I never have been that great at being a chef, honestly if you wanted a grilled cheese I would have told you the best bet was to make it yourself and my kids would have said the same. You see, I was famous for burning grilled cheese; all.the.time. Yet now, as I work to create a family life for the first time in a few years, one that truly feels home and family-ish to me, I have wanted to make better meals. We all have to fight our horrible metabolism in our family gene pool so making better meals was a must for our health. While I still include menu items that maybe are not all healthy, I feel this is a step up and I am more about balance than cutting one thing out of our diet completely.
For our first week testing out some frozen crock pot meals, I created hot italian sausages, pineapple glazed ham, teriyaki pork chops, and chicken cacciatore. These meals were all prepared ahead of time over the prior weekend and let me tell you what, preparing meals ahead of time really makes for a yummy smelling kitchen and freezer all week long! I can give you feedback on each of these recipes, because the family has already chomped down on them;
- Hot Italian Sausages – was a no go, we will not make this again. We much prefer the crispy texture of sausage and these were too tender for our liking.
- Pineapple Glazed Ham – this was okay, but not that great. While the ham was delicious this recipe shouldn’t have so much crushed pineapple in it next time around.
- Teriyaki Pork Chops – This was a total win! Our family loved the flavor and texture of these pork chops, served over rice with green beans.
- Chicken Cacciatore – this was a total two thumbs up from my fiance and tween! The taste was perfect and while the recipe didn’t say to do so, we shredded the chicken in the sauce after it had cooked for the full term, creating a better mixed up option and the family loved it served over white rice.
The above recipes were derived from Slow Cooker Freezer Meals offered on Six Sisters’ Stuff website.
This week we will try some different frozen crock pot meals, I am having so much fun finding recipes online and changing them up to fit our family. This week we will try the following frozen crock pot meals that are sitting in the freezer waiting to be taken out to enjoy;
- Chicken & Dumplings
- Beef Barley Stew (I replaced barely with white rice)
- Curry Chicken
- Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Potatoes
- Pulled Pork
There was a sixth recipe, all were taken from TheBusyBudgetingMama.com website, this sixth recipe was for lasagna/pasta sauce but I decided to create my own meat sauce to freeze for a spaghetti dinner later in the week instead.
Brandy Ellen’s Meat Sauce Recipe – Freeze and Use Later
- 1lb ground beef
- 28oz can of Diced Tomatoes
- 24oz jar of Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 Gloves of Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- Optional; 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 Resealable Freezer Bag
Let’s Get Started:
- Brown the ground hamburg with white rice and garlic mixed in.
- Drain browned hamburg, add spaghetti sauce. Cook on low for 8 minutes while stirring ingredients together.
- Add 28oz can of diced tomatoes and italian seasoning together in freezer bag.
- Label freezer bag “Meat Sauce” also note the date on bag to ensure you use it within a week of freezing.
- Let hamburg, rice, garlic and spaghetti sauce cool down.
- Add cooled down hamburger mixture into freezer bag and seal tight.
- Place in Freezer for future use.
Enjoy: Set the freezer bag of meat sauce out one day ahead of time to ensure it has time to thaw out. Cook in sauce pan over low/medium heat until reaches desired temperature. Use on top of spaghetti or any favorite pasta choice.