Food & Swine

Meat & Veggie Skillet & Fall


We’re deep in the heart of harvest time and as many of you know, that leaves little time to get healthy meals on plates at the end of the day. I frequently get asked what we eat on a regular basis for supper, this meal is one of my go-to recipes. My Meat and Veggie Skillet is an original that evolved early in my marriage (pre-kids) when I needed to tidy up the refrigerator before going grocery shopping.  It is chopped veggies, seasoned ground meat, pasta and a basic sauce.
(Sometimes I have so many leftover veggies from various recipes, it is annoying and THIS is the recipe that bats “cleanup” in the batting order of my recipe ‘playbook’, to put those random-veggies to use.) This recipe is a great way to put a variety of veggies in front of the little ones.  There is something for everyone in this dish… customize as you wish!
Fall update: Tomorrow is my little girl’s birthday.  She’ll be 6 years old.  Where has the time gone?  What can I do to make it slow down?  My husband remarked before bed tonight that he’d be getting a brick to put on her head… she half-heartedly chuckled and then about 2 minutes later she asked, “Dad, are you seriously putting a brick on my head? I have school tomorrow!”  She opted out of a fancy dinner out (tomorrow night) to join everyone in the field and have a “Combine Birthday Pizza Party”.  We’ll be throwing down the tailgates on the trucks, opening Casey’s pizza boxes and cases of ice cold root beer. If you’re around, swing by!  (Ha, I have no idea which field we’ll be in… good luck finding us!)

I’ll leave you some photos from harvest, my daughter and finally, the recipe.

Photos of harvest and the birthday girl:

My little guy was a trooper and rode for quite a while with Mom and a really long time in the combine with Grandpa!  Guess who is more popular?  You’re right.  (Not fair, better treats in the combine.)

Corn is such a beautiful grain. I love to crawl up on the wagon and watch it come out.  (My sis is in the tractor working the auger on the cart so we don’t overflow…)  It comes out at WARP speed from this cart’s auger.
Isn’t she just the cutest thing (my sister)?  We love our tractor time together.  My Mom is a saint and watches the kids while we’re ‘playing’ in the field.
I’m pretty sure this kid would ride in a tractor or combine all day long. One thing he hates doing?  Read on…
Leaving the field.  He hates to go.  He was boycotting the departure tonight by ‘holding’ his vest with his teeth.  Sweet.
6 years old tomorrow.  Waaaaaaaa!  She’s the piggin’-est, kindest, most nurturing, tenderhearted little thing I know. She’s my best friend.  (We tell each other that before bed.)
She loves Grandma.
She adores her newest girl cousin.
She thinks her brother is silly.
She loves pigs. LOVES.
The recipe? Oh yes!  Here you go.

Meat and Veggie Harvest Skillet

By: Cristen

Makes 6-8 servings


1 lb. ground beef or ground pork (can use two pounds if desired)

1/4 C dehydrated minced onion or 1/2 C freshly minced onion

1 1/2 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt or other seasoned salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 TBSP butter

1 1/2 C baby carrots, chopped 1” pieces (each baby carrot into thirds)

3 stalks of celery, chopped 1” pieces

1 red bell pepper, chopped into 2” pieces

1 1/2 C fresh or frozen (not canned) green beans, chopped into 2-3” pieces

1 can of corn, drained

3 green onions, white parts sliced thinly, green tops chopped and reserved for garnish

2 C chicken or vegetable broth (sorry, you can keep all your beef broth. No thanks!)

1 small zucchini, sliced very thinly into coins

1 small yellow squash, “summer squash” sliced very thinly into coins

1 C grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 box of Rigatoni (that’s the shape I used) or Cellentani or Penne noodles (or other fancy shape with a hole in the center so the sauce/meat can get conveniently trapped inside), cooked according to package directions (with salted water) and MINUS 2 minutes of suggested cooking time. (Less cook time so the pasta will be firm-tender. You’ll cook it to a perfect texture when the dish is put together at the end.)  This will work with whole wheat pasta or gluten free pasta as well.

Seasoned salt, salt, pepper (to taste)

In a large sauce pan or stock pot, brown ground meat, minced onion and seasonings. Pour out of pan and drain onto paper towel lined plate.  Set aside.  Return unwashed pot to burner.  Add butter, carrots, celery, bell pepper, green beans, corn and white parts of green onion.  Cook over medium heat, stirring for 3 minutes until veggies are crisp-tender.  Add broth, bring to a simmer then add zucchini and yellow squash.  (Make sure these slices are thin, or plan to add them sooner if they are thick as they will need more cooking time.)  Stir well and cook 2 minutes. Add parmesan cheese, seasoned salt and pepper, stir well.  Add browned ground meat and cooked pasta.  Stir well and cook 1 or 2 minutes to heat.  Remove from heat.  Add chopped green onion tops.  Toss. Season with additional seasoned salt/pepper to taste.  Serve in bowls with additional green onion tops and parmesan cheese on top if desired.  Makes 6-8 helpings.  Increase veggies/meat or pasta to make additional servings.
*Note: This recipe breaks veggie cooking up into two parts.  Part One: Sturdier veggies that need more cooking time to get tender (carrots, onion, celery, peppers etc.): Cook those first. Part Two: Add the more tender veggies that don’t need lots of cooking time (zucchini slices, squash slices, snow peas if you have them, etc.)

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  • Reply Jenny Casteel Unternahrer October 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hodge podge meal, love it! Pinning!

  • Reply Monte October 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    God Bless you all!

  • Reply ceil slings October 18, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Such a sweet article about our lives!

  • Reply Janine October 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I’m with you full throttle,Cristen, about the harvest! Love it! Keep those combines rollin’! Beautiful photo.

  • Reply Farm Eats, City Streets October 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Love your comment about not having any idea which field you’ll be in the next evening. Every time we bring a meal to the field, it feels like we’re playing the “I Spy” game to figure out which field (and which area of the field) they are harvesting! Oh, and this recipe looks great, too! :)

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