Cheap freezer meals – prep today, eat tomorrow III

Last night after I said I was going to bed I got a second wind and instead of going for a bubble bath and jumping into bed I decided to make 24 cheese muffins, 2 batches of World’s Best Chicken thighs and 2 garlic baguettes.

I HAVE GOT TO LEARN TO RELAX!

Anyhoo, garlic baguettes are really easy to make.

Eyeballed about 100g of butter/buttermilk based spread into a bowl with about 6 large crushed garlic cloves. Add some dried or freshly chopped parsley.  Slice the baguette into slices but not all the way though and add the garlic butter to the slices. Now wrap the baguette in foil and plastic wrap.  Repeat with the other one.  Store leftover garlic butter in a container in your fridge. It’s really good served with mashed potatoes or on top of steaks. Not that we can afford steaks right now, but hey!

Today I dealt with 2.5 kg of minced beef.

Ground beef base:

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 2 celery sticks, grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 4 crushed bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ t pepper

To make things easier, I grate my onions, carrots and celery in the food processor.  Add all ingredients to a large pan or wok and cook until the beef is browned.  Pour off any excess oil.Cool in a layer on a tray then split into 4 portions package up in freezer proof bags and label.  See what I did with them below.

With this base you can make:

  • Spaghetti Bolognese – just add a tomato based, red sauce or a tin or 2 of choped tomatoes and simmer on the stovetop for an hour. Serve with spaghetti.
  • Chilli con carne – add chilli flakes and a tin of baked beans to the base and simmer until heated through. Serve with rice
  • Cottage pie –  Add a couple of cups of mixed vegetables to the freezer bag before freezing. Simmer on the stove top with a little added stock until thickened slightly.  Top with mashed potato and bake at 200 degrees centigrade until browned on top
  • Tacos/fajitas – add taco/fajita seasonings and some bbq sauce if liked and serve with tortillas

Today I made up the beef base and split it into portions for 2 cottage pies and 2 spaghetti bolognese.

I then set about making the meatballs and muffin tin meatloaves.

The recipe I used was one I adapted from Money Saving Mom’s recipe for barbecue meatballs with barbecue sauce.  I didn’t want the barbecue sauce though but anyway, here’s my adapted recipe.

Freezer meatball and meatloaf recipe

  • 3 lbs raw minced/ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 4 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 beef oxo cubes, crumbled
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 t barbecue seasoning
  • 2 t mixed herbs

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. It feels a little gross but comes together really quickly.  Lighly grease a muffin tin. Then using an ice cream scoop fill the muffin tins, pressing down firmly.

 Once all the cavities are filled, place in the freezer in the trays to freeze through.  Then, remove and place into labelled zip lock bags.

Then, roll the remaning mince mixture into 60 mini meatballs and place on a tray to freeze before placing into labelled zip lock bags.

With this all done, and after a trip to the grocery store I was ready to deal with the leftover chicken thighs and drumsticks.  I have to confess, I cheated.  I was going to make two other recipes for sauces to go on the chicken but I was and am, as I write, completely worn out. So, I got two bottles of our favourite, Chicken Tonight casserole sauces on sale and used these.

So, in two days I have made 29 meals.

2 x chicken curry kits

2 x chicken pot pie kits

2 x chicken taco kits

1 x bbq chicken

2 x french wine chicken country casserole

2 x Mushroom & chicken casserole

2 x World’s best chicken

4 x stir fry chicken

3 x meatballs

5 x mini meatloaves

2 x cottage pie

2 x spaghetti bolognese

Including:

2 garlic baguettes

24 branana muffins

24 cheese muffins

3 x chicken stock (that I forgot to mention)

Not bad, hey!

I will see how I feel tomorrow if i will have enough energy to make the breakfast sandwiches.

Bright blessings,

Mama R

xxx

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