So let’s take a break from the boring but necessary and talk about something everyone loves: FOOD!
If this is your first venture into renting then you might not be the world’s best cook yet. Then again, you may be. Either way, it’s nice to have some go-to recipes that are easy and well…cheap!
One of the best ways to save money is to cook. It is also one of the best ways to protect your health because you control the ingredients; you know what’s going into your dinner and it probably doesn’t include chemicals with names you can’t pronounce. That’s always a plus. Good health is by far less expensive than the alternative!
The problem with cooking at home is often lack of time. Also, it can seem like a waste to prepare a recipe for four when there is only one of you and eating the same thing four nights in a row makes McDonalds’ variety sound gourmet.
Well, here is a recipe that has just a few ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. It also freezes well, so you can cook tonight and have several meals on down the road. Or have company over; it’s a great incentive for cleaning up the place. 🙂
Creamy Burrito Casserole
You’ll need about 20 minutes to put this together, and 30 minutes to bake it. Preheat your oven to 350.
1 lb ground meat (beef, chicken, pork, sausage–your choice)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 can cream soup (chicken, mushroom, celery–again, your choice)
1/2 to 1 cup sour cream
6 flour tortillas (I use fajita size)
2-3 cups shredded cheese
Hot sauce (optional)
Brown meat with onion and drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning and refried beans.
In a separate bowl, stir together the soup and sour cream.
Spray a 9 x 9 oven-safe dish with cooking spray for easy clean-up.
Spread 1/2 of the sour cream mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Tear three of the tortillas in pieces and layer on top of the sour cream mixture.
Put 1/2 of the beef and bean mixture on top of that.
If you are using hot sauce, add it here to your taste.
Next layer half the cheese.
Repeat the layers: sour cream mix, torn tortillas, beef and bean mix, hot sauce, cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.
If you want to put it together even faster, there is chopped onion in the freezer section with the vegetables now. You can also make this as lean as you like: ground chicken or turkey or super lean beef, fat-free beans, low fat soup and sour cream. You can also add veggies when you serve it: shredded lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes, more onion, avocado, jalepeno, cilantro.
If you decide to freeze portions of this for later, I would suggest starting a “food” calendar and go ahead and plot reminders now to eat up the frozen portions later. Schedule them for days that are normally more harried than others. Pull the portion out of the freezer a day or two before, put it in the fridge to thaw, then heat it up via your method of choice (oven or microwave) when you get in.
The original version of this recipe can be found on Food.com along with a lovely picture or two.