Thursday, January 29, 2009

MAKE-A-MENU :: Meatballs, Lasagna, Chili, Salisbury Steak, and Hamburgers

Hamburger is on sale for $1.99/lb this week at HEB. Stock up on enough to make these five recipes and you will fill your freezer on the cheap. You'll end up with 7 meals to add to your menu calendar! Three of them are even crock pot meals!

Here's the lineup:

Italian Meatballs, serve w/ spaghetti and marinara (you'll make 2 meals worth of meatballs)
No-Cook Lasagna (9 x 13 pan)
Salisbury Steak (8-10 patties make you 2 meals)
Chili - use the McCormick Chili Mix on sale this week at HEB
4-5 Hamburger patties for the grill


2-1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cup bread crumbs (+ ext if you put it in your burgers)
1/8 cup salt
2 pkgs brown gravy mix
12 ounce monzerella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan romano cheese, grated
15-oz. ricotta cheese
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
3 eggs
7 pounds ground beef
1 can pinto or red beans, or 2 cups cooked beans
1/2 pound italian sausage, fried (optional)
12 lasagna noodles
8 cups spaghetti sauce (or 3 jars)
32 ounces spaghetti
1 onion
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1/8 cup each: Basil, garlic powder, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, pepper
1/4 cup parsley, dried
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. Chili Mix
WINE - for the cook... hee, hee!!

Other Supplies:

Gallon Freezer Bags - 2
Pint Freezer Bags - 2
Quart Freezer Bags - 3
Wax paper

STEP #1:

1. Brown 2 pounds ground beef with 1 cup finely chopped onion. (You can grate onion finely. The little ones won't know it's there!)

2. Fry the Italian sausage.

3. Label pint-size freezer bag with "lasagna". Measure half the browned ground beef and put it in the bag, along with the Italian sausage. Freeze. Write "Lasagna" on your calendar.

4. Label pint-size freezer bag with "chili". Put the other half of browned ground beef in the bag. Freeze. Write "Chili" on your menu calendar.

5. Use 1 to 1-1/2 pounds ground beef to make 4 or 5 hamburger patties, using your favorite spices. (Adding breadcrumbs or ground crackers stretches the amount of beef!) Label a quart-size freezer bag "hamburger patties". Stack the hamburger patties, separating each with wax paper, then stick inside the bag. Freeze. Write "hamburgers" on your menu calendar.


1. Label 2 quart-size freezer bags "Italian Meatballs".

2. Heat oven to 350f.

3. In a large bowl, mix 2 pounds ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion (grate for picky eaters!), 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. basil, 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1 egg. Form the mix into 24 meatballs.

4. Put meatballs onto a broiler pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cool

5. Put 12 meatballs into each freezer bag. Freeze. Write "Spaghetti" on two days of your menu calendar.


1. Label 2 gallon-size freezer bags "Salisbury Steak"

2. In a large bowl, combine 2 pounds ground beef, 1 packet onion soup mix, 1-1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2/3 cup water.

3. Form into 8-10 meatballs, then flatten into oval patties. Brown in a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook until juices run clear.

4. Cool. Put 4-5 patties in each freezer bag. Freeze. Add "Salisbury Steak" to two days on your menu calendar.



1. Chili: Thaw bag of meat. Put into the crockpot along with the chili mix, the packet's required amount of water, and a can of beans. Serve with Cornbread or crackers, and grated cheddar cheese.

2. Hamburgers: Have all the fixin's ready (buns, mustard, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc.) Thaw burgers. Cook on the grill, in the skillet, or under the broiler. Serve with chips, fries, or tater tots!

3. Lasagna: Thaw bag of meat. Gather all your ingredients (you should have put these into your Make-a-Menu Box at the beginning of the week!). In a saucepan, combine meat with 2 cups spaghetti sauce, and 1-1/2 cups water. Simmer 10 minutes.
......In a medium size bowl, make the cheese filling by combining 15 ounce ricotta, 3 eggs, 12 ounce mozzerella cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan romano cheese, 1/4 cup dried parsley, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
......Get out your package of lasagna noodles and a 9 x 13 pan. Heat the oven to 350f.
.....Layer as follows:
1 cup meat sauce
3-4 pieces uncooked noodles
1 cup meat sauce
1/2 cheese filling
3-4 uncooked noodles
1 cup meat sauce
remaining 1/2 cheese filling
3-4 uncooked noodles
remaining sauce.
.....Cover with foil and bake 55-60 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

4. Salisbury Patties: Thaw patties. Prepare 2 packets gravy mix. Add thawed patties and cook till hot. Great over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles.

5. Spaghetti: Thaw meatballs. Put 3 cups spaghetti sauce in crock pot. Add meatballs. Simmer all day. Boil 16 ounces spaghetti noodles until al dente. Serve topped with meatball sauce. MMMMM!!