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Homemade Frozen Italian and Asian Mini-Meatballs

During Super Doubles at Harris Teeter, I scored an expensive bag of frozen meatballs for 4 cents. I had never purchased frozen meatballs before, because I have no idea what’s in them, (and they are not cheap), but for 4 cents I thought I’d take a chance. After a few months of ignoring them out of fear they might be funky, I decided to give them a try on a very busy night, and a monetarily-tight week. I poured them into a pot of marinara, and they were actually good, and I was astounded by the convenience. I make everything from scratch, so this convenience food thing for me is a rare treat. As I continued to plan meals for after my surgery, I thought how easy frozen pre-cooked meatballs would be as a protein choice a couple nights. Of course, they are just too expensive in my opinion, so I thought I would grind up a roast I got on sale and make them myself. Sirloin tip roasts went on sale for $2.99 a pound, so I used that as my base. Home_Ground_Beef It occurred to me I need another Asian meal option for my family, so I decided to make pork/beef meatballs as well, seasoned with ginger, garlic and soy sauce. To go along with it, I made a sweet Asian sauce, all to be served over rice. We will have to make some broccoli fresh, but that’s ok. I got pork butt on sale for $1.29 a pound. Ground pork is almost three times as much in the store, so I’m really saving money by grinding it up myself.

After cooking the meatballs I flash froze them, then vacuum sealed them. Homemade Mini Meatballs Vacuum SealedThis is a easy protein choice for a few nights to make things easier on my husband. I just love this idea of having mini-cooked meatballs on hand on a regular basis for a busy night. When I’m on the mend I think I’ll make more.

Italian Mini-Meatballs

2 pounds ground beef
¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 fresh minced garlic cloves
1 TBSP dried minced onion, or 2 fresh TBSP minced onion
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil

Asian Mini-Meatballs

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup Panko (I would just like to take this opportunity to say, I got four boxes Panko for free during Super Doubles)
1 beaten egg
2 TBSP soy sauce (Oh, I got this free too)
pepper to taste
2 tsp grated fresh ginger, or 1 tsp dried ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp sesame seed oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put together meatballs and roll into desired size. I made mine about 2 tablespoons full. Place on cookie sheet and bake until browned and done inside. After meatballs have cooled, put on clean cookie sheet and place in freezer until frozen. Place in bag for freezer, or vacuum seal and place back in freezer.

I will serve the Italian meatballs in a red sauce, or coat in barbeque sauce. The Asian meatballs can be tossed in an Asian sauce or alongside lo mein or stir fried rice.

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