Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All Purpose Meatballs

Just take a look at this gorgeous new little man and his mama. Christine. I mentioned that I spent a couple hours with Super CC yesterday making a few new freezer meals for her family. It was actually a grand celebration in honor of her new baby. What could be better than having a blow-out cooking party for a new mom? I haven't laughed as hard as we did in a long time. One of the things I have to emphasize, is that most of the mental hang up I had with freezer meals went away when another friend (who vaguely claims to cook) taught a freezer meal class at our church for the ladies. It really rocked my paradigm. I thought (sarcastic goof-ball...there it is...I thought once)...hey why is she teaching this? Seems like Chef Tess should have a grip on how to cook freezer dinners. Especially since I was a busy mom just like my friend. 6 years later and a whole lot more excited about freezer dinners, I too can tell others how to make meatballs.

In all reality, freezer meals have come to be a great blessing for me many times. A few unexpected trips to the hospital ago, I almost had to hold back the tears when I came home to a freezer full of dinners I knew my family would eat. It was a great feeling of self reliance. Not that I don't also think others should be given the opportunity to help us...the amazing Relief Society ladies from church did come over and wash laundry, do dishes, and general stuff. I did have my own meatballs though...and it saved our budget! No eating out every night until mom got better.

All Purpose Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey sausage (99% fat free)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup gluten flour (by the specialty flours in most grocery stores...or check the link to Honeyville grains.)
1/2 cup dry onion flakes
2 eggs
1 T each, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and Chef Tess All purpose seasoning blend
1 tsp liquid smoke (optional, but adds a lot of flavor).

Get the meat and spices together. Super CC had all the stuff in a well organized container. I loved it.
Combine ingredients and form into 60 one inch balls using small scoop. Place on foil lined baking sheet and then cover with foil so they steam a little when you bake 350 degrees 20 minutes. Yield 4 meals, 15 meatballs each frozen in 1 Quart freezer bags.
To each bag at time of service add one of the following:
2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce--place in microwave safe bowl and heat 5-7 minutes
1 cup sweet and sour sauce, 1 cup pineapple cubes, 1/2 cup bell pepper and onion--
heat 5-7 minutes in microwave safe dish-- serve over hot rice.
2 cups prepared white sauce--5-7 minutes in microwave safe dish. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles.
1 cup prepared BBQ sauce--5-7 minutes in microwave safe dish. Serve in fluffy hoagie buns.
There you go.
Nutritional information:
4 meatballs:
9 carbohydrates
92 calories
1 gram fat
10 grams protein
2 grams fiber
each meatball:
2.36 carbohydrates
23 calories
.25 grams fat
2.5 gram protein
.5 gram fiber


Goob said...

I really need to get on this freezer meal bandwagon. It makes too much sense for a woman who doesn't get home from work until an hour past the time her family would prefer to have been fed.
But my word verification is "unders" which rhymes with "bunders" which means underwear in our house, which begs the question, why am I being forced to think about laundry when I'm still feeling guilty about not having freezer meals ready to go?

Chef Tess said...

No added guilt or preservative...seriously. You are busy and my point in posting was to assure everyone, Lisa included, that it isn't a matter of making a whole bunch of meals in one day. So make the meatballs. Have some for dinner, and put 3 meals away for later. It's all good. Just build up some extra in the freezer. G.B. Hinkley said that success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile ideal. Hopefully that gives us all a little leeway when it comes to anything in life. No guilt babe. Feel the love!

Goob said...

and you know what? It IS the idea that its a whole bunch of cooking in one day that has stopped me from doing it. That and the freezer room issue, but a well organized freezer can hold an amazing amount of food. So here's a question for you. My favorite marinade for beef is a persian recipe that involves nothing but lemon, salt, and onion. if I cubed my beef, poured in the marinade and immediately froze it, when I took it out to defrost, would my meat have been sitting in the lemon so long it will have turned to mush?

Chef Tess said...

Actually it may be even more tender due to the expansion of the meat fibers during freezing. It won't get mushy unless it is at fridge temperature for more than 3 days. I would personally cook it first, but I'm a little funny about just "heat and eat".