I wanted to share this ground beef with cabbage and rice recipe with you today. It is very simple and quick to prepare, nothing revolutionary. I like it because it is healthy, versatile and easily adaptable.
I was thinking recently about how easy it is to justify eating out or preparing a processed frozen dinner when we don’t have much time to cook from scratch. I realized that the reason cooking from scratch is so daunting is not because cooking itself is complicated– most weeknight dinner recipes I use are pretty quick to put together– but because it is a chore to come up with ideas of what to make. By the end of an exhausting work day, I am in no mental shape to even start thinking of what to cook, as much as I enjoy cooking.
That’s why I find meal planning so helpful. Every time I neglect or put off meal planning, I find myself scrambling to put something together last minute, even if it is something very simple like this ground beef and cabbage recipe. I don’t like eating out, unless for a special occasion, and I am even less inclined to use processed frozen meals. So, really the only option is to think ahead.
Speaking of menu planning, this week I am going to try this cabbage stir fry, but I will be swapping shrimp for the beef. I will let you know how it turns out.
I am also planning to grill a few chicken breasts and freeze some for later. The chicken is marinated in a simple mixture of buttermilk, salt, and rosemary and turns out very moist and flavorful. Buttermilk is magic stuff!
Back to the recipe. It is more of a concept than a recipe, a formula that can be applied in different ways. I like how adaptable it is.
You can make a few tweaks based on what you’ve got in the fridge and what your family likes. Here are some ideas:
- replace the beef with another type of protein: ground chicken, turkey, kielbasa, shrimp, tofu.
- use whatever vegetables you have on hand: shredded carrot, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms.
- skip the rice or replace with barley, quinoa, or pasta.
- use your favorite type os seasoning and fresh herbs.
A tip to make the whole process even faster: precook large batches of ground beef and keep in the freezer. Same goes for the rice and pasta. I try to always cook a double batch and freeze the rest for later.
Ground beef with cabbage and rice
(can be easily doubled)
1 lb ground beef (I like to use 90% lean)
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (use more or less, to your liking)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, or other herbs
- In a large skillet brown the beef on medium-high heat adding salt, pepper and any seasoning and herbs you are using. Push to the sides of the skillet (or remove to a plate).
- Add the cabbage to the skillet and cook stirring, about 10 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you like it.
- Add cooked rice (and the beef if you had removed it) and stir to combine well. Cook a few minutes longer to heat everything through. Adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Sprinkle with green onion and/or fresh herbs before serving. Enjoy!
What are your go-weeknight recipes? Please share below!