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Stretch Those Proteins and Save Those Grocery Bucks

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Stretching those proteins! It is absolutely crucial to saving money on

When I break down the cost of one of my $5 dinners, the protein is always the most expensive part. So stretching that meat with a complementary source of protein and fiber will help bring down the overall cost of your meal…and ultimately your grocery bill!

That’s why I love to stretch ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken with beans...usually dried beans because they are cheaper too. You get an extra boost of fiber and protein by combining the beans and meat.

One of our family’s favorite beef-bean combo recipes are my Beef & Bean Oven Nachos.

Dare I admit that this is one of those meals that I would plop right onto the table and let the kids dig from the dish. (Yes, I’d let it cool a bit so the glass dish isn’t hot to the touch. And yes, I’d help my younger toddler.)

But I know we all have ‘those’ afternoons where you just want to drop dinner on the table and let the big kids dig for themselves. Well, this is the meal for you.

So when you’re having one of those days where even plating the food might send you into a ‘busy mommy tailspin’ – don’t fret. Let them dig for their own nachos and forget about plating their food.

Add this one to your next “Taco Tuesday” night!

Beef & Bean Oven Nachos

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes

3/4 to 1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (homemade taco seasoning recipe here)
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips, whatever brand you love (I used mix of white corn and blue corn tortilla chips)
About 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
Sour cream, garnish
Guacamole, garnish
Fresh fruit, as side dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brown the ground beef with the chopped onions and taco seasoning. Drain and return to the skillet. Mix in the black beans and toss for a minute or two over low heat, then remove from heat.

Add the tortilla chips to the base of a 7×11 or 9×9-inch baking dish. Add the beef-bean mixture over the top and then add the shredded cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted through.

Top with dollops of sour cream, guacamole or other favorite nacho toppings.

Serve Beef & Bean Oven Nachos with fresh fruit on the side.

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