Slow cooker freezer meals have remained as my main method of cooking, which has really changed the way our household eats. We have a home cooked meal almost every day during the week, and we almost always pack leftovers for lunch the next day for all four of us. We also stock up on frozen vegetables that steam in their own bags in the microwave whenever they're on sale.
Here's the step by step of what happens each night when we get home from work and daycare pickup. It's a bit tough to prep dinner with Lil Miss Wagon at my ankles, so Wagon Sr. does his best to distract the kids while I get dinner on the table.
- I throw a bag of frozen steamed vegetables into the microwave. Wagon Jr.'s favorite is carrots, and Lil Miss Wagon's favorite is... everything. She always eats the vegetables first and screeches for more.
- I portion out the meal from the crock pot and put it out to cool for the kids.
- I add a bit of butter and salt to the steamed veggies and assemble everyone's plates. We usually have rice in the rice cooker or some pre-made pasta tossed with olive oil in the fridge.
- We all eat!
- I usually finish first since Wagon Sr. helps the kids eat their meals, so I start cleanup, dishes, and packing up leftovers for our lunches.
- I take out the next day's freezer meal to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
With this constant stream of home cooking, we've fallen into a pretty good groove mixing in quick cooked meals and a pizza night each week (yeah Domino's $7.99 large 3 topping special!). Here's a sample of a weekly meal plan:
- Monday: Italian lemon chicken over rice, side of mixed veggies
- Tuesday: Pasta and turkey meatballs, side of broccoli
- Wednesday: Beef tips and gravy over mashed potatoes, side of carrots
- Thursday: pizza night! (usually beef, spinach, and tomato for toppings)
- Friday: Teriyaki pork chops over rice, side of peas
We've identified family favorite recipes, but I still try to mix in a new recipe or two each time I prep about 2 weeks' worth of meals. I've learned my lesson of only preparing one bag of a new recipe (nothing worse than not liking a recipe and knowing you have another one waiting in the freezer!) and adding a cup of water in the crockpot if I know it's going to be waiting for an hour or two before we get home (especially with chicken, which gets dried out easily). Here are two new recipes that were both a hit with everyone in the family!
- 4-6 pork chops
- 6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
- 2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
- 2 packages dry Ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup milk
Add all the ingredients to a freezer bag. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low 6-7 hours.
- 3 lbs stew meat, cubed
- 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 (4 oz each) cans mushrooms, with liquid
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 (1 oz) packet dry onion soup mix
Combine all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Zip closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 10 hours. Serve over rice.
Do you have any slow cooker freezer meal recipes to share?