What To Eat Wednesday: Burrito Bowl

What to Eat Wednesday is a new Wait . . . Dad? Recipe Series . . . cause . . . you know . . . why not? There will be no rhyme or reason other than whatever tasted exceptionally good the previous week, but you may notice I'm a huge fan of quick easy cheap meals that are high in protein, minerals, and fiber, and relatively low on carbs. I say that with the full knowledge that I will be sharing a cast iron lasagna recipe very soon which meets none of the previously mentioned criteria. Since it's new, please send along feedback about either the format or the recipes themselves or share with me your meals that you want me to try. Thanks . . . 

The Kick-Butt Burrito Bowl:

1lb Ground Beef
1/2 Chopped Onion
1/2 Chopped Bell Pepper
1 Can of Refried Beans
Something Lettuce-y

Salt/Pepper, Olive Oil, Balsamic, Pepper Flakes.

4 Skinny People
3 Normal People
2.5 Me People (Including the kid)

The Beef: The trick to good hamburger patties is simple . . . don't futz with it. You know how when you're trying to shape the patties into submission and they get all pink and sticky? Yeah . . . that's bad.  That's why your delicately flattened masterpiece swells up to look like a battered hockey puck. Instead, cut aside the amount of meat you want for each patty, and gently press it flat until it's about a quarter inch thick. It won't be a perfect circle (Hell it might even turn out like a triangle), but it won't swell in the middle making it easier to cook evenly, and since you're not using a bun anyway . . . who cares? Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side (or whatever seasoning salt you've stolen from whatever diner) Fry each patty up in a pan (I use a cast iron one, but if you've got a Foreman Grill, use that) and then set them aside (You want them to cool a bit so they don't wilt the lettuce)

The Beans: I make my life easy and just use canned refried beans. Go ahead and go all Chipotle with black beans or whatever and if you want to go totally gourmet you can make your own refried beans by sautéing some onions and bacon bits in a sauce pan then adding pinto beans to the mix and mashing it all up to gather like potatoes. I found the flavor to be good, but the texture made it unpalatable to my nine year old, and it also added ten minutes of prep and an extra pan to wash. Live easy . . . I say . . . open the can . . . scoop out the gooey stuff into a pot . . . put the pot over low heat . . . stir once in a while.

Peppers and Onions: Chopped, diced, sliced, however you like 'em doesn't matter. You can even skip the Pepper so your picky eater doesn't have to make that face. Toss into the pan that was used to cook the hamburger (Fat is flavor, Grease is golden) over lowish heat and stir around until the onion is all soft and slimy.

The Lettuce-y Stuff: You can used whatever leafy green you like. Romaine is good. Kale is ridiculously better (it's just so crunchy . . . and cheap . . . and I guess healthy . . . whatever) I would stay away from spinach cause it wilts too easy . . . and you know . . . e-coli. The trick is, whatever you use, chop it finely (Makes for easier seasoning and better presentation)

The Assembly: First big ole scoop of beans, then lay the hamburger on the edge of the beans, then drop a handful of lettuce-y stuff in the left over space. Scoop the onions/peppers over the beans and beef. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic over the lettuce-y stuff, sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes over the whole shebang.

Additions/Substitutions: You can add rice, I guess, whatever, but why bother? Salsa can be added, of course, as can sour cream and shredded cheese. Avocados are a nice touch, but can more than double the cost per serving. You can use ground turkey if you're on a fat reduction kick, or slow cooked carnitas if you have an extra 48hours and a colon that requires punishment.

Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cost per serving: $3.00

Remember: The closest way to a man's heart is a six centimeter incision to the right of his sternum and about 12lbs of pressure with a six inch knife. Or . . . food . . . good food.

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