Meatza, Meatball, and Burger Base

Meatza, Meatball, and Burger Base

 

I like to have pre mixed meats in the freezer for later.  This is Italian spiced and can be used for a few different things.  If I feel like making burgers, meatza, meatloaf, lasagna or meatballs all I have to do is thaw the pre-mixed meat, form it and cook.

 

Ingredients

2# Grass fed Ground Beef (13.77)

2 med Italian sausage

1 hot Italian sausage (5.19)

garlic

¼ onion (.19)

dried basil

mustard

1 egg (.23)

Tomato sauce

Salt

Pepper

Dried Oregano

Ingredients Assembled

 

Total Cost $19.19

Servings: I divided this into 4 parts to use for different things each part is probably 2-3 servings We’ll call it 8

Cost per serving $2.40

Dice the onion and either throw it in raw or saute it in your fat of choice.  Then throw all the spices in, the egg.  I threw some of the sauce that was cooking on the stove in too.

Skin the sausage and put that and the ground beef in and mix.  If you happened to put your ground beef in the spot in your fridge that happens to be weirdly cold I wish you better luck than I had.

You can't tell from the picture but this is all nearly frozen!

Mixing this was nearly frostbite inducing.  Then I divided the whole thing into 4 and put 3 in bags for the freezer. The last 1 was made into meatza for lunch.  Yum!

Divided for freezing

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Italian Tomato Basil Sauce

This is a family tradition.  Growing up on Sunday mornings a pot of sauce went on the stove. Then we all made meatballs and when they were baked they went in the sauce pot.  A few hours later a pot of salted water went on the stove for pasta and then we all sat down and ate a big old plate of pasta.  The rest of the week a lot of our lunches were made from that leftover sauce and meatballs.  Now that I eat paleo/primal sauce gets used for different things.  Meatballs are still a go.  Meatza instead of pizza.  Some paleo “lasagna” made with lots of veggies instead of pasta.  A pot of sauce is versatile and delicious.  A pot of sauce in your freezer means lots of quick meal options.

Ingredients

2 Red Peppers (2.58)

2 cans crushed tomatoes (2.50)

2 cans tomato paste (1.78)

1 onion (.67)

garlic

fresh basil (2.69)

dried basil

salt

pepper

Total Cost $10.22

Servings: The number of servings is a bit hard to figure out. I’m going to call it 16

The cost per serving $.64

First throw the peppers in the oven to roast. I usually throw them in at 400.  While the peppers are doing their thing I chop up the onion, and garlic, and brown in it some butter.

Then throw the tomatoes in the pot and the dried spices.

I like to chiffonade my basil because you get big chunks of basil in your sauce.  Stack all the basil leaves up with the biggest ones on the bottom and roll them up and chop it.

I do this twice, once when you start the pot and once right before it’s done.  When the peppers are done peel them and either chop or puree them and throw them in the pot too.  Turn the pot down to simmer and let it go for an hour or more.  If you’re making meatballs throw them in the pot too.  The flavors get to be really good when they cook together.  When it’s done throw in a little more basil fore that fresh taste.

I usually freeze my sauce in different sized protions.  One big enough for a lasagna and the rest goes into smaller sizes for meatza, meatballs or braised dishes.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon!

Breakfast of champions right? I love Brussels sprouts. They’re delicious and really low maintenance as far as cooking goes.

All the yummy stuff

Ingredients

1 lb bag of sprouts                $2.99

1 piece of thick bacon           $.75

Cajun seasoning                    this is a staple in my pantry it lasts about 6 months

Pepper                                   pantry

Garlic                                      pantry

 

Total $3.74

Servings 3

Cost per serving $1.25

 

First chop up the bacon and throw it in the pan to render. I love the bacon odds and ends from trader joe’s, they’re a lot cheaper than their regular bacon and its thicker and tends to be a little bit fattier. All of which are good things.

MMMM bacon

While the bacon is doing its thing I quarter the sprouts. I don’t think you really need to quarter them but I was in a little bit of a hurry and they cook quicker that way. Plus all the bacony goodness gets over more of the sprouts.  When the bacon is starting to render I throw the garlic in and give it a stir and then throw the sprouts in and get them good and coated with the rendered fat. Sprinkle some cajun, salt and pepper with them and let them cook for awhile. I just stir them every once in a while and nibble on the leaves to see if they have enough seasoning on them.

Look at all that caramelized goodness!

 

Freezer Chili

I’m calling this recipe freezer chili because today I opened my freezer to take out something for dinner at work tomorrow night.  Much to my chagrin when I opened the door things started to shift a bit, it would be more accurate to call it a barely contained avalanche.  My stepdad usually says “a full freezer is a happy freezer,” well this freezer is not happy and is making itself known.

What does this have to do with chili you ask? Well in the freezer I had not quite a pound of ground beef, a grass-fed round roast, 2 chicken chorizo and 2 andouille sausage.  The chicken chorizo was an accident from making stuffed chicken a few weeks ago.  I thought it was weird to stuff chicken with more chicken so I put it in the freezer and went back to the store to get a couple pork chorizo.   I almost always have chili in the fridge and freezer because when nothing else sounds good chili is always tasty.

A quick disclaimer on my idea of a recipe: I tend to just throw things in a pot and add a little of whatever I think will sound good in the end.  It turns out great 92% percent of the time.  That 8% failure rate tends to fail horribly.  The freezer chili did not fail!

Ingredients:                                                                          Price

2 red peppers                                                                        $3.43

1 serrano pepper                                                                   $  .20

1 onion                                                                                 $  .67

garlic                                                                                    pantry item

2 chicken chorizo                                                                 $3.17

Grass fed round roast cut into 1 inch pieces                         $10.28

1 lb ground beef                                                                    $3.71

1 can of diced tomatoes                                                         $1.50

1 can chipotle salsa                                                                $1.25

salt                                                                                         pantry item

pepper                                                                                  pantry item

chocolate(I used a Mexican drinking chocolate)                 pantry item

Penzey’s chili powder medium hot                                  pantry item

Penzey’s chicken taco seasoning                                   pantry item

Servings 8

Total  $24.21

Cost per serving $3.02 $3.77 if you add half an avocado

The non meat ingredients

First I roasted the red peppers in the oven, I do this for a few reasons; I like the way it makes them sweet to balance out the heat of the chipotles and the chili powder, and they make the whole apartment smell good, but mostly I don’t the way the little bits of skin get stuck to the roof of my mouth.  When they get down I either chop them up or throw them in the blender. While the peppers roasted I diced up the onion and let it caramelize in the bottom of the cast iron pot with some garlic.  When that’s kinda golden brown I threw in the meat and let it brown a bit.  Then I threw everything else in the pot.  Add as much chili powder and taco seasoning as tastes good, and about a spoonful of the drinking chocolate.  Then let it simmer on low for an hour or two and enjoy.  I usually throw half an avocado on top when I eat. I made this while studying so every time I needed a break I gave it a stir and a taste test.

Right after I added all the spices and roasted peppers

The finished product