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Old 01-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default dealing with guests

We eat pretty healthy in this house. In the second week of december, I gained an unexpected longer term houseguest. A friend of my son's family was evicted, and he had no place to go. Rather than allow the poor boy to be homeless, we are letting him stay with us until the end of this month when he leaves for Washington state. Anyway, Cody is very used to eating a lot of beef, having a lot of snacks and junk food, etc. He told me yesterday that he thinks it has been great for him staying with us, and he has lost about 5 pounds, but he really misses the beef. The only time I use beef, really, is when I make chili, and I put about 1/4 pound into my pasta sauce. I do have a pack of ground beef in the fridge, and I promised him I would make him a nice hamburger for dinner tonight. Now, bear in mind, the boy was not complaining, merely making a comment, and he has been a good thoughtful houseguest, who has been through a pretty rough stretch, so I don't mind giving him a burger as a "treat", but I am also glad I have introduced him to some more healthy eating. I guess my question is: I dont want the poor boy to suffer too much culture shock, so does anyone have any good idea for some more stuff I can make him that won't make me cringe too horribly?

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Old 01-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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It sounds like he's doing fine.

He can always pitch in for groceries if he wants different food, or maybe you can get him involved in the cooking?
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Just my thoughts -

Reading your post, and the couple of times you use the phrase "poor boy," I'm wondering if you're one of the many of us who uses food to show love and care and concern? I think it's great that you're concerned about him, and I think a nice burger tonight would be great, but I don't know that more ground beef will really benefit him in the long run.

If he's going to be on his own after this month, and paying for his own food, maybe he would benefit more from your thoughts and instructions on how to eat well on a budget - including making things like ground beef last longer.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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Make a meatloaf, adding chopped up onions, peppers, garlic, and even carrots to your breadcrumb and egg filler. Or, saute the ground meat with taco seasonings (you don't even need to use the entire packet) and make taco salads with all sorts of healthy toppings (chopped tomatoes, green onions, black olives and so forth). Your dressing can be a homemade goop of salsa and some light sour cream, combined. I also make a very easy Stroganoff where I brown the beef, drain it, then add mushrooms and onions and a can of cream of mushroom soup before adding a touch of sour cream. Serve it over noodles (whole wheat pasta, perhaps?). I love the versatility of ground beef and it's unfortunate that it gets a bum rap. Your houseguest will be so pleased! This is nice of you to do.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Your house, your food.

It's not your job to change your diet for someone you're keeping from living on the street.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
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You could make meatballs with pasta and that way people could choose how much meat they wanted.

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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Like you said, it doesn't sound like he is complaining at all! You are giving him a treat that I am sure he will appreciate, but I don't think that you need to alter any of your cooking habits. It sounds to me like he was grateful for the food you have been making!

I agree that it sounds that maybe you are like me, giving food=giving love. You are taking care of him just fine, no need to change anything!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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Considering beef can be pricey this might help him become more familiar with cheaper meats

I think it's nice you are making a special meal for him. I agree meatloaf is a great way- and when I make my meatloaf I do ground turkey and ground beef, my husband who "hates" turkey has never noticed HA!

When I make 2 pounds of meatloaf I mix one pound of 95% lean ground beef, one pound of ground turkey. In a food processor I toss in a whole tomato (I peel off the skin), onion (as much as you like I do a half), and a large zucchini (I don't peel off the outer green portion) also. I get it ground down good then I add that to my meat mixture along with 2 eggs and a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. I also add a tiny bit of salt and pepper to the mixture- I don't measure I just sprinkle some in while I'm mashing it all together.

For the sauce I add one can of tomato sauce (the small cans), water, oregano, basil, salt (if the tomato sauce is unsalted), pepper, and then I cook it on the stove in a pot. If you like a lot of sauce do two cans of tomato sauce or use a can of tomato paste and dilute down with more water. When the sauce is done pour a small portion (1/2 cup or more) over just the meatloaf that you have shaped in your pan. Bake at 350 (remember to preheat oven) for 45 minutes, pull meatloaf out, remove the drippings from around the meatloaf, put on a little more tomato sauce (1/2 cup at least) and bake for 15 more minutes.

You can serve the additional sauce on the side but I sometimes just pour the rest of the sauce in the pan and people can take more if they want. All the veggies in the meatloaf make it very juicy

I also do the same things when I make sloppy joes or chili- mix in turkey with beef
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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We don't eat much beef either anymore. I can't remember the last time we had steaks, which is actually fine with me. Anyhow, if you're looking for some kind of inexpensive "comfort food" sort of thing. you can always buy a less expensive cut of meat, whihc usually has less fat too, and cube it to make a pot roast in the crock pot. Use lots of veg, lots of onion and garlic, and just a few potatoes. Great way to again show your guest the value of cooking on a busdget and also to reward him with the beef he is craving.

He sure sounds like guy and seems pretty appreciative, so I bet anything you do for him will be enjoyed and appreciated, too.

He's lucky to have you!


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Old 01-13-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
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Bison meat tastes exactly like beef, but is leaner than chicken! It is kind of expensive though. I'm obsessed with it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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I LOVE that you are willing to do this for him, he sounds like a great kid who really needed some help - and you guys stepping up is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Especially to think to make him foods to help comfort him with a little something that's "normal" to him at a time where everything is alien is very thoughtful, and will absolutely make a difference to him in the long run. I think this could have far less to do with "loving through food" and more to do with "loving through familiarity". I'd bet anything he'll remember it for a very very long time to come. I've been in a similar situation as he's in, and your post made me misty eyed.

That said..

Meatloaf is a GREAT idea. Tacos. Burgers of course. Meatballs. Lasagna?. Shishkabobs. Crockpot beef stew is easy, relatively cheap, and delicious.
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