My musings…

Progress Report

So yesterday I had finished typing a post about Ultimatum, the first book that I read this year, when my browser suddenly froze and I was unable to post it!  Hmph!  All in all, it was a good book.  The book’s about global warming and a secret bilateral deal with China that almost escalates into a nuclear war.  Set in 2032 after a new president takes office, more drastic and exact figures about global warming are released.  After San Francisco is annihilated by a nuclear bomb, the rest of the world decides they side with the US and eventually so does China.  I liked the book partially because it deals with the issues I work on on a daily basis.  It was also a quick and easy read (even though the book is 400 pages long).  One downside is that there’s a lot of talking and not a lot of action.  Instead of “sitting in” on the negotiations, we hear the report back to the President, for example.  There were also A LOT of characters, so it was hard to keep them straight sometimes.  Overall, however, I think I’d give it 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.

And now we have….MORE RECIPES!

Freezer Burritos (Original Recipe) – 8 servings, 400 calories each

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/4 c. salsa
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t paprika
1 t oregano
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 c dry pinto beans cooked
1 c shredded cheese
8 8″ tortillas

Brown the ground beef with the onion.  Add the salsa and the spices.  Process the beans in a food processor until smooth, then add to beef mixture.

Assemble burritos – tortilla, beef/bean mixture, cheese.

Wrap in waxed paper and aluminum foil to freeze.  When you’re hungry, take one out, remove the aluminum foil and microwave 2  to 2 1/2 minutes.

My modifications:
I didn’t add any sugar…no reason for it to be in there.  Also, I didn’t have any store bought salsa on hand, so I added in 2 chopped plum tomatoes, 1/4 of a green pepper chopped up and 1/8 to 1/4 c. of chopped fresh cilantro.  Instead of using pinto beans, I used black beans since we always have those on hand.  Also, I processed about 1/2 of them in the food processor and left the rest whole.

I made a double recipe and froze them so that Elvis can heat them up for breakfast in the morning on his way to work.  They would also make a good snack or small meal on the weekends when we don’t want to cook.  I think in total it cost less than 75 cents per burrito – including the wax paper and aluminum foil – a much better deal than stopping at 7-11 or something like that to pick up breakfast.

Hamburger Buddy – 8 servings, 260 calories

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, grated
10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 t dried thyme
3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 c water
14 oz beef broth
2 T Worcestershire sauce
8 oz noodles
2 T flour
1/2 c low fat sour cream

Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan, drain off any fat.  Add in garlic, carrots, mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook until veggies start to soften.

Reserve 1/4 c. broth.  Add rest of broth, water, Worcestershire sauce  and noodles to beef mixture.  Cook until pasta is tender.

Add flour to reserved broth, whisk.  Add to pasta/beef mixture with sour cream.  Simmer until sauce is thickened.

This was delicious and a much healthier alternative to Hamburger Helper.  Elvis loved it and it’s definitely on my to-make-again list.

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