Leah is a follower of the 21-Day Fix. She works in mental health.
The Need for Quick Meals
If you've read any of my other articles, you'll notice that I'm all about cooking a healthy meal with minimal time investment. I'm a busy woman, and I'm sure you're busy, too. Often it seems like 24 hours just isn't enough to do everything I want to do. So I cut corners in specific areas, like cooking. I always use hacks whenever possible.
On the night I developed this recipe, I was simply exhausted, both physically and emotionally. So in typical Leah style, I looked in the pantry and grabbed a few staples, thinking "this should be a pretty good meal." Go figure, I was right. I used a can of diced tomatoes, a can of green beans, some seasonings, and ground beef. I usually prefer fresh or frozen green beans, but we had some canned in the cabinet, and I'm trying to use what I have without having to buy more items.
Cooking a fast meal allows me to devote more time to my other pursuits. I work full-time in the mental health field, and when I'm not working, I'm a health and fitness coach, supportive caretaker for my parents, dog mom, and avid crocheter. Think of what you could do with a little extra time in your day!
I love using seasonings in all of my recipes. While I tend to lean towards Hispanic seasonings, I didn't think it would go as well with green beans. So I used Italian seasoning. My local supermarket has a great Italian seasoning blend, with oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. To boost the flavor, I added some garlic and extra basil.
A friend of the family gave me a bunch of fresh basil leaves from a plant she has, and since I knew I wouldn't use them in time, I threw them in the freezer. I don't even defrost them before cooking. I just throw them into the mixture I'm cooking and let them cook with the rest of the food.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 2 bags (10 oz) cauliflower rice
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (14 oz) cut green beans, drained
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder, or minced garlic
- Microwave the cauliflower rice as directed.
- While the cauliflower is steaming, place your ground beef into a large skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 10–15 minutes, until all the beef is cooked through. I like to break the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Once the beef is cooked through, add the can of tomatoes, cauliflower rice, Italian seasoning, and green beans. Tear up the basil leaves and add them to the skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes, mixing thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!
21 Day Fix Container Counts
If you're following the 21 Day Fix, container counts for this are:
- 1 red container
- 2 green containers
That's it! If you change anything or add ingredients, please remember to count those as well.
Since this is a thrown together recipe, the variations are limited only by your imagination. Here are some ideas I came up with:
- Protein: I chose to make this with ground beef, but it could work with any protein you prefer. Ground turkey or chicken could be a good substitution. If you don't keep kosher, ground pork or even some shrimp would be a great addition.
- Vegetarian/vegan: Skip the beef, and use your favorite plant-based protein. You could try tofu, tempeh, or my personal favorite, Gardein beefless ground. Otherwise, you could add some legumes - beans or lentils would work well with the flavors.
- Additional ingredients: You don't have to use green beans. Any vegetables would be a good choice. Spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower florets, onions, or squash are great alternatives. Let your creativity flow!
- Toppings: Obviously, an Italian style dish like this would be great with cheese, so if you don't keep kosher, try some grated Parmesan or shredded Mozzarella. If you do keep kosher, or like to stay clear of dairy, use nutritional yeast. This would also taste amazing with some sliced black olives on it.
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© 2018 Leah