I swear that dinner this week has been the last thing on my mind. As convenient as digging into my growing Freezer Meal selection for December would be, I know I am going to appreciate that way more in December.
This casserole is easy and quick to put together and might very well be a new addition to your comfort food list this coming winter season!
I made a nice pork tenderloin the other night for dinner. I had some leftovers but not enough for another meal. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it… then I remembered seeing a Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese somewhere awhile back and decided this was what I was going to make.
With a nice creamy cheese sauce, BBQ sauce and the pulled pork itself, it was a delicious dinner that “the boys” loved! And it used up my leftovers!
I hadn’t made this in awhile because I just kept forgetting to actually do it. I have been suffering I think from a mild depression the past few weeks from cabin fever. Because of my car accident (3+ years ago) and my Traumatic Brain Injury, I am not allowed to drive yet and haven’t been back to work since. Thankfully Dillon set my laptop up so that I can use a Speech to Text function to write my blog posts.
The past few weeks I have had no initiative whatsoever. I had been hoarding posts so that I could take last week off to do the laundry room makeover but it didn’t happen. I would wake up with great intentions which faded quickly once I was actually up and moving. All I wanted to do was sleep or just chill. I’ve been through depression before, thankfully this is a mild bout and I will snap out of it with the nicer weather that should be making an appearance soon. I have things I need to get done and things I just want to get done if I could only find my initiative!
This is where the Instapot comes in handy. If I have especially bad days I can still make dinner in a snap when I am not taking advantage of my freezer meals. This recipe is one of my go to recipes if I am behind schedule and even faster if you cook some chicken breasts ahead of time and freeze them for such days!
While the picture isn’t so great, it doesn’t give justice to the smell and taste. Guess my picture taking skills bailed on me that day too lol!
The other night I took out some ground beef to thaw with the intention of making meatloaf for dinner. I obviously didn’t take it out in time because it was still partially frozen when it came time to make dinner.
Luckily I was able to cut off a chunk/pound of the ground beef to make this casserole and let the rest continue to thaw.
This recipe is a very flavourful casserole that was quick to make using my Instapot!
Any kind of Mexican food is loved in this house… whether it be tacos, burritos, Taco Pizza, anything really…. so the other night I made a few pans of Beef Enchiladas, one for dinner that night and one for the freezer. I need to restock my Freezer Meals after the rush of Christmas lol! They were very welcome during the holiday season but I need to replenish!
Enchiladas are fairly simple to make, and once you make them once you will want to make them every week!
Here are the ingredients I used, other than the sour cream and extra grated cheese I added when serving them.
To start, I made the filling. I browned the ground beef in the microwave with the onions, on high heat for about 6 – 8 minutes, until the juices ran clear and it was fully browned. I also added the chopped pepper during the last few minutes.
When it was fully cooked, I added the taco seasoning, 1 cup grated cheese and water, stirred and set aside while I made the sauce.
For the sauce, I started by melted the butter/ margarine in the microwave for about 30 seconds before adding the flour and mixing to combine.
I added the beef broth and spices and stirred until all of the flour mixture was mixed in with no lumps.
I continued to cook the sauce in the microwave until fully thickened, on high heat and stirring every 60 seconds. It took about 5 minutes.
I spread a little bit of the sauce into each of the aluminum pans I was using.
To roll the Enchiladas, I spread about 2 tbsp. of the filling in the centre of a tortilla (I used sundried tomato tortillas because they are our favourite).
I folded the tortilla in half….
Then rolled it tightly before starting to line them up in the pans, over the layer of sauce in the bottom.
I continued this until all the tortillas and filling were used up.
I divided the sauce between the two pans, covering the rolled enchiladas before sprinkling with the remaining cheese and some extra chopped peppers.
And cooked them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
I served them with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of extra grated cheese and some sliced fresh veggies.
Last time we were at the grocery store Dillon saw a magazine cover picture for a bacon ranch macaroni…. I’m not sure he saw much after the word “bacon,” but he asked me if I could make it lol. I made it on Wednesday for dinner. You can’t have enough comfort food recipes in my books, especially based on macaroni and cheese lol! So here is the recipe for the Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese I made that day!
Wednesday I got a start on my make ahead/freezer meals for the coming season/holiday season. I made 2 x lasagna, 2 x chili and when I was making my Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells, I was able to make 2 pans so I would have one to freeze.
This is the time of year I like to start getting a bunch of make ahead meals stocked up in my freezer. I don’t do it for any particular reason, mostly because it’s nice to know that if there is a day I don’t feel like cooking, dinner is only a matter of defrosting something from the freezer and popping it in the oven. Make ahead or Freezer meals are also great to have on hand for the coming holiday season. We all know how busy we get, especially come December and it’s nice knowing that dinner isn’t one of the things that can add stress to the holidays. Or even knowing that having unexpected company show up and wondering what to feed them. Freezer meals can be cooked straight from the freezer in cases such as these but it obviously will take longer to reheat.
No matter what happens in a day, I like knowing I have the option of not cooking on any given day because I have a freezer full of precooked meals on hand to save the day.
Here is a very easy, very flavourful recipe using the wonderful taste of taco meat and pasta. I love those jumbo pasta shells because the only thing stopping you from filling them with any variety of fillings is your imagination. Not much imagination on my part because well… it’s taco meat…. what doesn’t that taste good in lol? We love pretty much all types of “Mexican” food and this is just another one of those go to recipes!
I completely forgot about dinner the other night. It was about 2 hours before and I still had no clue what I was going to make. I had a look in the freezer and on the pantry shelf and came out with ground beef, macaroni noodles and French onion soup mix and decided to combine them with some green onion, minced garlic, broth and grated parmesan for a casserole that had both Chris and Dillon cleaning their plates!