Thursday, May 06, 2010

My Husband's love for hamburger helper.

We went grocery shopping yesterday for the first time in over a month. It had been much longer than that since we'd had any hamburger or tuna or chicken helper on hand and Em loves to make it when it's his turn to cook.

Yesterday, our local Kroger finally had a sale that corresponded with coupons on HH that also corresponded with a sale on Angus chuck.

Thing is, since we've not had hamburger helper, I've been mixing bulgur in with ground meat dishes to both try and get us to eat less meat and add healthier foods to our diet, and Em has LOVED the substitutes ... so I'm hoping he loves the substitutes here.

I bought 6 pounds of ground chuck, to which I'll add 1 lb (dried) brown lentils (cooked and smashed) plus one cup of dry bulgur (cooked and mixed with the lentils). I'm hoping to end up with 10-12 (roughly 1-lb) piles of meat & stuff.

I think he chose 10 HH and 2 tuna helpers, but my lower back went out this week and I really didn't pay too close attention, anxiously awaiting the end of the grocery experience so I could sit down. Point is: I think 10 would be enough.

Lots more work involved over just separating and wrapping the meat for freezing, I learned. First, the lentils needed to be cooked and an attempt made at mashing them.

Then, the bulgur needed to be cooked and added to the lentils.

Separating and wrapping the meat is always a chore in itself and one that is never measured on the meniscus. As Rachael Ray is fond of saying, "I eyeball it." Here's the 1st half of meat mixed with 1st half of non-meat mix (eyeballed).

Close-up, you can see that the mix definitely doesn't resemble 100% meat.

After I finished wrapping the 2nd half of that, I went on to wrap 4 boneless primes that Em and I will share.

I know some folks eat less/no meat all the time, but this is the first year I've been actively engaged in cutting back on our consumption of animal products. Will we give up meat altogether eventually? I kinda doubt it. We've spent over 60 years eating animals, starting before they were given hormones and antibiotics. Will I feed Astrid the kind of meat we've bought for years? No way!

Still have 40oz of bacon to cut and package. I freeze 4 pieces of bacon separately. That can wait until tomorrow, however. As I said in the beginning, I've had problems with my back this past week and today's the first day of fluidity, so I want to spend some time hooping.

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