will work well)
1 small onion, finely chopped
cracker or bread crumbs (abt a 1/2 cup, just enough to hold mixture together–I used whole grain saltines)
1 large egg
ketchup to taste (I used an all natural brand with no high fructose corn syrup or food colorings)
chopped garlic (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix with hands until everything is incorporated and the ingredients hold together.

Form the meat into patties (like you would a hamburger steak). If using a very lean ground meat like venison, bison, or ground sirloin, you may wish to use a little extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan and keep your meat from sticking. Put the skillet on high heat. Brown both sides of the meat. Then, turn the skillet to medium low and cook covered for 10-20 minutes until the meat is done and the onions are tender. Serve as is, or with ketchup on the side. This makes a very tender meatloaf in HALF the time of the loaf version.

Roasted potatoes

1 lb potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
dried minced garlic, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400. Place cut potatoes on a shallow roasting pan or 13×9 baking dish. Toss with seasonings. Lightly drizzle with EVOO, toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes covered. Stir. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered. Potatoes should come out tender, and slightly carmelized.

Steamed green beans

1 16 oz package frozen green beans
butter (optional) or EVOO
dried or fresh minced garlic (optional)

Steam beans until bright green and fork tender. (You can use a steamer basket, electric steamer, or even use an inch of water in the bottom of a pan covered with a tight-fitting lid.) Drain away any excess water. Season with salt to taste. You may serve as is, or add 2 pats of butter or a drizzle of EVOO to the pot and gently toss with a little minced garlic over medium heat until the beans are slightly carmelized and have took on the flavor of the garlic.

Total cost of this entire meal was just $6 for 4 servings!

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