When you look at typical food storage calculators you’ll notice that the main source of protein is in the legumes. For a long time Julie was a little “scared” of beans and just decided that she could store tuna and peanut butter and call it good for protein. (not really, but kind of).
Since then, we have both learned to love beans and the MANY MANY uses they have and how healthy they are to use in your everyday cooking. We also have discovered that it is not too difficult to add REAL meats into your food storage. We actually did a post a while back all about incorporating meats into your food storage that can give you some ideas on how to do it that best suits you. Some ways are more time consuming (canning) … others are more expensive (freeze-dried) and each person should figure out the best way for THEM to store meats for their own family.
That being said, I have done a combination of home-canned meats (tutorials found here and here), meats in the freezer, and freeze-dried meats. I like to have lots of options open to me. I love to practice cooking with my home canned and freeze-dried meats so that I can make sure they are good in my recipes should I ever have to depend on them in an emergency. One thing I’ve really been curious about is if I could make some of my favorite meatball recipes using food storage. Well I finally tried it and was THRILLED with the results!
This is a recipe that comes from my husband’s mom and it has quickly turned into a family favorite around here. You can use any basic meatball recipe, but I’ll share my favorite one with you. For this experiment I used half rehydrated freeze dried ground beef and half regular ground beef and it held together great! I’m going to try it with all freeze-dried next time and see if the meatballs are able to keep their shape ok still.
Basic Meatball Recipe:
1 lb ground beef (I used half freeze-dried ground beef)
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 c. dehydrated onion flakes
1 tsp. Salt
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Shape into meatballs (it’s easiest with a melon or ice cream scoop) and put on a rack with a pan underneath. I cover the pan with tinfoil to save on clean-up time. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Note: I always double this recipe and save half in the fridge or freezer for another meatball recipe later in the week.
Meatballs Tetrazzini Recipe:
1 batch of basic meatballs
8 oz package spaghetti
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/4 c. freeze dried onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Directions: Prepare basic meatball recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti and drain. Combine soup, milk, onion, salt, pepper, and cheese. Head until cheese is melted. Arrange meatballs and spaghetti in a 9×13 pan. Pour liquid mixture over meatballs and toss to mix well. Back for 30 minutes until hot and serve immediately.