It is a wise cook that keeps one pound rolls of ground beef in the freezer. No meat is more versatile in meal planning than ground beef and it can provide a quick and tasty meal when pressed for time. Not only is ground beef versatile, it is very economical as well if you watch the sale ads and stock in multiple packages while it is on sale. Lean ground beef marked 93/7 or greater will produce healthier meals with less waste as you lose savings when a larger portion of fat content fries away in the skillet. Most grocery stores sell one pound packages of ground beef in thick plastic rolls. These are more economical to purchase as they will not freezer burn at the rate meat packaged in plastic wrap will.
Most of us plan our evening meal the day before we intend to serve it. This allows us time to defrost the meat. Though it is best to begin dinner preparation with a roll of ground beef that has completely defrosted, it is not absolutely necessary. Listed below are several quick fix meals for those days you have no clue what you want to serve for dinner.
Tacos are a very quick and easy meal usually welcomed by the family. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep small or medium tortilla shells on hand. If you regularly purchase salad ingredients, buying the lettuce mix in the shredded lettuce form allows for quick meals of tacos or fajitas. Ground beef can be used to make fajitas as well as tacos if you keep pre-packaged taco and fajita mixes on hand in the pantry. Taco salads are also a tasty, easy meal and the bowl for the salad can be made by inverting a tortilla shell over a small bowl in the oven until it hardens enough to retain the shape.
A quick pasta meal can be prepared in a short amount of time by browning the ground beef in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Oil oil. Begin heating the water to boil the pasta while the ground beef is browning. Place the pasta of choice in the pot of boiling and set the browned ground beef aside. Make a simple white sauce and stir in the ground beef. Serve over the pasta with or without garlic bread.
Spaghetti is always a quick and easy meal which children and adults alike enjoy. Below is a healthy and delicious homemade spaghetti sauce recipe.
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Minced Onion
1/4 teaspoon ground Sweet Basil
1 29ounce can Tomato Puree
1/4 to 1/2 of the puree can full of water
1-3 Tablespoons Sugar or Splenda
1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a family size skillet and heat.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the spaghetti noodles.
3. Brown ground beef in the skillet with the olive oil and set aside.
4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the family size skillet and bring to a medium low heat.
5. Add the spices but not the sugar or Splenda. Brown the spices to release the flavors.
6. Add the tomato puree and the water and bring up to temperature.
7. Add 1-3 tablespoons sugar or Splenda to attain the desired amount of sweetness in the sauce.
8. Return the ground beef to the skillet and stir until all is heated through.
9. Serve over spaghetti noodles with or without garlic bread.
Another quick entree is to brown a pound of ground beef, green pepper, and onion and add a can of pork and beans. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar at a time, to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
If you forgot to defrost the meat and are at a loss as to what to make, just add a little water to the skillet with a pound of ground beef and place a lid on the skillet for a few minutes. The meat will defrost and brown suitable for many recipes.
Ground beef is so versatile in meal planning it could be served every day of the week without anyone suspecting you had no clue what you were going to serve when you stepped into the kitchen.