I recently experienced a very busy time in my life. I had returned to work after several years at home with my son and found myself trying to squeeze everything I had done before into a fraction of the time. One area I refused to compromise on was feeding my family home-cooked meals, which necessitated I come up with some shortcuts.
The one I’m sharing today is simple and very versatile. It’s an easy base for so many different meals. You can finish it off with things you probably already have in the pantry, and it freezes so well that it’s perfect to prepare ahead and keep on hand for busy days.
Here are some meals to build with the base that require very little additional time or ingredients:
- Sloppy Joes
- Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Burrito Bowls
- Baked Ziti
You can use this premade mix almost anywhere you would add ground beef to a recipe. Not only does this save time, all the added veggies beef up (pardon the pun) the nutritional value of whatever meal you create. I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with this idea, but I’m excited about sharing my experience in hopes that it will help someone else save time in the kitchen just like I have.
Ground Beef and Veggie Meal Base
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or healthy cooking oil of your choice)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef (any ground meat will work, use what you prefer)
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a deep skillet or chef’s pan on medium heat. Sauté the onion and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add ground beef, stirring to break up finely.
Once the beef is mostly browned, mix in the grated carrots and continue to cook until beef is cooked through and carrots are soft, an additional 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.