Thursday, October 18, 2012

freezer meals, aka dinner time cruise control

with this pregnancy coming to an end, i have been logging some serious pinterest time hours trying to find some fantastic meals i can freeze and forget.

what this translates to is, i'm tired of cooking and doing pretty much anything and really want to enter that lazy "fat lady" zone without my family suffering too much. i already can't bend over to clean up after bella, which means the whole house looks like toys r us and a grocery store had a baby and then blew it up.  so i am hoping a little thought and preparedness will allow me to put dinner on cruise control for a bit.

pinterest is failing me. epically.

the last 4-5 "freezer meal" plans i have tried have been seriously lacking in all ways. for one-there are always too many ingredients. i kind of zone out after 5 or 6. and if i have never heard of an ingredient it, there is a slim chance i will find it in the commissary. but also, they very seldom taste like something i can tolerate, let alone convince bella to eat.

so i am on a mission. i've started doing my own versions of freezer meals. mostly crockpot cooking freezer meals.

here are a few tried and true that are both toddler and husband friendly!

white bean chicken chili

  • 1 lb chicken, cubed (you can use precooked to make this even easier)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or you can use 2 14 oz cans chicken broth)
  • 2 (14oz) cans white beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • in a skillet, saute chicken over medium-high heat, with olive oil garlic powder and salt (if you are using precooked chicken, you can skip this step, and add salt and garlic powder to the chicken when you put it in the bag)
  • add chicken plus next 6 ingredients (up to sour cream) to freezer bag, and freeze.
cooking directions:
  • thaw* and put contents of bag into slow cooker.
  • cover and cook on HIGH 1 1/2 hours
  • turn off cooker and add sour cream and evaporated milk. stir well. serve over corn bread or rice.
(this recipe has been a favorite of ours for years. it's so yummy.)

bourbon chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast or tenderloin
  • 2 tbs minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/8 cu bourbon (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw* and place in a baking pan.
  • preheat oven to 325.
  • cover and bake 1 1/2 hours
 crock pot burritos
  • 2-3 lb london broil or top round roast
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw*
  • dump into slow cooker.
  • cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6+ hours.
serve with everything you need to make a burrito. 

carolina bbq
  • 3 lb pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire 
  • add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze
cooking directions:
  • thaw*
  • dump into crock pot.
  • cook on high 6-7 hours, low 8-9 hours
  • shred pork with a fork

*i mention thawing in each post. apparently you don't have to thaw these freezer meals for them to cook just fine, but i find that they fit better in the crock pot AND it makes me feel a little better about the cook time. so, i just pull them out the night before and they are all ready in the morning.

so, that's what we have tried thus far. i have no pictures, because, well, i have none. i don't generally make a habit of taking pictures of my food, as i am too busy stuffing it in my face.

i'll try to add some more soon.

you are welcome.

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