I grew up eating delicious food that was more carb-based than fat-based. Recently I was talking about this with my mom and realized that most of the time I cook more fat-based meals than carb-based. Hence, this quinoa cowboy skillet was born. That night I went home determined to create a healthy skillet that focused on healthy carbs. As a Trim Healthy Mama crossover skillet, it is delicious and filled with both healthy carbs and healthy fats!
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
What is Cowboy Food?
What do you think of when you hear cowboy food? When I think of cowboy food, all I can think of is something hardy that will sustain over extended periods of time. I think of long trials, challenging work, and then the need for fast tasty food. Memories of old western movies with a chuck wagon that follows ranchers while herding cattle comes to mind. Hardtack, strong coffee, some beans, and big cast iron skillets all come to mind. A good cowboy skillet needs to have enough fuel to sustain a hard-working guy!
What are the Best Things to Cook in a Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast iron skillets can be one of the most creative tools in your kitchen. The limits of them are contained to what you can cook in them, which is anything. Cook chicken, beef, soups, and even desserts! If you have never purchased a cast iron skillet, Amazon basics have some nice ones that don’t break the bank! I also recently discovered these cast iron holders that have been a lifesaver. Those skillets get HOT! I like my cowboy skillet nice and warm, so those holders really help keep the hands a bit more protected.
My favorite things to cook in a skillet is a bit ‘mid-western.’ In my little corner of the ‘mid-west United States loves our hot dishes. The state of Minnesota is hot dish central, but I am personally not much on heating up the house with a complicated hot dish recipe. I prefer to throw ingredients in a skillet and hope it all turns out yummy. Hotdish skillets are my favorite thing to cook in a cast-iron skillet. This cowboy skillet is simply throwing healthy ingredients into the pan and stirring it up. Easy, yummy, and simple.
Do you like the idea of more skillet meals in your kitchen repertoire? The Healing Home Harvest FREE cookbook has many cast iron skillet recipes for the entire family.
A Trim Healthy Mama Crossover
Are you a Trim Healthy Mama wondering how this recipe fits into the plan? Let’s take a moment to go over something quick. Repeat after me.
“Crossovers are on plan, crossovers are on plan, crossovers are on plan.”
Isn’t that pretty freeing?!
This cowboy skillet is a crossover, but it is filled with healthy fats and carbs. A on plan crossover contains both healthy fats and carbohydrates. This cowboy skillet meets that requirement head-on with beautiful beans and quinoa for our carbohydrate, but also has good fatty beef and oils.
A really good crossover meal will also contain ample veggies. Truthfully, this skillet could have a few more veggies to round it out even more, but the peppers and onion do qualify! Another great crossover recipe is this macaroni and cheese recipe that has hidden veggies in it that the kids don’t even notice!
Making the Cowboy Skillet
As I said, this is basically a throw the ingredients into the skillet kind of meal. All you need to do is brown the beef, cook the quinoa, and throw everything else in and warm up to the desired temperature.
My personal favorite part of this skillet is the versatility of it, you can basically add anything else you would like to add even more character! Add more veggies, a different kind of beans, or some cayenne pepper to spice things up. Use your creativity!
Ingredeints for the Cowboy Skillet
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 16 oz frozen seasoning blend
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Cowboy up and enjoy your delicious cowboy skillet!