Saturday, August 20, 2011

Make your own Frozen Meatballs

I know right? Doesn't that look all sorts of delicious? This is one of my favorite bed rest freezer meals. I have a giant ziploc bag full of mini meatballs in my freezer right now. Hmm, the possibilities. I can serve them with spaghetti, shells, swedish meatballs over noodles, meatball subs, BBQ meatballs over rice, or even sweet and sour meatballs. They are fully cooked, so a quick zap in the microwave is all they need before you add them to the sauce. They taste amazing and I loaded them up with veggies. I've found that if I chop all the veggies really small my little man doesn't notice. I shred spinach really fine, or grate the carrot on the smallest size on my cheese grater. Love these!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

3 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp. garlic salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 pkt. onion soup mix
2 of any of the following veggies, minced or finely chopped, 1/3 cup: carrot, zucchini, spinach, green pepper, mushrooms

Combine all the ingredients and stir until smooth. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. Line pan with foil and arrange meatballs. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes. Makes 80 mini meatballs.

To freeze: After the meatballs cool you need to flash freeze them. This freezes each one individually so you don't end up with a giant glob of meatballs stuck together. Sometimes you only need 7-10 from the bag for dinner. Arrange the meatballs flat on cookie sheet and put in your freezer for about 2 hours. Then, put them in your ziploc bag for storage.

To reheat, I just put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about 1 minute. If I'm using them in spaghetti, I just add them frozen right into the sauce and let them simmer with the sauce.

Here is some extra incentive for you to line the pan with foil instead of just cooking spray. What a mess!

What else do you make with meatballs? Hmm, I bet there is some soup that would be good with them too...

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Make your own Frozen Burritos

The credit for these also goes to my mom. Honestly, they are genius! I have four bags of these in my freezer right now. Husband can microwave one in a paper towel and zip off to work, or I can add the toppings and serve them as a simple lunch or dinner. Adore them! The frozen variety have nothing on these babies. I cooked the beans myself, I used my favorite locally grown beef and the best Guerrero tortillas with no lard. Nutritionally there is nothing to fear here. They are inexpensive, easy to make and will last for up to 3 months in my freezer.

Husband Rating: 5 stars
(no joke, since I've been on bed rest he eats one almost every day!:)

For my step-by-step directions to make the beef and bean filling click here.

To make the burritos, simply warm tortillas, scoop in the filling and fold tightly.

You will need to flash freeze the burritos before putting them in ziploc bags. (This is so they don't stick together into one giant glob, you want to take them out once at a time.)
To flash freeze, arrange on a cookie sheet and put in your freezer, uncovered, for about 2 hours. They won't be completely frozen, just enough so they won't stick together. Now you can bag them!

The frozen burritos take 1:30 seconds to perfection. Microwave for one minute, turn over, then go for 30 more seconds. I like to add a handful of cheddar cheese for the last 30 seconds, yum!

Dump on your salsa, lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, whatever you're craving and enjoy the fastest homemade lunch ever.

Small confession: I'm not sure how many burritos you will get from one batch of the beef/bean mixture. Why? Because every time I make it we end up eating so many burritos and snacking on the filling with tortilla chips that I don't get an accurate count. I usually fill 3 ziploc bags, plus whatever we eat that doesn't quite make it. I use the "soft taco" size tortillas.

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