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Versatile Ground Meat Mix

The technique of making up a basic recipe which can be used to whip together a myriad of meals is a life saver when a busy week hits you. Just thaw, mix, and bake. Or experience the ultimate in frozen dinners, by mixing it all up ahead of time, freezing in a baking dish, thawing and tossing in the oven.

While I've made some significant adjustments to make this technique and recipes UnDiet compatible, such as reducing the amount of meat and upping the amount of vegetables in the basic meat mix, as well as using my own recipes, I have to give credit to Deborah Taylor-Hough for the ideas and recipes in her book Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month. If you decide to purchase her book, you'll see her recipe for the ground meat mix; compare that to my recipe below to get an idea how you can make adjustments to the other recipes in her book.

When you have this versatile ground meat mix in your freezer, you'll be ready to fix any number of tasty dishes without needing to brown the meat, onions and spices each time you cook. Not only will this technique save you money by removing the temptation to pick up fast food, it saves time, which I think is much more precious than money.

Basic Ground Meat Mix

You can use ground beef, chicken, or turkey, but ground chicken is the least fatty of these.


3 pounds ground meat

Stir in, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender

2 cups celery or zucchini, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups onion, chopped
2 cups green bell pepper or Anaheim chili, diced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional but recommended)

You can use the meat mixture immediately or freeze in 1 - 2 cup portions to use within 30 days. After 30 days, it won't be spoiled, but the taste starts to go downhill.

Taco Meat

Simmer in saucepan until mixture is almost dry but still moist.

1 package taco seasoning (refined sugar free, cornstarch free), or use 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon soy flour, and 1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups Versatile Ground Meat Mix
1/4 cup water

Cabbage Tacos

Place a head of green cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. After a few minutes remove outer leaves which are soft and begin rolling tacos while newly exposed cabbage leaves soften in boiling water. While cabbage is steaming coat bottom of rectangular baking dish with canned enchilada sauce (preferably one that doesn't contain tomato).

To make it easier to roll, cut a slit in the spine of the cabbage leaf, or cut the spine out. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on size of leaf) taco meat mixture in center of leaf. Roll leaf into packet around meat and place seam side down in baking pan. When pan is filled with cabbage rolls spoon more enchilada sauce over rolls. Top with

cheddar cheese, shredded

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Place 2 to 3 rolls on each plate and top with

(creme fraiche, sour cream, or guacamole)
chopped tomatoes
finely shredded lettuce
thinly sliced green onion

Taco Rollups - use Soy Crepes oR thin Omelettes instead of cabbage leaves.

Taco Salad- top a bowl of dressed shredded lettuce with any or all of the following

taco meat
shredded or cubed cheddar and/or jack cheese
diced green chilies
chopped olives
chopped cucumber
chopped avocado or guacamole
chopped tomatoes or salsa

Taco Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease square baking dish. Mix together

1 ~ 16 ounce can stewed diced tomatoes, well drained
2 cups taco meat

Spoon 1/2 of the taco meat mixture into baking dish. Layer with

2 cups shredded zucchini, cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup Olive Cream, farmers cheese, or ricotta cheese
1/2 to 1 cup Jack cheese, shredded

Repeat layering, starting with taco meat mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese on top is lightly browned.

Sloppy Joes

In a large skillet, stir together, cover and simmer for 10 minutes

2 cups ground meat mix
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 ~ 16 ounce can diced stewed tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon soy flour
2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Serve ladled over your choice of toasted Protein Bread, or over steamed, roasted, or grilled veggies.

More recipes using Basic Ground Meat Mix:

  • Stuffed Peppers
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves
  • Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheese Caps
  • Creamy Beef Casserole
  • Squaw Corn
  • Beef & Spinach Torte

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last revised October 25, 2001
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