The daily task of getting dinner on the table can often be a grind for even those who truly enjoy cooking. Dinnertime is so often the busiest time of the day, with people getting home from work and school activities and then dashing back out for meetings and sports practices. And, of course, sometimes we actually have the time to cook, but the refrigerator looks rather empty!
To that end, after meeting Phil and Laura Lapp some time ago and being introduced to a novel new product that they created, I have one more delicious tool in my arsenal of favorite pantry ingredients to make a speedy dinner possible when time and/or ingredients may be lacking. The product is called, quite simply, neat. As I mentioned in my recipe for “neatballs,” neat is an alternative to ground beef that incorporates pecans, garbanzo beans, gluten-free oats, and a few other completely natural ingredients. To solve a dilemma that her family was facing, Laura Lapp succeeded in combining these ingredients in a way that truly mimics the flavor and texture of ground beef. The product has been a hit with vegetarians and meat eaters alike and can be found in many grocery stores, on Amazon, and through their website.
After mixing one package of neat with two eggs and a small amount of water, the product can be cooked just like ground beef. One package, conveniently, is equivalent to one pound of ground beef.
I have used neat in many recipes for which I traditionally use ground beef. It’s the perfect solution when I don’t have ground beef on hand…or when I had it in the freezer but forgot to take it out to thaw! The following recipe for Cheeseburger Wraps is a satisfying, casual meal requiring minimal effort and ingredients, and it really tastes great. Sometimes, I prepare extra of the meat mixture because I enjoy the leftovers for lunch over the next few days. It’s delicious reheated, even without the wrap. For good measure, I add a little of the minced onion and grated cheese I use in the wrap recipe….but any of your favorite burger toppings would do!
- 1 package of neat original or 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4-5 (8 or 9-inch) tortillas
- Shredded cheddar cheese (2-3 tablespoons per wrap)
- Optional toppings: minced onion, thin tomato slices
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
If using neat, mix according to the package directions (using 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water). Brown the neat or ground beef, adding the ketchup mixture in the last minute and stirring to fully coat.
Lay the tortillas on a flat surface and spread the cheese down the center. Top with several tablespoons of the neat or ground beef mixture, followed by the optional toppings. (I like to add a tiny bit more cheese to act as glue and help hold things together.)
Roll up the tortillas, burrito-style, and grill on a skillet, grill pan, or using a panini press until the outsides of the wrap are nicely toasted. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side (over medium heat) on the stovetop or 3-4 minutes on a panini press.
Slice in half and enjoy!
For more information about neat or where to buy, click here.
This recipe can be seen on Lambert’sLately.com