Mark Bittman’s hearty, meaty meals

Sure, the economy may be turning around, but money remains tight for many families. If you’ve been trying to make your food budget last, take heart: Food writer Mark Bittman is sharing smart tricks for feeding a family of four on half a pound of ground meat. Here are his recipes for stir-fried vegetables with ground chicken, pasta with broccoli raab and sweet Italian sausage, and bulgur pilaf with vermicelli and ground beef.

Stir-fried vegetables with ground chicken in lettuce wraps
Servings:

Makes: 4 servings; Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
    • 1/4 cup chopped scallion, plus more for garnish
    • 1 pound Napa or other cabbage, cored and shredded
    • 2 large carrots, julienned
    • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, washed, stemmed and sliced
    • 1/2 pound ground chicken
    • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock, white wine, or water
    • 8 to 12 large lettuce leaves

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Bulgur pilaf with vermicelli and ground beef
Servings:

Makes: 4 servings; Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pound of any fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 medium onions or 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup vermicelli, broken into 2-inch-long or shorter lengths, or other pasta
    • 1 cup coarse-or medium-grind bulgur
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
    • 2 1/4 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock or water, heated to the boiling point
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Best-selling cookbook author Mark Bittman is the creator and author of the popular New York Times weekly column "The Minimalist," and one of the country's best-known and most widely admired food writers. His flagship book, "How to Cook Everything" (John Wiley and Sons, 1998), is currently in its 14th printing and has, in its various formats, sold more than a million copies.

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