There are just 12 days until Christmas and I’m still scrambling to figure out what I’m getting my friends and family–sorry everybody! But, one thing I do know is what A.J. and I are having for dinner tonight.
I first saw this recipe on Pinterest; I love it because I can actually make it (my cooking skills are limited to scrambled eggs and turkey sandwiches), and it’s *such* a bargain. I spent less than $15 to make this meal, and we’ll be able to munch on it over the next couple of days! Whenever I make it, I slightly alter the recipe–depending on what’s on sale at my local Fred Meyer.
- 2-3 pounds of ground beef; I got mine on sale, 3 pounds for $8
- 1 bag of frozen peppers and onions; $1.50
- 1 bag of frozen lima beans; $1
- 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables; $1
- 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes; $.73
- 1/2 of a frozen bag of okra; $1.50
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
*Prices can vary depending on what grocer you go to, the market in which you live and other variables.
First, I had two pans working on the stove. I put a little butter in one and once it melted, I put in the raw ground beef and added some salt and pepper. Then, I put the bag of frozen peppers and onions in the other pan. Because the peppers and onions were frozen, there was a good amount of liquid at the bottom of the pan. I continued to cook them at a medium to high heat, letting the liquid reduce. I then dumped out the liquid and continued to cook the onions and peppers until they became crisp and tender.
While the peppers and onions were cooking, I began stirring the ground beef. This is a great meat for a beginner cook to work with because it’s easy to visually see when it’s done; once it’s all brown, your meat is finished. Once the peppers and onions were done, I added them to the same pan as the ground beef–stirring the veggies into the ground beef. There will be a liquid in the pan; that’s going to be all of the fat from the beef. I dumped almost all of it–that’s my preference; you can opt to dump as much or as little as you’d like. That’s basically the end of any hard work! Other than cleaning up the mess, of course…
I pulled out my Crock-Pot and added the beef, veggies and all of the other ingredients to it. I added some more salt and pepper, put it on low and let it sit for four hours. BOOM. That’s it!
I wanted to share this recipe with you for a number of reasons. First, I am no chef by any means… If *I* can make this dish, so can *you.* Secondly, it cost me $13.73; how does it get any better than that?! This meal is at such a great price point; it puts extra money back into my wallet to spend on those Christmas gifts! Aside from being simple, easy and cheap, it’s also healthy. As a beginner cook, it’s been a challenge for me to find healthy, cheap and easy recipes that I actually feel comfortable following.
Honestly, in the Powell household, it’s usually A.J. who does the cooking, but whenever I do, I feel this sense of accomplishment. The best part, that good feeling stays with me and translates into other areas of my life. Moral of the story: cooking is important for more than just satisfying hunger; so, for those who share my weakness in the kitchen, let’s challenge ourselves and learn and grow together. 🙂
*My top is by Forever21, but unfortunately it’s no longer available online. Here’s one I found that’s similar for such a bargain!