A couple months ago I shared a fellow blogger’s From Your Freezer To Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes eCookbookand I am not going to lie…many of you went a little crazy over this book! In reality, the concept behind this e-cookbook is a great idea. You spend one afternoon chopping, assembling and freezing “meal packs,” and then on any given day you pop one into your slow cooker and voila! – dinner is done.
Many of you had questions about how this method of cooking works exactly, so today I invited the author, Stephanie, to share all of the details with us so you can create your own “Freezer to Slow Cooker” recipes at home. Or better yet you could just pick up a copy of her book if you’d rather someone else do all the work for you!
Guest post by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
Hiya! My name is Stephanie and I am the Founder of MamaAndBabyLove.com. I am dedicated to helping women heal, nourish and love themselves so they can nourish and love their families and live their best life.
I have been on a personal journey to learn how to be healthy and cook for over ten years now, and it’s been a loooong and arduous process. I used to watch The Food Network and get inspired to get off the couch and try a recipe, but the end result was usually something my dog wouldn’t even eat. Then about six years ago I bought a slow cooker and it changed. my. life.
Later when my daughter was born, time was of the essence so I therefore needed a really efficient way to make lots of slow cooker meals at one time. So I combined my old love of slow cooking and my new love of freezer cooking into something that was incredibly time saving, manageable and most importantly, healthy.
In about 2 hours or less, I chop all my meat and vegetables and put them in Ziploc freezer bags. Then I add my spice combinations and mix it up a bit. I get all the air out of the bag and lay it flat like a brick so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my freezer. Then the morning I want a home cooked, healthy meal, I take a bag out of my freezer and dump it into my slow cooker, totally frozen. By dinner time I have a real, healthy and nourishing meal awaiting my family and me. Continue Reading »
I’ve shared this recipe on the blog before, but to be honest it’s kind of buried in the intro paragraph of another recipe, which basically means it’s hard to find. And now that I’ve realized how incredibly popular this slow cooker “overnight chicken stock” recipe is I’ve decided it deserves a page all of its own! If you don’t already own a slow cooker I like to give people plenty of reasons to buy one because I love mine (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker) and use it quite frequently for everything from “Flank Steak Fajitas” to “Refried Beans.” But one of the best crock pot discoveries (thanks to a friend!) has definitely been this recipe below for chicken stock that cooks while you sleep using the leftover chicken bones from your dinner. I highly recommend using the leftovers from “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot” recipe, but any chicken bones will do, and you’ll be amazed with the outcome. Get ready to say goodbye to canned chicken broth forever! Continue Reading »
Based on the popularity of my other crock pot “real food” recipes I think you guys will love this one, too. Slow cookers are great for entertaining because you can easily get all the work done in advance and have your house smelling amazing when guests arrive (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker). I just made these fajitas myself the other day and my daughters kept asking me “What smells so good??” They couldn’t wait to dig in and if you make the tortillas in advance it will just take some grated cheese, sour cream, and cilantro (plus any other fixings you like on your fajitas), and your feast will be ready in no time. I am getting hungry just talking about it. But don’t take my word for it…you must try it for yourself!
I think I might be a little late getting on this bandwagon, but refried beans with melted cheese on a warm homemade whole-wheat tortilla is the bomb! Oh and don’t forget to top it with a little sour cream. I seriously cannot believe I am just figuring out how good this combination is. The reason why though is because I didn’t think I liked refried beans. That’s what happens when you only try them out of a can. But much like the difference between store-bought and homegrown tomatoes…homemade refried beans are light-years beyond the canned stuff! And with this super easy recipe below there is no excuse not to make them yourself. If you don’t already have one, you can buy the same slow cooker we have for about $25 and use it for this and other slow cooker recipes.
I am even going to pull out a bullet point list to tell you all the reasons why I like this recipe so much:
- Beans in general are super cheap and a good source of protein
- You don’t have to soak these dried beans overnight (which I often forget to do)
- They are sooo easy to make you could even do it with one hand tied behind your back
- You can freeze the leftovers for another day
- And for me, since I don’t normally love beans for textural reasons, this mashed up version is the perfect way to make them extra good Continue Reading »
If you don’t have a slow cooker I think this recipe alone is worth the $25 or $30 investment (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker). We have tested these pork tacos on quite a lot of people (including our dinner club guests), and it gets rave reviews every time! I’ve also already shared another slow cooker favorite of ours “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot,” which can easily be turned into overnight homemade chicken stock. There is no better way than a slow cooker to make inexpensive cuts of meat delish.
1 ½ lbs tomatillos (they look like little green tomatoes with husks around them)
½ cup white onion
¾ cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
Preheat broiler on high.
Peel and discard husks off tomatillos. Rinse and cut tomatillos in half. Place cut side down on foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Broil for 5 – 7 minutes until skin is lightly blackened.
Puree tomatillos and rest of ingredients together including onion, cilantro, lime, and pepper using a food processor, blender, or hand immersion blender until ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.
Cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.
In other news: Check out my weekly newspaper column in some of today’s papers including the Miami Herald. Today’s article details one of our first “broken rules” that occurred during our original 100 Days of Real Food pledge. If you like it please click “like” next to the article title: “Traveling during a real food pledge – Part II”[/donotprint]
I’ve tried a ridiculous amount of crock pot recipes, and this is by far the best (and easiest) way to slow cook a whole chicken until it is falling-off-the bone delicious. And if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet you’ll hardly have to buy anything to make this dish. Once the chicken is done it is flavorful enough to eat by itself, or you can incorporate it into another dish like pasta, chicken salad, or a casserole. We use a very basic crock pot that can purchased on Amazon for about $25.
Another great trick (that I learned from a friend!) is that after you pick off the good chicken meat you can leave the bones in the crock pot to make some stock. I usually start the chicken stock after dinner by filling it to the top with water, and then adding whatever I have on hand…bay leaf, carrot, celery, onion, parsley and/or thyme. Even if I am missing parsley or celery I still make it anyway, and it always turns out just fine. I keep it on low all night, and then in the morning I strain it into 1 or 2 cup Tupperware containers to store in the freezer. It works great and couldn’t be easier! Continue Reading »