“Menu Inspiration” gives subscribers exclusive access to original and inspired recipes from Fr. Leo Patalinghug, host of the movement, Grace Before Meals. If you try this recipe, let us know what you think. If you have a special recipe that inspires the family to come together more regularly, please share it with us and our faithful foodie community. Pictures of your food surrounded by your family and friends are always welcome! Post your comments below.
One Pound and Four Meaty Meals
Recently, I posted a Facebook video letting people know I’ll be creating four separate meals out of less than one pound of top round beef! It was a fun and creative exercise that provided me with some great tasting meals for an entire week, but it also gave me a bit more compassion for people who cook alone.
(Me with my cousin Bernadette and her friend, Chef Mike – a friend of GBM. We taught Bernadette some cooking techniques to prepare her for a move to a new apartment.)
While I’m giving recipes for singles, I always encourage people to find company to share the blessings and a “domestic” communion around the dining room table. I know it’s not always easy for people to do that. I understand – you get home from work, you turn on the TV just for some background noise, take out some stuff from the fridge, microwave it, eat it quickly, fall asleep, and start over again the next day. And I don’t forget that you also have to clean those dishes up at some point in the day!
What’s a single person to do for inexpensive, healthy, but delicious meals?
(Food service employee at “Eataly” of New York City. His shirt translates as “Life is too short to eat badly.” I would also add “da solo” – to eat badly “and alone.”)
Therefore, I am writing this menu specifically for singles. But remember, don’t get used to eating alone! Maybe you can “multiply” some of these meal ideas and invite some friends over for a supper club. It just takes some preplanning, creativity, and initiative.
Hopefully these recipes can give single people some inspiration, some ideas, and some tips to make sure one pound of meat doesn’t become one pound of monotony!
(Different types of cauliflower on sale in French-speaking Quebec. Variety is the spice of life!)
Recipe Disclaimer: With all GBM Recipes, I rely on the taste buds of home cooks/chefs like you all to manage the exact ingredients.
(One pound of of top round beef, butchered four ways for four separate meals)
Recipe # 1: Beef and Veggie Stir Fry
2-3 ounces of top round steak, thinly cut
½ cup string beans, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1 carrot, cubed
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
2-4 Tbs water
½ tsp corn starch
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
(All the ingredients in the pan.)
Season beef strips with salt and pepper, and coat in corn starch. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add beef and sauté until beef takes on slight color, approx. 1-2 minutes. Add all vegetables and sauté 1 minute. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, and water, then stir together until liquids thickens up. Serve over your favorite starch, like rice or mashed potatoes. For this dish I actually stir-fried some tofu coated with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs – a unique combination, but it worked just perfectly!
(A perfectly sized portion bursting with flavors and textures.)
Recipe # 2: Philly-pino Cheese Steak
2-3 ounces of top round beef, sliced thinly
1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup onions, sliced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp mayonnaise
½ tsp mustard
1 slice provolone cheese
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
Crusty bread (in this case, an English Muffin)
(The ingredients – all stuff you probably have in your refrigerator – even single people!)
Heat oil in nonstick pan. Sauté onions until translucent. Add meat and sauté until almost cooked. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup, then mix together. Top off with provolone cheese. When cheese begins to melt, use a spatula to place in between your choice of bread.
(Philly Cheese Steak Muffin with some chips and fresh guacamole, a recipe found in my book.)
Recipe # 3: Steak Salad
2-3 ounces of top round beef, cubed
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs crumbled blue cheese
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
A loose “handful” of mixed field greens
1 slice of bread
1 Tbs dried oregano
Heat olive oil in pan. Add cubed steak, and season with salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and sauté. Turn off heat and add blue cheese. Let cheese melt before toping off salad with the cubed beef and the warmed salad dressing. To make the “croutons,” heat the same pan and add the dried oregano. Add the cubed bread and allow the bread to warm and absorb some of the juice and oregano. Add to the salad for herbal infused croutons.
(Healthy eating: a small portion of lean beef, fresh greens, and a savory dressing!)
Recipe # 4: Beef Braciole
1/4 pound top round beef, filleted, and pounded thin
2-3 Tbs parmesan cheese
2-3 Tbs seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbs tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
Salt & pepper
Filet beef to make 2 “scalloppine” of meat. Tenderize the beef with a mallet, pounding it thin. Season with salt and pepper. Combine bread crumbs and cheese, and place the mix on top of the beef. Roll the meat, and use a toothpick to keep the beef slices together. Heat olive oil in pan and cook the braciole on all sides until evenly colored. Remove and set aside. Add red wine and let it simmer for about 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and incorporate into the red wine sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Return the braciole to the same pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes more, occasionally turning the braciole, so that each side soaks in the sauce. Serve over your favorite starch and side veggies. Then have some fun and use some of the juice to turn your plate into a work of art!
Let us pray:
Dear Father in Heaven, You made an abundant meal out of a few pieces of bread and fish. Give us inspiration and grace to make the most out of the little things in life! Give us courage, never to fear, and to try and cooperate with Your creative love! In a special way, I pray for people who regularly eat alone. May they experience the loving community of faithful people and share the blessings around the table! Amen.
Tell us what you can do to multiply meals? If you eat alone, what do you do you do for meals? And how do you encourage others to join you at your dinner table? If you have a family, what do you do to make room at your table for single people who eat alone? Your comments and ideas definitely help our growing community. And your comments encourage us to keep doing what we do – share food, faith, family, and fun! Post your comments BELOW.
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