Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Freezer crockpot cooking!

This mommy has started a new adventure..... freezer crockpot cooking!  This mommy is already loving it!  What is freezer crockpot cooking you ask?  This mommy will tell you!  Freezer cooking is when you prep and cook food for a week/month all at once and put the food in bags and place in freezer so that when you want that meal you pull out a bag and all the work is done and all you have to do is heat it up in the oven.  While this is an amazing idea, this mommy doesn't want to actually cook a million pounds of food all at once!  This problem is solved with freezer crock pot cooking....... Instead of having to cook everything ahead of time you just prep raw food and throw it in a bag, then when you want that meal you take it out of the freezer, throw it in the crockpot (still frozen!) and let the crockpot do all the work!  This is truely amazing, and also saves a lot of money since you can buy the big bulk family packs of meats!  Here's the rundown of how you do it......

1.Make a shopping list from the recipes you plan on prepping
2. Shop for your ingredients (including freezer bags!) -make sure you catch all the sales!  :)
3. Label gallon size freezer bag with: Date, what meal it is, and cooking directions/time (example: 4/25/12 Teriyaki Chicken *Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on low for 8 hours)
4. Cut up all veggies in the recipe and place in bag
5. Place proper amount of meat in the bag
6. Add all spices and sauces
7. Seal up bag making sure to get all the air out of the bag that you can!
8. Shake bag a bit to mix ingredients a little
9. Place bag in freezer flat.
10. Repeat for all recipes you want to do!

When you are ready to cook:
1. pull out meal about 30 min before putting in crockpot
2. Place in crockpot and follow your directions on bag.
3. Let the crock pot do all the work
4. Enjoy a fantastic meal!

Isn't this the best thing ever?!  This mommy thinks so!  Shopping sales and buying bulk also saved this mommy a lot of money.  The last batch of freezer cooking meals that this mommy made cost $35 for all the supplies and this mommy was able to get a weeks worth of dinners for our family of 4 out of it!  That makes each dinner $5!! This mommy is so happy!  I mean really, $5 to feed a family of 4 with a nice hearty dinner complete with veggies......AMAZING!  AND..... it only took this mommy about an hour to prep that weeks worth of dinners!  This mommy is going to start going big and prepping a whole month's worth at once, then this mommy won't have to cook any dinners for an entire month!  Oh what will this mommy do with all that time?!?  There has to be something to fill that void......this mommy will figure it out..... perhaps a well deserved nap?!  Ahhhhh....... this mommy doesn't think that will happen but she can hope!  :) 

So you want to start freezer crockpot cooking?  Don't know where to start on recipes?  In reality you can turn any crockpot recipe into a freezer recipe with a few tweeks, but this mommy will give you a couple of recipes she used (found on various places online) to get you started!  Lets start off with a super easy one (this mommy promises this is the easiest recipe you will do)......

Apricot Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
8 Chicken breasts (you can substitute other cuts of chicken too!)
2 cups apricot jam
2 packages of dry onion soup mix
2 cups Catalina or French salad dressing

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. In a bowl mix 1 cup apricot jam, 1 cup salad dressing, and 1 package of dry onion soup mix
3. Place 4 chicken breasts in bag
4. pour mixture over chicken in bag.
5. Seal bag and shake
6. Place flat in freezer
7. Repeat for second freezer bag!

Directions for bag: Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with a favorite side (this recipe would be great served with rice!)

There, now wasn't that the easiest recipe ever?!?  And you now have prepped 2 dinners, how awesome is that?!?  And that took you probably about 15 minutes max!  :)   Lets move on......

Teriyaki Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
1 large bag of baby carrots (or whole carrots peeled and chopped which is what this mommy uses!)
1 Red onion
2 20oz cans of pineapple chunks
4 garlic cloves
8 chicken breasts (or other chicken cuts)
1 cup teriyaki sauce

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. Split carrots between the 2 bags
3. Chop red onion into large chunks and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
5. Put one can of pineapple chunks in each bag (undrained)
6. Put 4 chicken breasts in each bag
7. Put 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
8. Seal bag and shake
9. Place flat in freezer

Directions for bag: Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Again, you have now prepped 2 more meals! This mommy bets you aren't even breaking a sweat yet!  Ok well let's try one more!  We'll steer away from chicken for this one!

Sausage and Peppers

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
10-12 italian sausages (or chicken sausage)
4 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 red onions
8 garlic cloves
4 cans of diced tomatoes (or cut your own fresh ones!)
olive oil (you will drizzle a little in each bag)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. slice the green peppers and split between the 2 bags
3. slice the red peppers and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop red onions into chunks and split between the 2 bags
5. Mince the garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
6. Place 5-6 sausages in each bag
7. pour 2 cans of diced tomatoes in each bag
8. pour a drizzle of olive oil in each bag
9. place 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning in each bag.
10. Seal bag and shake
11. Place flat in freezer.

Directions for bag: Cook on low for 8 hours.

This is another one that is great with rice!

There you have another 2 meals!  You have almost made a whole weeks worth of food for a family of 4!  Wasn't that easy?!?  If there is only 2 of you you can split the recipes into smaller sections and only use 2 pieces of chicken in each bag, or even smaller if there is just 1 of you!  This mommy also uses stew recipes, roast recipes, turkey recipes, meatloaf recipes, the list goes on!  This saves so much time and energy (not to mention the smaller amount of dishes you dirty!).  Give the freezer crockpot cooking a try, this mommy is sure you will fall in love like she did!

Go try it while this mommy takes a break since she has some free time now!  :) 

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