Thursday, March 1, 2012

Freezer-to-Crockpot Meals

So a couple weeks ago I discovered a pin on Pinterest that said, "Freezer to Crockpot Meals" and I about flew the coop I was so happy. Because that is right up my alley. Now, normal freezer cooking is fun and fairly easy and all, but Freezer-to-Crockpot cooking is a BREEZE. With normal freezer cooking there are many things you have to cook ahead, like your chicken and ground beef, then you have to freeze it in casserole dishes and then thaw it out a lot of times before putting in the oven... well, let me tell you, this freezer-to-crockpot madness is about to be all we ever do here at the Morgan house. No cooking anything ahead of time = my kind of freezer cooking. All I had to do was chop up a bunch of veggies and add some meat and a few condiments to some ziploc freezer bags. Seriously. Easy peasy. And clean up was a breeze too.

I bought the meat and a lot of the produce as well as the spaghetti sauce at Sam's, and I'd definitely recommend it because you'll get much better pricing if you buy in bulk. As far as the process goes, I'd chop up your veggies (roughly) beforehand and go ahead and open your packs of meat and have them laying on the counter with a pair of tongs; that way you can use the tongs and avoid excessive hand washing between preparing each bag. And used the minced garlic that comes in a jar. I hate chopping garlic. And these recipes ALL have minced garlic. Also, go ahead and get out all the condiments/sauces/spices you'll need and have them opened and handy and maybe a pile of measuring cups and spoons handy. And don't forget your freezer bags. Oh, and write your instructions on your bags before you put the food inside.

Ok, here are the recipes I made and the instructions I wrote on the bags:
(I will give you the original source for the recipes too!)

Honey Sesame Chicken:
4 chicken breasts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 T. veg oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
4 tsp corn starch dissolved in 6 T. water
sesame seeds

Instructions: Put everything except cornstarch and water and sesame seeds into bag and freeze. When you are ready to cook, throw in crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours or on HIGH 3-4 hours. Then remove chicken, and add cornstarch/water mixture to crock pot; turn on HIGH and cook until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken, toss with sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with rice. Recipe from here.

Sausage and Peppers:
1 pound Italian Sausage or chicken sausage
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 large red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 T. Italian seasoning
drizzle of olive oil

Instructions: Put everything in bag; freeze. Throw in crock pot, cook on LOW 8 hours. Serve on hoagie rolls or with crusty bread or over noodles.

Teriyaki Chicken
1 large bag carrots
2 cans pineapple, undrained
4 cloves garlic
4 chicken breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Instructions: Put everything in bag, toss and freeze. When ready to cook, throw in crock pot, add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce, cook on low 8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve over rice. Recipe from here.

BBQ Chicken & Veggies
4 chicken breasts
3 sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 zucchini
1 onion
1 bottle BBQ sauce

Instructions: Add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce to crockpot, cook on low 8 hours. Serve with cheese biscuits and slaw. Recipe found here.

3 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped bell pepper
2 cups carrots
2 6-oz cans tomato paste
4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
noodles ( I bought egg noodles)
1/2 cup sour cream

Put everything except noodles and sour cream in the bag. Freeze.
When ready to cook, cook on low 8 hours. Then add your sour cream to the mixture and let it heat up.
Cook your noodles separately and serve the goulash over noodles.
Recipe found here.

Now... the disclaimer:

I have not tried any of these recipes yet so don't come commenting at me if you try them and they are no good! I'm just the messenger, people! But I'll let you know as I go if we end up liking the recipes or not. I figure either way it was a no brainer thing to try!

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