Friday, February 1, 2013

Lyd's Tip: Penny-Pinching with Potatoes...

I am pretty sure I am not the only one that likes to save a buck, so I am diverting from my typical posts for a "Lyd's Tip."  I guess I shouldn't take all the credit-- I dropped by a friends house and she was grating a potato and said she was making tacos... I was confused and she explained further. :)  I was glad I stopped by at just the right moment because it's seems like the price of ground beef in on the rise, and this little tip has saved me some money, and probably some clogged arteries as well. :)

Using a Potato to Stretch Hamburger and Making Two Easy Casseroles
It all begins with a potato.  One potato is probably best if you don't want more potato than burger, but I was extra cheap and grated two. :)
Grate away!

Brown about a pound of hamburger.
Lyd's Tip: I like to get my ground beef at our local COOP store (organic, natural foods store).  They sell the grass fed beef there, and if I buy three family packs, they mark the price down significantly.  It's worth asking about.  I put most of it in small zip-lock bags to freeze and use the rest for meals like The Best Meatballs or Mini Cheddar Loaves, that both freeze well and come in handy on a busy night or if I'm taking a meal to someone.  I usually have pasta and the meatballs go great with it for spaghetti.)
Draining it is a "healthy" idea, but if you do, you might want to add just a tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the grated potato and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it is browned and cooked through, stirring or turning occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once it's cooked through you are good to go.
Here is what I did with mine:
I killed two birds with one stone...
Or you might say, I killed two casseroles with one potato. :)
*Now--I do have to say that these are my stand-by recipes, not really anything to brag about- I am almost ashamed to post them, :) but they freeze well and my kids don't complain because they are familiar.  Also, be forewarned that you will tasted the potato- it doesn't exactly go unnoticed, but it doesn't taste bad either.
 *Divide beef (correction, potato beef :) in two bowls.

For the Speedy Shepherd Pie:
In a large bowl, stir together 1 can on string beans, 1 can of tomato soup, and beef mixture.  Spread in casserole dish.  Top with mashed potatoes and grated cheese.

(Another Lyd's Tip: I am all about saving time, so I make a big batch of mashed potatoes when I make them for Sunday dinner or something, and set some aside for just this occasion.  I have also frozen some in quart size zip-lock bags, and I have found that it actually freezes pretty well, you just reheat in the microwave.  Works well for this purpose.  Instant potatoes are also speedy.)
 For the Speedy Tatertot Casserole:
In a large bowl, stir together 1 can of drained string beans, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, and beef mixture.  Top with frozen tatertots.
Easy-sh'meezy! (Not to mention cheaper.)
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1 comment:

Carol said...

Thanks for the great tips. And thanks for posting on FB about your blog post because I dont blog too much anymore and so I forget to look at your wonderful food blog. You really do have so many good ideas so I love to browse through your recipes. Thanks for the reminder to come here to look for new ideas. Hope you are doing well.