When I had fewer children I would cook 2-3 months worth of main dishes over a two day period~ whew! That was tiring, but super-rewarding for me. As my family size grew, I found that it worked better to cook large quantities of one meal/day rather than to spend two whole days in the kitchen.
I like to choose the meat that I am going to use, for instance chicken main dishes or, in this instance, ground beef dishes, and then plan my cooking around the chosen meat.
Last fall I discovered that I could get good quality Black Angus ground beef at our local Sams Club for $1.66/lb. The catch? It needs to be purchased in an 80lb box. This meat is significantly better tasting than the ground beef that I used to purchase using loss leader ads at WalMart, so that has been my plan of late.
"What do you do with 80lb of ground beef," you ask? I had a feeling you'd ask that! Here's what we're making this time~ with recipes too!
- 20 lb hamburger- used for gluten free meatballs
- 20 lb hamburger ~used for taco meat (super yummy with taco salad!)
- 20 lb hamburger~ used for sloppy joes
- 10 lb hamburger~ used for spaghetti pies
- 10 lb hamburger~ used for hamburgers (we don't usually make hamburgers, but this time we did for Memorial Day, etc.)
*yield: 392 meatballs~ or so, but who's counting!
40 eggs, beaten
1 c. tomato paste
5 c. minced onion (or 1 1/2 c. dried minced)
5 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 c. parsley, dried
1/3 c. garlic powder
1/2 c. salt
15 c. dried gluten-free bread crumbs
20 lb. ground beef or turkey or a combo of both
Combine. Shape into meatballs. Bake on foil-covered cookie sheets at 350 degrees until done~ about 20 min. Cool then freeze in meal-sized portions in gallon freezer zipper bags.
Here are some pics for our recent meatball-making endeavor.... just 'cause. Photos are such fun!
First, a picture of the ingredients. I didn't like how moist the gluten free bread crumbs were, so I toasted them for a few minutes in a warm oven.
Here are my beautiful "assistants" (aka daughters) helping me and humoring me as I played with my camera. Abbie is the offical "goosher" (we like to use clean plastic kitchen gloves to "goosh.") Hannah is the parmesan cheese "pourer." Both very important jobs, don't you think?
And here is Miss Abbie~ "gooshing away!" The gloves really do help~ that meat is cold!
As usual, I got busy in the process and forgot to take any "after" pictures of the finished meatballs. Trust me... they are good!
Spaghetti and meatballs (using gf spaghetti noodles, of course!)
Sweet and Sour Meatballs and rice
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
1 14 oz pineapple tidbits or chunks, undrained
1/4 c. sucanat (or brown sugar, if you must!)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 family sized portion meatballs
1 5 oz. water chestnuts
1 green pepper, cut into strips
Drain pineapple, save juice. In saucepan, combine sucanat and cornstarch. Blend in pineapple juice, water, cider, vinegar and Bragg's. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
Stir in meatballs, water chestnuts, green pepper strips and pineapple. Heat to boiling. Serve over hot cooked rice (we prefer long grain brown rice~ it's so yummy and good for you too!)
For our family, I would double this recipe. You can make even larger quantities and freeze it, without the meatballs, water chestnuts and green pepper strips.
1 c. catsup
3/4 c. sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic power
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
1 family-sized portion meatballs
Sandwich rolls or hoagie buns (gluten free, if you have Celiacs!)
Combine all of the ingredients and add meatballs. Heat in Crock-pot for 2 hours on high. Serve on (gluten free) sandwich rolls or hoagie buns, split.
3/4 c. dried minced onion
6 Tbsp. sea salt
6 Tbsp. chili powder
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. crushed dried red pepper
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. cumin, dried
2o lb. ground beef or turkey (or a combination), cooked and drained
5 c. water
First, cook and drain ground beef. Then place cooked ground beef in large dutch oven, add spiced and water and cook until water boils. Simmer for a until most of the water is absorbed, then cool and freeze in quart sized freezer bags.
We use this with taco salad.
Here's what we generally use for taco salad
cooked long grain brown rice
cooked pinto beans
diced garden-fresh tomatoes (I can hardly wait!)
shredded jack cheese
yogurt or sour cream
Gluten free taco chips
There are, of course, many other things that you could use (homemade guacamole comes to mind~ yum!), but those are the easiest and cheapest.
20 lb. ground beef or turkey
5 onions, chopped
1/2 c. mustard
1 1/4 c. Worchestershire sauce
1 1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. paprika
5 c. catsup
2 1/2c. apple cider vinegar
1/8 c. liquid smoke
Brown and drain ground beef and chopped onions. Add remaining ingredients and either simmer in large dutch oven or in crock pot on high.
Cool and freeze in quart zipper freezer bags.
Serve on gluten free hamburger buns with your favorite condiments~ dill pickles are my fav, but dh Tom just likes additional mustard.
I like to serve these with oven fries and baby carrots. Simple and good.
*please note: the following recipe yields 6 9x13 pans of spaghetti pie!
54 oz. spaghetti (gluten free for celiacs)
1 c. butter
3 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
18 eggs, well beaten
9 c. cottage cheese (or ricotta)
10 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
4 1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 c. green pepper, chopped
72 oz. diced tomatoes
54 oz. tomato paste
1/2 c. honey
3 Tbsp. oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
4 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook and drain spaghetti. Add butter, parmesan cheese and beaten eggs to spaghetti. Form into crusts in oiled 9x13" pans.
Spread cottage cheese on top of crust.
Brown ground beef, onion and peppers. Drain well.
Stir tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, oregano and garlic salt into cooked ground beef. Pour over cottage cheese. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
To cook: Bake defrosted spaghetti pie in 350 oven for 30 min. If frozen (cause you didn't plan ahead enough to defrost it~ this is usually how I cook it~ honestly!) Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hour. Still tastes great!
There you have it! There are quite possibly typos in the recipes~ I keep starting and stopping on this post to, well, live here! So let me know if you find any errors. I promise I won't be offended! ; )
Hope this is helpful for someone~ let me know, k?