Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ground beef substitute

My kids are picky meat eaters, and pretty much always have been. They really have never liked any ground up meat, and the only way this affects me is when it comes to recipes for ground beef. Most of the time I either quit making something or find another way around it (adding chunks of chicken rather than shredded chicken, etc).  However, we really like Mexican dishes, and Italian dishes with meat sauce, so I was happy to find a substitute for ground beef that my kids are cool with! It is made with bulgar wheat, which I have never used before making this. I found it in the health food section of our local grocery store. If you can't find it, I'm sure you could inquire about getting it in stock. My Libby will tell you that she doesn't like beef and instead eats bulgar wheat. I also like the idea of have a "meatless" meal without really realizing it. 

 First you pour your bulgar wheat in a pot.
 Then you chop up your onion and garlic (I always use more garlic than what is called for)

 Add onion and garlic with the rest of the sauce ingredients (tomato juice, water, pecans, molasses, and taco seasoning) in a blender.
I don't prefer to use store bought taco seasoning, because I try to stay away from pre-packaged stuff when I can, so I found a recipe for making my own, which I love. 

Blend it all up until it's smooth...
and add it to the bulgar.

Cook it for 15 minutes, and then let it sit for an hour, and it has a consistency very similar to ground seasoned beef. The first time I made this, my husband saw it in fridge and thought it was beef. It also freezes well. This is great for many things! I made it into homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner last night. I used half the batch and put the rest in the fridge to make taco "meat" for taco salads tonight.

Bulgar Burger (recipe from Healthy Choices cookbook)
2 C bulgar wheat
1 C water
1 C tomato juice
1/2 med. onion, cut into pieces
1 garlic clove
1 C pecans
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp taco seasoning

Place bulgar in kettle. Blend all other ingredients in blender until smooth. Stir blended ingredients tino bulgar in kettle. Cook over medium heat for 15 min, stirring frequently. Let set for 1 hour with lid on. Use immediately, or can also be frozen.



Kelli Becton-AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

Very interesting - I'd be interested to know your homemade taco seasoning too- I buy mine from Sams club- or sometimes use special stuff my hubs brought back from New Mexico - but we're almost out of it. Thanks so much for linking up with us at Kids in the kitchen!!!

Megan Elzey said...

I'm sorry, I somehow missed your comment! I will post the recipe that I use for taco seasoning tomorrow :) It is great.