9/12/14

Freezer to slow cooker meals with VEGETABLES and LESS or NO MEAT

Slow cooker photo in public domain (source). Broccoli photo copyright David Monnieaux, Creative Commons share alike license (source).

I've tried a lot of freezer to slow cooker recipes over the last few months. Some we liked, and some were just okay. I've learned a lot about crockpot cooking, like that you can shred cooked chicken in the mixer, and that standing your gallon freezer bag in a pitcher is a very good idea.

I've also learned a bit about myself, including the fact that I don't want chicken (or even meat) every night, and that I like more veggies than meat in my dinners.

In any case, here are some of our favorite freezer to crockpot meals. They're all fairly easy to prepare. I like to double them: one to cook today, and one to freeze for another day. I feel more sane if I just make up one or two recipes every day, instead of trying to make them all at once.

Frozen chopped onions work well in all these recipes and save a lot of time and tears.

This page has a printable to help you keep track of what's in your freezer.

A note on side dishes: Brown rice freezes very well. Cook up a batch and freeze, then thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave in just a few minutes. These biscuits freeze beautifully as a side for soups and go straight from freezer to oven.

I will update this page if I find more recipes that we love.

———

Creamy cauliflower soup
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, diced
2 1-pound bags frozen cauliflower (fresh is nice too)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
1 cup dry instant powdered milk
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in butter, then add 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon, and milk powder. Freeze. When ready to cook, add frozen mixture to slow cooker with 2 bags frozen cauliflower and 3 cups water. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Purée in blender or food processor, or with stick blender.



Chicken broccoli alfredo
1.5 chicken breasts, cubed or whole
1 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli
1–2 bell peppers, chopped
1 16-ounce jar alfredo sauce
12 oz. pasta

Dump all ingredients except pasta into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, then cook on low 4-6 hours. If you left your chicken whole, remove and shred, then add back in. Mix in 12 oz. cooked pasta.


Chicken fajitas
2–3 bell peppers, cut in strips
1 onion, cut in strips
6 chicken thighs, cubed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch seasoning

Dump all ingredients into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, then cook on low 5-6 hours. Serve with tortillas, salsa, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, etc.


Sloppy tamale pie
1 pound ground beef
1–2 carrots, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 14-ounce can corn, drained
1 packet taco seasoning
1 14-ounce can tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

Brown ground beef with carrots, onion, and pepper. Drain. Dump all ingredients into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, then cook on low 5-6 hours. Serve over cornbread or corn muffins.


Sesame ginger chicken
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 lb. chicken thighs, chopped
1 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli or green beans

Combine all ingredients except vegetables into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, then cook on low 8 hours. Dump frozen (unthawed) vegetables on top an hour before serving. Serve over brown rice.


White bean stew
1 cup white beans, uncooked
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 tablespoons barley or brown rice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (reduce amount if using ham)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
diced leftover ham, optional

Combine all ingredients into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, add 6 cups water, and cook on low 8 hours.


Lentil taco salad
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup dry bell peppers (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable bouillon
4 cups water

Layer all ingredients except water in pint jar (will barely fit) or in 1.5-pint jars (will have room to spare). Store on shelf; no need to freeze. Add to slow cooker with water; cook on low about 5 hours. Serve with your choice of lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, crushed chips, cheese, avocado, etc.


Pepper steak
1–1.5 pounds steak or other beef, cut into cubes or strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 onion, chopped
2–4 bell peppers, cut into strips
1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar

Brown beef in vegetable oil. Add to gallon freezer bag with all other ingredients; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, then cook on low 6–8 hours. Serve over rice.


Mexican chicken soup
1–2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or 1 raw chicken breast, or 1–2 cans chicken)
1 15-ounce can tomatoes
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans (optional)
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce
1 4-ounce can green chiles
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons brown rice (optional)

Combine all ingredients into gallon freezer bag; freeze. Thaw in fridge overnight, add 4 cups water, and cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken if needed. Serve with crushed corn chips, if you like.


———

Original recipe sources
Sesame ginger chicken
Chicken broccoli alfredo
Chicken fajitas
Sloppy tamale pie
White bean stew
Lentil taco salad 
Creamy cauliflower soup
Pepper steak 
Mexican chicken soup

3 comments:

  1. I feel the same about meat, less is always good and with the prices so high now I am glad. The White Bean Stew looks like a great recipe along with the others. Thanks for all of these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like some good recipes.. I will be printing them and trying some of them.. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good veggie slow cooker meals are hard to find. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete