When planning meals keep some things in mind, don't buy items for a meal, make your meal plan around items you already have. Isn't that why we stock our pantry up?
Pick meals you can use leftovers with, or double the recipe and freeze the other half, or make two meals out of whatever main ingredient you have say beef. It's easier than you think, and the recipe I have today was picked just for this purpose.
Meatball Cabbage Rolls (slowcooker)
** I didn't do this in the slow cooker, put in it at about 325F for 45 minutes, checked and up the oven to 350F for another 25 and it was done perfectly. It's only beef, so as long as you cooked the cabbage till it was tender, the oven is fine until the beef is done**
1 large head cabbage
2 cans (one 15 ounces and one 8 ounces) Tomato Sauce, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup cooked long grain rice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 pounds ground beef
Salt and garlic powder to taste
** I doubled everything but the cabbage. So 2 cans (8oz) sauce, 2 onions, 2/3 cups rice, 4Tablespoons chili powder , 2lbs of beef. You are going to set aside half of the meatballs your making, while the rest goes into the cabbage for the rolls. Cook meatballs in a hot skillet on the stove, turning halfway through until completely cooked. Set aside to cool completely and then place in airtight freezable container or plastic zip lock bag. Freeze for Spaghetti and meatballs later in the week, you should have about a pound of meatballs to use. **
In a Dutch oven, cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 14-16 large leaves for rolls. (Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use.) Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut.
In a large bowl, combine 8 oz. of tomato sauce, onion, rice, chili powder, salt and garlic powder. Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Shape into 2-in. balls. Place one meatball on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf.
I didn't do the balls, as they end up just getting misshaped anyways, Fold in the sides
Roll up, secure with toothpicks, or make sure you place them tightly against the other rolls so they keep their form.
They were wonderful, the kids even liked them as well!
Here are the meatballs that went to the freezer after cooking. All that's needed is cooked pasta, and sauce and another meal will be finished! 2 pounds of beef, one recipe, two meals. :)