Tuesday, April 9, 2013

3 Days of Freezer Meals: Part Two (Meatloaf Mix)

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Hiya peoples!  Welcome to Part 2 of my 3 Days of Freezer Meals blog series!  To see Day 1 click HERE

Each day I will be focusing on a different protein.  Yesterday was chicken and today is Meatloaf Mix.  Can I just say I LOVE meatloaf mix?  OMG, love.  love love love.  Pretty much anything made with this (if you don't know it's equal parts ground beef, pork, and veal) is good in my book.  Today I'm keeping things classic and simple with recipes for meatloaf and meatballs.  I bought 6lbs of meatloaf mix and split it equally for each recipe.



First up is my husbands favorite, Meatloaf.  Now I love meatloaf too but he will literally eat half of this meatloaf in one sitting.  It's madness.  Plus, when it comes to things like meatloaf, it's really not that much more work to triple the recipe, I'd say this whole process takes about 1 hour and yields 3 meatloaf dinners, plus leftovers of course (as long as Robb isn't joining you lol).

Ingredients:

3lbs of meatloaf mix
2 onions
1.5 tsp Dried thyme
Minced garlic (~ 6 cloves worth)
6 eggs
One large package of flat leaf parsley, minced
1.5cups of crushed saltines
1.5C of milk
6 tsp dijon mustard
6 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sriracha
1.5 cups ketchup
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

You can follow along with the photos on the graphic above to correspond to the different steps.

1. Sautee your onions and thyme until translucent and browned, then add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.  Let cool. (Photo 1)
2. Mix eggs, milk, parsley, mustard, worcestershire, and sriracha.  Add in cooled onion mixture (must be cooled so as to not cook the eggs). Don't forget to add salt and pepper :) (Photo 2)
3. Add in your meatloaf mix (and use your hands dammit, no mixing with a spoon like a wimp!)
4. Add crushed saltines and mix again. (Photo 3)
5. Divide your meatloaf into 3 equal sized portions.  Wrap each portion in saran wrap in a free form loaf shape.
6. To make the glaze: combine ketchup, light brown sugar and vinegar to together.  Once sugar is dissolved partition into 3 small ziploc bags. (Photo 4)
7. To make your freezer meal: put one meatloaf and one bag of glaze in a large, labeled freezer ziploc bag. (Photo 5)
8. To cook: let thaw in fridge overnight.  Heat oven to 350C, brush loaf with half of glaze, and cook for 45 minutes.  Brush loaf with remaining glaze and cook for another 15 minutes.  Let cool and serve.


Next up, Meatballs!  I love meatballs in the freezer for a few reasons.  One, I don't have to remember to thaw them out, we can eat them last minute straight from frozen in about 30 minutes.  Two, you can make so much with them!  Eat them alone, with pasta, or as grinders.  Options options.  I always keep a bunch of jars of sauce on hand for last minute meatball dinners.

Meatballs are even easier than the meatloaf.  Charlie 'helped' me when I was making these (by helped I mean trashed the entire house while I was stuck with raw meat on my hands and couldn't stop him). 

Ingredients:

3lbs of meatloaf mix
1 cup of milk
1 tbsp vinegar
6 slices of sandwich bread
Minced garlic (8 cloves worth)
1.5 cups parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Red pepper flakes
3 egg yolks
1 small bunch of parsley, minced

First up, this recipe calls for buttermilk.  But that's stupid, buttermilk is just another ingredient to buy and I never use the whole damn thing anyways so it ends up being wasted.  I make my own.  Here's how:

Next up, tear the crusts off of your bread slices and add to the buttermilk and mash into a paste.  This is your binder.

Add your garlic, parmesan, red pepper flakes, egg yolks and parsley (dont forget salt and pepper) to this and mix.  Then add in your meatloaf mix.  Once it is thoroughly mixed, without OVER mixing, you can form into balls.  I got something like 30-35 meatballs from this, I like my meatballs on the bigger side. 

Once you have your meatballs cook in the oven at 400C until browned (or you can brown in the pan if you feel like standing in front of the stove for an hour browning 35 meatballs).  It's okay if they're raw in the middle, they'll be fully cooked after reheating the day you'll eat them anyways.

To package up meatballs either let them cool and freeze them on a baking sheet.  Once frozen you can add them to a ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer.  Then you can take out a couple at a time instead of having to thaw a whole bag of meatballs because they're all frozen together.  Ah, convenience!

These are the storage containers that I recommend for making these recipes. The OvenWare trays and Ball Freezer Jars are all reusable and the bags are heavy duty and freezer proof.






Okey dokey, that's it for today! 2 simple and classic recipes, but definitely favorites in my house :)  I'll be back tomorrow for Day 3 of the series- Shrimp! And also a master grocery list for all of these recipes. 

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