For us, it's all worth it. But all of this spending means we have to SAVE in other areas of our life. Like what we eat. We're obviously foodies who love to eat, so sometimes we spend more than is ideal on food. Well, it's time to scale back. Ryan's idea was ramen and PB&J's for every meal, which, yes, would do the trick financially, but would also turn us into quite the unhealthy bride & groom pair before the big day. I want to save, but I also don't want to sacrifice my health or my love for delicious food. So I've tried to get creative with very budget-conscious but still nutritious and delicious meals. Here's one of my favorites so far: korean beef tacos, wrapped in cabbage cups.
Korean beef is usually made with steak, but here I used ground beef with the same delicious flavors. So much cheaper. In fact, it's BEYOND cheap if you buy it in bulk from Costco and freeze portions. Ground beef is also easier to cook than steak... this stuff could be made by anybody. The whole thing takes less than 20 minutes! And very little effort. The result is a new spin on taco meat with quintessentially Asian flavors. Delish. You could serve this over rice, in wraps, in stuffed peppers, on salad... so many possibilities! I used lean 90% ground beef here, but I think it would also be delicious with ground chicken, turkey, bison.... any ground meat, really.
I decided to go with tacos, my favorite way to enjoy ground beef. No need for cheese, sour cream, and corn shells here though. This korean beef goes great in crunchy cabbage (or lettuce) wraps topped with healthy add-ons like a simple Asian slaw, green onions, chopped peanuts, and sriracha. Most of this meal is made with things I already have in my pantry/fridge, along with some very inexpensive fresh purchases (the meat, cabbage, and slaw mixture).
These tacos make for a super fast and easy, cheap, healthy, unique and flavorful dinner. Just stuff 'em, wrap 'em up, and enjoy.
And like I said, couldn't be easier to make. Here's how:
When you're ready to cook, let's start this recipe the same way we start so many others: chopping onion and garlic. You'll need about half a white or yellow onion and 3 cloves of garlic.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it's starting to become soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.
Then, add your beef. Break it up as it cooks and browns.
Meanwhile, prepare your sauce: mix together 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1-2 tsp sriracha, 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.
When the beef is all browned, carefully drain the liquid from the pan, reserving the meat and onions. Return to the stove. Pour in the sauce. Heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until it's hot and the meat has started to absorb the liquid, about 5 minutes.
Serve with cabbage cups (or lettuce wraps, tortillas, crunchy taco shells... your choice), the Asian slaw, chopped green onions, crushed peanuts, sriracha, and whatever else tickles your fancy.
Fast & Healthy Korean Beef Tacos
Beef recipe adapted from Damn Delicious
For 3-4 servings
Ingredients-1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1 - 1.5 lbs lean ground beef (at least 90% lean)
-1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
-1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
-1/4 cup honey
-1-2 tsp sriracha
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (*less if you don't like spicy)
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
For serving tacos:
-Asian broccoli slaw (recipe below)
-Cabbage or lettuce cups/wraps
-Diced green onions
-Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it's become soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spatula periodically, as it browns.
-Meanwhile, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger in a small bowl.
-When the beef is all browned, carefully drain the liquid from the pan. Return the meat to the stove, keeping the heat on medium. Pour in your soy sauce liquid mixture. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until warm and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 5-7 minutes.
-Transfer the beef to a serving bowl. For the tacos, fill cabbage cups with beef and Asian slaw and top with green onions, peanuts, and sriracha. Wrap and enjoy.
Asian Broccoli Slaw
For 4-6 servings
-12 oz prepared broccoli slaw (find it in the grocery store near the cole slaw mixtures)
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tbsp honey
-1 tbsp sesame seeds
-3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
-1/4 tsp ground ginger
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Mix all ingredients well until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.