I love the pizza delivery people and it shows. Unfortunately, it's expensive, and nutritionally I know I'm much better off with preparing something fresh in my own kitchen.
This meat mix is nice to have on hand for those nights that you don't want to cook but you know you should fix something.....so the recipe for the meat mix follows, along with a few ideas for quick and easy meals.
Meat Mix (Inspired by Peg Bracken's 4 way Meat Mix)
For each lb of lean ground beef (get as many pounds as you can afford) add...
1 slice of bread, soaked in milk or water and squeezed to a pulp
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (or 1 tablespoon of the dried kind)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Mix this all together thoroughly in a large bowl. Take out enough to form a nice sized meat loaf for dinner that night and bake at 350F for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until juices are clear.
Meanwhile, take the remaining mix and form into patties and meatballs. Package in approximately 1 lb portions and freeze.
Then, when your back's to the wall and you need a meal, you can make any of the following.
Take 3-4 green peppers, cut the tops off and remove the seeds. Place on a glass plate or pie plate, add a couple tablespoons of water and cover with plastic. Zap in the microwave about three minutes to blanch them.
Put the blanched peppers into a baking dish, and fill with the frozen meatballs. Pour a can of tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce) over all, cover with foil and bake for about an hour. Serve over rice.
Brown a package of patties....don't bother to thaw them....in a heavy skillet. Set aside. Drain off excess fat and set aside.
Add about two tablespoons reserved dripping to the skillet, and add one small onion, finely chopped. Saute until tender and slightly transparent.
Add two tablespoons flour to this mixture in the skillet and stir until smooth and bubbling.
Add a cup of beef broth, beef boullion, or even water all at once to the simmering mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until it starts simmering. Plop the patties in there, cover, and simmer until thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite potato.
This one's easy. Just brown the meatballs, drain off excess fat, and add a sauce....I usually use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup thinned with 1/2 can of water. Cover and simmer until done, about 45 minutes. Tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, gravy mix and water all work too....use what you're in the mood for.
Just a few ideas....and preparation time for all of them is wonderfully short. Cheap, simple, substantial meals with a minimum of fuss.