Freezer Meals Tip

In the process of doing some research for my next round of freezer meals I came across a great tip. If you put the freezer bag in the refrigerator the night before it will be much easier to put in the crock pot. Check out http://whoneedsacape.com for lots of ideas, recipes and meal plans.

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Santa Fe Chicken

Another hit! This one is pretty straight forward.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken
  • 8 ounces frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • t teaspoon pepper
  • 3 scallions chopped

Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream if desired.

***

I’m giving it 4 stars. A good, solid recipe. Really good flavor and sufficiently different from the other chicken recipes. I served it with quinoa and roasted vegetables. It would do well in tortillas.

IMG_4560

I think I cooked this on low for 8 hours and it was fine. It didn’t make as much as the other recipes so we didn’t freeze any. I had actually planned to use the leftovers to make soup but after two dinners there weren’t any. This could easily be doubled.

Crock Pot Meal Plan Review: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

One word: Great!

I could use a lot more words, but that one works.

Five stars!!!
 

 

IMG_4561.JPG

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

  • 3-4 chicken breasts/thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 1 taco seasoning packet [or 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies

A half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. [The recipe didn’t specify, but I assume you are supposed to cook it a little while longer at this point.] Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and/or sour cream.

Honestly, I am a little surprised by how much I liked it given my confessed lack of love for chicken. This turned out so well. Tons of flavor, a nice balance of food groups. Everyone in the house loved it.

I diced the chicken instead of shredding it.

So, here is the one thing that needs improvement. This is by far the biggest freezer bag we made. It turned out to be difficult to get in the crock pot in the frozen state. The lid barely closed (after a while it did go down but I worried about the heat loss so I cooked it an extra hour on low). I’m not sure what the solution is. Maybe I should defrost the bag in the sink with cool water for a little while. I am open to suggestions.

As usual, this made a ton and gave us enough for a few meals in addition to a bunch of containers for the freezer. Yum!

Crock Pot Meal Plan Recipe Review: Beef Barbacoa

Good news, recipe fans. This one is a keeper!

nbsp;

Crock Pot Barbacoa

For the freezer bag:

  • 1.5-2 lbs Beef Rump Roast
  • (I used a different cut of beef that I can’t recall)

  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1 container of chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours [These times don’t sound right to me.] Shred the meat (discard the bay leaf).

Then add:

  • 1 16 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 12-16 ounces can green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook 30-60 minutes longer on high.

 

The verdict? 4 stars

IMG_4560.JPG

This was really good. The beef came out tender and flavorful. The spice was just right. It was great with brown rice, in a burrito, and just served with a little cheese and avocado.

Next time, though, I think I would do things a little differently. I don’t see why you have to wait to add the second group of ingredients. I am planning to add the tomato sauce, chiles and spices at the beginning next time (for that matter, I think you can probably just throw everything in the freezer bag).

Hooray for another successful meal. We had enough for a few meals plus a a big container in the freezer. We are well stocked these days and it feels good!