I recently read a post where a blogger talked about stretching her food budget and she suggested to stretch meat by using other proteins or grains mixed into them to stretch them further. I began thinking about how true this simple idea was. For instance I only buy the leanest ground beef which is almost $4.00 a pound. Imagine how excited I would get if I found it half price! I would fill my cart with it and freeze it all up for later. But, in essence, you can almost half the price yourself by only using half the amount. If you use a healthy filler you are also adding nutrition and protein without all the added fat! Although I was skeptical I gave it a try.
My first attempt was to make and prepare a bag of black beans (I had never done this before) and mix them half and half with our taco meat. The black beans were only under $2 for 2 lbs which made a HUGE batch.
I could see the distrust on my husbands face when I told him we were eating a taco "mixture" for dinner but he agreed to try-he knows when it comes to my money saving ideas resistance is futile.
Honestly-IT WAS AWESOME. I seasoned the beans with cumin, salt, chili powder, and taco seasoning, seasoned the taco meat like normal and mixed the two together. Maya and I liked them BETTER than normal and even Travis admitted he didn't miss the extra meat at all! The best part is we still have half the meat left and 3/4 of the beans left ( I didn't mix them all in, just enough to make it a 50/50 ratio. I froze up two more bags of black beans since I prepared them all AND a bag of taco mixture for another nights dinner. Delicious, affordable, AND healthier than our normal tacos-I can't wait to try more! If you are interested, I can give more specifics on how to prepare the beans-it is not as hard as it sounds!