Freeing Up Your Time by Freezing Up Your Food

So you may be wondering how this post fits into the Crafting/Organizational category. Well read on and you will be enlightened. A new wave of meal prep ideas to save time and save money have hit the internet. My most favorite idea to date is the plan, shop, chop and freeze meals that I have been trying. I love the concept of filling a gallon Ziplock bags with a variety of uncooked ingredients and then freezing until needed, but the first few recipes I tried were extremely bland. So I decided to try my hand at jazzing up the freezer meals. I was visiting my oldest daughter last week and in 2 hours I was able to plan, shop, chop and freeze 6 meals for $60. Each of the meals will feed a family of four when served with a salad and a side of noodles or rice if needed. My daughter plans to use these interspersed throughout the next month. This will be a life saver for her because you simply remove the frozen bag of ingredients from the freezer 24 hours before you want to start cooking in your crockpot. If you have a busy day coming up, you plan ahead to use one of these meals for that busy day.IMG_6145

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FALL HARVEST CHICKEN
1 1/2-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (if large pieces, cut in half)
2-3 cups chopped kale
3 cups butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 carrots cut into 1/2 inch circles
1 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 Tablespoons fresh tarragon (2 tablespoons if dry)
4 Tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Label the outside of 2 one gallon Ziplock bags with the following instructions:
Defrost for 24 hours. Place entire contents into crock pot and cool on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Prep all the vegetables and the chicken and place all ingredients into the 2 one gallon Ziplock bags dividing each of the ingredients evenly. Try to get out all the air from the bag and ziplock tightly. Place in the freezer until you want to cook it and then defrost 24 hours before you place defrosted bag of food into the crockpot.
Serve with rice (brown rice or quinoa)and a big green salad.

FIESTA LIME CHICKEN
1 1/2-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut pieces in half if large)
2 zucchini sliced
2 (16 oz) bags of frozen corn
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 red onion chopped
2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
1-2 cups chopped cilantro
4 limes juiced
4 Tablespoons mexican seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Label the outside of 2 one gallon Ziplock bags with the following instructions:
Defrost for 24 hours. Place entire contents into crock pot and cool on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Prep all the vegetables and the chicken and place all ingredients into the 2 one gallon Ziplock bags dividing each of the ingredients evenly. Try to get out all the air from the bag and ziplock tightly. Place in the freezer until you want to cook it and then defrost 24 hours before you place defrosted bag of food into the crockpot.
When chicken is fully cooked, shred it up and roll it in tortillas with grated cheese and salsa to make delicious burritos or serve over brown rice with a scoop of homemade salsa and guacamole and a bowl of chips.

ITALIAN CHICKEN STEW
1 1/2-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 jars tomato basil vegetarian marinara sauce
2-3 large zucchini sliced
1 large red onion chopped
2 large red pepper cut into chunks
2 carrots sliced
4 garlic cloves crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
salt and pepper

Label the outside of 2 one gallon Ziplock bags with the following instructions:
Defrost for 24 hours. Place entire contents into crock pot and cool on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Prep all the vegetables and the chicken and place all ingredients into the 2 one gallon Ziplock bags dividing each of the ingredients evenly. Try to get out all the air from the bag and ziplock tightly. Place in the freezer until you want to cook it and then defrost 24 hours before you place defrosted bag of food into the crockpot.
Cut the chicken up into pieces and serve over pasta with a green salad with balsamic vinagrette and a crusty loaf of french bread.

What would help you in your meal preparation organization?

Kerry Signature48

1 Comment

  1. Crockpot/Freezer Cooking | Life on our Runway on November 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    […] Fall Harvest Chicken and Fiesta Lime Chicken […]

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