Ky Darling: Healthy budget friendly meal prep!


In this blog I will be sharing 8 low-carb, healthy protein bowls featuring Kentucky Darling ground beef: The German Bowl, The Philly Cheese, The Santa Fe, The Breakfast Bowl, The Thai Bowl, The Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Bowl, The Lettuce Cup and Mediterranean Kebabs.

We’ll be focusing on 8-minute meals. With these recipes, you could have a different meal every day, but I think it’s smart to cook 1–2 lbs of ground beef for each idea and portion them throughout the week. That way, you can get the best of both worlds: variety and meal prep. These recipes are also great for dinner with the family—you could enjoy them just as they are, or throw any of these onto a bed of spinach or steamed broccoli with light dressing if you’re a big eater (like myself). 

Typically, 1 lb of 90% lean Ky Darling Beef will feed 3–4 (depending on the person).

If you do choose to make more than one of the recipes below, I find it easiest to cook all my ground beef at once, then divide it up in portions and season the meat individually. 


1. The German Bowl

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 4 large potatoes, 1 head of cabbage, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, and 1 can/jar sauerkraut.

Prep: chop potatoes and peppers, finely chop cabbage and onion.

Start by cooking your onions in light oil until translucent, then add your ground beef and peppers and cook until brown. Add salt, pepper, garlic (fresh or powdered), and a pinch of mustard seed if you like.
Brown the potatoes. I like to brown my potatoes in some light oil in a heated pan, then after they’re brown, throw in some water to cook the rest of the way (until they’re tender to a fork). Add water as needed, but you want the water to cook out.
Once your ground beef is close to being done, throw in your chopped cabbage until it's wilted and the ground beef is done. Drain your pan, then your protein bowl is ready to go. Scoop the ground beef mixture onto your potatoes, top with sauerkraut and DONE! 

2. The Philly Cheese

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 1 yellow and 1 green peppers, 1 onion, 1 cup mushrooms, and 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese.

Prep: chop onion, peppers, and mushrooms.

Start by browning your ground beef. In a separate pan, sauté the green peppers, yellow peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Once everything is done, drain the ground beef, then toss everything together and top with Swiss cheese to melt! 

3. The Santa Fe

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 1 can corn, 1 can black beans, and cheddar cheese (as desired). Optional ingredients include: salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.

Start by browning and seasoning your ground beef. I recommend salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and a pinch of chili powder. In a small pot, warm your corn and black beans. When ground beef is done and drained, mix in corn, beans, and cheddar cheese, add any optional toppings you’d like, and you’re ready to go!

4. The Breakfast Bowl (you can also use Ky Darling sausage or ground pork as well)

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef/pork/sausage, 4 large potatoes, and 1 green pepper.
Optional ingredients: eggs, spinach, thyme, sage, etc.

Prep: chop potatoes and pepper.

Brown the potatoes. I like to brown my potatoes in some light oil in a heated pan, then after they’re brown throw in some water to cook the rest of the way (until they’re tender to a fork). Add water as needed, but you want the water to cook out.
Season and brown your meat. Once it’s ready, drain the pan, then add in the potatoes and green peppers (spinach, thyme and/or sage can be added right before ground beef is done, just enough to be warm and wilted). You can now fry a few eggs, or crack them right on top of your mixture. Then cook until the eggs are done, and serve! 

5. The Thai Bowl

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef or pork, spinach, asparagus, onion, basil, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce (I substitute Worcestershire sauce).
Optional ingredients: lemon grass.

Prep: dice spinach, asparagus, onion, and basil.

Start by browning your meat and onions in the soy sauce and teriyaki (or Worcestershire).
In a separate pan, add oil, chopped spinach, asparagus, and basil, and cook just long enough to wilt the spinach and soften the asparagus.
When everything is ready, drain the ground beef, combine all ingredients and serve!

6. Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower bowl

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 1 lb bacon, 1 large head cauliflower, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1 onion.

Prep: chop onion.

Coat your cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and some Ky Darling Seasoning, then cover and bake at 400 for 45 minutes.
While that’s baking, brown your ground beef along with the onions, and fry your bacon (you could also bake your bacon before roasting the cauliflower if you prefer).
Once everything is done, chop the cauliflower and bacon, mix everything together and top with cheddar!

7. The Lettuce Cup

This is when you can get super creative! Honestly, I just used my leftovers that I had at the end of cooking for this blog: the mushrooms, the yellow and green peppers, onions, and of course ground beef. Simply put it all into a romaine lettuce cup and your ready to go! You can also include things like carrots, water chestnuts, and other grilled veggies—whatever you have!

8. Mediterranean Kebabs

Ok, this isn't technically a bowl, but it could be if you made them into meatballs and not on the stick. 

Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, kebab sticks.
Sauce ingredients: 2 cups Greek yogurt, ½ cucumber, lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, and dill mix.

Prep: chop onion and pepper.
Sauce prep: finely chop cucumber and garlic.

Mix 1lb of raw ground beef in a bowl with chopped onions, peppers, cilantro, salt, and pepper, and form into a log around a grill stick. You can grill these or bake them at 350 for 25 minutes until firm.

For the sauce, mix Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, and garlic, then add dill mix and chill. Top the kebabs, or serve on the side.

I hope these meals leave you feeling inspired to eat healthy, quickly, and on a budget, while also realizing how versatile ground beef is!