Meals in Minutes with Make Ahead Meat and Veggie Mix

Last week I posted about 'make-ahead' items I have on hand to accommodate my last minute meal planning. I shared the recipe for the ground meat and vegetable mixture I always have in my freezer (see blog post Nov 7). I like the mixture because you can flavour it any way you like -- Asian, Italian, Mexican, etc. Two recipes I use the mixture for are tacos and baked egg rolls. With the meat mixture on hand, both recipes are a snap to make. The egg rolls are kind of fun to make so it's a good recipe for involving kids.  And, bonus, kids like them too! Try to save a few for school lunches the next day. 


I made this recipe up myself using the ground meat and vegetable mixture as the base. It's really simple.


2 cups ground meat and veg mixture
Your favourite taco seasonings.
I use 2 cloves garlic, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika.


Mince the garlic. Saute in a bit of oil over medium heat.

Add the ground meat and veg mixture and the seasonings. Mix it up and heat through. This won't take long because the mixture is already cooked.  Taste it to tell if you need to adjust the seasonings.
Put a lid on the pan and keep the mixture warm while preparing the toppings and any side dishes.

We usually have salsa, grated cheese, and sour cream for toppings.

Last night I made a tossed salad and steamed carrots to eat with the tacos.
I got home at 5:15 and we were eating by 6:00.

Easy Baked Egg Rolls
The original recipe for these baked egg rolls is from Canadian Living. I adapted it to use the ground meat and vegetable mixture.


1 tsp (5 ml) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 ml) ground meat and vegetable mixture
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch
1 tbsp (15 ml) water
1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
12 large (5 1/2 inch/13 cm) egg roll wrappers (found in the produce section of the grocery store). You can also use spring roll wrappers but they're thinner and a bit harder to work with.
Vegetable oil spray

What to do

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the garlic. Add the ground meat and vegetable mixture and heat through.
In small measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, water, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Add this to the meat and vegetable mixture and stir thoroughly. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Place 4 - 6 egg roll wrappers on a work surface. Brush lightly with water.

Put about 3 tbsp of the meat mixture down the centre of each wrap, leaving a border at the top and sides.

Fold the sides over the meat mixture.

Fold the ends down and pinch them lightly to seal. There are other ways to fold egg rolls but I find this way the easiest to explain. For other ideas on folding, simply google 'images for baked egg rolls'.

Place seam side down on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375°F until golden and crisp, about 20 min.

Baked Egg RollsHere's a picture of the finished product from the Canadian Living website and below is the link to their original recipe. Enjoy! Michele, RD.