Awhile ago I was trying to figure out my breakfast meals. My main requirements were that they needed to have lots of good fat and protein, taste delicious, feel hearty and ideally, fill me for about 5-7 hours (I eat a big breakfast). Oh, and of course this meal needed to be easy to make and be even easier to just heat up come breakfast time. Who has time to cook in the mornings? Anyway, I had a tough time at first because I have an intolerance to eggs, and I didn’t really want – nor think it was good to have lots of – bacon/sausage every single day, but what else is there really when it comes to protein and good fat with “breakfast” foods. So, I was forced to think outside of the box.
Finally, I came up with this Ground Veggie Mash. It’s been about a year (or two) that I’ve been making it and being the creature of habit that I am, I still make this once or twice a week and eat it almost daily. I love and crave it!! It is so hearty and filling. It has plenty of good fats as well as great flavor. And, the good news about this meal is that it’s easy to get some decent variety with it, too, even if you eat it year after year.
And if you don’t love the idea of nontraditional breakfast food for breakfast, this recipe can also be a great lunch, afternoon snack or dinner.
I use to use one bag of veggies and then add sausage or leftover fajita meat, steak or hamburger. But then I got tired of trying to think about what protein I could add to the veggie mash. So now when I make it, I add ground meat to the dish to make it a complete meal. I love it with ground chicken thigh (dark meat) or grass fed ground beef. I am on a dark meat chicken kick lately (even though the grass fed beef is better for us than any kind of chicken…yes even lean breast). I know, but eww, dark meat ground chicken is kind of gross to some people. It use to be kinda ick to me too. But guys, I am telling you, trust me, use the dark meat, if you’re using chicken. It is 100% better in this dish!
So I will typically pick 2 bags of veggies to cook (see veggie samples below) to start. For example, I’ll use a bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Brussel Sprouts and a bag of Cauliflower Rice, or a bag of Cruciferous mix and Organic Cabbage (probably my most common combo) or Trader Joe’s Organic Broccoli Slaw and Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale mixture. Many times I like to use pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
A friend recently asked about some of my staples from Trader Joe’s. I love Trader Joe’s for their convenient pre-cut veggies more than anything. Are the foods ALWAYS organic? No. But we doing the best we can and what works for our family and eating more veggies because of it. You have to do what works for you!
In addition to the veggies in the picture below, I also love and use often Trader Joe’s:
- Organic pre-cut Tuscan kale
- Frozen organic cauliflower rice
- Organic broccoli slaw
I also love the pre-cut cabbage from Whole Foods. If I am in a pinch and don’t have time to either cut up veggies (which is almost always; I’ve become spoiled and lazy, whatever you want to call it when it comes to cutting up veggies for this particular weekly recipe) or run to Trader Joe’s down the streeet, I’ll get the Kale Salad Mixture. We do throw away the salad dressing but keep the sunflower seeds and cranberries for a different recipe. Oh, and Whole Foods also now has frozen organic cauliflower rice!
So here is my large 6 quart pot of veggies and ghee for step 1. I use to use a pan and only 1 bag of veggies and a little meat and then realized, why not make more? There is no extra work involved. ALWAYS MAKE MORE FOOD WHEN YOU CAN. 99% of the foods you make can freeze really well!
Now, I do LOVE to add this Quinoa & Kale mixture (big bag pack of 5 from Costco or individual bags from Publix and some Sprouts) most of the time but it is definitely not mandatory. Sometimes, I’ll use the Kelp Noodles (see below) instead. I like the added carb-y feel from both but also love the extra protein from the Quinoa & Kale mixture. By the way, if you try the kelp noodles, they will seem super odd and feel like plastic when you open the bag, but they will soften completely when cooked. Just be sure to cook them early on with the veggies and add enough oils, or Tamari or Coconut Aminos (great with ground beef and stir fry) so the noodles will soften. Liquids are key to well prepared kelp noodles. My whole family loves them. They soak up flavor so well!
Thanks girls for holding these up. I couldn’t prop them well so the girls were happy to help out…
Here is the kale quinoa mixture once the veggies are cooked…
Mix together with your ground meat, spices and of course good oils…
While this goes into my recipe, I always like to add some extra Tessemae’s (online, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix) Lemon Garlic or good ol’ olive oil. Adding the extra Tessemae’s can make a world of difference!!! Don’t skip on this flavorful fat! Sometimes I’ll use some of the other oils but most of the time, I’m going with my Lemon Garlic and/or more Kasadrinos (from their site).
And wahlah! I promise it probably takes less time to make than it took to read read this long post!!
Oh, and last but definitely not least… I LOVE to add these seeds to my mash. The crunch is so satisfying. Plus, they are nutrient dense and filling. I get both of these on vitacost.com. If you shop of Vitacost, wait on the coupons and then stock up.
So my dog is actually really good when it comes to setting food on the ground and having self restraint. He will lay beside the food while I photograph it. This time he was left alone for a few minutes, and my big bowl of mash (pic above) was on my desk with a chair beside it pulled out, which I guess he thought was an invitation to hop up and help himself. But for a dog that is not really into people food (and especially vegetables), he sure scarfed this bowl down. And it was a big new fresh bowl. Grr!! I guess at least even he liked it….
- 2 bags of pre-cut veggies (or about a pound or so of veggies)
- 2 lbs of ground dark meat chicken thigh or ground beef
- 3 tbsp of ghee
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2-3 tsp of salt (or to taste)
- 1.5-2lbs ground meat
- 1/3 cup Tessemae's Lemon Garlic (or whatever you prefer)
- 1/4 cup good olive or avocado oil
- Bag of Kale Quinoa mixture OR Kelp noodles (not necessary)
- In a large 6 quart stock pot, melt 3 tbsp of ghee and then add 2 bags of veggies (and kelp noodles if you decide to try them).
- Cook until the veggies start to brown and soften. Add Tamari or coconut aminos if using the kelp noodles so they soften.
- Then add the kale quinoa mixture (if you have it), onion powder, garlic powder and salt and stir well.
- Cook until kale quinoa mixture is no longer frozen so for about 5-7 minutes.
- Set aside in a large bowl.
- Then wipe down your pan and cook your ground meat until it is no longer pink in the middle.
- Pour your cooked veggie mixture back in your pot with the ground meat.
- Stir it all together
- Then add Tessemae's dressing, the Lemon Garlic is my favorite, and some good quality olive oil.
- Top with some pumpkin or watermellon seeds and guacamole if you'd like, and enjoy.
- You can easily start with 1 bag of veggies (or about 10 oz of any veggies you cut) and 1lb (or less) of ground beef or chicken and then of course half all of the other ingredients. I just like to make things in bulk so I either have enough for the week or I can freeze some for later on.
- If you use the kelp noodles you'll want to add lots of oils/liquids so they become soft. I typically use the kelp noodes when I am making a stir fry type dish with ground beef, Tamari and or coconut aminos.