EASY Freezer cooking with your slow cooker

*reposted with permission from Mama and Baby Love – check her out…gorgeous Mama, adorable baby and AWESOME ideas!

Like I mentioned in my post the other week, the last time I did a big cooking day, I had big ah-ha moment.

Although, I had a blast with Lauren, it was logistically very difficult to accomplish, between the juggling of cooking and childcare, the prep work, organization and scheduling, it can be overwhelming.

So this latest big cooking day, I did it by myself and only did slow cooker recipes.  Basically, all I was did was chop vegetables and assemble ingredients.

Even with doing it this way, it was still a 3 hour affair, but during this time I was able to finish all the cooking AND the cleaning.  Most importantly my feet didn’t ache at the end like they normally do.  I also didn’t have any sort of panic or anxiety leading up to the big cooking day like I normally do. HUGE.

I chopped all the vegetables with Penelope in her Learning Tower before nap (which was really fun, I went through all the colors of the vegetables with her and talked about rainbows and made it a fun learning experience).

Then I assembled everything during her nap (thank you Jesus, I can now skip a pump session here and there and can do other things at nap time than sit in front of a computer) and finished cleaning up after nap, again with her in her Learning Tower.  This time she played independently with a bowl of soapy water, she made a huge mess,  but the rags I used to clean up her mess where the same rags I used to clean up my mess so it wasn’t that bad.

I just dumped the veggies into the gallon ziploc bags, then added the meat, then added the spices.

Once I was done and cleaned everything up, I felt like I had invented electricity!  I thought I was such a genius for finally (it took me over a year, people) getting once a month cooking down to an efficient and easy art form.

I am telling you it will change your life! Give it a try and tell me how it went!

Here are my recipes.  I use a ton of vegetables in each meal, because I don’t tend to eat a lot of veggies through out the day, so I try and get them all in at dinner.  And Peter is more apt to eat veggies if they taste like barbecue or curry than as a plain side dish.

Healthy Mama Barbecue Chicken
3 medium unpeeled  sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca
2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (I wasn’t sure if this meant actual mustard or the spice so I did a little of both)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.

Stephanie’s Goulash
3 cups chopped onions
2.5 cups coarsely chopped green sweet peppers
4 large beets, peeled and diced
2 cups of carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch cubes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 teaspoons Hungarian paprika or regular paprika (I used regular)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups hot cooked noodles
1/2 dairy sour cream

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. EXCEPT the sour cream, that is for garnish after the meal is cooked.

Chicken Curry
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes
2.5 cups baby carrots
2 cup coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion
1 zucchini chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
chicken bouillon
.5 cup raisins (for garnish)
.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish)

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.

To cook, take out of freezer and set on counter for about 30 minutes, then dump contents of bag into slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

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