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© 2019 by Kimbre Varney

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A Week of Freezer Friendly Crock pot Meals

March 9, 2019

 

I love my crock pot! I could sing it from the rooftops! If it wasn't for this beloved kitchen appliance, my family probably wouldn't eat nearly as healthy on the regular. It helps me accomplish feeding my family healthy delicious hot meals without spending a ton of time in the kitchen. On top of that, if I can get my act together and prep the meals ahead of time, I can save myself any prep-time during the week. How amazing is that?!?! It is super helpful on nights that I am teaching classes or working with clients or simply want to spend more time with my family and less time in the kitchen. 

 

First and foremost, you need to have the right tool for the job. I hated my first ever crock pot and though I would hate them forever. The thing was ancient and didn't cook evenly at all. I have loved all of the other ones that I have owned but found it necessary to purchase a new crock pot this past fall when mine ended up with a crack all the way down the middle. So, I upgraded to this beauty! 

 If you are looking to purchase a crock pot, I highly recommend this one. Click the link >>HERE<< to find it on amazon. This one is really cool as it is safe to travel with the tie downs, user friendly with various settings (automatically switches to warm after it finishes cooking), it has a built in lid holder, the surface is chalkboard, and it is 7 quarts!!!

 

Today, I am going to share with you 5 crock pot meals that are also freezer friendly. This way you can either prepare them ahead of time and put them in the fridge to use them throughout the week or you can prepare them and freeze them for use at another time. 

 

If you are making these all at the same time, you can take out your freezer bags and label them first with the contents and instructions. The only thing that has to be "pre-cooked" in all 5 recipes is the rice in the un-fried rice. I typically use leftover rice for this recipe but you can easily make the rice while you prep everything else or you can make it in the crock pot ahead of time (the instructions are at the bottom of the post). I will try to make the recipe with uncooked rice this week and update you with the results. 

Go ahead and chop and slice and dice all of your veggies, and any meat. Then start placing all of your ingredients in the labeled bags. Once you are finished, you can leave the bags in the refrigerator for use throughout the week or you can freeze them flat for use at a later time. 

 

Let's be honest, he best option is to take the freezer meal out of the freezer the night before to help it thaw a bit and fit in the crock pot easily but that doesn't always happen.  If it is the morning of and you forgot to take the meal out of the freezer the night before, don't throw your hands up and order pizza for dinner just yet. A long as you still have enough time to cook the meal for the longest time on high, you should be good to go. There are many times that I have forgotten until late morning/early afternoon and have still been able to get dinner on the table at dinner time. 

 

 

Recipe #1 Lentil and Rice Salad Bowls 

Ingredients: 

1 cup brown lentils

1 cup brown long-grain brown rice- uncooked

1 medium onion, chopped

3.5 cups bone broth (if you need a recipe check out my post >>HERE<<

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1 bay leaf

 

Salad Topping

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

2 Tbsp. olive oil 

1/2 tsp salt

2 small cucumbers, diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

 

Directions:

1) Label the bag with contents and instructions. ~(Cook on high 3-4 hr) ~

Combine lentils, rice, onion, broth, and pepper in a freezer safe bag. 

* If using within a couple of days, you can leave the bag in the refrigerator and cut up the veggies that you will use. **do not mix the salad topping ingredients together until you are making the meal. 

If not using right away, make sure the bag is labeled and lay it flat in the freezer

2) When you are ready to use your meal, either take it out of the freezer the night before or take it out of the refrigerator. 

3) Cook on high 3-4 hours, until the lentils and rice are tender but not mushy. 

4) Keep the rice mixture in the crock pot while you prepare the salad toppings. The salad will wilt if it stis in the dressing for too long. 

5) In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, peel, olive oil, and salt and whisk well. 

6) Place the rest of the topping ingredients in the bowl and mix gently. 

7) To serve, place a scoop of the lentil rice mixture in a bowl. Top with a scoop of the salad. 

 

Recipe #2 Chicken Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

Ingredients: 

1(12oz) package Italian chicken sausage, diced (we like Al fresco) 

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 bay leaves

4 cups bone broth

salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups baby spinach

 

Directions: 

1) Label the bag with contents and instructions. ~Add 2 cups water. Cook on low 7-8hr or high 3-4hr.~

Combine sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano, leaves, broth, salt and pepper into a freezer bag. 

* If using within a couple of days, you can leave the bag in the refrigerator. If not using right away, make sure the bag is labeled and lay it flat in the freezer

2) When you are ready to use your meal, either take it out of the freezer the night before or take it out of the refrigerator. 

3) Add the contents of the bag to the crock pot, add 2 cups of water, cook on low 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 

4) Stir in spinach until wilted.

5) Serve

 

Recipe #3 Salsa Chicken

Ingredients: 

1.75 cups frozen corn (or one can)

1.75 cups black beans (or one can)

1 16 oz jar of salsa

3-4 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

 

Directions: 

1) Label the bag with contents and instructions. ~Cook on low 7-8 hr or high 3-4 hr~

Combine corn, beans, salsa, and chicken into a freezer bag. 

* If using within a couple of days, you can leave the bag in the refrigerator. If not using right away, make sure the bag is labeled and lay it flat in the freezer

2) When you are ready to use your meal, either take it out of the freezer the night before or take it out of the refrigerator. 

3) Add the contents of the bag into the crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hr or on high 3-4 hr. 

4) Once the chicken is done, remove it from the crock pot and shred the chicken. Add the chicken back into the crock pot. Stir. 

5) Serve over rice/lettuce or as tacos. 

 

Recipe #4 Vegetables with Rice or Pasta 

Ingredients: 

4 cups chopped zucchini

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 

1 green or red pepper, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced 

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp Italian seasoning 

2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce

*My hubby also likes it when we add cooked ground turkey to this recipe

 

Directions:

1) Label the bag with contents and instructions. ~Cook on low 6 hrs~ 

Combine all the ingredients into a freezer bag. 

* If using within a couple of days, you can leave the bag in the refrigerator. If not using right away, make sure the bag is labeled and lay it flat in the freezer

2) When you are ready to use your meal, either take it out of the freezer the night before or take it out of the refrigerator. 

3) Add the contents of the bag into the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hrs, or until veggies are tender. 

4) Serve with your favorite pasta or over brown rice. 

 

Recipe #5 Un-fried Rice 

Ingredients: 

4 cups leftover rice/quinoa 

1/3 cup liquid aminos

1tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp garlic powder or you can use fresh minced garlic 

1/2 diced yellow onion

2 cup of whatever frozen or fresh vegetables (we like carrots, peas, corn, peppers, broccoli) 

Salt and pepper to taste 

2 eggs

 

Directions: 

1) Label the bag with contents and instructions. ~Add 2 eggs and Cook on high 2-3 hrs or on low  3-4 hrs~ 

Combine all the ingredients minus the egg into the freezer bag 

* If using within a couple of days, you can leave the bag in the refrigerator. If not using right away, make sure the bag is labeled and lay it flat in the freezer

2) When you are ready to use your meal, either take it out of the freezer the night before or take it out of the refrigerator. 

3) Add the contents of the bag  and the two eggs into the crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hrs or on high for 2-3 hr. 

 

 

** If you want to batch cook brown rice itself for use during the week/in recipes you can follow this recipe here: 

Crock pot Rice 

Ingredients:

2 Cups brown rice 

5 cups of bone broth/water or any combination of the two

 

Directions: 

1) Generously grease the slow cooker with coconut or olive oil.
2) Place the rice in the bottom of the slow cooker.
3) Slowly pour in the broth/ water.
4) Cover and cook on high for about 2 1/2 hours or on low for about 5 hours or until the rice is soft and the water is absorbed.

Every crock-pot cooks differently, so WITHOUT lifting the lid, check the crock-pot every hour the first time you make this.
5) Stir when completely cooked 

 

 

Next month, I will be discussing how I meal plan for a month at at a time and supply you with some tasty prep ahead of time breakfast recipes. 

 

What are your favorite crock pot meals? 

 

 

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