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Easy Crock-Pot Meals Straight From Your Freezer Will Solve Your Dinner Problem
January 7, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Easy Crock-Pot Meals Straight From Your Freezer Will Solve Your Dinner Problem


Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

freezer mealsLike most people I'm feeling all full of resolutions at this time of year. The halls have been undecked, the house is pretty well organized, and the kids started back to school today. It's time for a fresh start, and at the top of my list is making dinnertime simpler and healthier.

I've resolved to do it before with great success ... for a while. Then all of the activities start up, and the homework hammers us, and the birthday party circuit heats up, and all of a sudden I find myself in a frantic flurry where takeout seems like the only option. But this year, I have a plan, and it involves my Crock-Pot.

Over the past couple of years, I've become quite a fan of mine, but it still doesn't help on those days when I truly can't find even 10 minutes to shower. You still have to take time to chop and dice UNLESS you just pull a bag straight out of your freezer, put it in the slow cooker, and turn the thing on.

Brilliant, right? And no, it doesn't involve some processed food you get in the freezer section.

I met Stephanie Brandt Cornais of Mama and Baby Love at Mom 2.0 last summer, and she sent me a copy of her book Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes right in the midst of my resolution-making process. And it's a perfect tool to help me keep my resolution this year.

It includes a whole host of fresh, healthy meal recipes that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze. Then on any given day, you just pop one in your Crock-Pot, and dinner is done. It does take a little preparation ahead of time, but if you set aside a couple of hours once or twice a month, you will save oodles of time, stress, and money spent on takeout meals later.

For example, here's her recipe for Orange Beef Stew. It's flavorful, delicious, and so much better than anything from a carton. She has everything in her book from soups and stews to fajitas and chicken dishes. She tells you how to prep and freeze everything, and with a little creativity, you can apply her method to your favorite slow cooker recipes too.

So I'm setting aside a least one night a month to stock my freezer like this. I'll crank up the music, maybe grab a glass of wine, and start chopping. I know I (and my family) will thank myself for it later.

Is this something that would help make your dinnertime simpler?

 

Image via Mama and Baby Love

Replies

  • Jeanette572
    January 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Yes! This is great!  I just joined this group because in a few weeks I'll be going back to work and I want life to be simpler - I have two kids and work a full time job.  I too want to utilize my crock-pot more and have dinners ready when I get home at nite.   Less take-out / ordering in means better meals and more money in our pockets!!!

  • Kimberly954
    January 7, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    i have been meaning to try doing this. i make freezer meals but havent made them for the crockpot

  • bri2011
    by bri2011
    January 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM
    Do u know where this book can be purchased? Im going back to wrk next week from maternity leave so ive recently starting freezing meals. Id love some ideas or recipes though.
  • KaylaMillar
    January 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    i would love to do this. Our freezer isnt big enough though.

  • SweetLuci
    January 9, 2013 at 10:23 PM

     I've done freezer meals for the crockpot called Dump chicken, several different recipes can be put together at once. I'd like to try some for beef and pork as well.

  • AimSnapHolz
    January 10, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    That is great, but it's so hard to cook things for two. I really need to start doing things like Once A Month Cooking, because I know those recipes can be tailored to only one or two people.

  • OliviaW.
    January 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I love my food saver. In the winter I get into a big baking and cooking kick and for certain meals I put them on a plate and use the food saver to vacuum out the air so during the summer if I don't feel like cooking we can just get whatever we want. I even seal soups and chili's using the food saver and just thaw and heat up in the crock pot.

  • anotherhalf
    January 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I am thinking about getting a food saver but am afraid it will sit forever in the land of unused appliances.  Does it really keep the food from getting freezer burn?  Do you re-seal meats and frozen foods you buy at the store?  Do you mind sharing what type you have? 

    Quoting OliviaW.:

    I love my food saver. In the winter I get into a big baking and cooking kick and for certain meals I put them on a plate and use the food saver to vacuum out the air so during the summer if I don't feel like cooking we can just get whatever we want. I even seal soups and chili's using the food saver and just thaw and heat up in the crock pot.


  • OliviaW.
    January 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM
    Normally I don't but much meat since we butcher our own beef but I buy chicken in bulk and just cut it and use the food saver to suck the air from it & freeze. I use it a bunch when I bake. My Dh loves homemade hot pockets so I use the machine for those when they're baked. I even buy cheese in bulk and then shred it and seal it in smaller portions (don't use the vacuum on it though). I can't remember the kind I got but it was a $40 take model from Walmart. It does keep foods fresh plus you can even microwave the bags if you wish. As long as the air gets vacuumed out there's no sign of burn.

    Quoting anotherhalf:

    I am thinking about getting a food saver but am afraid it will sit forever in the land of unused appliances.  Does it really keep the food from getting freezer burn?  Do you re-seal meats and frozen foods you buy at the store?  Do you mind sharing what type you have? 

    Quoting OliviaW.:

    I love my food saver. In the winter I get into a big baking and cooking kick and for certain meals I put them on a plate and use the food saver to vacuum out the air so during the summer if I don't feel like cooking we can just get whatever we want. I even seal soups and chili's using the food saver and just thaw and heat up in the crock pot.


  • anotherhalf
    January 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM
    Thanks! I just started buying a lot in bulk and was noticing ice crystals on things so Im going to try this.

    Quoting OliviaW.:

    Normally I don't but much meat since we butcher our own beef but I buy chicken in bulk and just cut it and use the food saver to suck the air from it & freeze. I use it a bunch when I bake. My Dh loves homemade hot pockets so I use the machine for those when they're baked. I even buy cheese in bulk and then shred it and seal it in smaller portions (don't use the vacuum on it though). I can't remember the kind I got but it was a $40 take model from Walmart. It does keep foods fresh plus you can even microwave the bags if you wish. As long as the air gets vacuumed out there's no sign of burn.



    Quoting anotherhalf:

    I am thinking about getting a food saver but am afraid it will sit forever in the land of unused appliances.  Does it really keep the food from getting freezer burn?  Do you re-seal meats and frozen foods you buy at the store?  Do you mind sharing what type you have? 

    Quoting OliviaW.:

    I love my food saver. In the winter I get into a big baking and cooking kick and for certain meals I put them on a plate and use the food saver to vacuum out the air so during the summer if I don't feel like cooking we can just get whatever we want. I even seal soups and chili's using the food saver and just thaw and heat up in the crock pot.


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