Tuesday, October 8, 2013

September Crock Pot Freezer Meal Update!

Since blogging about how we're trying out once a month crock pot freezer cooking, I've had a TON of questions about how it's going.  Today's update is going to cover about half the meals so far, as there are still a few we haven't yet tried.  If you're looking for my original post with recipes and meal plan, you can find that here!

Overall, since we froze most of the meals in 1/2 portions, we've been cooking half of each recipe at a time.  I've found that this works really well for us for a few reasons - the first being that we're actually able to eat everything we cook before it goes bad & the second being that we're not eating the same thing for 10+ meals in a row.  This way, we're able to eat the same thing for maybe 2-3 days and then we're done with it and onto the next.

Typically, I will pull out a bag to defrost in the fridge the morning before I need it {so, giving it at least 24 hours to defrost since these are huge hunks of ice}.  After breakfast in the morning I will put in a crock pot liner, empty the contents into the crock pot, set it, and I'm done until dinner time.  There are a few recipes that have needed sides {like vegetables} added in at the last minute or needed vegetable sides cooked separately that weren't included in the recipe.  So, if I were adding to the meal planning list, I'd make sure you either had fresh/canned/frozen veggies for a few meals to supplement.  We typically keep a bunch of frozen veggies in our deep freezer, so we didn't need to run out for extra.

Here are the meals we've tried so far:

- BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork:

Since this recipe was mainly one large hunk of meat, I passed on trying it as you all know how much I'm not a meat eater.  But DH's take on this one was that while it tasted really good - and he & Little Lady ate pretty much all of this one on their own - that the pineapple may have been unnecessary.  He felt like it didn't alter the taste of the pork and he wasn't able to taste it over the BBQ sauce, and wouldn't have eaten the remains of the pineapple as it was sitting in all the pork juice mushed up at the bottom of the pot when it was finished.  Grade on this one?  B

- Lemon Garlic Chicken:

I'm not a huge meat eater, but this one actually tasted fantastic.  Both DH and I tasted it and immediately said we'd cook this again.  Surprisingly enough, Little Man actually took a few bites of this one as well.  I think the cream cheese pretty much makes this meal really tasty.  Sometimes when you're cooking in a crock pot, the food can come out tasting the same every meal, but this definitely did not taste like it came from a slow cooker.  This was one of the meals we had to add veggies and a side salad to in order to have a full meal.  Grade?  A

- Chicken & Spinach:

This was one was okay.  I would definitely eat it again, but cooking the pasta in the crock pot with the meat and veggies turned the pasta into sort of a mush that just blended in with everything else.  I know it's supposed to be super easy and slow cooker to plate for these meals, but if I were making this again I'd probably spend the 15 minutes to cook the pasta separately on the stove and then mix it in right before serving.  Grade?  B- with pasta in the crock pot.

- Lazy Day Stew:

I may have commented on this one before, but it was the first recipe we tried and we will totally make this again.  It's a really great fall or winter meal, and I feel like it'd be great after a day of playing out in the snow or raking leaves.  Grade?  A

- Savory Chicken:

Let's just leave it at the fact that we would definitely not make this again.  It was edible, but not by much.  Grade? F

Overall, we're loving monthly crock pot cooking.  We're eating healthier meals, more vegetables, less processed foods, and have no stress about what's going to end up on the dinner table on any given night.  Since I hate cooking, this has been an immense time-saver and stress-reliever for me in making sure our family isn't having junk food or pizza every week.  DH & I have already talked about how we will definitely continue crock pot monthly freezer cooking next month - using some of these recipes as well as mixing in a few new recipes.

How is slow cooker meal planning going for everyone else?

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1 comment:

  1. I am so inspired to try this! Oh and the link to the original post is missing.


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