Saturday, January 4, 2014

12 Crock Pot Meals (with shopping list)

Recipes and "What to write" on each bag included in this post!
Shopping list located at bottom of post

12 Crock Pot meals x 2 (because why do just one when you're already cutting everything already!)) = 24 CROCK POT MEALS

Let me start by saying, I prepared these meals in two days. And when shopping, the purpose behind prepping so many meals together is the ability to shop for bulk amounts of meat or veggies.  When you purchase meat in larger amounts you can save up to 2.00 per pound and that is a great savings!

Day one: Shop and prep raw meat meals
Day two: prep chicken tender meals

Super important - Be organized!!!!!  Shop for what you need.  Try to get only the amounts you need unless you can use the items for meals throughout the week that are not "crock pot" ready.

If you go to the store expecting to remember everything, you won't.  Nobody ever does.  I can easily remember when my sibling made me mad and what it was about, how we each responded to an argument in 1988, but my grocery list . . . well there's an app for that for a reason.

Chop all your veggies at once.  Some blogs I've read said that the person prepped each meal separately and they enjoyed doing that.  Well, goodness they must have an entire week to prepare these things.  I do it over one weekend for the month.  When you cut onions, cut them all. I also prepare and rinse anything like canned black beans, etc. that need to be done for the bag during this time too.  When you start loading up your bags and getting all excited for what these meals are going to taste like . . . well you don't want to stop to cut more onion etc.  I always chop an extra onion, a few more carrots, etc. because I do bowl them all together I never put the "right" amount into the bags.  BUT you'll never taste a difference.

Before you start prepping, first prepare your bags.  Write what meal it is and any directions you need for cooking.  Some recipes call for an item added the morning you put it in the pot and  you should really write that on the bag!  You will forget either to do it, or what amount of the item you are supposed to put in it.  (I have typed out what should be written on each bag, if that helps)

Here is a pic of what our garage freezer looks like right now.  After the meals are frozen flat, I will then move them into a box to have the meals stand straight up and avoid any slipping out of the freezer onto my toes (because that used to happen a lot before I got smart and organized with boxes (literally shoe boxes).  This is after day one, so there are 3 or 4 more types of meals that will be added tomorrow.

So here is what we're making:
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Stuffing
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Beef Stew
Teriyaki Chicken
Mediterranean Pork Chops
Creamy Italian Chicken
Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken
Beef Fajitas
Honey Chicken
Orange Chicken
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Chicken Noodle Soup (make 2)
1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast
5 medium carrots sliced
1 medium onion chopped
4 stalks celery sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 T olive oil
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. rosemary
3 1/2 T Parsley
2 bay leaves
6 cups Chicken broth
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 T. lemon juice

In ziplock bag put all ingredients except chicken broth, egg noodles, and lemon juice.
Write on bag:  Chicken Noodle Soup Low Heat 6 - 7 hours Add 6 cups Chicken broth  Remove chicken to separate into pieces, add noodles 10 minutes before serving.  Add lemon juice and chicken then serve.

Chicken Stuffing (make 2)
4 pieces of boneless chicken breast
1 box stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water

In Ziplock bag put all ingredients except sour cream.
Write on Bag: Chicken Stuffing Low Heat 6 hours Add 1/2 cup sour cream

Cilantro Lime Chicken (make 2)
2 lbs. chicken
2 limes (juiced and zest of one lime)
1 bunch of cilantro (My husband doesn't like Cilantro too much so one bunch of cilantro is plenty for 2 recipes)
1 bag frozen corn
1 can black beans
2 cloves garlic minced
1 t. cumin
2 cups chicken broth (used only for cooking and then drain when served)

In Ziplock bag put all ingredients except broth (too much liquid is cause for a disaster on your counter when you don't lock it good enough, or worse you don't realize and you put it in your freezer!)
Write on bag:  Cilantro Lime Chicken Low heat for 8 hours Add 2 cups chicken broth

Honey Chicken (make 2)
1 lb. lightly breaded chicken fingers
1 lb. frozen broccoli (I suggest big pieces not the small pieces of frozen broccoli as it will cook down)
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon pepper

You don't have to prep this in the freezer as everything you purchase is already frozen.  Plus putting honey into a zip lock bag isn't going to be pretty to get out.  In my freezer, I have the items labeled and together with the other frozen crock pot meals so its an easy grab when it's time to go.

Morning of meal, put all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours.   Serve over white rice.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (make 2)
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1 lb. frozen broccoli (suggest big pieces as they will cook down)
2 jars Alfredo sauce

Again, you do not need to prep this in the freezer.  The morning of the meal, place everything in the crock pot and cook 4 - 6 hours.  SUPER EASY, AND TASTY OVER TOP OF ALFREDO NOODLES!

Orange Chicken (make 2)
3 - 4 boneless chicken in chunks (or purchase small chicken pieces like popcorn chicken, my list includes the popcorn chicken)
**use 1/3 cup flour to flour and brown the chicken in small pieces cool and then place into the zip lock bag**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons ketsup
6 oz. frozen OJ concentrate (usually comes in 12 oz container, so half the amount for each bag)
4 Tablespoons brown sugar

In ziplock bag add all ingredients.
Write on bag:  Orange Chicken Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours.  Serve over white rice.

Beef Stew (make 2) **One of my husband's favorites!!!**
2 lbs. Beef Stew Meat
1 teaspoon worchester sauce
1 onion chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup beef broth
4 carrots sliced
3 potatoes in chunks
stalk celery sliced
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bayleaf
salt and pepper to taste

In Ziplock bag add all ingredients EXCEPT flour and beef broth.
Write on bag:  Beef Stew Add: 1/2 cup flour to 1 1/2 cups beef broth stir add to pot.  Cook time: low 10 - 12 hours.

Teriyaki Chicken (make 2) I love this one, I add extra pineapple because I love Pineapple!
2 1/2 lbs chicken breast
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 T. Black pepper
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Pineapple chunks

Place all ingredients into zip lock bag.
Write on bag:  Teriyaki Chicken Cook time 4 - 6 hours on low

Mediterranean Pork Chops (make 2)
6 - 8 pork chops (thicker, thin are not meaty enough and might be dry)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic
2 T paprika
2 T Poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons basil

Place all ingredients into bag EXCEPT chicken broth.
Write on Bag: Med. Pork Chops Add 2 cups chicken broth Cook time 8 hours on low.

Creamy Italian Chicken (make 2)
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 packet Italian dressing packet
1 can cream of chicken
1 block softened cream cheese

Place all ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese.  Cream cheese should be taken out the night before as the meal thaws to soften.
Write on Bag:  Creamy Italian Chicken Add softened cream cheese Cook time 4 - 6 hours on low Serve over Spaghetti noodles

Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken (make 2) **so yummy**
1 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T red wine vinegar

Place all ingredients into bag.
Write on Bag: Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken Cook Time low 8 hours Serve with rice or noodles with veg.

Beef Fajita (Make 2) **husband really liked this!  Asked for it again soon)
1 1/2 lb flank steak (cut into pieces)
1 1/2 cup salsa
1/2 sweet onion
**add green and yellow peppers**

Place all ingredients into bag.
Write on bag:  Beef Fajita Cook Time 8 hours low

An extra recipe for those days that we make a bit too much mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes Soup
1/2 lb left over mashed pots
1 cup milk
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3 can fulls of water

Put all ingredients into crock pot.  Cook for 2 hours on high.  After 2 hours on high, blend with either a hand mixer or blender.

Serve potato soup and add any "Baked Potato" topping.  Bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, bits of broccoli, etc.

Shopping List; adjust your list according to what pantry items you have already have.  I make more of the recipes that I have to use up some pantry items (like pineapple since there was a massive sale and I need to use them!)

14 - 16 pounds of boneless chicken
2 lbs chicken tenders
2 lbs. popcorn chicken
3 lb flank steak
4 lb beef stew meat
10 - 12 thick pork chops

18 medium sized carrots
10 stalks of celery (stalk = stick not entire bunch)
4 medium onions
12 - 16 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
bunch of cilantro
4 limes
6 potatoes

Gallon size freezer zip lock bags
Olive Oil
balsamic vinegar
16 cups chicken broth
3 cups beef broth
2 packets dry italian seasoning packet
4 cups egg noodles (uncooked)
bay leaf
poultry seasoning

4 cream of chicken
2 black beans
4 jars Alfredo

2 bag broccoli
2 bag corn
12 oz. OJ

Sour Cream
2 blocks cream cheese