If you have half an hour, you can whip up a delicious meal with ground beef and rice. Keep ground beef in your freezer so it's available for quick meals. If you've forgotten to defrost the meat for tonight's family dinner, thaw it quickly in your microwave. As long as you cook it immediately afterward, it's safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grab the rice from the pantry and have dinner ready in 30 minutes.
Making fried rice is easier than you might think. While you're cooking regular long-grain rice in water, beat one egg and cook it in a skillet. Slide it out of the pan and cut it into strips, then use the same skillet to cook ground beef, mushrooms and celery. Add snow pea pods, the egg strips and cooked rice to the beef mixture, then season it with soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook the mixture for two to three minutes or until it's hot.
If you have leftover chili, use it to create another meal. If not, substitute a can of chili with beans. Brown a pound of ground beef, drain it and add the chili, a can of diced tomatoes and water. Heat the mixture to boiling. Stir in uncooked white rice and shredded cheddar or American cheese. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let it stand for five minutes before serving. Lighten the meal with a fresh green salad and your family's favorite bottled dressings.
Take a shortcut and heat a package of cooked beef meatballs in your microwave. Cook instant brown rice according to the directions on the box. Drain a can of pineapple chunks, put part of the juice in a saucepan and save the rest for another recipe. Add picante sauce and sugar-free orange marmalade or apricot preserves to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the meatballs and pineapple chunks. Simmer the mixture and serve it over the cooked rice.
For a quick meal your kids will love, start by browning ground beef in a large skillet. Drain the meat, then add water, ketchup and mustard and heat the mixture to boiling. Stir in uncooked, instant white rice and shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer the mixture for five minutes. Let it stand for another five minutes before serving.
- Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images