I grew up eating potatoes at almost every meal; southern roots, southern meal ingredients.
Mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, potatoes in soups and stews, and the list goes on and on. Potatoes are great filler food, albeit a serious starch overload. They are cheap, can be prepared hundreds of ways, and they keep well in the pantry or frig for a very long time.
Me, I prefer rice. Rice, like potatoes, goes with just about anything else in a meal, and is so versatile I often wondered why we didn't eat more of it when I was a kid. Also like potatoes, it's cheap, has hundreds of uses, and can be stored for long periods of time. Unlike potatoes it doesn't take up a lot of space to store.
One rice dish we did eat as a kid was Pepper Steak. If I recall correctly, it was my Aunt Janice that introduced me to the stuff, and I will forever have her recipe burned into my brain. I could eat the stuff until I was sick. Over the years I played with her recipe a little and came up with one of my own that I enjoy frequently. It's inexpensive to make and a filling, tasty meal for all seasons.
-1lb round steak cut into 1/2 inch slivers
-1 large green pepper
-1 medium onion
-1 small bunch of broccoli (about the size of your fist)
-2 celery stalks
-1 large carrot
-1 small zucchini
-5 or 6 fresh button mushrooms (sliced or or quartered; your preference)
-Garlic- 2 cloves
-2 T Kitchen Bouquet
-1-2 T Worcestershire sauce (your taste)
-Soy sauce to taste
-Fresh ground pepper
-1 C water
I rarely measure anything, but I have given my best guess on measurements and below is how it all comes together. Chopping everything up is the only time consuming thing about it. The rest is all just about layering everything in on the cooking process.
I have substituted the rice with pasta on occasion, and it's tasty that way as well. I just prefer the rice. Freezing leftovers from this meal works well.