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Creative Outlets: Turkey Burger and Black Bean Scramble

October 30, 2010

Since the wedding, I have almost been on a crafting/creativity hiatus.  It seems like those hundreds of tissue paper flower napkin rings and the one hundred and twenty personalized fan programs knocked the crafting ambition out of me for most of the fall.  Now, however, the creativity bug has bitten and I am in the mood to share my latest creations.

Creativity in the H household typically comes in the form of food.  I love to create different dishes with simple (and cheap) ingredients that my husband won’t turn his nose up at.  So far, so good.  Being that I am a teacher and B works as a teller at a bank, we are far from rolling in money.  A budget matters to us, and we work hard to keep all of our expenses down.  When many people shy away from talking about money, I think it has a relevant impact on the subjects I write about, so I will have full disclosure.  Our monthly grocery bill is around $200.  We go shopping every two weeks after creating a specific meal plan and ingredient list.  We buy whatever kinds of (normal!) meats are on sale and use them during the next two weeks, or we store them in the freezer for later.  It’s a system that works for us.  When we cook, the meal typically lasts us for two to three meals.  It just plain works for our budget.

That being said, I also have to disclose that I am not a creature of habit.  I need variety in my diet, and if I don’t get it, I will literally break down and cry.  Just ask B.  I cried one night when he asked what kind of sandwich I wanted for lunch.  I had been having sandwiches for lunch for the past three weeks in a row.  Enough was enough.  So you won’t find us eating the same chicken dish week after week.  Sure, chicken could be the main ingredient in a few meals for the week, but we always make it differently.  No tears for dinner!

One of the best meals to make in a hurry that we have found is the turkey burger and black bean scramble.  It is a hearty meal that combines a whole lot of protein with some carbs and fiber.  And it LASTS.  We made this dish last week and ate it for three or four meals!  It’s a budget saver, no matter what your family’s size.

Turkey Burger and Black Bean Scramble


97% Lean Turkey Burger

I prefer turkey burger to regular hamburger because of its caloric quantities.  Thanks to the unfortunate experience of being the chubby kid through school, I have learned to really look at the main staples in my diet ad pick out what is going to be the best for me, and now for B.  I also prefer getting turkey burger that is 97% fat free.  The 3% of fat gives a little leeway with cooking, and the meat is pretty gosh darn lean.  It doesn’t taste like cardboard, either!  (I’m talking to you, Dad!)

1 can of Goya(R)  Low Sodium Black Beans

Sodium is another topic I keep my eye on.  B comes from a family who loves to put salt on food, while I have been taught to keep it out if possible.  It makes me weary when food companies put tons of salt in your food and then don’t expect you to read the ingredients before you toss them into a recipe.  I like to get as low as I can with foods I buy and then control it as I cook.

Black beans are super good for fiber, and studies have shown that eating black beans can help regulate your blood sugar.  B and I LOVE them, so they tend to be in a lot of our dishes.

1 box of Goya(R) Yellow Spanish Rice or Mexican Rice

This is completely up to you for flavors.  My preference is the yellow Spanish rice ( I feel like you get more in the box), but if you like spicier foods, go for the Mexican rice instead.


1.  Prepare the box of rice according to the package.  Typically, it asks you to bring two cups of water to a boil and dump in the rice with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Boil for one minute, stir, and reduce heat to low for 25 minutes.  Stir every once in a while to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

2.  While the rice is doing its thing, take out a frying pan or family skillet and cook the turkey burger.  Remember, turkey burger is poultry, so pink is NOT OKAY.

3.  When the turkey is just about done, add the drained can of black beans.  I don’t like adding any extra starch to this dish, so I drain the liquid from the can and then rinse the beans off before adding them to the meat.

4.  When the rice is done, add it to the meat and beans.  Depending on the size of your pans and pots, you may want to put the beans and meat into the rice, or you might want to do it the other way.  It’s up to you.

5.  Stir together to get a good mix.  Serve and enjoy!

Lasts for about a week!

For side dishes, we typically cook some sort of veggie, like green beans or broccoli.

We store this in an air-tight Pyrex dish with a cover in the fridge.

So what do you do with it for a week?

Because I love variety, I have found ways of creating new dishes out of the leftovers.  By far, my favorite has been the burritos we made.  Simply take the leftover scramble and put it in a warmed tortilla (I like whole wheat tortillas).  Add lettuce, cheese, low fat sour cream, and salsa (and anything else you have lying around that you like!).  Wrap it all up and enjoy!  Trust me, it’s delicious!

Another idea is to create a taco salad with the leftovers.  Reheat the mixture, adding in salsa and a little taco seasoning.  Line a casserole dish with tortilla chips (the Eden’s Garden(R) no-salt ones are amazing!).  Add a layer of low fast shredded cheese.  Add the heated mixture on top of that.  Add one more layer of cheese.  Put in the oven at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes or until the cheese is warm and bubbly.  Add lettuce and any other kind of taco topping you like once it is on your plate.  Eat, eat, eat!

So there you have it.  For about $8, you can eat for half a week!  Enjoy!

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