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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This changed the way I do dinner.

So I tried a new dinner idea: frozen crockpot meals. I spent Sunday evening gathering all my ingredients and had everything ready for the whole week. It took a while to package everything, but it has made the rest of the week a breeze. 

First, I gathered all the recipes I wanted to make for the week.
Then I chopped everything up and put all the ingredients for each recipe into a labeled big, ziplock bag. (I put the date, any extra instructions, like serve over rice or add a cup of this, and the cook time.)
Then I put them all in the freezer.

 labeled bag

frozen Teriyaki Chicken

 frozen Chicken Tortilla Soup

So Monday morning I pulled a bag of frozen ingredients for Mediterranean chicken out of the freezer and dumped it all straight into the crockpot, set the temp on low and when I returned 8 1/2 hrs later this was awaiting me:
Mediterranean Chicken

It was delicious!! I think I'll never use the oven again. :D

I'm excited about this because:
1. It's super easy and I'm lazy busy.
2. This will be great when Crockett leaves because it will be hard to cook for one person and I can have leftovers for a few days (I love leftovers).

Here are the recipes I tried. I've only made Mediterranean Chicken, but it was great. I'll update as I make the others. (Update: The Teriyaki Chicken was great too! Next time I will add more chicken and carrots and less pineapple and onion.)

Teriyaki Chicken
 med - large bag of carrots 
(I used fresh, whole carrots and peeled/chopped 5.)
red onion in large chunks
2 cans pineapple (undrained)
4 garlic cloves
1 cup teriyaki sauce
(I used HEB brand marinade.)
 bag instructions:
add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce and cook low 8 hrs or high 4 hrs, serve over rice

Chicken Tortilla Soup
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cooked chicken (cut into strips or cubes)
1/2 onion
1 cup frozen corn
2 green onions
28 ou. can tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup chopped veggies
(I used a can of mixed veggies.)
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp crushed red peppers 
(I omitted this.)
salt to taste 
(I added about 1 2 tsp.)
bag instructions:
cook on low 8-10 hrs or high 6 hrs

Mediterranean Chicken
3-4 pieces of chicken
(I always use thighs.)
1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 jar of green olives (drained)
28 ou. can tomatoes (undrained)
bag instructions:
cook low 8 hrs or high 4 hrs, serve over rice

I also am planning on doing Savory Chicken, but will add that recipe when I get to my computer. I'll also post the links to all the awesome sites I got these recipes from because they have a lot more. The recipe for the soup was the only one not specifically designed for freezing in advance, but since it is a crockpot recipe I imagine it'll work just fine. I'll let you know!

Happy Cooking!
- B

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