Big batch cooking saves time when it comes to packing healthy kids’ lunches. I got into the habit of cooking ground meat before freezing it a long time ago and now it’s just park of my unpacking groceries routine. It’s a great head start on pasta sauce, chili, soups, or casseroles, and on busy weeknights saving 15 minutes matters!
Dietitian's tip: Iron is critical for brain development and without enough iron kids may feel tired, irritable and have trouble concentrating. Sure, plants like spinach have iron but it does not absorb as as well as iron from animal foods. Red meat is one of the richest sources of iron and it's in a form (heme iron) that's best absorbed by the body too. Take some time to brush up on your iron knowledge to ensure sure your child is getting enough.
- 4 lb (2 kg) ground beef
- 4 onions, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Cook ground beef in stockpot or Dutch oven, using medium-high heat for 9 to 10 minutes, breaking into small chunks with back of spoon until browned and completely cooked. Drain in colander. Return to pot and add onion and garlic; simmer uncovered for 12 or 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Spread mixture in a single layer on several foil-lined baking trays; cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze just until meat is firm (about 1 hour).
- Loosen frozen beef into small chunks; scoop meal-sized portions into freezer bags or sealable containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Use a food processor to mince onion and garlic in a snap!
Lunch from leftovers
Use Big Batch Beef to make So Simple Spaghetti Sauce, So Simple Beef Provolone Pizza and Super Simple Quesadillas
*All “Kid’s Cook!” ideas herein are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they know and understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely and always supervise kids in the kitchen.