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Showing posts with label slow cooker meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slow cooker meals. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prepared Ahead of Time Meals

     At the beginning of the summer, my mother-in-law broke her foot. Having to use crutches the first week, it was difficult for her to be able to move around and hold things. Since I had been wanting to try prepared meals, I used her handicap as a reason to try. That week, I prepared several different meals and froze them for both of our households.

     It was pretty easy to do and only took about 2, maybe 3 hours to prepare. If you have the freezer space and a few hours to spare, these meals are awesome to have on hand on days where you know you will be too busy to cook a meal or are too lazy to put anything together for that day.

     None of these recipes are my own and I found most of them from Pinterest. As a favor to you, I will talk about how easy or difficult it was to put them together and which ones were favorites and which weren't.

    1. The very first recipe that I made was Kung Pao Chicken . You can click the link for the recipe.

      I loved this recipe. It was very easy to put together, with the exception of cutting the chicken, but that's because my knives aren't top of the line. I did not make this recipe completely as it asked. It asked for a whole bottle of Kung Pao sauce, but I only used half of one because I was making it twice and only had one bottle. It didn't seem to matter, though because it was still super delicious. My husband, however, did not like this one, but he doesn't like Chinese food- or whatever nationality this is.

     2. Beef Stroganoff  is usually a meal that my husband and I enjoy. This recipe was easy to put together, but it's difficult to fit all into a freezer bag. It will fit, but getting it out of the bag and into the crockpot when it's frozen is a difficult feat. You'll want to defrost it before you cook it.
         As far as taste goes, this was not our favorite. It was alright, but I think I'll stick to Hamburger Helper for now. Don't discredit it though, because even though we didn't like it, you might.

     3.   Beef Broccoli  I made this with Chicken and I liked it. It was super easy and delicious.

     4. Tuscan Pasta  -  This is was my husband's favorite. I've made it two different ways. The first way is how the site makes it, but instead of cooking and shredding my own chicken, I added chicken from a can. It tastes just as good.  If you make it the way that is on the site, you literally cook the whole meal. I suggest doubling the recipe because after going through all of the trouble making the sauce and cooking the pasta, you're going to want to eat it that night. If you double it, at least you can freeze the second pan and eat it a different day. 
      Because it did take so long, I tried making this with the crockpot. I'm glad I did. It was so much easier and it's creamier when you eat it right away vs. when you bake it after it was frozen. 
      For the crock pot version, I added all of the ingredients in the crock pot except, instead of chopping the chicken, I added chicken tenderloins to the crockpot and cooked it on high for 4 hours. I left the pasta to cook later and then added them together when both were cooked. I also recommend strips of sun-dried tomatoes vs. whole.

     5. Sweet Garlic Chicken  I don't know why this was named the way that it was. It doesn't taste garlicy at all, which made me sad because I like garlic. It tasted more like a spicy barbeque chicken. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't my favorite. You can make your own opinion if you try it. This was very easy to make.

6. General Tso's Chicken- I don't have a link with a recipe for this one because I made it from a recipe on the back of a seasoning packet that I found at Walmart. This is another recipe that I liked- sort of- that was pretty easy to make.
     The recipe asks you to bread and fry your chicken. It doesn't take long, but I'm not sure that I did it right. I prepared everything ahead of time and put it in a freezer bag to make another day. I cooked it in the crockpot for 4 hours on high. The only thing that I didn't like was the texture. The fried flower coating kind of disintegrated so the sauce was thick and grainy/doughy- it's difficult to explain. If the texture was different, this would be an A+.

7. Meatloaf   I'm a person who likes meatloaf, but I did not like this one. It took forever to bake in the oven. I think it was like an hour and a half. It may have been better if I had thawed it overnight or something, but I probably won't make this one again. My husband thought it was ok. However, it is up to you to make your own decision. I usually like a sweeter meatloaf and this one was meaty. Imagine that- a meaty meatloaf!

     Most of these were very simple to make and I found many of them tasty and some not so tasty. Usually if I like it, my husband didn't and vice versa so don't let my reviews decide for you whether or not you'd like to try them.

      If you do make any of these, let me know which ones you like and if you made any changes on how you prepared them. I'm interested to know. Also, feel free to comment a favorite of yours that I might not have listed. I'm always up for trying something new. I'd love to find something that my kids will even eat!

About Me

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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