I've been known to use a pound of hamburger for up to four separate meals, which is quite a feat considering my red-blooded husband is as carnivorous as the next guy. Now, some might argue that this is no accomplishment since it is just the two of us, but keep in mind that the Man still eats like a 17-year-old boy.
Granted, I can't pull that trick when it comes to meals like meatloaf, where cutting back on the meat would be very obvious.
So, introduce lentils and rice. In theory this concoction can be substituted for ground beef in nearly any recipe. I made some a little while ago, and had my doubts as how successful I would be at sneaking it in undetected. I am not trying to fool my husband, but men like him (and most Midwestern farm boys) are going to form opinions about ideas like this before hand and be unwilling to even try it.
Thus began my experiment. I added some to beef for stuffed peppers, and then for California tacos. Both recipes called for rice anyway, so I figured this would be a good place to start. No complaints from the Man. Then I used some in beef stroganoff sandwiches, which would be comparable to tavern, not a lot because I wasn't sure how noticeable it would be. Success. Next came the ultimate test. Last night we had meatloaf, and I wanted to use some of the ground beef for tonight's supper. The mixture ended up being about 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 lentils and rice, and even I, who knew half of it wasn't ground beef, could hardly tell when it was cooked.
So, now I have one more way of stretching meat without just reducing the amount of meat in recipes. My next batch of lentils and rice is on the stove right now. :)