So do you ever have those days when you just didn’t get to the grocery store before dinner, there’s nothing fresh jumping out at you from the fridge, but you’re on a schedule to get through the evening? If it does then read further my friend, because this series of Suppertime Save posts is for me and for you.
I really believe in family dinners. With busy days and schedules to keep, it’s one way for us to be in the same place at the same time doing the same thing. I consider the food secondary, but obviously kind of a necessary component! So when the going gets tough I need a few tricks up my sleeve to get a square meal on the table. Ordering pizza only works so many times… So I have a stash of recipes that use staple freezer and pantry ingredients which I keep stock of all the time. I’ve already posted one here, and this is the second: Easiest Sweet & Sour Meatballs.
The basis of this one is this EASY sweet and sour sauce. The recipe comes from my cousin. With six busy and amazing kids plus working part time and volunteering in the community, she keeps her household running like clockwork while still looking amazing. I have everything to learn from her. She shared this recipe when we were moving house many years ago and I’m still using it. Time for me to pay it forward.
Here’s what you need for the sauce: beef stock, vinegar, sugar, soya sauce, cornstarch. Chances are you have all of these in your kitchen right now. Add it to meatballs from your freezer that you’ve heated through over some rice, pasta or egg noodles, then a simple vegetable on the side. Around here that’s called a square meal. It might even become a family favourite, like it is at our table.
So here’s how you can pull it off within 30 minutes. Preheat your oven per the instructions for the frozen meatballs. Start your rice cooking in the rice cooker, then spread your meatballs onto a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. My brand takes 25 minutes to heat through. Meanwhile put your frozen vegetable into a microwaveable dish. I sprinkle on some Mrs. Dash seasoning for some low-sodium flavour (a trick I learned from Sandi Richard of Cooking for the Rushed fame). Then set the microwave to cook your vegetables. Now combine all the ingredients for the sweet & sour sauce in a pot that will be large enough to hold all the meatballs as well. 1 cup stock, 1/3 cup vinegar, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp soya sauce, 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch. (Add salt to taste depending on what you use for stock.) Whisk together over medium heat till just boiling and thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
When the meatballs are heated through add them to the sauce and combine. Ladle over the rice with the vegetable on the side. Dinner is served!