Friday, September 12, 2014

Freezer to Crockpot Meals




If you're a big Pinterest fan, you may have stumbled across some great moneys saving meals such as the Freezer to Crock pot meals.  These meals are very convenient for those who don't have that much time to spend in the kitchen, once home from work.

I have personally made one of these meals, and let me tell you, it turned out GREAT!  These meals are prepared ahead of time, placed in the freezer and then taken out of the freezer to thaw in the frig within 24 hours of cooking.

These Freezer to Crock pot meals can not only save a lot of time, but can also save you money in the long run.  Most of these recipes call for you to cut your veggies (bell pepper, onion, carrots and potatoes) and place them in a Quart zip lock bag along with some sort of protein, such as chicken or pork.

Here are some of my favorites:

ORANGE CHICKEN


PLACE IN BAG- 2 cups carrots, 2 cups bell peppers, 1 lb cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 cloves garlic, 1 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, 8 oz. pineapple juice or orange juice concentrate
COOK- cook low in crock pot, 4 to 6 hours
SERVE- Top with mandarin oranges (two cans) and green onions (two, chopped). Serve on rice


SAUSAGE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
1lb Sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed.
1 large can Italian diced tomatoes
1 box chicken broth
3/4 tsp Rosemary
Brown your sausage and chop it up.  Add your garlic, onions and celery and cook approx. 6-7 minutes, til tender.  Add your cooled sausage, tomatoes, beans, broth and Rosemary to a large freezer bag, zip up the bag as you try to release as much air as possible and freeze.
Once you are ready to cook...dump in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.



BLACK BEAN TACO SOUP
1lb Ground beef or Sausage
1 Onion
1 pkg Taco Seasoning
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
1 can black, kidney or pinto beans
2 (14oz) cans Stewed Tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4oz) can diced green chilis
Brown the ground beef or sausage and onion together.  Drain and allow to cool.  Add this to a Gallon size zip lock freezer bag.  Add the remaining ingredients. When bag is zipped, squish it around a bit, to get everything mixed well.
Once you are ready to cook this, allow to thaw in frig for 24 hours, dump in crock pot and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low for 2 1/2- 3 hours.  
GARNISH:  Top with Guacamole, sour cream and cheese and serve with Tortilla chips.




GHOULASH


To me, Ghoulash is considered one of those comfort foods you just can't get enough of and never get tired of having as a meal.  There are many ways in preparing Ghoulash and below, is one of the ways I make it.  ENJOY!

Ingredients:

2 cups onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small cans tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, diced or sliced
3 cups noodles, cooked
2 to 2 1/2lbs ground beef, cooked
1Tbs paprika
1Tbs pepper
1Tbs Italian Seasoning

Prep:

In two separate Gallon freezer bags, divide your ingredients, EXCEPT the cooked noodles.  With the bag sealed, gently squoosh the ingredients and mix well.  Label your bag with what the meal is and date.  Put into the freezer.

ON THE DAY OF COOKING:  Cook your noodles and place in a covered bowl and put in fridge until you are ready to add to the crock pot.  Dump the ingredients from your freezer bags into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours.

Once you are ready to serve, dump your cooked noodles into the crock pot and let the noodles warm up from the ingredients.  If you see you  need more liquid, you can add just a little bit of tomato juice.

Serve with your favorite toppings: sour cream, cheese or any other toppings.

OTHER VARIATIONS:  You can try switching this recipe up by adding sliced carrots, replace the ground beef with ground turkey or stew meat or anything else your imagination comes up with.
A lot of these recipes and more can be found on Pinterest, .  Happy Eating!!