These are strange times indeed. On a normal day most of us are looking to eat healthy and not break the bank, but now that's even more of a concern. These days eating healthy can seem a reach, finances might be tight and we are limited even to what is available in the stores to buy. Before we dive into this "recipe" I want to preface that it is super flexible. I'm reluctant to call it a recipe because for us we were scavenging in our refrigerator at the time trying to decide what we could turn our random collection of produce and food items into... the answer is a lot!! More on that later :) Don't get stuck on the specific ingredients, there are no measurements really; it's what you have, added to taste. Let yourself be creative, use what you have on hand; I guarantee it will still taste great!
Okay, Lets get started!! We raided the fridge and pulled out all fresh produce we had left. We always keep cans of organic beans on hand because they can literally be added to ANY meal to stretch it, add protein and fiber content, turn a side or light meal into something more filling, and more!! We love beans!! (and they are cheap!! $0.99/can of Wegmans organic beans, all varieties) What we had available to us was: one red pepper that started to get wrinkly (it HAD to be used!), one small yellow onion, maybe 1/4 or less of a head of organic cauliflower, about 1/3 a bag of Wegmans organic broccoli florets, one medium organic potato (russet?? maybe??), one medium organic sweet potato, about 4 organic mushrooms (1/3 of a pint package maybe), a few handfuls of spinach, some guacamole and some Trader Joe's Jalapeno sauce (thanks Mom!!). Spices that we had on hand and used were Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Cinnamon. This could make a vegan/vegetarian meal all in itself for 4-6 people for roughly $10 total!!
...But if you know my family, then you know our daughter Emi is a carnivore and Chris much prefers meat with his meals (I'm the veg only plate ;) So...we also used two Organic Grass fed NY strip steaks we pulled from the freezer the day before! Sometimes Emi will eat a steak a day, so when I found these on sale for buy one/get one, I loaded up the freezer! That brought our meal total to roughly $20. We all had dinner from it, and Chris and I had two days of lunch from it, plus left over steak for Em. Win Win! Use whatever meat you want or no meat at all!!
When you have pulled out whatever veggies you've found; slice them up. You can dice them or just slice them, it's really up to you! We cooked our veggies on our cast iron skillet so I started with the veggies that take longer to cook...potatoes! In all honesty, my go to is our skillet, and we like the way things taste on it, but just as easily (if not probably easier) you can roast these veggies in the oven at 425F, or on your outdoor grill in some aluminum foil (my second go to for quick cooking and clean up :) ) If you want to roast on your grill in foil, or cook in the oven toss all of your veggies with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt and your spices to taste. Roast for about 20-30 min in the oven, probably no more then 20min on a hot grill (we cook everything on our grill, on high) If you have a skillet and you're going to go that route, drizzle some olive oil on it and get your longer to cook veggies going first with some sea salt.
Once you've gotten your potatoes going (or you have gotten your veggies in the oven or on a gas grill) heat a skillet to med high heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you're grilling, just throw it on a hot grill, again we cook on high, all burners. Pat dry your meat, salt and pepper it to taste, and put it on the hot skillet to cook! Skip this step if you're keeping it vegetarian or vegan. If you're cooking meat, use whatever meat you'd like however you'd like to cook it!! Using the skillet and our outdoor gas grill are typically the top methods we like to use. For these 1.5" NY Strips I'd say they probably cook for about 4-6min/side for med to med-rare; turning them at least twice each side on a medium-high heat.
Once your meat is started, if you're cooking it, go ahead and add the rest of your veggies to the skillet and season them! Once they are seasoned use a tong to carefully toss them and mix them, you can also drizzle some water over them to create some steam and speed up the cooking process. Toss these a couple of times in between flipping your steaks. If you are roasting your veggies, go ahead and get another pan out with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to start your beans! I cooked our beans in the cast iron pan once the steaks were done and were "resting" but it doesn't matter how or where you cook them, do what works and is most convenient for you! We seasoned our beans with the same spices on the veggies, but I added cinnamon as well, it creates a really nice flavor with the other spices.
Once your meat is done, go ahead and put it on a plate or cutting board to rest for a few minutes. The beans are a quick cook! You are just looking to heat them and blend the spices. When everything is done, plate it how you'd like to! We made ours as bowls over spinach greens. Topped with some guacamole and the Trader Joe's Jalapeno sauce (my Mom is addicted to this sauce and passed some on to us, we love it too!) Emi's plate consisted of steak, beans, and mostly her favorite veggies picked from our mix (broccoli and cauli)
You can have this however you want; nachos, tacos, burritos, with rice, in an omelette or "breakfist stir"...the possibilities are endless.
I also want to add it doesn't have to be "burrito" style. These things cooked fresh with sea salt, olive oil and any seasonings are delish... Instead of the cumin and chili you can add basil, just do garlic and onion, use adobo, or fresh spices if you have them. It is truly so versatile. Make it yours, and enjoy!
INGREDIENTS List As Pictured with cost:
1 organic red bell pepper ($2.49)
1/3 bag Wegmans organic broccoli florets ($1.15)
1 organic yellow onion ($0.69)
1 organic sweet potato ($0.50)
1 organic potato ($0.45)
1/4 ish head of organic cauliflower ($0.60)
3-4 organic white mushrooms ($0.75)
2 cans organic beans ($1.98)
Few handfuls of Greens ($1.50)
Guacamole single serve cup (or one avocado $1.00)
2 Organic Grass Fed NY Strip Steaks (they were "bogo" $10.00)
Spices on hand: cumin, chili, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper