As I delve deeper into the idea of meal planning/organization, I want to begin sharing some quick recipes/non-recipes that we use regularly. This taco meat is a standard around here. It’s simple, freezes well and is versatile. Sometimes I’ll put it in tortillas and make burritos, sometimes I’ll roast some sweet potatoes to go with it and other times I’ll just serve it over rice. When I’m really just not feeling any kind of cooking, I’ll just eat it with some tortilla chips. You just can’t go wrong.
Although I will be providing you with a recipe, I consider this to be a “non-recipe.” What I mean by that is that there really is no measuring or exact science to throwing this together. Use whatever you like or have on hand. Zucchini, canned tomatoes, olives, mushrooms…let your imagination run wild. Use up any odds and ends you have floating around.
This freezes beautifully. I try to make a double or triple batch every time and freeze half. After it’s cooled, just scoop half into a gallon freezer storage bag. Squeeze the air out as much as you can, seal it shut, then lay it flat on the counter and press it out. Be sure to label and date it! Now you can stack it in the freezer with the rest of your meals, saving plenty of space. I believe most freezer meals will last a couple months minimum. I just plan to use everything within the next month or so, so there’s never any question whether or not it’s still fresh.
To use later, simply put in the refrigerator the morning of and then reheat when you’re ready to eat either in the oven or on the stovetop. If you forget to pull it out ahead of time, you can always run cold water over it until you are able to remove it from the bag.
TIME SAVING: Honestly, this recipe is so quick and easy there’s not much time to save. Just be sure to double or triple and freeze some for later.
MONEY SAVING: You can save LOADS of money by ditching canned beans and using dried. You certainly would need to plan ahead though. To use dried beans, simply give them a good rinse, place them in your crockpot with tons of water and cook on high until the beans are tender — about 4 hours. Do 1 or 2 lbs at a time and then you can freeze them in smaller portions. 1 can of black beans is just under 2 cups.
Also, buy your ground beef when it’s on sale.
VARIATIONS: I use premade enchilada sauce in this recipe purely to save time. You could make a big batch of enchilada sauce and freeze some if you wanted. You could also just season the ground beef with taco seasoning (homemade or store bought.) This is the sauce I always use. This brand has tons of different flavors, so you can switch it up now and then. (Again, I’m not a spokesperson for this company and they have no idea I even exist or love their products.)
You can also use different vegetables, like I mentioned above.
I consider the below recipe to be a double batch. Half for now, half for later. 2 lbs ground beef In a large skillet over medium (5) heat, add the ground beef and the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the ground beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid. Stir in the enchilada sauce, black beans and corn. Cook until heated through.
Skillet Taco Meat
1 onion, diced
2 cups enchilada sauce (or enough taco seasoning to season 2 lbs meat)
2 cans black beans, drained
2 cups frozen corn
I consider the below recipe to be a double batch. Half for now, half for later.
2 lbs ground beef
In a large skillet over medium (5) heat, add the ground beef and the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the ground beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid.
Stir in the enchilada sauce, black beans and corn. Cook until heated through.