Since we are having our first lengthy cold snap(4 days), the wood stove is fired up and I have been slow cooking meals and desserts we have not had in a while. Yesterday I made a pot of one of our favorite frugal and healthy dishes up and today I am breaking it down into other dishes. More specifically, a meatless loaf and some veggie burgers are now cooking away on the stove top and smelling mighty good. I am having a hard time deciding which we are going to have for dinner tonight.
What I really like about the lentil taco filling is that it is super cheap to prepare, several different meals from the base dish can be made with ease, and besides spices it calls for just two ingredients making it near impossible to mess up. A single recipe makes the two of us 4 dinners and two lunch meals. That is quite a few meals for under a buck. While today I am making burgers and a meat loaf, I have made salisbury steaks and meatballs too. For any recipe I make I treat the lentil mixture as I would ground beef and just replace about two cups of lentil for a pound of meat. I then follow the recipe for whatever it is that I am making. I always make sure to use a binder when making recipes. Most anything works, I have found but I tend to use oatmeal,or bread crumbs. When I make veggie burgers, I add binder, shredded veggies and any other herbs that I wish. Once the patties are made I dredge them in flour for cooking and cook with a bit of butter or oil as there is no fat as there would be with ground beef. The burgers freeze well both before or after cooking so they make a good meal for when time is short.
The meatloaf is topped with a couple fatty bacon strips to add a bit of oil and it is topped with a honey bbq sauce. The burgers have onion, summer squash, carrot and garlic in them. The manthing has decided he wants burgers tonight, so will serve them with a fresh garden salad and half baked tater wedges. Dessert will be brownies that I made last evening.