10 Dinner Ideas to Stretch out Meat
If you are one of my subscribers on my VIP list, you will have your copy of my free book, How to Eat Healthy Wholefood on a Budget. One of my tips is to cook meals where you can use less meat without anybody really noticing.
Good quality, ethical meat is expensive but I think it’s worth buying. You just have to be a little clever about stretching out that meat to get more bang for your buck. Here are ten dinner ideas where you can feed a family of four using smaller portions of meat.
Disclaimer: Of course you an always cook vegetarian meals as well but that’s another story!
My family love pizza! You can easily get away with a small amount of bacon or ham or even leftover roast chicken or lamb on your pizzas. Bulk it up with lots of yummy veggies and top with some spinach or rocket to serve. My favourite base is this sweet potato one as it’s so filling and full of protein.
Slice one chicken breast or one steak thinly, marinate it in some yummy coconut aminos, garlic and ginger and bulk it out with lots of vegetables. You may also like to serve it with some rice or mix in some noodles to really make it go further. I always like to add a handful of cashews, sesame seeds or almonds as well to increase the protein content and make it extra yum.
An easy budget meal, eggs provide great protein in quiches or frittatas. I love to use up leftover vegetables and handfuls of spinach in them! Use one or two bacon rashers, a small tin of salmon or some leftover roast meat. This crustless quiche recipe is a great base for adding whatever you have in the fridge.
Only got one lamb shank? Easy – turn it into a hearty soup. Diced vegetables, broth and even some rice or pasta at the end of the cooking time if you really want to bulk it out.
♥ Pasta Bake.
If you are okay with a little grain (I like the GF pastas), then pasta bake is your friend! Use a tiny bit of bolognaise sauce or some chopped cooked chicken and stir through some vegetables, cream, pesto, white sauce or anything that takes your fancy. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven!
We make this regularly – it’s so delicious and it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or lamb. You can also cook up one piece of meat and fold it through just at the end of cooking time. Find my coconut biriyani recipe here. Apply the same principle to fried rice – a little bit of chicken or bacon and some strips of egg omelette.
It’s all in the presentation. If I serve a tiny bit of meat with salad on the side, it looks stingy and mean. If I cut up that meat and toss it through a salad with some other yummy things like nuts and cheeses, it suddenly becomes a hearty meal.
Cube your meat and thread it onto skewers with loads of vegetables in between. You can then serve over rice with a big salad. Check out my mexican pork skewers for inspiration!
Who doesn’t love a fritter? Delicious and easy to make – you can use leftover meat or some bacon with lots of vegetables. Here is a delicious recipe for gluten and dairy free fritters.
♥ Tacos, nachos and all that jazz.
Whenever I make spicy mince for tacos I always have loads leftover! Cook up some mince with lots of onion, grated vegetables, beans and my homemade mexican seasoning. You can serve with salad in a taco shell, on a wrap or burrito or atop some corn chips. It can take a little bit of hunting to get some good quality ones without all the additives. You can also use homemade potato or sweet potato wedges instead of corn chips too!
I would love to know how you stretch out meat in your meals! Leave us your ideas in the comments.