Friday, March 30, 2012

Beef Freezer Meal Recipes

Here is a list of some of my Beef recipes that can be turned into freezer meals.  Enjoy, and don't forget... stock up now for a rainy day!!

Freezer Meals Day 5- Cheeseburger Soup

It's called Cheeseburger Soup but it has a little twist to it.  I wasn't totally blown over with this one, but the kids really liked it.  I'm going to make it a little differently next time, just to make it easier.  I like the toss it it, boil it down and scarf soups.  So I am going to try to simplify it just a bit.  I'll have my notes at the bottom.

My Mother-in-law made this one using gluten free flour and said that it worked great.  So those of you gluten free-ers out there, give this one a try!

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb. ground beef        
4 cups potatoes, diced                                  
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, shredded    (I sliced baby carrots)                         
16 oz Sliced American cheese                                                                
3/4 cup celery, diced                                      
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 tsp dried basil                                               
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes                              
4 TBSP butter, Divided   
1 box chicken broth  
Salt and Pepper to taste                            
sour cream (as a garnish)

In a 3 quart saucepan, brown beef; drain & set aside.  In the same saucepan saute' onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 TBSP butter until veggies are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes & beef; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter.  Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly.  Add to soup; bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts.  Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.  8 LARGE servings.

Cool soup, Pour into gallon or quart sized freezer bags. Label and date. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet to freeze flat, so that it's easier to stack in your freezer.    To Thaw, fun under hot water, and heat over the stove or in the microwave.  You can also toss it in the crock pot on low (from frozen) and let it sit for about 8 hours.

MY NOTES:  Next time I would just steam the vegetables (and the one tbsp of butter) and about a half cup of water in a smaller pot or skillet.  Make your "roux"  the flour and butter in your larger pot.  Melt butter and add flour.  Whisk to a paste, and cook for 1 minute. Then add milk. Stir and cook until thickened. Then add the rest of the ingredients. cook for another 8-10 minutes to get the veggies nice and tender and marry the flavors.  also, season your meat with salt and pepper when you are browning it.  It will give it a better flavor.

ONE MORE THING:  Always Always Always label your freezer meals.  So many times I've said "I'll remember what that is" when tossing leftovers in the freezer.... yep, did you know that they don't looked the same after about a week in the freezer? 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Freezer Meals Day 4- Southwest Stuffed Zucchini

I love yesterday's Burritos so much that I decided to try the filling in a zucchini boat. The family reviews we not very favorable.  My kids just aren't huge zucchini fans, unless it's fried.  My husband, didn't like mixing southwest with Italian.  I didn't like it with the ground turkey very much.  I'm still trying to acquire the taste of the ground turkey... but I really like the concept and I think I would really like it with ground beef. 

I had a few friends be the taste testers for it, to see what they thought of it.  So, if you tasted this one, feel free to leave your honest feedback in a comment.  If it's a total thumbs down recipe, I'll put a warning sign up at the top for ya how's that? I would eat it again though. 

Southwest Stuffed Zucchini

1 Jar White Corn and Black Bean Salsa
1 lb Ground Beef (or Turkey)
Shredded Cheese (optional) I used cheddar, but any kind will work
4-5 Large Zucchini

Slice off ends of Zucchini and then slice in half.  Remove the pulp, leaving 1/4 space from the edge and bottom. In a pot of boiling water, add zucchini and boil 3-4 minutes Remove and add filling

Filling:  Brown meat and then add salsa.  Add to the boiled zucchini.  Top with desired amount of cheese. Place them side by side on a cookie sheet or on a plate (whatever will fit in your freezer) and freeze them for about 3 hours, or until frozen.  Combine them into a freezer bag. Label and return them to the freezer.

To thaw: You can microwave on high for a few minutes, or you can bake them at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Freezer Meals Day 3- Jake's Burritos

Can I just say that these have got to be the best burritos that I have ever tasted! No lie, and I am the burrito Queen. Hey, I can whatever makes me sleep at night right? And they are super easy too.  When I first heard there was ground beef in them, I was thinking, I'll pass! I tried them anyway and even writing about them is making my mouth water.

Our buddy Jake made these for us.  He told me about this unknown treasure.  Actually, apparently a lot of people know about this one but I somehow missed the meeting on it.  It's a Wal Mart brand, white corn and black bean salsa.  Can we say heaven?  It's sooo good!

Jake's Burritos

1 Jar (Wal Mart Brand) White Corn and Black Bean Salsa
1 can Black Beans
1 Lb Ground Beef or Turkey
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (if desired)

Brown the beef in a skillet and then add beans and salsa.  Heat through.  Fill tortillas with meat mixture. Roll into burritos and place in a baking dish.  Top with cheddar cheese (if desired) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve warm

To Freeze, place burritos into a foil baking dish and top with cheese.  Cover with foil and plastic wrap (if planning on freezing for longer than a month or so) and label. Freeze for about  3 months.

To thaw:  Remove plastic wrap but keep foil on.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until thawed.  Then remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes. (you can also thaw on the counter and cook as directed above)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Freezer Meals Day 2- Minute Burgers

I have to give the credit to this idea to my Mother-in-law.  Genius! We love hamburgers but hardly ever eat them because I have to remember to thaw the hamburger meat, make it into patties, grill it, etc.  Or remember to buy the patties at the store.  It also seams that by the time I remember to get it all ready in time, the buns have gone stale.  I'm exhausted just thinking about all of the coordinating.  And don't get me started on toppings.  Lets just say I eat my burger for the toppings.  I have to have Lettuce, tomato, onions, pickle etc. or id rather eat cereal for dinner.  Lame and spoiled I know, but hey that's me! For some reason, 9 times out of 10 I chose my meal around the condiments I'm craving instead of the dish.

These burgers are perfect to pull out and toss in the microwave.  They are done in about a minute and my kids love em!  A double plus for me.

Minute Burgers

1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 lbs Ground Beef or Turkey (uncooked)
Sliced Cheese (if desired)

Combine ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix well.  Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet and press firmly spreading the mixture across the entire cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut into squares.  (the size of the buns you will be using) Place (cooled) cookie sheet with meat in the freezer for about 3 hours or until frozen.  Also freeze the buns separately.  When both the buns and the patties are frozen, combine them together and add a slice of cheese to each burger if desired. Wrap hamburgers individually in wax paper. Then put them in freezer bags. I did 4 into a gallon sized bag. Label and date the bags.

To re-heat, microwave in the wax paper for 1 to 2 minutes.  Don't over cook or the bread will get hard. Top with your favorite condiments and serve. I would suggest cooking the meat for about a minute first, then add the cheese and bread, wrap it in the wax paper and do another 30 seconds.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Freezer Meals-Day 1 Fajita Tacos

It's Freezer Meal time here at Mommy's Kitchen Creations!  And Boy oh Boy am I excited!  We are going to have 30 days of Freezer meals for ya.  I've decided to really challenge myself with my blog this month.  It's easy to let the day get away from me sometime and forget to post a recipe.  In an effort to get more organized in my life, I thought this would be a great may to stretch myself.  Each week will feature a main ingredient or theme. This will help you buy in bulk and save some time.  This week will be centered around BEEF! It's what's for dinner!  If you aren't a red meat fan... this is your lucky day, each meal is easily substitutable for either chicken or ground turkey.

For all of you Arizona-ites out there, you know it's only a matter of time before it starts to feel like you start melting!  Don't get caught in the middle of summer with nothing to cook for dinner. Cooking over the hot stove all day is no fun when it's 115 degrees outside.  Plan your meals now before the heat hits.

If you are totally apposed to turning on your oven in the summer, and are about to tell me to get lost, keep reading.  Some of these meals, you can re-heat in the crock pot, or microwave.  For the ones that require the oven... just stick them on the back porch for about 10 seconds in the middle of august.  Not only will they be thawed but will be cooked clean through! Ok seriously though, here is what you need to do. 

Get yourself a roaster oven. You know, one of those big ol' crock pot looking things that you see everywhere at church functions.  They are basically a portable oven.  The one that I got was $60 and it uses 70% LESS energy than your oven.  Get the big ol' sucker though, don't go for the little ones, otherwise your pans won't fit.  I got a 22 quart and it fits my 11x9 pan in it.  I've also used it to mass produce tons of meals.  It's seriously one of the best investments I've made! LOVE IT!!! If you are worried about it taking up too much space, it can also double as a bath tub for your kids on the weekends. Hehehe

Fajita Tacos

1 lb fajita meat sliced (or slice your own steak into thin strips)
3 Bell Peppers sliced (I like 1 of each- red, green and orange)
1 Large Onion sliced
1 Tbsp Corn Starch
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Sugar
3/4 tsp Chicken Bullion
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

Cook meat until no longer pink.  Toss in all other ingredients and cook for a few minutes, until vegetables are fork tender but not soggy. 

Add desired amount to a tortilla and fold in half. In a skillet or griddle add 1 tbsp butter or oil.  Grill fajita on both sides until crisp.  Slice into desired size pieces or leave as it.  Freeze on a cookie sheet ( to keep them from sticking together)  Then transfer to freezer bags.  Label and date.

To reheat... Microwave until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes) or re-grill on medium low heat until heated through and crisp.  You can also heat in the oven. (I haven't done this yet, but would say 375 for about 10 minutes.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Veggie Pizza

To quote a popular kids movie "this'll take her breath away". Super delicious and super easy!  A dear friend of mine made this for a party one time and it was a hit! This is a must have at your next party. 

Veggie Pizza

2 cans (8 oz each) crescent dinner rolls
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 to 2 cups chopped fresh vegetables.  I used broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrotts and onions

Heat oven to 375°F.
Unroll both cans of dough. In an ungreased cookie sheet. press dough into the bottom of the pan and up the sides to make a crust. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely

 In small bowl, mix cream cheese, and ranch powder. Spread over crust. Top with
vegetables.  Cut into squares and serve.  Makes about 32 squares

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lime Turkey Tacos

In an effort to eat a little healthier, I've decided to give ground turkey a try.  Years ago, a friend of mine was experimenting with some ground turkey and had some lime flavored olive oil that she used to sauté the meat in.  It was actually pretty good.  I'm also a fan of turkey bacon. Other than that, besides the usual thanksgiving dinner, I'm just not a fan of the stuff.  The texture of say, turkey meatballs, is just too grainy for me.  I'm sure it's an acquired taste... but I'm just such a beef girl, it's hard to switch!

I have been trying to clean out my freezer to load up on some delicious freezer meals for next month. So I pulled out my bag of  Refried Beans
 that I made and froze last month, some ground turkey that I had on hand, and some tortillas that needed to by used, and Voila! A delicious new meal was born!  I have to say... It was so yummy!  Of course healthy is still a foreign concept for me... so if you are REALLY trying to be healthy, you can bypass the deep fried tortilla part! You can use the meat flavoring to turn it into a Taco Salad, or even use it on chips or regular taco shells.  (I know chips and taco shells are super healthy either)

Who knew that cleaning out the freezer would make such a yummy last minute meal.  What will I come up with next!

Lime Turkey Tacos

1 lb ground turkey
1 med onion diced (1-2 tbsp dehydrated onions)
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 tbsp lime juice
¼ tsp salt
1 cup Pace salsa
Small flour tortillas (optional)
Oil for frying (optional)

Brown meat together with olive oil and onions.  Then add lime juice, salt and salsa until heated through.  Create a taco by frying the tortilla in a skillet (with about a half inch of oil) Remove tortilla when golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel and immediatly add beans and meat, along with other desired toppings.  Fold in half and serve.