Food Storage 101: Casseroles and Burritos

Evening folks, it’s been a hot and busy day around here. Woke up sneezing ( I don’t have allergies), sore throat, and barely any energy. Felt like a zombie during our school day, and even though I still had a plethora of things to do in truth I just wanted to go back to bed. But I didn’t! I pushed through the sluggish fog brain and achiness. Throat is still a touch sore but I’ve amped up my alkaline stuff and actually starting to feel a little bit better.

I cooked up some bulk ground beef over the weekend and decided to make a couple of casseroles along with some homemade burritos. For several weeks now Monday nights have become our hectic night. I feel like I’m racing against the clock to get dinner done before 5pm CST so my Dad can get a hot meal before rushing off again to his Shelter in the Time of Storm training class. This is why I’m trying to build up our freezer with casseroles and other quick fix meals that will come in handy on those crazy busy nights and the days when I’m not feeling good.

So, after school with my boy, I pulled out the cooked ground hamburger from the fridge and gathered a few other ingredients for a Cheesy Beef and Noodle Casserole, a Bean and Rice Casserole, Mini Mexi-Chicken Casserole, and Beef, Bean and Cheese Burritos.

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Cheesy Beef and Noodle Casserole

2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained

12 ounces egg noodles, cooked

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 tblsp dried minced onion

1 tsp garlic powder

4 ounces velveeta

4 c shredded cheese

1/2 c milk or cream

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

2 Tblsp dried parsley flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium pan cook ground beef, drain fat; while in a large pot boil egg noodles with a little salt and oil. Drain noodles and set aside.

Into meat add remaining ingredients, reserving 2 cups of cheese for topping, stir gently until cheeses are melted. Stir in cooked noodles and pour mixture into deep casserole pan. Top with reserved cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving along with your favorite sides.

This will easily serve 6–8.

General family consensus:: This one is a keeper! Tastes like a kicked up hamburger helper!

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Mini Mexi-Chicken Casserole

2 cups crushed tortilla chips

1 can drained chicken

3 Tblsp homemade taco seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning

1/2 c black bean and corn salsa, great value brand

3/4 c shredded cheese

Pour crushed tortilla chips into a 3/4 quart baking dish. In a medium bowl shred drained chicken with fork; season with taco seasoning and stir in salsa. Pour mixture on top of crushed tortilla chips and sprinkle the top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Chicken is perfectly seasoned, tender, and chips still retained a bit of a crunch which will add some nice texture! This dish can be doubled or tripled easily!

When we shop at Kroger’s it’s usually to buy 10 boxes of some instance meal for $10. We’re not used to eating those boxed meals on a regular basis but in a pinch they are nice to keep on hand and tonight I decided to use one in a casserole. I based the following recipe off one I found that had everything but the kitchen sink, and since I wasn’t willing to be in the kitchen for hours on end here was my saving grace tonight!

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Beef and Rice Casserole

1 box of Zatarain’s rice mix, your choice

1/4 c white rice

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained

1 can of whole kernel corn

1 can tomato sauce

2 Tblsp dried minced onion

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups shredded cheese

Cook your favorite Zatarain’s rice mix according to directions, adding in an extra 1/4 cup of white rice, bell pepper and minced onion. Cook until rice is completely done.

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In casserole pan mix together ground beef, corn and tomato sauce. Set aside.

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Once the rice was thoroughly cooked, mix it with the meat mixture and spread out evenly. You can choose to top with a mexican blend of cheese or regular cheddar cheese. Once cooled, cover tightly with foil and freeze overnight. Wrap in freezer paper and properly label, freezing for up to 3 months or until ready to thaw and bake.

Reheating Instructions:: Thaw casserole completely, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve with favorite tortilla chips, sour cream, and salad.

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Beef, Bean and Cheese Burritos

1 1/2 pounds ground hamburger, cooked

1 can refried beans

1/8–1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups shredded cheese

13 tortillas

In large pan cook ground beef, you can drain off the fat if you like I left a little in the pan so the meat wouldn’t be so dry.

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Season meat with your favorite taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and add in refried beans and shredded cheese. The mixture will be thick.

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Using a 1/4 measuring cup scoop out some of the mixture and with a spoon center the burrito mixture.

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Fold in the ends, lightly pressing them into the meat. I like to fold them away from me, it’s easier. If you want these rounder you can use less mix and roll them if you wish. Same technique.

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Place the folded burrito in the center of a piece of plastic wrap. Again, fold up the edge closest to you and roll the burrito away to the opposite side. Tuck in the ends and you have a wrapped burrito ready to store in the freezer.

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I wasn’t expecting to get thirteen burritos, I thought I had just enough mix to get a dozen. The more the merrier 🙂 In order to get most of the air out of the ziploc bag I used a drinking straw in the corner after I mostly zipped it shut. Suck out most of the air, but not all of so as not to crush the burritos.

There you have it! Everything is getting happy happy in the freezer, in the weeks to come these meals are going to be enjoyed and a god-send to our family.  I encourage you to play with the flavors, use ingredients that your family enjoys, and customize these recipes according to your taste.

Have a blessed evening!!

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