Cook Now, Eat Later: Freezer Meal Plan Week 5 (The Finale)

Welcome back! Today is our last installment of "Cook Now, Eat Later", at least for the time being. This week, we're using ground beef to make meatloaf muffins, meat for Navajo tacos, Sloppy Joes, and then browned ground beef to freeze.

I would buy two large packages of ground beef from Sam's Club for this week. You'll need two CrockPots (or do it in two batches), a large skillet or wok, and muffin tins.

Take one package and split it in half. Place one half in each of the CrockPots. In one CrockPot, add the ingredients for the Navajo taco meat and mix well. In the other, add the ingredients for Sloppy Joes and mix well. Turn the CrockPots on LOW and let cook 4-6 hours. Once they are done, allow to cool enough to fill bags. Fill quart sized freezer bags with 3-4 cups each, label, and lay flat to freeze. To serve, thaw, heat, and serve Sloppy Joes on buns and Navajo taco meat over fry bread (recipe follows), topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, sour cream, etc.

NAVAJO TACO MEAT

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 7-oz. can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 large can pinto beans
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water

Combine ingredients in CrockPot. Mix well. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over fry bread (recipe follows), topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, sour cream, etc.

FRY BREAD

2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Oil for frying

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, mixing until the dough comes together. Add more flour if necessary to handle the dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, at least 5 minutes. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet to 365°F. Oil should be about 1 ½ inches deep. Bread off ¾ cup sized pieces of dough, and shape into round discs ¼ inch in thickness, making a depressed area in the center. Fry breads in hot oil until golden on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper towels.

SLOPPY JOES

2 lbs hamburger
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbs mustard
1 small green pepper, diced (optional)
1 can tomato sauce
4 Tbs brown sugar
2 medium onions
1 tsp salt
¾ cup ketchup

Combine all ingredients and cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve on buns.

With your other package of meat, divide it into thirds. One third is for the meatloaf muffins and the other two thirds are for plain ground beef. For the meatloaf muffins, we're going to simply put together a recipe for meatloaf, but instead of shaping it as a loaf, we're going to fill the muffin tins with the mixture. No, you do not HAVE to make muffins out of it. But the reason I like to is because we all really like the edges of the meatloaf best and with muffins, you get more edges. Also, it's a great way to freeze them. They are in individual portions so you can just take out how much you need for a meal and cut down completely on the leftovers and/or waste. Do not grease your pans...you'll have plenty of grease as it. When the muffins are done baking, remove from pan quickly and let drain either on a napkin or a wire rack. You may want to place a baking sheet under the muffin tin during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent any spillage.

You can use this recipe, or any favorite meatloaf recipe.

BROWN SUGAR MEATLOAF

¼ cup barbecue sauce
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
1 ½ lbs ground beef
¾ cup milk
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 small onion, diced
¼ tsp ginger
¾ cup crushed breadcrumbs

Mix together ingredients. Combine well. Shape into a balls and place in muffin tins. Spread the rest of the barbecue sauce mixture on top. To freeze, simply place muffin tins in freezer for 24 hours. Pop out frozen muffins with a knife. Place in gallon size ziplock bag. To bake, place frozen muffins in muffin tin and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees and cook for 45 minutes (from the time the oven is turned on) or until done.

For the browned ground beef, heat a large skillet or wok. Once hot, add portions of the ground beef and stir to brown. If you would like, add some diced onion so you don't have to later. Drain the fat between cooking sessions. I like to transfer the cooked meat from the wok to a strainer to get the rest of the fat drained off. Then fill quart size bags with 2-3 cups of beef, label, and lay flat to freeze. The great thing about ground beef is that if you don't pack the bag too full, you can simply break off the amount you need instead of defrosting the whole bag. Use your pre-browned ground beef for quick tacos, spaghetti, stroganoff, or anything else you use ground beef in.

I hope you've found either some inspiration or some helpful recipes to cook now and eat later!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

About Cheri

Hi! I’m Cheri and I’m so excited to be blogging with you! I am a stay at home mom with 4 little girls and one little boy, with another baby girl on the way. We have a third grader, first grader, kindergartner, 3 year old, and 18 month old. So, I guess you can say life is pretty busy. But my heart is even more full than my hands, and I wouldn't change a thing. Like my post? Please comment.
This entry was posted in All Writers, Budgeting, Cheri, Cooking Tips and Tricks, Family, Food, For You, Goals, Money Saving Tips, Organization, Recipes, The House, The Moms and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.