Greek Freak Zaycon Foods Ground Beef Empanadas

Greek Freak Zaycon Ground Beef Empanadas

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of traveling over to Spokane, Washington to visit the Zaycon Foods offices and meet the Zaycon team! The weather was beautiful, and I was even sitting on the mountain side of the plane and had such a beautiful view. There’s really nothing like snow covered mountains.

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It was such an awesome trip, and I had such a great time. I knew I loved Zaycon Food’s product before this trip. After, I’m fully on board with the whole team and the business. Everyone was really warm, welcoming, and friendly! Thanks to the entire team for an awesome couple of days. I can’t wait to come back!

zaycon foods trip

While I was there we got together in the Zaycon kitchens to prepare a little meal for the crew, and share this awesome recipe for Easy Greek Freak Zaycon Ground Beef Empanadas.

Greek Freak Zaycon Empanadas-14

There was much debate over just what to call these little pockets of fusion. Zaycon Ground Beef is seasoned and combined with onion, garlic, some awesome Spiceologist Greek Freak seasoning, olives, and feta cheese.

Greek Freak Zaycon Empanadas-14

Then we stuffed it into puff pastry pockets, baked it, and served it up with some homemade tzatziki whipped up by the talented CSO (Chief Snack Officer) Matt!

zaycon foods trip

The hardest part about these was stuffing the pockets, and that was actually simple. Just stuff them, crimp the edges, bake on parchment paper, and you are DONE.

Greek Freak Zaycon Empanadas

If you are like me and like to pre-brown a bunch of your Zaycon Foods Ground Beef when you pick it up before you freeze it, these will be even faster. I LOVE freezing some pre-portioned pre-browned ground beef to pull out of the freezer and add to spaghetti sauce, mix up into sloppy joes, make a quick beefy noodles, or tacos on busy nights. It also works really well to toss into crock pot soups and stews. You can even add in some onions and garlic while you are browning it so you don’t need to saute those while you are whipping up your quick and easy dinners.

These greek freak zaycon ground beef empanadas would also be fantastic stuffed, and then frozen so you can toss them right into the oven.

Greek Freak Zaycon Empanadas

Greek Freak Zaycon Ground Beef Empanadas
Author: Nicole Johnson
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Zaycon ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Spiceologist Greek Freak Seasoning Rub
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup of chopped olives – we used a mix of black olives and kalamata
  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry – thawed according to package directions
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place ground beef, onion, garlic, and seasonings in a large frying pan and brown well. After the meat is browned, remove from pan and mix in the olives and feta.
  3. Unfold your puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, and roll out slightly to enlarge. Cut 3-4″ circles out of the sheet, and place a few heaping tablespoons on one side. Brush one half lightly with the egg wash, and fold over and pinch shut. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry circles. Crimp edges completely shut with a fork. Brush lightly with egg wash.
  4. Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.

Need more ideas of things to make with your Zaycon Ground Beef order? Check out this awesome ground beef round-up!

What should I make with ground beef?

Nicole Johnson is a Zaycon Foods Ambassador and blogs at Or Whatever You Do. You can also find her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Instagram.

#ZayconLive Recipe: Italian Meatballs

Thank you for stopping by! Just a reminder, you can win $1,500 of Zaycon Foods products, a new freezer and a Chicken Soup for the Soul gift pack: http://bit.ly/1u8ECsf

See a recorded version of #ZayconLive here: http://zayconfoods.yourbrandlive.com/c/groundbeef/ Below you’ll find the recipe and photos from our very own CSO, Matt Hinckley. Every time I think of meatballs, I am reminded of the scene in Lady and the Tramp where they are sharing a meatball and spaghetti dinner. It makes the meal so romantic and the meatball wasn’t just meatball, it became a sign of affection. Anyway, I didn’t grow up eating meatballs. My mom didn’t have time for that, she had an army of 6 kids to feed! It was ground beef in red sauce. I grew up thinking meatballs were hard to make. I know now that they are easy, makes a ton and are great for freezing. Zaycon Foods- meatlballs And so, without further ado, I give the easiest meatball recipe from our awesome in-house food man, Matt H: Meatballs are a great thing to keep in the fridge. Super versatile, fast, easy and well, dern it, people like them. What I don’t like is the list of ingredients on store bought meatballs. When I was at the market, the package listed no fewer than 21 ingredients. 21! These have 8 including Salt & Pepper AND they are 93/7 Zaycon Ground Beef, but the best part is that YOU decide what goes into them for your family. Zaycon Foods-meatballsIngredients: – 2 lbs of 93/7 Zaycon Ground Beef – 2 Eggs – 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs – 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning – 1 teaspoon Garlic powder -1 teaspoon Onion powder – 1 teaspoon Salt – 1/2 teaspoon Pepper Zaycon Foods- meatballsZaycon Foods- meatballs Zaycon Foods- meatballsYour hands are your best tool, so scrub them up and get all up in it. Mix all the ingredients until smooth consistency.Zaycon Foods- meatballs Zaycon Foods- meatballsI used a medium sized portion scoop then smoothed them into balls, then onto a baking sheet lined with parchment for easy cleanup with a cooling rack on top. Zaycon foods-meatballsZaycon foods-meatballsZaycon foods-meatballsBake in a 375 oven until done about 20 minutes. If you’re going to make a large quantity, allow them to cool, then freeze in a single layer on a sheet, then after they are frozen, put into large freezer bags. Zaycon Foods-meatballsTIP! If you’re wanting to stretch your ground beef and nobody in the family is sensitive to soy products, you can extend the beef by adding textured soy product, available in either the bulk section or health food section of your market. I think next time I get a case, I’ll turn one full 10 pound chub into meatballs. They freeze great and are ready in seconds. Zaycon Foods-meatballs Matt H. You can head over to the Zaycon Foods website for information on our ground beef and many of our other beef products!

Guest post from a driver.

Matt has a great way of sharing things. There is always a story. A detailed one. He has a better memory than me, thats for sure. So here you go! Take it away, Matt!

Growing up, ground beef was a staple in our house. Is that over stating it? Or was it THE staple holding it all together? I don’t recall my mom using chicken all that often. When she would try her hand at cooking, it was usually ground beef based.

Zaycon Foods- ground beefShe was a very thrifty lady who would buy it when it went on sale, bring it home divvy it up into patties, wrap it in plastic wrap, wrap that in plastic wrap, then wrap that in tin foil. Freezer. Then, when it was time for dinner (aw, crap – again, already? Didn’t we just go through this last night?) she would glumly announce, “Matt, get me some hamburger out of the freezer.” My job would be to pry off a couple of patties from the stack. Her job was to wreck ‘em.

When I would go grocery shopping with her, we went to this store called “Prairie Market” in West Seattle. This was a discount grocery store to say the least. They didn’t have price tags on the products, rather they would simply open the cases, put the open cases on the shelves and the price per unit was posted under the open case. Upon entering the store, you would select a black grease pencil and it was your task to write down the price on the can or box. Can you imagine? DISCOUNTS FOR ALL! “Everyday’s a sale at Prarie Market” should have been their jingle. But they were too cheap to have a jingle. They were lucky to have a sign.

This was in the day before the scanners and you’d just have a receipt with codes and numbers on it and when we got home, she would go through the foot long receipt item by item and sound like a broken record. “What was grocery at 59 cents?” “What was produce at 38 cents?” “What was grocery at 17 cents?” Now, I would be barking back “What can you buy for 17 cents?!?!?!?”

Whoops. I digressed.

Anyway, often she would buy our ground beef, bring it home and then proceed to get angry because the outside was all bright and pink and the inside was darker. She thought that the store was taking old meat, and covering it with new meat. Bless her heart.

“Mom, look, this one tiny piece is dark at one point and brighter at the outside.” I’m pretty sure it was an oxygen thing. But secretly I think she liked to complain about it.

The ground beef was packaged on these little square Styrofoam trays. It looked like a mini bundt meat cake with the Saran Wrap on it. One day, we’re shopping and I was bored out of my little boy brain and the butcher had just put out a whole tray of ground beef. Every one of them was this little bundt looking meat under wrap. With a hole in the center. A hole that just begged for my finger. And look! I have a finger available! While mom was elsewhere scribbling “25 (there is no ‘cent’ sign on this keyboard)” on a dented can of god-knows-what, I was busy poking my finger in each and every package of ground beef the butcher had just put out. POP! went the plastic wrap. POP! The POP was very satisfying.

I don’t know how my mom found out, and I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of hours, but my mom had anger issues and a pair of size 9 rubber soled peep toe house slippers. Burgundy. Velour. Glam. POP!

Long story short, she purchased each and every package of ground beef and I spent the rest of the night alternating between making patties and wrapping them up and rubbing the side of my head trying to get the slipper print welt to go down.

We had ground beef to last us the duration. (one of my mom’s favorite ‘isms’) Come to think of it, maybe that’s why ground beef was a staple?

I don’t remember her making hamburgers very often. But my most favorite thing she used to make was “Beef Stroganoff”. And if you think it really was Beef Stroganoff, you’ve got another think coming. (another one of her ‘isms’) She would brown a couple of patties, bust them up, sprinkle on the contents of an onion soup mix packet and put in a can of cream of mushroom soup (27 cents per the grease pencil). This would then be poured over minute rice. DINNER IS SERVED! And may God have mercy on your soul.

When I was a kid, it was the best thing she cooked. There is no way you could imagine what the worst thing was, that’s another post for another day – you could take a thousand guesses, but you’d NEVER get it.

One day, I was over at my friend Joe’s house. That night his mom had made beef stroganoff for dinner. It was cold and hours old on the stove. I asked what smelled so good and he told me. He said have some if you want. OMG! Beef Stroganoff was delicious! It had real meat in it! Real sour cream! And shock of all shocks – IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERVED ON EGG NOODLES! I returned and reported back to my mother that she had been doing it all wrong. That went over great. I’m glad I had hidden those slippers!

Well, I’m not going to make stroganoff out of Zaycon ground beef. That’s not its calling. I’m going to make a hamburger. A flawless hamburger. That’s the beauty of Zaycon Ground Beef. It’s 93/7 and ordinarily I’d never make a hamburger patty out of 93/7. It would be too dry, but ours is perfectly delicious. Order your ground beef before it sells out! Also, when you order a case of beef, the purchase will allow you to get our boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.49 a pound in October/November!!!!

Zaycon Foods -ground beefZaycon Foods- ground beefIf you want to split a case with somebody, it’s really easy to do, since the case contains 4 chubs. Much easier to split than the chicken breast.

So here’s my hamburger, yes – it’s a “Matt Burger”. Growing up with the food I did, I have to make up for lost time, so my food tends to be a little on the “fussy” side.

Zaycon Foods- ground beefIn future posts, I’ll post my fantastic recipes for s’getti, chili, gyros, beef teki, mama’s meatloaf (not Elizabeth’s – another mama, so don’t worry), and others using Zaycon Ground Beef, but for today, it’s just going to be some classic Burgers and Fries. And yes, these pics are actually of my hamburger patties, hamburger & fries. All made from scratch. I suffer from OCD and have delusions of grandeur.

Zaycon Foods -ground beef

Zaycon Ground Beef.

Salt.

Pepper.

Heat.

Buns & accoutrements to your liking.

That’s it!

You don’t get much easier than that.

I’ll be slinging ground beef in July in Georgia, Florida (or as I like to call it “Baja Alabama”), and in North & South Carolina.

I hope to see you in the parking lot!

Matt H.

brrr. It’s cold outside.

January is here and while we all make New Year resolutions to eat better, once in a while, the winter weather makes me want to make hot soups and comfort foods. Some of my favorite dishes are made with chicken and I keep plenty of Zaycon chicken in my freezer for recipes just like these:

Southwestern 2 bean chicken from Thegraciouspantry.com southwestern-2-bean-chicken-v-a healthy alternative to enchiladas, this recipe is good over rice or wrapped in a tortilla. You can even eat it alone as a soup by adding  chicken broth and with a little sour cream or cheese on top.

Um pasta? yes please. Menu Musings of a Modern America Mom gives step by step instruction for her Tomato Basil Chicken 17 labeled

This is one of my favorite types of dinners and my kids will eat it without complaint.

Ultimate comfort food in a crock pot. Super easy to make and full of everything that tastes good:

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Crock Pot Casserole from Familyloveandotherstuff.com

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Definitely not for those watching calories and fat intake.

Maybe you have 40lbs of Zaycon ground beef in your freezer. Here are some recipes for you:

Mommy I’m Hungry has an amazing Parmesan Meatloaf recipe that is really good and gluten free!

IMG_3688mmmm. This is a winner.

I don’t live near an Ikea, but we like their swedish meatballs. How about making them ourself?

Whitelightsonwednesday.com posted her version of Swedish Meatballs

Swedish-MeatballsServed over noodles or mashed potatoes….yum!!

What recipes have you come up with using your Zaycon products? We would love to try them and share them on our Pinterest board.

Phoenix, you rock!

We love when we get visits at our events. This morning, Nick was visited by FOX Phoenix.

FOX Phoenix

Great job Nick and thank you to all of our customers in Arizona!