Wednesday, October 29, 2014

12 Healthy, Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Freezer Meals....

from the genius Lindsey at Hello Natural!! http://hellonatural.co/
The lentil-butternut squash curry sounds AMAZING!!!

12 easy slow cooker meals to make ahead and freeze

12 Easy Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals | HelloNatural.co 1. Meatballs + Tomato Sauce

One bag frozen meatballs (homemade are great too!), one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
Cook time: 3-4 hours on HIGH
Serve with: cooked pasta, green salad, garlic bread

2. Ginger Peach Chicken

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 12-ounce bag of frozen peach slices, 1 sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons ground coriander
Cook time: 4-5 hours on HIGH
Serve with: cooked white or brown rice, steamed veggies

3. Vegetable Beef Stew

2 pounds stew meat, 1 diced onion, 2 sliced carrots, 1 sliced parsnip, 1 large rutabaga (peeled and cut into cubes), 1/2 cup red wine, 2 tablespoons beef stock base or 3 bouillon cubes
Extra instructions: add 1 1/2 cups water to slow cooker
Cook time: 8-10 hours on LOW
Serve with: mashed potatoes or rice

4. Teriyaki Chicken

2 pounds chicken thighs, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 can pineapple chunks
Cook time: 8 hours on LOW
Serve with: cooked white or brown rice, green veggies

12 Easy Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals | HelloNatural.co 5. Pork Country Ribs + BBQ Sauce

2 pounds boneless country ribs, one bottle BBQ sauce (your favorite kind)
Cook time: 8-10 hours on LOW
Serve with: mashed potatoes, veggies, and salad

6. Salsa Chicken

2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thighs), 16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa
Cook time: 6-7 hours on LOW
Serving suggestions: rice bowls, tacos, enchilada filling, nachos, burritos

7. Mushroom Barley Stew

1 pound mushrooms, 2 sliced carrots, 1 sliced celery rib, 1 diced onion, 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 cup uncooked barley
Extra instructions: add 2 quarts vegetable stock to the slow cooker before cooking
Cook time: 8 hours on LOW
Serve with: hot, crusty bread or rolls

8. Lentil-Butternut Squash Curry

1 diced onion, 2 cups red or brown lentils, 2 cups diced butternut squash, 14-ounce can coconut milk, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt
Special instructions: Add 8 cups water to the slow cooker before cooking
Cook time: 6-8 hours on LOW
Serve with: hot, cooked rice, flatbread, raita

12 Easy Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals | HelloNatural.co 9. Sausage Lentil Soup

12 to 14 ounces sliced kielbasa sausage, 2 cups brown lentils, 2 carrots (diced), 1 celery rib (diced), 1 diced onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Extra instructions: For best flavor, brown kielbasa and diced onion, let cool completely before adding to bag (optional, but results in a better flavor and texture), add 2 quarts of water or stock to the slow cooker before cooking
Cook time: 4-5 hours on HIGH
Serve with: fresh bread and/or rice

10. Sloppy Joes

One pound ground meat (pork, turkey, chicken, or beef), 1 diced onion, 1 diced green bell pepper, 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 1 6-ounce can tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water), one Sloppy Joes seasoning mix packet
Cook time: 3-4 hours on HIGH
Serve with: buns, veggie fries

11. Cranberry-Mustard Pork

One (3-4 pound) pork roast (loin, shoulder, butt), 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard, 1 diced onion, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, zest and juice of 1 orange
Cook time: 8-10 hours on LOW
Serve with: mashed potatoes or rice, steamed broccoli

12. Beef Stroganoff

2 pounds stew meat, 1 pound sliced mushrooms, 1 diced onion, 1/2 cup red wine, 1 tablespoon beef stock paste (or 2 bouillon cubes)
Extra directions: Add 1 cup water to slow cooker before cooking. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream before serving (do not add freeze with other ingredients or add at beginning of cooking time or it will curdle)
Cook time: 8 hours on LOW
Serve with: rice or noodles

Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Tips + Hints

  • LABEL THE BAGS. Label them with the name of the recipe, cooking time, and any special instructions (adding liquid, etc.)
  • Bags can be thawed out in the fridge overnight before popping the contents into the slow cooker the next day, though it’s really not necessary.
  • The bags can be frozen flat, but I prefer to freeze the bags upright to make them easier to pop into the slow cooker. If you plan on thawing the bags overnight (totally fine), then it doesn’t matter how you freeze them.
  • I don’t like to freeze potatoes. I also don’t like broccoli or cauliflower cooked in a slow cooker (totally my preference!). If you prefer to add these veggies, by all means do. I recommend buying the already frozen bags and adding those instead of freezing your own. (Again, preference.)

Read more at http://hellonatural.co/slow-cooker-freezer-meals/#PEPAiwxU2Q2VbSBb.99

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