1 Pound of Meat Feeds a Family of 4

Whether it be ground beef, chicken breast, ground turkey or kielbasa, you can easily feed your family of 4 with 1 pound of meat!  I've been doing this for years and didn't realize that others didn't understand the concept of meat being part of the meal, not THE meal.  Americans seem to think that meat is what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Instead of only having it a few times a week, they have it 3 times a day every single day.  I think that is where Americans are going to have to change, not only for the wallet, but also for health.

Most of the meals I make use just 1 pound of meat and it not only feeds us all (3 adults and one hungry 8 yr old boy) but we sometimes have leftovers.  Everyone is super healthy except the runt of the family - ME - 😄.  However my health issues have nothing at all to do with diet thankfully, they are birth defects, heart infection from a virus and brain damage from a car accident.  So I suppose it is even of greater importance that I do cook mostly healthy so I won't have any additional issues with my health!

I have a large collection of recipes that I've acquired over the years that are healthy, frugal and utilize that 1 pound of meat to provide enough for 4-6 people.  Let me give an example of one our favorite recipes, Chicken Taco Bowls:

Chicken Taco Bowls - Serves 6

Adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch's recipe
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed/drained)
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 1/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water + 1 tsp chicken broth powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon taco seasoning
Pour 1/2 cup of the broth water in bottom of the instant pot.  Then, lay the chicken breasts around the pot evenly.  Sprinkle the taco seasoning on the chicken.  Next, add in the beans, corn, salsa and rice in that order and top with the 1 cup of leftover broth water, making sure rice is mostly submerged.

Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, natural release for 12 minutes.

Remove chicken and shred and then put back in and give it all a good stir to make sure everything is mixed together.  

Optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, lettuce

As you can see, you add in other ingredients and bulk up the meal and let me tell you, my family loves this meal!  We always have leftovers for my husband to take to work the next day.  He likes to have his in a tortilla but the rest of us just eat it in a bowl.  It is very frugal and you can easily use your own, cooked dry beans, in place of the canned to save even more.

With ground beef, I make one-pot spaghetti that feeds 6-8 with one pound of meat!  I also have several meals that utilize those 14oz kielbasas to serve 4-6.  Then of course ground turkey can also work in turkey shepherd's pie, turkey taco pasta and on and on.  You will find you save so much money and are still full and eating more of a variety of nutrients.  You can also add in a salad pre-meal and a dessert afterwards to really fill up.  

We aren't a big meat-eating family and never have been, we like beans a lot and have them 2-3 times a week in meatless meals.  We also only have red meat 2-4 times a month, otherwise we feel lethargic.  I try and plan my weekly dinner meals like this:

1 chicken meal
1 beef meal
1 turkey meal
1 pizza meal
1 seafood meal (some weeks)
Rest are meatless meals

Here are our meals for the next 6 days, all utilizing 1 pound of meat (or less) or meatless:

Falafel Burgers and green beans
Curried Chicken Couscous
Bell Pepper Casserole
Pasta Fagioli and homemade baguette bread
Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup
Tuna Curry Pasta

I hope this helps you consume less meat, which is better for you and your family and evidently the planet, though that's up for debate.  It is definitely better on the wallet - now, and in healthcare costs!  It also soon may be our future.