Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crockpot Freezer Meals

I have been wanting to dedicate a day to making freezer meals for YEARS now and just hadn't found the time. Then, last month when I ordered 40lbs of chicken (I only kept 20lbs and split with my friend) from Zaycon Foods I knew this was my time. I scoured all my "pins" from Pinterest and pulled what I thought to be the yummiest meals. Who am I kidding, I was also looking for the easiest with the least amount of ingredients. So Saturday I picked up my box of chicken and went to the store with my shopping list and Monday I got to work.
First I chopped all me veggies, lined them up on the counter in bowls. Then I labeled all my bags and lined them up according to like ingredients (helped save time when adding small things like a T of flour, those bags were next to each other, etc. Make sense?? Prob not.) Third I added the all seasonings (wet and dry), then veggies and then cleaned it all up. Next, THE CHICKEN! I was up to my elbows in chicken for a long time, needless to say I had no desire to cook or eat dinner so my family had cold cereal :) After adding the chicken, seal and shake the bags and voila! I double bagged the meals with lots of liquid, just to be safe.
And here are the recipes I used:
Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken

IN THE BAG- 2 cups onions, 2 cups carrots, 2 cups zucchini, 1 red pepper, 1/2 t grated lime peel, 2 T lime juice, 2 T soy sauce, 2 T flour, 4 garlic cloves, 2 lbs. cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast.
TO COOK- Dump contents of bag in slow cooker. Cover with 3/4 cup chicken broth and 3 T peanut butter (whisked together). Cook on low for 5-6 hours. For the last five minutes, add in 1 can of coconut milk and 1 bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- To make it spicy, add 1/2 teaspoon of red curry paste before serving (I kept our unspicy for the kiddos). Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve over rice.
Coconut Chicken Curry by Martha Stewart
IN THE BAG- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 lbs. of chopped butternut squash, 2 medium onions,chopped, 8 minced garlic cloves, 1 oz fresh ginger, 2 T curry powder,1 t ground coriander, 1 t ground cumin, coarse salt

TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag and a can of coconut milk to a slow cooker and cook on low all day. 25 minutes before serving, add another can of coconut milk and a bag of frozen peas.
TO SERVE- Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro.

BBQ Chicken adapted from this recipe by Mama and Baby Love
IN THE BAG- 2 cups sweet potatoes, 2 cups red and green bell pepper, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups onion, 3 cups zucchini, 2 T flour, 1.5 lbs chicken, 2 cloves garlic, 1 t salt
TO COOK- Dump bag plus one bottle BBQ sauce into crock pot, cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Man-Pleasing Chicken modified from Witty in the City
IN THE BAG- 2 cups red and green bell pepper, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups onion, 3 cups zucchini, 2 T flour, 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 cloves garlic, 1 t salt

TO COOK- Add the contents of the bag with 3/4 cup of dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1 T of rice wine vinegar to a foil lined glass pan. Cook at 450 until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve.
Teriyaki Chicken (2 bags)
  • Split a large bag of Baby Carrots between the 2 bags
  • Cut Red Onion into Large Chunks and split between the 2 bags
  • (1) 20oz can pineapple in each bag (undrained)
  • (2) Garlic Cloves chopped per bag
  • (2) Chicken Breasts in each bag
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
*TO COOK- Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.

“Pulled” Chicken Breasts
IN THE BAG-3 Whole Chicken Breasts, 1 1/2 C Favorite BBQ Sauce
TO COOK- Thaw and place in your slow cooker with about 1/4 C of water for 3-4 Hours on High. Shred chicken and mix back in with sauce, serve on crusty rolls with a slice of cheese. This recipe is also pretty flexible and can be baked or grilled if you don’t want to slow cook.
Ranch Chicken
IN THE BAG- 4 Whole Chicken Breasts, 1 Packet Ranch Dressing Mix (The dry kind)
  • Dust the chicken with the ranch dressing – try to get the whole packet to stick. I found this worked a bit better if I didn’t try to do it in the bag, so I did it on a plate and put whatever didnt stick in the bag. Label and freeze.
TO COOK- Thaw and place in your slow cooker with about 1 C of Water or Chicken broth for 3-4 hours on High, or 4-5 Hours on Low. Serve whole or chop up for tacos or sandwiches.
Italian Chicken

IN THE BAG- 4 Whole Chicken Breasts, 1 1/2 C. Italian Dressing
TO COOK- Thaw and place in your slow cooker with about 1/2 – 1 C of water or Chicken broth for 3-4 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low. This recipe can also be grilled or baked with amazing results.
Chicken Fajitas
IN THE BAG-3 Chicken Breasts, sliced into fajita strips , 1-2 Tbsp Fajita Seasoning, from a packet or a jar, 1 medium onion sliced, 1 medium pepper sliced, 1 Can Rotel tomatoes & green chiles

TO COOK- thaw and dump into the crockpot – cover and cook 4-5 hours on low
So there you have it! 10 bags of super healthy yummy crockpot meals! The total cost was about $6 per meal to feed 4 people (plus leftovers). Next time I will keep all 40lbs of chicken to myself and make more meals! Also, it took me about 5 hours from prep to full kitchen cleanup (factor in taking care of 2 kids, one with new stitches who needed lots of cuddles, serving dinner pouring bowls of cereal and putting kids to bed).
Totally worth it! Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yummy Soup and A Rainy Seattle Day

Today's weather is so blah but you know what?! I LOVE it! I am a huge fan Fall days sometimes. The kind that make you want to cozy up with some good music, bake, build forts with your kids, wear socks, snuggle and watch a movie, and eat homemade soup and bread... mmmmmm. 

Last Saturday I made a batch of Zuppa Toscana soup, just like the kind at the Olive Garden. It turned out so yummy and SO simple! Here is the recipe I used:


  1. 1
    Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
  2. 2
    Brown sausage in your soup pot.
  3. 3
    Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  4. 4
    Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in pot.
  5. 5
    Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  6. 6
    Add sausage and bacon.
  7. 7
    Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. 8
    Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  9. 9
    Turn to low heat.
  10. 10
    Add kale and cream.
  11. 11
    Heat through and serve.

    Buon Appetito!

So Fresh...

And So Clean Clean!
 I love my homemade laundry detergent. My friend Diana was the one who got me to actually put my foot in the door and try out this recipe. It's beyond easy. Is that even possible? Here's the recipe that I got from this site (one of my faves I use often).

I bought all my ingredients this time around from WalMart. I don't usually shop there, in fact I boycott the place, but I had a return to make (when we were camping on Labor day, the closest store was a WalMart) so I figured I'd check the prices... WAY CHEAPER! So, I swallowed my pride. I use an airtight tupperware container and an extra TBS measuring spoon that I store in there.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I love me a good buy!

**This post was originally written in May-when I actually did the shopping-it's only taken me a whole summer to finish it**

Last Saturday my awesome partner in crime let me go shopping SANS kids for 2 hours (I could have shopped all day but I needed to get back to nurse little Van)! It was AWESOME! I only went to one thrift store but it didn't matter... because I had no grabby hands touching everything, begging to "get it! get it please!" no baby being sad because he was in the car seat too long! I looked through at least 95% of store. Serious. Because I could. I was feeling really good with my haul and then I got to the dressing room. Let's just say that wasn't my proudest hour, realizing how much baby baggage I still have to lose but I still got some awesome things! 5 out of the 8 tops I got are Banana Republic and I got an amazing J. Crew skirt! I also took some time to look through boy clothes (of course!) and got Mason and Van some great new clothes (and by new I mean some of the were BRAND NEW-tags on and everything)! Here are a couple of my faves:

Banana Republic white sweater navy blue trim ($3)- perfect for an afternoon on a yacht?? Haha in my dreams.

Banana Republic silk top ($5)- Luuuurve this one!

Teal/Aqua linen skirt with vintage like flower ($3). I happened to have a matching flower from H&M ($1) that I've used to put on my necklace while wearing this skirt...super cute!

I am in need of a few more staple pieces in my wardrobe and will hopefully be off for another solo shopping trip this weekend.

ps- did I mention that because I donated a load of stuff before I went in the store that I got a coupon for an additional 20% off?? Woohoo!

Life as We Know It...

IS CRAZY! Keeping up with my 2 boys and my 1 man are exhausting. I have been working full time this last 2.5 weeks and all I can say is I will NEVER complain again about being a SAHM. Now that my days are back to casual waking in the morning, cooking breakfast, playing at the park, scheduled nap times, happy boys playing in their room, grocery shopping and laundry during daytime hours... I couldn't be happier.

This guy just potty trained...

This guy is walking...

This guy also just turned 10 mos... and loves the mirror (his father's child for sure)

And they are still my faves...

And now that summer is over I should probably post about our summer antics.... next time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quinoa Salad and Southwest Wraps

Last night as we were sitting down to dinner I told Braden that I felt like such a GOOD mom by serving my family something as healthy as this meal and the best part?? It had SO much flavor!

Quinoa Salad:

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans 
  • Red Pepper
  • Fresh Mango
  • Oil (you can use Olive or whatever you have, I used peanut oil)
  • Fresh Lime
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Cilantro
 Cook Quinoa as directed on package. Drain and RINSE black beans. Cut up red pepper and mango into bite sized pieces. Mix quinoa, red pepper, mango and beans in bowl.
 Add about equal parts oil and fresh squeezed lime juice until desired taste. Add salt and pepper. Last, sprinkle with fresh cut cilantro. Mix all together and REFRIGERATE for a couple of hours (or more, it taste better the longer it sits)!


Whole wheat SW Chicken Wraps
  • Whole wheat tortillas (or whatever wrap you choose, pitas would be good too)
  • Chicken
  • Seasoning
  • Hummus
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Other veggies if you desire
I cheated and used a package of pre-cooked and seasoned chicken but next time I'll make my own! This is my favorite brand of hummus and next time I'll try a different flavor to change it up. This one is Greek Style and SOO yummy, they also have a cracked red pepper one that looks delish too.
 Chop Veggies
 Spread the hummus on tortilla-top with a little chicken for protein and a TON of veggies!
Wrap and Enjoy with a scoop of salad on the side!

This is such an easy meal! I made the salad early in the day during nap time (takes about 30 minutes with quinoa cooking time) and the wraps took about 5 minutes. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dinner Biggest Loser Style

On this season of  The Biggest Loser, they showed one of my favorite recipes as a side or main dish... QUINOA SALAD . My MIL Jane introduced this super food to me a few years ago and although I haven't dived into strict quinoa regimen, I do love a good salad. It is a very summer-y feeling food! Tonights dinner will be whole wheat southwest chicken wraps w/ humus and quinoa salad. 

Recipe and Pics tomorrow!