13 October 2013

21 CROCKPOT MEALS! (Master List and How-To Preparation)

Yesterday my girlfriend Robin came over and we spent SIX HOURS in the kitchen.



But, our story begins about a month ago.  I was standing in my kitchen (crying) because I hated the fact that I was cooking dinner while my 4.5 month old (at the time) was playing.  I thought to myself, why on Earth am I cooking right now?!  This little baby is so happy and playing...and I am missing it.

I started surfing Pinterest (after he went to bed that night, and I stopped being emotional) to find crockpot recipes to make my evenings a little less occupied.  I found this pin that lead me to this blog that got me thinking - I bet I could save money AND time in the long run if I spent a day prepping. 

In comes my email to Robin (who has a three year old and is way preggers right now) soliciting help in this new venture.  Most crockpot recipes will feed 4 adult dinners with one or two leftover lunches.  My email asked for her to pick 10 crockpot recipes and I would pick 10.  We would consolidate the lists, split the cost and split the meals.

After we consolidated everything to one master Excel list (submit a comment here and I will email you the document), Robin bought all the canned, non-perishable goods and frozen foods earlier in the week.  I bought all the meats at Sam's Club and the fresh produce the morning of.

We spent the day laughing and having girl time while we chopped and diced and sliced and cut and boiled and sauteed and pureed until we felt like we could chop, dice, slice, cut, boil, sautee and puree no more. 

It was a great time, a LOT of work, but think about how easy these meals will be now that both of our freezers are STUFFED to the gills. 

Without further ado, here is a list of all the recipes we prepared.  Click the link to it's individual blog post that includes ingredients and cook times.

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A few special words of note:
           All the recipes listed are the FULL recipe.  If you make it as-is it will feed a family of 4 (with lunch leftovers).  If you are doing this experiment by yourself, either cut each recipe IN HALF, or SPLIT every meal between TWO bags. 
           Don't forget the purchase one-gallon freezer bags before you start.  You'll need 40.  And, don't skimp and buy the generic brand.  Nobody likes freezerburn.

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SOUP
These soups have been cooked (no crockpot necessary).  Simply remove from the container and heat up.  (I prefer the stove top method, but if you are putting in plastic containers, you could probably nuke it, too).
 
MAKE-AHEAD MEALS
While these are also not crockpot recipes, they are great pre-prepped, fast meals
 
CROCKPOT MEALS: PORK OR HAM
 
CROCKPOT MEALS: BEEF OR SAUSAGE
 
CROCKPOT MEALS: CHICKEN OR TURKEY
 
So there you have it!  With a little bit of patience and a lot of space in the freezer, I can now throw on the crockpot a few times a week and gain my evenings back to spend with my family :)
 

 


Crockpot Meal: Spinach, Tortellini and Sausage

1 (19oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 lb sausage, browned
1 bag fres spinach
2 cans Italian Style diced tomatoes
2 cans low-fat chicken broth
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, cubed

Brown the sausage, drain fat (ew, gross!)
Add all ingredients to freezer bag and freeze

When ready to eat:
Put froze mixture in crockpot
Cook on LOW 5 hours

Stir several times during cooking



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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!

Crockpot Meal: French Dip

3 lbs beef chuck roast (two, 1/2 lb pieces)
2 (14.5 oz) cans beef consomme

Use two freezer bags for this one...
1 gigantic hunk of meat in each bag
1 consomme in each bag
Freeze

When ready to eat:
Thaw in fridge for 24 hours
Cook on HIGH 5-7 hours
Shred with 2 forks
Save the extra juice for dipping

Serve with 3-4 hoagie buns, and provolone or swiss cheese


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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!

Crockpot Meal: Beef Tips and Gravy

1/2 pound stew meat
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (14oz) can beef broth
Salt and pepper to tase

Combine soup, onion mix, broth, salt and pepper until well mixed into one gallon freezer bag
Add beef cubes and mix until well coated
Freeze

When ready to eat:
Thaw in fridge for 24 hours
Cook on LOW 6-8 hours

Serve with dinner rolls and a fresh salad

Thank you for the recipe, Robin!

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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!

Crockpot Meal: Beef Stew

1 lb beef stew cubes
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 red potatoes, cut in large cubes
1 package dry onion mix
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10oz) packate frozen green peas

Add all ingredients to one gallon freezer bag and freeze.

When read y to eat:
Thaw in fridge for 24 hours
Cook on HIGH 5-6 hours

Serve with dinner rolls or egg noodles and a fresh salad

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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!

Crockpot Meal: Turkey Chili

1 lb ground turkey, sauteed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (15oz) can black beans, undrained
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (11oz) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (10oz) packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 packge spicy taco seasoning

Sautee turkey and onion
Combine with all other ingredients in large bowl until well mixed.
Divide into (2) one gallon freezer bags and freeze

When ready to eat:
Add to crockpot still frozen
Cook on HIGH 5 hours or LOW 7-8 hours

Serve with cheddar cheese over rice, or with tortilla chips

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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!

Crockpot Meal: Honey Sesame Chicken

1 lb chicken
3 T EVOO
1 Cup honey
2 T Sesame seeds
1/2 cup Soup Sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredient in one gallon freezer bag and freeze.

When ready to eat:
Thaw in fridge for 24 hours
Cook on LOW 4 hours
Shred chicken
Cook on HIGH 1 hour

Serve over hot rice


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For the full story and how to click on the master link: 21 Crockpot Recipe Preparations in 1 day!