The meat mixture is very easy to prepare and keeps well in the fridge so works for a meal for the family and plenty of leftovers, with tasty options for the dieter.
Below are recipes we like that work for the whole family as well as the person managing their weight. Many variations are possible to suit individual taste. The ingredients should be used in amounts suitable for the number of people you are feeding and your preferences for spices and how hot or mild you prefer. Use ground round or 90% lean to keep fat content low.
Whole cumin seed (1/2 - 1 tablespoons)
Red pepper flakes, chili powder, or taco seasoning
1 tsp salt, black pepper to taste
1-2 pounds ground round (more if for a large family)
1 or 2 large onions, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Heat the 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the cumin seed and cook and stir for a minute or two until the cumin seed is toasted. If it gets too hot lift the skillet off the burner for a bit.
If you are using the onions, add them to the skillet and cook and stir until the onions are soft and starting to look a little red.
Add the ground beef to the skillet, break up the beef with a spatula and cook, continuing to break up with spatula until the meat is crumbly. If you like it real crumbly use a potato masher when it is about done.
Add the salt and black pepper and your preference of the other spices.
Continue cooking until the mixture is well done and looks a little dry.
This mixture keeps very well in the refrigerator for several days.
Layer shredded lettuce, fresh chopped onions, chopped tomatoes on a plate. Add a layer of the ground beef mixture. Layer on salsa (your favorite brand and degree of hot), top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. We like to run this in the microwave for up to one minute to melt the cheese.
Accompaniments are refried beans, (canned, no fat), sour cream, guacamole, fritos or tortilla chips.
The dieter uses only a sprinkle of cheese, a modest portion of beans, and none of the other accompaniments. Use up to ¾ cup of the meat mixture and as much as you want of the lettuce and tomatoes.
Prepare as above, but serve mixture in taco shells.
Mexican Vegetable Soup
Microwave 2 large onions (on a plate) on baked potato setting. Chop the cooked onions.
Put a little no-fat chicken broth or vegetable broth in a 2 ½ quart saucepan. Add the onion and cook and stir over medium heat to cook the onions a bit more.
Add 1-2 cans seasoned stewed tomatoes, any flavor except Italian.
Add a good handful of pasta; corkscrew, curly-roni, seashells, or your preference.
Add 1 package frozen Vegetables Ole'
Season with garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Add more broth or a can of beer (most of the calories are in the alcohol and cook away).
1 cup picante sauce
Simmer for 15-30 minutes until pasta is cooked. Adjust seasonings to taste.
For the family:
Put a serving of the meat mixture above into the soup bowl. Top with a few chips (optional). Ladle in soup. Garnish with sour cream or guacamole. Serve with more chips.
For the dieter, serve the soup with or without meat mixture, limit chips etc.