Pineapple Chili

Pineapple ChiliI know it sounds super weird, but it’s really good!  The pineapple lends a natural sweetness that balances the spice of the chili.  I first had chili with pineapple last year at our church fall festival.  I asked for the recipe quite a few times, but the cook never remembered to give it to me.  So, I decided to make my own version!

My other goal with this chili was to create something that would be compliant with the Whole30 diet that I’m going to do in January.  More info and resources for that are coming soon.  Basically, the Whole30 plan is grain free, dairy free, bean/legume free plus some other restrictions.  As best I can tell, this chili will work on that plan.  Yay!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

10 Ways to Cook Ground Beef – No Recipe Required

It’s been a while since I’ve added a post to this series.  In the past, we’ve covered:

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like dragging out a cookbook or even looking something up on the computer.  For those days, try one of these easy ideas.

I love to have ground beef browned out and stored in the freezer.  It makes it really easy to pull together a meal.  If you’d like to cook it in bulk, try using your crockpot to cook ground beef.

1. Hamburgers

There are a million ways to top a burger.  And you can choose to cook them on the outdoor grill, a George Foreman type grill or in a skillet.  Easy and classic.

2.  Tacos

Season the cooked ground beef with your favorite homemade or store-bought seasoning.  Stuff in your favorite shells.  Top with your favorite toppings.  Chances are, this meal is a staple in your house.

3.  Add to Spaghetti Sauce

This is a quick way to beef up your favorite spaghetti sauce.

4.  Meatloaf

Another classic with a million ways to fix it.  Try this method:

  • 1 egg per pound of meat
  • 1/2 cup tomato product (ketchup, BBQ sauce, chili sauce etc) per pound
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs per pound
  • onions (and peppers and/or celery if you want), diced
  • salt and pepper

5.  BBQ Sandwiches

Stir your favorite barbecue sauce into a pound of cooked ground beef.  Serve it on buns.

6.  Quesadillas

Add cheese, tomatoes, salsa etc.  Fill soft tortillas and toast in a skillet.

7.  Gravy Topped Potatoes

Add a jar of beef gravy to one pound of browned hamburger.  Top baked potatoes for a hearty meal.

8.  Cheeseburger Baked Potatoes

Add your favorite grated cheese or Velveeta to a pound of cooked hamburger.  Top baked potatoes.  Add diced tomatoes and bacon bits too.

9.  Top a Pizza

I usually think of pepperoni or sausage for topping pizza, but ground beef is tasty too.

10.  Poor Man’s Steak

Add 1/2 cup bread or cracker crumbs, salt and pepper to a pound of raw hamburger.  Pat into patties and fry in skillet.  Pour 1 can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/3 can of water over the patties.  Heat and serve.

What’s your favorite way to use ground beef?

Tex Mex Shepherd’s Pie – Quick Weeknight Dinner

If you’ve got ground beef already cooked and frozen (one of my favorite quick-cooking tricks), this meal is a cinch to put together.

Hamburger, black beans and chili-ready diced tomatoes form the base layer.  All of that gets topped with Monterey Jack Cheese.  And covering it all is a generous helping of mashed potatoes.

I used plain instant potatoes, but one of the cheesy or garlic varieties would be tasty too.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Freezer Cooking – Ground Beef in the Crock Pot

One thing I like to do to help cut down on meal prep time is have pre-cooked meats in the freezer. I will usually buy chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef in bulk. I often use my crock pot to cook my chicken, that I will shred and freeze for use in recipes/casseroles/soup. However, I have always cooked my ground beef and turkey on the stove top, usually only a pound or two at a time. It never occurred to me that I could use my slow cooker, until I saw it on Pinterest! (Pin source) One of the many reasons I am addicted to pinning :-)

This is not a recipe per se, just a shortcut for cooking in bulk.  The above picture is 3 lbs of 90/10 lean ground beef, with seasonings (salt, pepper, McCormick Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning, and dried onion) and about half of a large chopped onion.  You could easily add taco seasoning, Italian seasonings, or leave it plain.  My crock pot could have held much more ground beef too, but this is what I had on hand.  I cooked this on high for 4 hours (this may vary depending on your cooker and the amount of beef used, and if it was fresh or frozen), giving it a stir once an hour.  You may not need to stir it that often, but it will need to be stirred on occasion and the clumps broken up.  After the meat was cooked, I drained the meat (which was pretty lean and didn’t produce a lot of grease) and allowed it too cool.  Then I divided it into 3 equal amounts (since I used 3 lbs.) and placed it in freezer bags.  SO much simpler than standing over a stove top!

I hope you find this little tip as helpful as I did.  {Looking for ideas to use all that ground beef?  Check out Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight: Ground Beef!}

KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. See more from her at her blog Makin’ it Mo’Betta, and follow along on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!

Slow Cooker Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

My husband grew up in a traditional Italian family, which meant big pots of meatballs and gravy simmering on the stove every Sunday. Yes, gravy – that’s what Italians in the New Jersey area call red pasta sauce!

I have his grandmother’s recipes, but I rarely make them because I don’t have the time. These quick and easy meatballs simmer all day in the slow cooker instead of the stove, which makes them much better for a busy lifestyle. The smell of them simmering all day in the slow cooker smells almost as good as having a pot of gravy on the stove all day!

This makes very tender meatballs in a thick sauce. They’re perfect over pasta or on long rolls for meatball subs. If you want a thinner sauce, mix in some jarred tomato sauce fifteen minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Serves: 4 servings, double the recipe to have 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ large onion, shredded
  • ⅓ c. plain breadcrumbs
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ c. fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ c. parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, shredded onion and breadcrumbs. Roll ground beef mixture into 1-1 ½ inch balls. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan cheese.
  3. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top, and then cover with remaining sauce.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Serve over pasta or on long rolls. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Cheesy Hamburger Soup

We love soup in our house.  This is a hearty soup, perfect for winter.

The recipe comes from an Amish Cookbook I have called Amish Friends Cookbook by Wanda Brunstetter.  The original name for the soup was Cheeseburger Soup, but there’s something a little unappealing about that to me.  So, I changed the name.

If you’ve got someone in your family who likes meat with a meal, this is a good soup to make for them.  It’s full of ground beef and potatoes.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Spicing Up Pre-Made Hamburger Patties

It’s not like patting out my own hamburger patties is hard, but sometimes I like the convenience of the pre-made kind.   The only problem with this is the inability to add flavors inside the patties (like adding onion soup mix or bbq or other seasonings to the meat before patting them out).

Here are a few ways to add flavor to the patties:  [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Ground Beef

Apologies for the photo of the raw ground beef.  It’s possible that the only thing worse is a photo of raw chicken legs.

What it lacks in beauty, it makes up for in versatility and convenience.  Growing up, we ate a lot of ground beef.  It was inexpensive and Mom could make all kinds of things with it.

Now, I think it’s a bit pricier.  (Isn’t everything?)  I still use it, but not every week.  Here are some of my favorite recipes using ground beef:  [Read more…]

Wimpys aka Sloppy Joes

When I was growing up, my family always called sandwiches like this Wimpys.   I’m not sure how old I was when I figured out that everyone else calls the Sloppy Joes.

When I made these, my intention was to just use a can of Manwich.  But I couldn’t find it anywhere in the grocery.  I looked in all the logical places, but no Manwich.

So, I decided to make some homemade.  This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes.  Her recipe has ketchup and carrots.  I used chili sauce and red peppers.  Mine also has more meat, but I liked her base of seasonings although I skipped a few of the herbs and spices.  Change this up for your tastes and pantry.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Velma’s Chili from Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

Have you read the Mitford series books by Jan Karon?  Father Tim and Cynthia feel like old friends and so do all the other characters that populate the small town of Mitford.

On my last library trip, I spotted the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader.  It’s full of recipes mentioned in the books (Orange Marmalade Cake, anyone?) and also lots of excerpts.  Food and stories is a hard combination to beat.

One recipe that caught my attention was Velma’s Chili.  I did make a few changes to it.  For one, I used half the meat it called for.  Two pounds of meat for 6-8 servings sounded like too much.  I doubled it and made a few other alterations as well.  Here’s what you’ll need to make my version: [Read more…]

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