Monday, October 18, 2010

Disguising Food Storage-Extending Meat

Sometimes I get these great ideas to try and disguise my food storage into my family's dinner.


This is not what I mean but it was fun to make :)

Most of the time I can pull it off.  However there was one time I tried to extend my hamburger meat by adding whole wheat kernels that I had pre-soaked (but not long enough).  It was awful.  It became extra chewy and kind of gritty.  Weird combination regardless, let alone that it was in Lasagna.  Lasagna is not supposed to be chewy nor gritty in my book.  No one asked for seconds nor could they finish their first helping.  It was a silent dinner as everyone looked down at their plates calculating how many bites had to be taken without making me feel bad.  Once I tasted it I knew that it was a no go!  I had to redeem myself and more importantly I still wanted to find a way to extend my meat.  So I researched and found that the secret is using Cracked Wheat!!

I made the same recipe of lasagna but used cracked wheat instead.  Worked like a charm.  My husband commented, "It's good.  I like it a lot.  I can't even taste the wheat!"  I really tried to taste the wheat and I couldn't either!

In order to extend your ground beef you'll need:

1/4 cup cracked wheat (uncoooked)
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 lb ground beef

First in a small pot bring your water to a boil.  Add the cracked wheat and salt.  Give it a stir and cover.  Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  You'll end up with about 1 cup of COOKED cracked wheat.  This is what is should look like:

All the cracked wheat has softened and is ready to be added to your meat.

In a separate pan brown you ground beef and drain fat.  Add the cooked cracked wheat.


Mix it together.  And bingo you now have more meat mixture!


The recipe given won't double your meat.  More like one and a half it, maybe a little less.  I recommend that when using extended meat like this that you use it in a recipe that you'll also flavor the meat with seasonings like in tacos, lasagna, sloppy joes, etc.  I used it in lasagna. 

This is a great way to extend your food budget, use your food storage, and increase the nutrition in your diet. 

What tips do you have for extending your meals or incorporating food storage into daily dinners?

Happy Eating!

4 comments:

Tracee, Peter, Hayden, Campbell and Bridie said...

instead of cracked wheat we sometimes use red lentils to extend the meat. Not exactly disguised, but it tastes good so nobody complains!

jmcline said...

Great story Callie, We all make a BOMB meal one in a while.
I have milk and egg allergies.
I use a lot of firm tofu to give the food a Crumble cheese like texture.
I use soft Tofu to make cream type sauces. Any idea on a safe substitute for eggs and milk?
Can Tofu can be freeze dried?

Cookin' Cousins said...

That is a great question. We are unsure of any safe egg or milk substitutes. Sorry

Marie said...

Flax seed gel is a good substitute for eggs in recipes. You have to boil the flax seeds in water until they release their goo and the water begins to turn slimy like egg whites. Then you strain out the seeds and substitute. Not sure what the substitution rate is, but I am sure you could Google it. There are also videos on YouTube that show the correct way to boil the flax seed.