Stretching 1lb of meat over 3 meals


Like most people, I am continually amazed at the cost of feeding my family. As the kids grow they seem to constantly be eating and I feel like I live at the grocery store.

Last week I was ecstatic when I was able to stretch 1 lb of stew meat over 2 dinners and 1 lunch for 2 adults & 2 kids.  Our first dinner was nachos, our lunch was tacos, and our second dinner was quesadillas served with Mexican potatoes. The key to doing this is to make your vegetables and starch be the featured ingredients instead of the meat. By loading the nachos and quesadillas with bell peppers, onions, lettuce, cheese, and avocado it was really easy to not use as much meat. 

For comparison purposes, I cooked another pound of stew meat this week but instead of stretching it, I made a typical meat, starch, and veggie meal. When I did that there was only enough meat for 1 meal.

By cooking the stew meat in a crockpot, it was also super simple to make. I tossed the meat with Mexican spices, drizzed on some honey, and then when the meat was tender I added in a can of diced tomatoes with peppers to give it a little kick.

If you are thinking your children don’t want to eat spicy food then, cook the meat with the spicy spices but before adding the tomatoes, pull out the meat for your children and rinse very well with water. My kids refuse to eat anything that isn’t plain tasting but they loved this meat after the spices had been rinsed off. If you try to cook the meat without the seasoning spices, the meat won’t taste anywhere near the same as having cooked for hours with spices rubbed on them initially.



CrockPot Mexican Stew Meat

1 lb of stew meat
2 tsp each:
-dried oregano
-dried cilantro
-adobo seasoning
-chili powder
-garlic powder
-ground cumin
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1 15.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with chili’s

Toss stew meat with all herbs, spices, and honey. Place in crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Test meat at 4 hours to determine how much more time is needed to avoid it drying out. Once meat is tender, add diced tomatoes and cook for another 30 minutes, until mixture is warmed through.

*These spices are all optional/customizable. If you don’t like one of them or don’t have something on hand, such as adobo seasoning, don’t worry about it. This is a very make as you like recipe.





Pork Tacos

Lately its been Mexican dishes coming out the wazoo at my house! We hosted a wedding shower at the house for dear friends and made pork & chicken tacos with a whopping 8.5 pounds of meat! I obviously missed the memo that there were only 15 people coming! So as you can imagine, we’ve had lots of tacoy type dishes for the last week.

Here is the base recipe I used for the pork…I cooked the chicken in a separate crock pot and just altered the amount of ingredients. The meat was very tasty, juicy, and well flavored.

6-8 pound boston butt (about the smallest you can find these is normally7 lbs.)
3 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp dried oregano
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp kosher salt
3 cups salsa
2 bay leaves

Place chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder, salt, salsa, and bay leaves into the bottom of crockpot and stir to mix. Remove excess fat from pork and rinse off. Place pork on top of the liquid mixture in crockpot. Cook for approximately 8 hours on low heat. When the pork is falling apart and is extremely ford tender, it easily pulls apart, it is finished.

Discard liquid from crockpot and pull pork apart with two forks and don’t be afraid to use your hands if necessary. I completed this task on my cutting board but you might find it easier to do it directly in the crockpot. Just make sure you discard the liquid prior to this task! You could save the liquid as a sauce for the tacos, but I found it to be greasy from all the pork drippings and just too much liquid.

Heap up your tacos with plenty of pork and lots of side fixings…salsa, limes, cilantro, cheese, & guacomole.



I forgot to take a picture of an actual taco with all that meat, but here it is in a quessadila.