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Old 09-24-2005, 07:13 PM   #1
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52 servings in 3 hours

This isn't low-carb, but I've tweaked it to make it LC a couple of times. Not hard to do. I'm including the original recipe because people might have their own substitutes. Some of my tweaks are at the end.

52 MAIN-DISH SERVINGS IN ABOUT THREE HOURS Ė (from my mother-in-law, Linda)

SHOPPING

Produce:
8 large, flat-bottomed bell peppers
2 lbs med/lg carrots
2 lbs large onions
1 lb large fresh mushrooms
1 large bulb fresh garlic or 1 four-ounce jar crushed garlic

Canned Goods
4 cans (28 ounces each) crused tomatoes in puree
1 can (46-50 ounces) beef broth (about 6 cups) or bullion equiv.
1 can (10 oz) concensed beef broth
1 can (8-10 oz) encihilada sauce
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles

Herbs and Seasonings:
Ground cumin, dried basil, salt, 1 packet meatloaf seasoning mix

Grocery Items
Olive or vegetable oil
Quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (not instant)
Quick-cooking barley
Packaged seasoned bread crumbs
2 pacages (4.5 oz each) Cajun-style 10-minute rice mix

Dairy:
1 dozen eggs

Meat:
9.5 pounds 85 percent lean (no fattier)

FREEZING:
For best results, donít overcook foods. Cool quickly and freeze immediately. Label packages (on sides for upright freezers, on top for chest-type) with name of dish, date, and amount. Freeze in individual or two- or four-serving batches, then pull out as many as you need. Plan to use foods up within four months.

To freeze sauce and soup: Cool quickly by putting the pot in a sinkful of cold water, then for best flavor retention, pack and freeze at once. To protect quality, package carefully to keep air out of food. Expel as much as you can from plastic bags before tying or sealing; use freezer tape to double seal even made-for-the Ėfreezer lids. In rigid plastic containers leave ľ inch headspace for expansion. Square containers make the most efficient use of freezer space. So you donít use up all of yours, try this packaging tip: Slip a plastic freezer bag into any square receptacle, even a cardboard box. Fill; freeze solid, then remove the bag, label (if not done already) and store. Some convenient plastic bags for freezing: heat-sealed, microwave-safe, boilable bags; and 1-quart microwave-safe, boilable bags with twist ties.

To freeze meat loaf: Cool completely, then wrap in heavy-duty foil, freezer paper or plastic wrap. Seal securely so package is moisture-proof and vapor-proof.

To freeze stuffed peppers: Place each pepper in a plastic bag along with some o the pan juices. Close bag and freeze upright. Or line a disposable baking pan with enough heavy-duty foil to bring up and cover contents. Stand peppers upright; pour in pan juices. Cover and wrap securely; freeze.

For refrigerator storage, pack airtight and use meat sauce with in one week, soup within four days, meat loaf and stuffed peppers within three days.

READY?

CHOPPING
In a food processor: for evenly-chopped vegetables, process 1 cup of 1-inch chunks at a time. Use pulse until vegetables are desired size.

By hand: Use a sharp chef knife with a 6-inch or 8-inch blade and a sturdy wood or plastic cutting board.

Carrots: Peel or scrub; cut in half crosswise, then lengthwise into thin horizontal slices. Stack a few slices and cut lengthwise again in ľ-inch thick sticks. Gather several sticks. Hold firmly and cut crosswise.

Mushrooms: Rinse very quickly in colander under cold water. Drain. Cut in quarters and chop on board in three or four batches. Hold knife handle in one hand and press board down with the other. Keeping point down over board, quickly bring blade up and down, moving it over the pile of mushrooms. Gather mushrooms together with the knife, then resume chopping until coarse.

Onions: Peel and halve lengthwise. Put one half, cut-side down, on board. Make evenly-spaced horizontal slices up to but not through root end. Now make vertical, evenlyóspaced slices. For finely-chopped pieces, cut slices thin. Hold onion firmly and cut straight down crosswise. Done!

COOK: 2 pounds onions + 1 pound mushrooms + 2 pounds carrots in a 6-quart pot in ľ cup hot oil over medium-high heat until almost tender (about 15 min). Stir three or four times.
DIVIDE: meat into 4 batches: two 2-pound, one 4-pound and 1-1/2 pound. Now, letís get started!

MEAT SAUCE:
PUT: ľ the cooked vegetables in another 6-quart pot.
ADD: 2 pounds ground beef, crumbling it with fingers, 2 TBLS oil, 2 TBLS dried basil or Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
COOK: over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes until meat is no longer pink, stirring several times.
STIR IN: four 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes in puree and one can of water. When boiling, reduce heat to medium-low.
SIMMER: uncovered, about 2 hours until sauce is thick, stirring a few times. Great over pasta!
MAKES: 16 cups, 16 servings. Per serving: 215 cal, 12 g protein, 9 g carb, 15 gr fat, 39 mg chol, 201 mg sod

While sauce cooks, make

MEAT LOAVES

HAVE READY: A 17.5-x-12-ľ -x2.5-inch roasting pan.
PU: ľ the cooked vegetables into a large bowl.
ADD: 4 large eggs and beat with a fork.
STIR IN: can of enchilada sauce, 2 tsp cumin, then add 1 ľ old-fashioned or quick oats; soak 5 minutes.
ADD: 4 pounds ground beef and a 4-ounce can chopped green chiles.
MIX until blended.
SHAPE: into two 10-x-5 inch loaves and put them in the roasting pan. (for cooking instructions, see STUFFED PEPPERS).
MAKES: 2 meat loaves, 8 servings each. Per serving: 379 cal, 24 g pro, 10 g carb, 27 g fat, 140 mg chol, 532 mg sod.

Now prepare:
STUFFED PEPPERS:
PUT: ľ the cooked vegetables in a large bowl.
ADD: an 8-ounce can tomato sauce, Ĺ cup water and 2 packets Cajun style 10 minute rice mix. Stir to mix and let stand.
PLACE: 1 oven rack in bottom third and another in the top third of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
PREPARE: 8 large bell peppers: cut off and keep tops. Clean out seeds and membranes.
ADD: 1 Ĺ pounds ground beef to bowl. Mix well.
STUFF: peppers, Cover with tops and stand in the pan.
POUR: a 10 Ĺ ounce can condensed beef broth into pan. Cover pan tightly with foil.
PUT: pan with peppers on lower rack; meat loaves on upper rack.
BAKE: 1 hour or until peppers are tender and meat loaves golden brown and no longer pink in middle.
MAKES: 8 servings. Per serving: 462 cal, 25 g pro, 45 g carb, 22 g fat, 97 mg chol, 1,103 mg sod

Finish up wth:

BEEF BARLEY SOUP

KEEP: remaining vegetables in pot.
ADD: 10 cups water, 6 cups beef broth and 2 cups quick-cooking barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cover pot.
SIMMER: 10 minutes or until barley is almost tender. Meanwhile in a medium-sized bowl
MIX: 2 pounds ground beef, 2 eggs, Ĺ cup packaged seasoned bread crumbs and a1.5 ounce package meatloaf seasoning mix until well blended.
DROP: teaspoonsful of the meat mixture into the simmering soup.
Simmer: covered, 5-7 minutes until meat loses its pink color. Skim any foam from the top of soup.
MAKES: 24 cups, 12 servings. Per serving: 405 cal, 23 g pro, 37 g car, 19 g fat, 106 mg chol, 880 mg sod


HOW I MODIFIED IT:

Use two cans of broth with the stuffed peppers. The pan juices are wonderful and if you only use one can you will regret it.
Iíve made it as written and itís good. But Iíve modified it as well:
I often use more vegetables than called for. I use whatever I have, adding julliened zucchini, chopped green peppers, shredded fresh Brussels sprouts, or whatever. This changes the mixes somewhat and leaves you with extra veg. Freeze it and use it later. It makes a tasty addition to stir-fries, or even (quick meal idea) thawed, put on top of a chicken breast and baked with cheese and sauce.
The meatloaf always comes out too moist for me. Iím still working on this.
I freeze the meatloaf uncooked so I can cook it the day I want it. But Iíve cooked it ahead and sliced it up as well, so I can have a really easy slice of meatloaf for a meal.
Iíve frozen the stuffed peppers uncooked, including the LC version. Itís better for me to cook them ahead of time at least part-way and reheat or finish off in the microwave (faster and cleaner).
I canít stand Mexican flavors (which my husband loves). So I have used different rice mixes and deleted cumin, chiles and enchilada sauce, substituting different herbs and seasonings. Tried Chinese-style rice mix and 5-spice seasoning. Too sweet for me, but not bad. Used ketchup, canned soup or evap milk in place of enchilada sauce.
Tried LOW-CARB version: left out bread crumbs and and subbed grated cauliflower for rice and bran for bread crumbs. Froze and reheated stuffed peppers. Worked okay and tasted really good. But the bran makes the meat mix fall apart, so this needs a little work. You also need to add more seasonings without the seasoned bread crumbs.

I donít like or make the soup. This leaves me with extra meat. I usually make extra stuffed peppers, or make meatball mix or sometimes make meat turnovers/hot pockets:
Fry up the leftover meat with some veg and seasonings. Roll out the dough (pie, hot roll or crescent roll dough) into squares a little more than twice the size you want. Put meat mix on one half, fold over and seal. Bake and freeze.
__________________
Diane
When the chips are down,
the buffalo is empty
157/178/130
62" tall, 47 years old
Start Atkins 17.06.02 and failed badly
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:12 AM   #2
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This sounds great!! Thanks for posting it.

I noticed the other day that wonton skins and eggroll wrappers are pretty low carb. I am thinking I could make some homemade egg rolls or take the wonton skins, add in some of the hamburger meat/veggie mix, a bit of cheese, seal and then deep fry.
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:21 AM   #3
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This kind of fits the idea of cooking on Sunday and reheating during the week. Only it would work for many weeks!

Maybe the following week one could cook up multiple chicken dinners, then fish. . .you get the idea. . .and then you could coast for a month or two! Need a big freezer or freezer space though.
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:49 PM   #4
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I'm with you on that, magnamater. I used to do most of my cooking on Sundays and I'd like to get back into that.

I've been trying to come up with some good low-carb tv dinner type meals, but I haven't had a lot of luck so far except for the meat part.

Even just cooking extra meat portions and then freezing for later helps. I generally cook steak, chicken, or pork chops halfway and then freeze them for an extra meal. I use my toaster oven and can usually cook about 4-6 pieces at a time in the pan.

I use the whole bag of chicken breasts from Sam's and divide it up and spice each pan differently. I couldn't find toaster oven pans at a decent price, so I lucked out at the Dollar Tree and they had aluminum square pans for $1 that just fit in my little oven (I was jumping for joy!), so I bought 10 of them.

I fix 'em up in their pans and cover with foil and then put in the fridge and start baking and use my timer. As soon as one pan is about halfway done, I take it out to cool, and pop in the next and continue until all of them are done, generally about 4 pans worth.

After they cool, then I label and put them in the freezer. It works pretty good as long as I only cook them halfway. I did try cooking them 100% and then freezing, but they just weren't as good. So when mealtime comes, I just finish cooking them and make a sauce or cook some vegetables. It does save a lot of time when I'm rushed/tired. I started using my toaster oven because it's been so hot this year, I couldn't stand it with the regular oven on.
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Old 09-26-2005, 07:08 AM   #5
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Great idea on the chicken breasts! Thanks, SugarBabi!
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Old 09-26-2005, 07:12 AM   #6
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Oh, SugarBabi, I have a question about the chicken proceedure in the toaster oven. Or rather the reheating part:

Do you put cheese on the chicken breasts when you finish cooking, reheating? I love to have cheese on my chicken. . .
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Old 09-30-2005, 01:22 AM   #7
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Sure do sometimes. It depends on what I'm having. But yes, I love cheese on my chicken too!

Also, they are very good with the alfredo sauce.
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