Thursday, August 4, 2016

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

A while back one of my co-workers posted on Facebook that she was so proud, because she had made and frozen enough crockpot meals to last the whole month. Needless to say I was a bit jealous, and was certainly eager to try out the idea for myself! So, I found a weekend and made a couple of test meals.The recipes I used came from hello glow. I made the Beef and Vegetable Stew, and the Sausage Lentil Soup. There are stacks of free recipes online, as well as cookbooks to be purchased.

The first thing you should do is to write the name and instructions for the meal on the outside of a gallon-sized zip top bag. That way, if you are making more than one meal at a time you won't be confused as to what goes where.

Open your zip top bag an insert it into a container of some sort. A canister or a pitcher would work best, just so that the bag will stand up while you fill it. It also helps if you fold the top over the edge of the container, so that the bag doesn't fall down into it.

Start prepping your veggies. If you have a mandolin slicer or a chopper it will make the process go by much faster.

You may also need to trim, slice, or cube the meats you are using. For the sausage soup I sliced my keilbasa into bite-sized pieces.

There will also be recipes that will call for meats or other ingredients to be cooked before they go in the freezer bag. I cooked my onion and browned up the sausage a bit, then let it all cool to room temperature before putting it in the bag.

While my onions and meat were cooling I began assembling the rest of the ingredients. All the chopped veggies went in, as well as a can of tomatoes. I sorted out my lentils (and found a rock!) and added those too.

Once all the ingredients are in the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal. You can lay the bag flat to freeze, then it is easier to stack them once they are frozen. Most recipes will call for you to remove the meal from the freezer the night before, and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. When you are ready to cook it up, just empty the contents into the slow cooker and add in the liquid. The best part about a crockpot meal is that you can put it on to cook while you do other things. So, go to work, run errands, clean the house, visit your granny, whatever is on your agenda for the day, and your meal will cook without you!

Here are some links to more slow cooker freezer meal recipes:

Have fun! Happy crock-potting!