Instead of cooking the week of Thanksgiving, I fix a big pot of chili that will last for days. Then it's easier to get ready for our Thanksgiving Feast.
The first day I made a big thing of rice in my rice maker to go with the chili (one way to rotate rice in my food storage). I place chili on top of rice and sprinkle grated cheddar on top so it melts. It's very filling and you can use brown rice for a healthier dish.
The second day I had chili with corn muffins. The corn muffins fill you up so you don't eat too much chili.
The third day I made taco salad using the last of the chili (chopped lettuce, tomato, corn chips or tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheese, etc.). See my Tacos in a Frito's Bag.
It was also time to get Scrap Happy! I had to make room in the refrigerator for my make-ahead Thanksgiving dishes. I used extra eggs, scraps of cheese, 3 pieces of leftover bacon, toasted some bread, and whipped up the last of the instant grits from the pantry to make scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon tossed in, and toast and grits. That took about 15 - 20 minutes. We also have been eating on paper plates all week to cut down on the dish washing. Pretty Chili (Yield: 5 servings--can be doubled or tripled) 1 lb. ground beef 1 c. onion, chopped 1 c. green pepper, chopped 1 can (16-oz.) chili beans, undrained 1 can (16-oz.) dark red kidney beans, undrained 1 can (6-oz.) tomato paste 1/2 c. water 1 T. chili powder 2 t. oregano 2 cloves garlic, minced Garnish with chopped green onions and sour cream, if desired In a large pan cook beef, onion and green pepper until meat is browned. Drain excess grease. Stir in remaining ingredients except green onions and sour cream. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onion and a dollop of sour cream. UPDATE: I decided to include my favorite 1980's Taco Salad recipe. This is the best taco salad and the secret is the refried beans and taco sauce: 1 lb. ground beef 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans 1 (16 oz.) jar taco sauce, DIVIDED 8 c. lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces 1/2 c. sliced black olives 1/2 c. onion, chopped 1 lg. tomato, diced 1 ripe avocado, diced 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 1 c. tortilla or Frito's chips Prepare ground beef according to directions on seasoning mix package. Add refried beans and 3/4 c. taco sauce. In large serving bowl, arrange half the lettuce. Add beef and bean mixture. Top with remaining lettuce, olives, onion, tomato, avocado, cheese and chips. Serve with remaining taco sauce. Yield: 6 very hungry servings.