The first ingredient in today’s recipe is grass-fed ground beef, which should be a staple of any skinny rich girl’s diet. You may ask, if I am on a budget, why would I splurge on the grass fed beef? Why not just buy the normal beef and save a dollar or two? Below I talk just a bit about why the extra cash you spend on the grass fed beef might actually be worth it for your long term health. Grass-fed ground beef may be a couple dollars more, but in the larger scheme of things is a great budget option (save the grass-fed filet mignon for those special occasions).
1. Nutrients, yo…
Grass-fed beef has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids than the grain fed variety. It is also lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, although a skinny rich girl shouldn’t really care about those things as much, or really at all, which I will explain another day.
2. Grass = less stress…
I could write a few dozen jokes with that headline, but I will try to keep focused here. Grain is not a natural diet for cows, and when they are fed a grain based diet they are susceptible to a number of ailments and diseases. To prevent these, cows are treated with a series of antibiotics. Avoiding these antibiotics is better for both you and the cow. Further, I think most of us just feel better about animals that are grass-fed as they are raised in an altogether more natural and human environment.
I buy my grass-fed ground beef at Trader Joes in the freezer section. It is pretty reasonable at $5.99 per pound, and super convenient. If you have the freezer space, and are ambitious enough you can bring down the cost further by buying all or part of a whole cow from a local farmer. This is not an option for me in my apartment, but something to consider if you are lucky enough to have an extra freezer. I have read a bit about “cowpooling” with friends and/or neighbors as well, but haven’t tried it yet… not really sure how to approach my West Hollywood neighbors about going in together to buy a cow. It is not really something people talk about here… maybe San Francisco will be different.
Today’s recipe is very budget friendly, and it a great one to use up a bunch of extra vegetables you have laying around. Although this version calls for celery, carrots, onion and jalapeno you can really mix it up with just about anything you have laying around. Bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms are also great options. Don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment here!
|1 lb ground beef – grass fed||$ 5.99|
|1 egg – o||$ 0.39|
|1/2 cup almond meal||$ 1.25|
|1 tbs extra virgin olive oil – o||$ 0.53|
|1/4 large yellow onion – o||$ 0.70|
|2 stalks celery – o||$ 0.19|
|1 jalapeno||$ 0.25|
|2 small carrots – o||$ 0.45|
|1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley – o||$ 0.14|
|2 cloves garlic – o||$ 0.18|
|1 tbs tomato paste||$ 0.33|
|salt and pepper||neg|
|4 small yams chopped (about 4 cups chopped)||$ 2.25|
|1/2 cup coconut milk – o||$ 0.33|
|1 tbsp butter – grass fed||$ 0.31|
|sale and pepper||neg|
|Per Serving (4 servings)||$ 3.32|
o = organic
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place 1 quart of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.
2. In the meantime, chop the onion, celery, carrots, parsley and garlic.
3. Heat a skillet with olive oil and saute chopped vegetables until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from the heat and let them cool in a large mixing bowl while you complete step #4.
4. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes and set aside until step 8.
5. Add the ground beef, egg, almond meal, tomato paste and salt and pepper to the large mixing bowl with the cooked vegetables. Mix all the ingredients just until combined. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty here, clean hands are the best tool for mixing!
6. Grease a muffin pan with oil or a bit of leftover bacon grease if you have it. Divide the meatloaf mixture into 8 of the cups.
7. Cook meatloaf muffins for about 30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure – they are done when they reach 160 degrees (although you may want to pull them out just ahead of this as there will be some residual cooking after they leave the oven).
8. While the meatloaves are cooking add the sweet potatoes to the boiling water and let cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft.
9. Once cooked, drain, and return the potatoes to the pot along with the butter, coconut milk and salt and pepper.
10. Finally, mash sweet potatoes until smooth (don’t stress out about a few chunks).