8 Back to School - Crock Pot Meals to the Rescue!
Now that school is back in session - your crock pot may just be a time & money saver!
My advice to you - find meals your family will actually enjoy. I've seen posts touting "so many meals in so many minutes" and right now, I am not sure where they came up with their timing.
I found it much, much easier to collect the various recipes that I wanted to try, and compile my shopping list. I say, start with 5-8 crock-pot/slow-cooker recipes and see how it all goes. Figure out if it's worth the time and effort in advance for your family. I lucked out and there were sales at my local Safeway on every meat item I needed to purchase!
Some Hints: have lots of measuring cups and measuring spoons ready to go. I had a set for dry measuring and a set for liquid measuring which sped things up. I had a nice big trash can at my side too - you will appreciate this advice because, once you get going you will quickly realize how much you toss away, in scraps, peels and packaging. I also wrote down on the face of each freezer gallon bag in sharpie permanent marker - the date, the contents and cooking instructions. All my meals will work best of taken from the freezer the night before and placed in the fridge overnight to 'thaw'. The Best hint/tip I can offer is to use a meatloaf pan in the packaging process!! I placed my gallon baggies IN the pan which then supported the contents going in without tipping over the bag - worked like a charm! (photos below) and of course, slow cooker liners make for easy cleanup when you are ready to cook your meals - if you don't want to use those - make sure to coat your slow-cooker with olive oil - which will also aide in quick cleanup.
Here are Eight Recipes my family loves
prepared in under 2 hours for freezer to crockpot) :
Honey Soy Chicken adapted from Allrecipes
French Dip from Canning and Cooking at Home
Pork Green Chile (leftovers can be pressure canned!) from Canning and Cooking at Home
Ranch Chicken Tacos from Who Needs a Cape?
Chicken Cacciatore from Southern Living
Mongolian Beef from Once a Month Meals
Applesauce BBQ Chicken from Taste of Home
Mushroom & Beef Tips from All things Food - Cooking with Mary & Friends
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home