Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Frugal large family meals: Not-from-a-box hamburger helper, or keeping up with the garden

B.'s garden is doing exceedingly well this year. He has been growing beans, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and cucumbers, among other things. It is the first year that I have had to work to keep up with the produce. That is why I threw this dish together last night; to avoid good produce going bad. The only reason I used this combination of vegetables is that it was what was sitting on the counter. I make a similar version in winter with carrots, celery, peas, and canned diced tomatoes. Really, it can be just about any vegetable you have on hand.

Not-From-a-Box Hamburger Helper
Serves pretty much as many as you need it too, add more noodles. (I'm going to write out a manageable sized version. I had more leftovers than I expected to last night.)

1 bag egg noodles
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
handful of green beans, chopped
2 small eggplant, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tomatoes, chopped

Cook the egg noodles as directed (since I will be adding them to the meat to cook a little longer, I undercook for a minute of two.) Cook the green beans and garlic in some olive oil, after a few minutes add the eggplant and zucchini. Cook until desired doneness. Remove from pan and set aside. Brown the ground beef, add the onion to cook as well. When meat is cooked through and onion is transluscent, add the rest of the vegetables back in. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in cooked noodles and stir well.

You're done. Add a salad (thus using up more tomatoes and cucumbers) and you have dinner.

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