Friday, September 7, 2012

Freezing Crockpot Dinners

Well folks... today you get a quintuple Food Friday. And if you don't know what that means, it means 5!! Yes, 5 recipes.

As I mentioned before, I need to make sure that handsome man I call my husband is well fed. And for this reason, I realized I may not be able to feed him as well as I'd like post childbirth. In fact, I can almost guarantee (from friend's helpful information) that I will be in no mood to cook right away.

So what did I do?

I cooked!

I looked up recipes for crockpot dinners that you bag in advance. When you want to use them, take 'em out the night before so they thaw a little, and toss them in the crockpot for an identified amount of time. Absolutely BRILLIANT!


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The best part? For $140.00, I prepared enough food to provide us with 30+ meals (AND LEFTOVERS!!!)! Do the math here, people... That's right around $5 per meal!!! And they all consist of primarily meat and fresh vegetables.

First I labeled all of my Freezer Bags with a pen. I wrote on the bag today's date, the meal name and the instructions for the day I will make it (keeping in mind that some require something added the day of). I also notated on my bags if the dish was supposed to be served over rice or egg noodles etc..

Next, I printed all of the recipes and made my grocery list.

*Please note that all "bags" are 2-4 servings* You can tweak the ingredients to increase or decrease serving sizes. Each of my freezer bags will be dinner plus lunch the next day.

Oh, and did I mention they take about 15 minutes to throw together?!

I will have to keep you posted on how they TASTE as I imagine I haven't made them yet. Remember, baby hasn't arrived so I can still cook!!

Here are the recipes:

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
(Recipe from Team T Adventures)

Ingredients:
• boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 8)
• 1/2 cup flour
• olive oil
• 1/2 Tbl. salt
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 6 Tbl. ketchup
• 12 oz. (1 can) frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
• 8 Tbl.  brown sugar

In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.  Pour the flour in a small bowl.  Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.

Let chicken cool and split it between two gallon-sized freezer bags. Be sure to push the air out before closing. Store in freezer until you're ready to use.

When you are ready to eat, take it out the night before and store in fridge to help thaw a little. Dump all ingredients into slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Serve over rice.

Teriyaki Chicken (2 Bags)
  • Split a large bag of Baby Carrots between the 2 bags
  • Cut Red Onion into Large Chunks and split between the 2 bags
  • (1) 20oz can pineapple in each bag (undrained)
  • (2) Garlic Cloves chopped per bag
  • (2) Chicken Breasts in each bag
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
*Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.



Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (2 Bags)
  • Chop (1) Onion and Chop (2) Cloves of Garlic- Brown in Pan with the Ground Beef- once cool divide mixture between bags
  • (2) whole carrots chopped per bag
  • (2) celery stalks chopped per bag
  • (3) Red Potatoes chopped per bag
  • (1) can v8 split between bags
  • (1) 28oz can diced tomatoes SPLIT between bags
  • (1) cup frozen green beans in each bag
  • (1/2)TBSP Worcestershire per bag
  • (1/2) cup Beef Broth per bag
  • (1) TBSP Parsley per bag
  • (1) tsp Basil per bag
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme per bag
  • (1/2) tsp salt per bag
  • (1/2) tsp pepper per bag
  • (1) TBSP Sugar per bag
*Place in Crockpot with 1.5 cups of water and 15 oz Beef Broth. Cook on LOW 8 Hours.

Healthy BBQ Chicken (2 Bags) * from mamaandbabylove.com *
  • (2) Green Peppers Cut into Slices split between 2 bags
  • (1) Red Pepper Cut into Slices-split between bags
  • (1) Zucchini Chopped and split between bags
  • (3) Onions Chopped and split between bags
  • (6) Red Potatoes Chopped and split between bags (you can also use Sweet Potatoes)
  • (4) Garlic Cloves Chopped & Split Between bags
  • (4) Chicken Breasts Split between bags (I cut each breast in half again)
  • (1/2) TBSP Quick Cooking Tapioca per bag
  • (1) 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce Split Between bags
  • (1) TBSP of Brown Sugar per bag
  • (1) TBSP Worcestershire per bag
  • (1) TBSP Mustard per Bag
  • (1/4) tsp Salt per bag
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice or Egg Noodles.

Stephanie's Goulash/Beef Stew (2 Bags) *adapted from mamaandbabylove.com *

  • (1) Green Pepper Chopped split between bags
  • (1) Chopped Onion per bag
  • (2) Carrots Chopped per bag
  • (2) Chopped Garlic Cloves per bag
  • (3) Ibs Beef Stew Meat Split Between Bags
  • (1) 6oz can Tomato Paste per bag
  • (2) tsp Paprika per bag
  • (1/4) tsp Black Pepper per bag
*Cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW in a slow cooker. Add (1/2) Cup of Sour Cream about 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over Egg Noodles.

Once ALL INGREDIENTS are in freezer bags push all of the air out and seal. Lay bags flat so they freeze flat. Stack in Freezer... once they are frozen you can re-arrange to best suit your freezer space. Take meal out of freezer the night before you want to put it in slow cooker so it thaws a bit.

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I'll keep ya posted!!!



12 comments:

  1. i will be making all of these sometime very soon !! thanks !

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  2. Do you freeze the sauce for the orange chicken or is the sauce a day of add in?

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    Replies
    1. You mix it all together and freeze. There is no work the day you stick it in the crockpot. (Other than making rice, of course).

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    2. These sound awesome. I'm always looking for ways to cut my cooking time. I have a limited amount of time when I get home from work to prepare a meal so this will be so much easier. Thanks for sharing.

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    3. These sound fantastic. I get home from work after 6 and I like to have dinner on the table by 7 at the latest since my hubby is a diabetic and has to eat before a certain time. I also like the cost of each meal, saves money and time how can anyone beat that. Thanks for sharing.

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    4. is all of the orange chicken in one freezer bag? 8 chicken breasts sounds like a lot???

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    5. Everything makes two dinners. I.e, two gallon baggies.

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  3. You just made my life so much easier! I am a full time employee, part time student and 24/7 Mommy and wife. It is hectic trying to make healthy meals everynight for my family. Thank you for these!

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  4. How much ground beef goes in the beef soup? Thanks!

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  5. How did these taste? Did you make them yet?

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    Replies
    1. They tasted great! I also just had my second child and made a NEW set of crockpot dinners which were maybe even more delicious than these!

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Thanks for your sweet words!!

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