This meal was inspired, as many are, by one ingredient that I needed to use up and expand into a whole meal. Today’s featured ingredient was ground chicken.  What could I make that would feed my family, possibly include enough for leftovers, and be new and exciting? After polling my Facebook page fans I came up with this idea: chicken pan burgers with chard.  I liked someone’s suggestion to make garlic burgers, but I don’t use the grill outside and my husband works a later shift, so dinner has to be made solely by myself every week night. I also had some canned beans to use up, a small hunk of cheddar cheese, and freshly picked chard from the garden. I imagined this one in my head and wasn’t sure if it would work, but dinner was a success! No leftovers though…too good and too small of an amount. Oh well.

Check it out!:

Begin with 5 or more garlic cloves, chopped. Set in the bottom of a large frying pan. (no need to add oil, salt, or pepper).

While still cool, add a sliced onion to the garlic. Set on the stovetop over Medium heat.

Add ground chicken, as a smooth layer, spread over G & O.

 Next spread a can of refried beans. Cover with large lid and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes. Uncover towards the end to allow liquid to steam off.

Here is a fun photo of it sizzling and juicing away! I cooked this without touching it for a while. It basically cooked into one large patty and I divided it into fourths, using a large spatula/flipper to lift out of pan and onto sandwich.

Pick any green from the garden or store. I picked Chard, Beet, and Arugula greens. Wash and drain.

Slice cheese and chop greens. Toast buns. I used sandwich thins, because we had 4 left in the fridge. (We also had one tortilla, which we ate with this meal).

Arrange meat and bean “patties” on bun with cheese and greens. I served with salsa and ranch and more greens. (Had half a jar of salsa to use). This was enough for us, although I could have added corn or another veggie.

How do you make your meals stretch? How do you incorporate leftovers into them? What inspires your meal planning?