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I have to admit, I am a little bit overwhelmed right now.
May is normally a busy month for us. Add in graduation, a couple of giant parties and getting ready for our Dubai-Greece-Turkey graduation trip, and life feels, well, overwhelming.
I need to get organized. First stop on my “Get Organized” agenda- figure out meals. And, y’all, this little Freezer-Cooking-and-then-Crock-Pot-Dinners plan has been revolutionary. So far. I mean, we’re three meals in. But it feels revolutionary (and organized- SO organized!). Plus, we have a freezer full of eleven dinners still to eat.
The best part is the time I get back each afternoon (when I’d usually be dinner prepping). Lovely.
Enough chatter- want to see exactly what I did?
First I found four crock pot recipes (most of them have overlapping ingredients which made for easy shopping and chopping). Then I quadrupled each recipes (to make four of each meal), made myself a massive shopping list, and then chopped… and chopped… and chopped. Lastly, I separated everything into sixteen freezer bags, wrote the directions on the bag and froze everything. Easy enough, right?
Want the recipes? They’re all modified from recipes I found around the internet- for more details, just click each link.
IN THE BAG- 2 cups onions, 2 cups carrots, 2 cups zucchini, 1 cup red pepper, 1/2 tsp grated lime peel, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp flour, 4 garlic cloves, 2 lbs. cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs.
TO COOK- Dump contents of bag in slow cooker. Cover with 3/4 cup chicken broth and 3 T peanut butter (whisked together). Cook on low for 5-6 hours. For the last five minutes, add in 1 can of coconut milk and 1 bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- To make it spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon of red curry paste before serving (I kept ours not-spicy for the kiddos). Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve over rice.
Coconut Chicken Curry by Martha Stewart
IN THE BAG- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs, 2 lbs of chopped butternut squash, 2 cups onions, chopped, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1 oz fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, dash coarse salt
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag and a can of coconut milk to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 25 minutes before serving, add another can of coconut milk and a bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- Serve with rice. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro.
IN THE BAG- 2 cups carrots, 2 cups bell peppers, 1 lb cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 8 oz. orange juice concentrate (orange pineapple juice will work as well)
TO COOK- Cook on low in crock pot, 4 to 6 hours.
TO SERVE- Garnish with clementine slices (use 4 clementines) or mandarin oranges (two cans) and green onions (two, chopped). Serve on rice. Stir fried veggies make a great side.
Maple Dijon Chicken– modified from this Man-Pleasing Chicken recipe
IN THE BAG- 1 cup red bell pepper, 1 cup green bell pepper, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups onion, 3 cups zucchini, 2 Tbsp flour, 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt
TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag with 3/4 cup of dijon mustard, and 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar to a foil lined glass pan. Cook at 450 until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve over cous cous or rice.
1. These bags serve my family of four (including me, my husband and our two young children). Adjust accordingly.
2. The freezer crockpot cooking shopping list for one of each meal follows (if you want to make sixteen meals like I did, multiply everything by four)-
For more freezer crockpot cooking check out Freezer Crockpot Cooking Round 2, the Freezer Crockpot Cooking, Garden Edition, more Freezer Crockpot Cooking, even MORE Freezer Crockpot Recipes and some tried and true favorites turned freezer dinners.
UPDATE- after trying this out for the last couple years, I wrote a review of our freezer cooking experience. It’s a good place to start if you’re new to Freezer Crockpot Cooking.
*If you are looking for the BBQ chicken instructions, they can be found HERE.