Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crock Pot Goodness!

I have shared how much I love Pinterest?  Because I LOVE Pinterest.  I came across a blog that had been pinned that shared how she shopped, planned, and prepped all of her meals.  Needless to say I was quite impressed.  I copied her recipes, printed them out, and proceeded to make a meal and grocery list.  Bryan and I hit up Walmart for groceries.  Now, I must tell you that I HATE shopping at Walmart!  But they have the best prices on groceries, hands down.  I bought everything there, except some of my produce.  I was not at all impressed with the selection of their produce, so I went to my go-to Winn Dixie for the produce I needed.

Then, with groceries in hand, I set out on my prepping journey.  They thing that I loved about most of her recipes is that there was no-prep!  You just dump all the ingredients in a freezer bag and you are done.  Simply take your meal out of the freezer and pop it into the fridge the nigh before you want to cook it.  The next morning, dump the bag in the crock pot, set it and forget it!

I have not tried ALL of the recipes that she shared, but I will share the ones I have tried.  Go check out Callie's blog to see the full list of recipes.

Let me fill you in on her lingo....prep/no cook freeze = dump everything in the bag and freeze.  prep/cook freeze = brown meat, cool, and freeze.  If it is a casserole, prepare everything but don't bake it.

BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork - doubled this - prep/no cooking, freeze
- one 4 - 6 pound pork shoulder
 - all purpose seasoning
 - one bottle of barbecue sauce
 - one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained
 - Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker.
 - Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.
 - Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.
 - Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.
 - Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.
- Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.
  Strain & serve!

Slow-Cooker Lasagna - doubled this - prep/cook, freeze
 1 lb. lean ground beef (could be substituted for italian sausage)
 1 jar spaghetti sauce
 1 c. water
 1 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese (we used skim ricotta to save some unneccesary fat haha)
 1 pkg. Kraft Italian Cheese (approx. 2 cups)
 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
 1 egg
 2 tbsp. parsley
 6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
 Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cup  mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. parmesan, egg and parsley.
 Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles (3  noodles broken up per layer), broken to fit; and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat  sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with  lid. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining  cheese; let  stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

-I have not officially tried this recipe, but I have made it for 2 families in a time of loss.  So far I have had nothing but good feedback!

Crock-pot Ravioli Casserole - doubled this - prep/cook, freeze
 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
 1 onion, chopped
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
 1 can stewed tomatoes
 1 tsp. oregano
 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed (I used fresh spinach)
 16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked
 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
 *Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Put in crock-pot and add sauce, tomatoes and seasonings.  Cook for 6-7 hours on low. Add the last 4 ingredients during the last 30 minutes of cooking and turn  crock-pot to high. I added the fresh spinach, pasta, parmesan and 1 cup of the mozzarella and I mixed it  all up really well. Then I added the last 1/2 cup of mozzarella to melt on the top.

-Let me just say.....I was very surprised that this tasted just like ravioli!

WW Taco Casserole - 7 points plus - prep/cook, freeze in dish
 1 lb ground skinless chicken breast
 1/2 c onions, chopped
 1/2 c bell peppers, chopped
 1 clove garlic
 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
 8 ozs taco sauce
 1 c fat-free sour cream
 1 c low-fat tortilla chips, whole or broken up
 1 c low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
 3/4 c salsa
Heat oven to 400. Spray cooking spray on bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. In a skillet, cook chicken, onion, peppers, and garlic clove until tender. Add seasoning mix and taco sauce; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese; set aside. Place half the broken chips in the bottom of casserole dish. Add meat mixture to cover the chips, then cover the meat with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining crushed chips. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with 3/4 cup salsa if desired. Makes 8 (1 Cup Servings)

- Here is my 2 cents on this recipe....the concept of this was great, but I would not put the chips on the bottom next time.  They ended up soft and soggy.  I would put all the chips on top and cover with the cheese to keep them crispy and yummy!

Sesame Ginger Slow-Cooker Chicken - doubled this - prep/no cook, freeze
 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs/tenderloins (about 2 lbs)
 1 bag (16 oz) ready-to-eat baby carrots
 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
 1/2 cup chicken broth
 1/4 cup honey
 2 tsp sesame oil
 1 tsp dried minced garlic
 1/4 cup soy sauce
 3 Tbsp cold water
 3 Tbsp corn starch
 1 Tbsp sesame seed, toasted
 2 green onions, sliced with tops
 -Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken in slow cooker. Add  carrots; sprinkle with ginger root. In small bowl, stir broth, honey, oil and dried minced garlic.  Pour over chicken and carrots.
 -Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
 *Note: Some folks have said their chicken was dry. I would consider cutting your cooking time  shorter, or using larger pieces of chicken. Not all crock pots are created equal, so keep that in  mind so you don't have dry chicken!
 -With slotted spoon, remove chicken and carrots to serving platter; cover to keep warm. Strain  cooking liquid; pour into 1-quart saucepan. In small bowl, mix soy sauce, water and cornstarch  until smooth; add to liquid in saucepan. Cook and stir over high heat until thickened and sauce  begins to bubble.  -To serve, pour sauce over chicken and carrots. Garnish with sesame seed and onions.

- I made this minus the sesame oil and seeds because I didn't have any.  Serve with rice.

On the ones that say "double this" I didn't.  She is feeding 6 people and I am only feeding 3.

So there you go....enjoy!
I still have quite a few recipes in the freezer.  I will be sure to share as I try them out!