Here’s an easy, nutritious way to stretch a buck: BBQ Beef and Beans. I modified the recipe I got from my friend Chef Gary. If you take a little help from the grocery store (canned beans, rinsed and drained, and jarred barbecue sauce of your choice), you need only ten minutes to get this into the slow cooker. This is one of my favorites to take to a potluck dinner.
HASTY TASTY BBQ BEEF AND BEANS
I use the stainless steel Gourmet Slo-cooker by Americraft so everything is done in one pot. If you use a crockery slow cooker, you will need a skillet to brown your meat and onions.
- 1 pound chuck, cubed
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 4 cans beans (your choice of type. I like variety so I mix 4 kinds of beans)
- 12 ounces prepared barbecue sauce (avoid varieties containing high fructose corn syrup)
- nonstick cooking spray
- Spray skillet or pan with nonstick cooking spray. Salt and pepper the cubed chuck, add it to the skillet, cover, and brown over low heat.
- Open canned beans and drain, rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
- Add chopped onion to the browned chuck. Adjust heat to medium. Do not cover. Cook until all liquid has evaporated (about two minutes).
- In slow cooker pan or Crock-pot, add meat and onions. Slowly stir in the rinsed beans.
- Add barbecue sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over low heat for at least four hours. Use lowest possible setting because all the food is cooked. Your only concern is infusing flavor.
- Serve warm.
Yield: 5 pints
Enjoy either as a side or main dish. Remember, beans are a great source of fiber and nutrition yet without the saturated fat of meat.
The best meals are often the simplest. Take grilled salmon, for example. When my husband and I want to splurge on a meal to celebrate, we browse the seafood counter at Publix and select something extravagant. We’re still paying only half what the meal would cost in a restaurant, and that’s not including tips or cocktails. ☺
Grilled Salmon Fillets for Two
- 2 salmon fillets, approximately 5-6 ounces each
- 1 zucchini squash cut into ribbons (I use my SpiraLife)
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- ¼ sweet onion, julienned
- 1 sweet pepper, julienned
- 1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- (optional) fresh basil sprigs
- Place zucchini, onion, and pepper in a small (1-quart) saucepan over low heat. If you aren’t using waterless cookware, be sure to add at least a Tbsp. water. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat cast iron grill pan over medium heat.
- Combine olive oil, herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Rub both sides of each fillet.
- Place fillets in preheated grill pan and immediately lower heat. Position the thinner portions of each fillet toward the edge of the pan, farther from the center of heat source to avoid overcooking. Time for five minutes.
- Carefully turn each fillet using a spatula. Time for an additional five minutes.
- After five minutes, check the thickest part of the salmon for doneness. Do not overcook. If the fish has turned a lighter shade of pink, immediately remove pan from heat. If the middle appears raw, cook for a couple minutes more, taking care not to overcook the salmon.
- Remove zucchini mixture from heat. Using tongs, divide the vegetable noodles and place on two plates.
- Plate the salmon beside the “noodles.” Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately with your choice of roll and beverage.
I recommend buying wild caught in USA salmon rather than farm-raised.