Slow Cooker Pot Roast

classic pot roast2 text

This recipe came from Real Simple. I set it up as a slow cooker freezer meal.

I NEED to learn how to make smaller meals in the slow cooker. While one day of leftovers is great. Two or three days is boring and is usually a waste of food.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4cup tomato paste
  • 2tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1pound carrots—peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces, and halved lengthwise if thick
  • 1pound baby potatoes (about 15)
  • 1/2 bag of frozen white pearl onions
  • 2stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 13-pound beef chuck roast
  • salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. mix together the tomato paste, cornstarch, and 1 cup water.
  2. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and celery. and toss to combine.
  3. Season the beef with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and set on top of the vegetables.
  4. Cover and cook until tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  5. Serve with the vegetables and cooking liquid.

classic pot roast text


Reviews
:

AJ: Did not eat the meat, but ate every bite of onion and vegetable. He dunked bread in the broth, which he NEVER does…so he must have really liked it. 

Mommy:I LOVED this soup, but now have too much left over.

Daddy: Took it for lunch, hope he likes it.

I’m linking up with

 Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Spring Minestrone Soup

20160518_175043TEXT

This recipe came from HOW SWEET IT IS . I set it up as a slow cooker freezer meal.

I took out the asparagus…because I just forgot it. I think I would cook the pasta separately, so I’m not having to be around for the last hour of cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 1 cup of frozen sweet peas
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Prepare and put the following ingredients in a freezer bag: onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and beans.
  • Mix peas and spinach in a separate freezer bag
  • When ready to cook, defrost, and add first bag of items to slow cooker, plus the water and vegetable stock. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  • For the last hour add pasta, then the last half hour add spinach and peas.
  • top off with romano and serve

 

20160518_163901TEXTReviews:

AJ: LOVED this soup

Mommy:I LOVED this soup

Daddy: Took it for lunch, hope he likes it.

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Saving Money with Freezer Meals

save moneyToday’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

Forget ~ Understand ~ Distant ~ Opal

They were submitted by: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

With the warm weather I try not to use my apartment oven as it heats our tiny kitchen. Now the darn thing is acting up, but at least the stove top works. Between the toaster oven, microwave, stove top, and slow cooker, I don’t need the oven. In the future I would love to get a double toaster, just hope it’s not the distant future. At least with the slow cooker you throw your food in, set the time and forget about it until it’s time to eat. Perhaps a second, smaller slow cooker might need to be bought. It would be nice to have a dessert being make while we prep and eat dinner. The tough part would be storage, with our already small kitchen and limited cabinets, where would we keep it? I always wanted one extra cabinet, but where would it go and how would we get it to match our faded, opal-colored cabinets?

We tried Hello Fresh, a meal delivery service. Since I was able to use a $40 referral credit it was more than worth it. After a week of yummy meals, we decided to use HelloFresh every four weeks. After three weeks of slow cooker meals, we will be treated to a week of new recipes. While it will cost us $35 a meal, which is far more than I would EVER pay for a meal, it is nice to try new recipes. We won’t have much leftovers and understand that it will require more meal prep on my part. In the end I love to cook and relish learning new recipes and ideas in our kitchen. Maybe

*~*~*~*~Freezer Meals*~*~*~*~

PROS:

  • less money per meal
  • little to no prep time on day of meal
  • come home to a cooked meal
  • lots of leftovers

CONS:

  • gets boring after a while
  • if you don’t like you are stuck with lots of leftovers
  • lots of prep to get them into bags and in the freezer

Our normal weekly menu will look like this…

  • Friday pizza
  • Saturday leftovers (pizza and Thursday’s meal)
  • Sunday pasta with meatballs or sausage
  • Monday leftovers
  • Tuesday slow cooker freezer meal
  • Wednesday leftovers
  • Thursday slow cooker freezer meal

Favorite slow cooker meals: 

ginger peach meal  rosemary honey chicken plate2

Slow Cooker Ginger Peach Chicken (SLOW COOKER)
Honey Rosemary Chicken (SLOW COOKER) 
Creamy Mushroom Chicken (SLOW COOKER)
Slow Cooker Lasagna (SLOW COOKER) 
Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Potatoes (SLOW COOKER) 

 

*~*~*~*~Hello Fresh*~*~*~*~

PROS:

  • variety of meals
  • portion sizes are healthier
  • only get ingredients you need, so you are not stuck with unwanted ingredients that you will never use.
  • less time in grocery store
  • get new recipes and add them to my recipe bank

CONS:

  • more prep than I am used to
  • more money per person than I usually spend on a meal
  • leftovers only for one person, unable to spread out meals for the week

 

The week of Hello Fresh menu will look like this…

  • Friday pizza
  • Saturday leftovers (pizza and Thursday’s meal)
  • Sunday pasta with meatballs or sausage
  • Monday Hello Fresh Meal
  • Tuesday leftovers
  • Wednesday Hello Fresh Meal
  • Thursday Hello Fresh meal 

Two recent Hello Fresh Meals

lemon grass beef stir fry  apricot glazed chicken

Apricot Glazed Chicken (HELLO FRESH MEAL)
Lemongrass Beef Stir-Fry (HELLO FRESH MEAL)

 

Here are some great resources for slow cooker meals.

Happy Money Saver http://happymoneysaver.com/freezer-meals/

Hello Glow http://helloglow.co/slow-cooker-freezer-meals/

Buzzfeed 24 Dump Dinners http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/crock-pot-dump-dinners?utm_term=.uup2MNJ6a

Thirty HandMade Days http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2015/08/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-busy-weeknights/

The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-use-your-slow-cooker-this-summer-205089

 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts

Apricot Glazed Chicken

apricot glazed chicken

Only the leftovers are shown! We were all too excited to start eating to take pictures

 

 

This recipe came from HelloFresh meal delivery. We decided to use this service every four weeks. So after three weeks of slow cooked meals, the fourth week will provide us with some new recipes and flavors!

HELLO FRESH apricot glazed chicken

This was a big hit! Three meals at $35 each…$8.75 per person for four people.

Even though the directions said to use my oven, I opted for my toaster oven and stove top in a cast iron skillet…and it still came out EXCELLENT!

Wonder if I can make this into a slow cooked meal???? 

PROS:

  • variety of meals
  • portion sizes are healthier
  • only get ingredients you need, so you are not stuck with unwanted ingredients that you will never use.

 

CONS:

  • more prep than I am used to
  • more money per person than I usually spend on a meal
  • leftovers only for one person, unable to spread out meals for the week.

 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts 24 oz
  • Carrots 24 oz
  • Yukon Potatoes 24 oz
  • Apricot Jam 2 T
  • Chili Flakes 1t   I did not use the chili flakes  
  • Thyme 1/2 oz
  • Chicken Stock Concentrates 2
  • Shallots 2
  • Lemon 1
  • Olive Oil  not provided 
  • water  not provided 

 

Directions

  • Prep: Wash and dry all produce. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch wedges. Peel and cut the carrots into ½ inch coins. Strip half the thyme leaves off the sprigs; set the remaining sprigs aside
  • Roast the carrots and potatoes: Toss the potatoes and carrots on separate baking sheets, each with a large drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes and carrots with the thyme leaves. Place both sheets in the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking until golden brown. 
  • Sear the chicken: Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. Season the chicken breasts on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan, skin-side down, and cook for 6-8 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary, until golden brown and crispy. Flip over and place the chicken onto the baking sheet with the carrots. I cut the chicken in half so I had four pieces-two with a bone and two without. Finish cooking in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Prep the remaining ingredients: While the chicken cooks, halve, peel, and thinly slice the shallots. Cut the lemon into wedges.
  • Make the glaze: Heat the same pan you used for the chicken over medium-high heat. Add the shallot to the pan and cook, tossing for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add 1 cup water and the chicken stock concentrates, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, then add the thyme sprigs and 2 Tablespoons apricot jam; stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer until thickened to a glaze consistency, for about 3-4 minutes. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and the juice of two lemon wedges. 
  • Plate and serve: Serve the apricot-glazed chicken on a bed of thyme-roasted potatoes and carrots, then drizzle with the apricot glaze. Serve with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!

Reviews:

AJ: ate the chicken right off the bone! loved it that way. He ate most of the carrots and potatoes. TWO THUMBS UP! 

Mommy:I I loved it! So tasty and really felt like I was sitting down to a meal at a restaurant.

Daddy: Ate everything off this plate!

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Ginger Peach Chicken

 ginger peach meal

I got the recipe from  HELLO GLOW http://helloglow.co/slow-cooker-freezer-meals/

With the warm weather I try not to use my apartment oven as it heats our tiny kitchen. Now the darn thing is acting up, but at least the stove top works. Between the toaster oven, microwave, stove top, and slow cooker, I don’t need the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinnless chicken thighs
  • 12 ounce bag of frozen peach slices
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablesppoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coriander 

Serve with rice and veggies

ginger peach meal2

Directions:

  • mix all ingredients in bag and freeze for later
  • put in slow cooker and cook 4-5 hours on high
  • Serve with rice and veggies

 

Reviews:

AJ: did not like it at all. He said it had no flavor and was too soft and mushy. I guess he was referring to the peaches. He opted for leftover meatballs covered in cheese. (2 thumbs down)

leftover meatballsMommy:I liked it and loved the flavor, but think I would only add a few peaches or maybe add pears instead. I plan to make this again, but mixed with rice and add with more onions, some pears and peppers.

At least the leftovers will make for a great quesadilla, which I know AJ will eat.

Daddy: I know he won’t even think about taking it, but maybe he might consider it when I mix it all up with rice.

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Tater Tot Casserole

tater tot casserole4

Ingredients:
~ ground beef
~ diced onions and garlic
~ tater tots
~ shredded cheese
~ peas
~ seasoning of choice

collage

Directions:
~ cook ground beef with onions, garlic, and seasoning of your choice (cook mostly done)
~ layer ground beef in pan, then add peas on top
~ sprinkle with shredded cheese
~ layer tater tots and cook at 350 for 40 minutes
~ remove from onion and put a layer of shredded cheese on top

TOTALLY FLEXIBLE: ADD ANY VEGGIES and CHEESE YOU WANT

What an amazing and easy dinner. AJ said this was one of his favorites.  

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Crockpot Creamy Mushroom Chicken

creamy mushroom chicken2

Ingredients:
~ cream of mushroom soup
~ frozen sliced mushroom
~ sliced garlic and onion
~ broccoli and cauliflower (or any veggie of your choice)
~ chicken tenderloins
~ shredded cheese
~ rice

Directions:
~ in a crockpot, add MOST cream of mushroom soup with some water (Save some for later)
~ add chicken, then top with mushrooms, diced onions, and garlic
~ top with the remaining cream of mushroom soup/water mixture
~ cover and cook on low for 7 hours
~ after 6 1/2 hours, add rice and mix everything to make sure rice is coated in mixture.
~  let cook for another half hour
~ top with shredded cheese and serve

TOTALLY FLEXIBLE: ADD ANY VEGGIES and CHEESE YOU WANT

What a tasty and hearty meal it was. AJ devoured it. I think we can even use the leftovers to make mini chicken pot pies. 

 

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Loaded Meatballs

loaded meatballs

Ingredients:
~ ground beef
~ diced onions
~ diced yellow, red, and green peppers
~ diced garlic (as much as you can stomach, needed for cold season)
~ spinach
~ turmeric
~ garlic and herb seasoning
~ breadcrumbs
~ egg
~ 2 jars of sauce

 

Directions:
~ saute the garlic, onions, peppers, and spinach in olive oil
~ then mix into the with ground beef, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg
~ form the meatballs and place on iron cast skillet and cover ( I needed two as I made a HUGE batch)
~ bake at 350 until almost fully cooked
~ pour pasta sauce over meatballs, cover once again, and let finish cooking

Serve over pasta of your choice

loaded meatballs collage

I really LOVED the the way the sauce came out. It had all the flavors of the meat, peppers, and garlic! A truly tasty and hearty meal! 

*****As you have seen from my recipes, not all the items are organic. While I still believe organic and NON-GMO is the best for us, it really ate up all our money. I still buy mostly organic, but have to make tough choices to buy some foods that are not organic. I do see the difference with certain reactions, but now have the money for other important items. It’s really sad that the food industry is treating us all like science experiments and creating crap for us to eat. In the end shopping at Stop and Shop, buying their organic foods, and earning gas points is vital.

Yes, there are ways to save, but with a tiny apartment, limited storage space, and limited gardening areas I can not do as much as I wanted. Do not take this as we are eating unhealthy foods. We are still eating nutrition packed foods and I still believe in probiotics, essential oils, and homeopathic treatments first over typical drugs.*****

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations

 Epic Mommy Adventures

Epic Mommy Adventures

Flavorful Chicken and Potatoes

chick pot

Ingredients:
~ skinless boneless chicken thighs
~ potatoes cut into small pieces
~ onions diced
~ peppers diced
~ turmeric
~ garlic and herb seasoning
~ honey
~ Parmesan cheese
~ olive oil

Directions:
~ marinate chicken thighs with honey, turmeric, garlic and herb seasoning, and honey. Then set aside.
~ cut and dice peppers, onions, and potatoes and mix together
~ then add olive oil, turmeric, and other seasoning to potato mix
~ place in cast iron skillet, cover and cook at 350 degrees until cooked
~ place chicken in cast iron skillet, top with shredded Parmesan and bake until cooked

Serve chicken and potatoes together for a flavorful meal

I really LOVED the way the way the potatoes came out. AJ loved how juicy the chicken was. He ate every bite of his dinner! 

*****As you have seen from my recipes, not all the items are organic. While I still believe organic and NON-GMO is the best for us, it really ate up all our money. I still buy mostly organic, but have to make tough choices to buy some foods that are not organic. I do see the difference with certain reactions, but now have the money for other important items. It’s really sad that the food industry is treating us all like science experiments and creating crap for us to eat. In the end shopping at Stop and Shop, buying their organic foods, and earning gas points is vital.

Yes, there are ways to save, but with a tiny apartment, limited storage space, and limited gardening areas I can not do as much as I wanted. Do not take this as we are eating unhealthy foods. We are still eating nutrition packed foods and I still believe in probiotics, essential oils, and homeopathic treatments first over typical drugs.*****

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations  

Epic Mommy Adventures

Kielbasa, Rice, and Veggies

k

Ingredients:
~ One kielbasa
~ rice
~ frozen carrots
~ frozen cauliflower
~ olive oil
~ tumeric
~ parsley
~ basil
~ lots of butter

Directions:
~ cook rice and add lots of butter. We LOVE buttered rice in our family!
~ place frozen veggies in a cast iron skillet and cover with olive oil and seasonings, bake at 350 degrees until mostly cooked.
~ Then add cut kielbasa and mix in with veggies, bake for an additional 15 minutes
~ Serve kielbasa and veggies over rice

A SUPER QUICK AND TASTY MEAL

AJ loved it and asked for seconds. Even hubby ate it all up and wanted to take some for work the next day.

*****As you have seen from my recipes, not all the items are organic. While I still believe organic and NON-GMO is the best for us, it really ate up all our money. I still buy mostly organic, but have to make tough choices to buy some foods that are not organic. I do see the difference with certain reactions, but now have the money for other important items. It’s really sad that the food industry is treating us all like science experiments and creating crap for us to eat. In the end shopping at Stop and Shop, buying their organic foods, and earning gas points is vital.

Yes, there are ways to save, but with a tiny apartment, limited storage space, and limited gardening areas I can not do as much as I wanted. Do not take this as we are eating unhealthy foods. We are still eating nutrition packed foods and I still believe in probiotics, essential oils, and homeopathic treatments first over typical drugs.*****

I’m linking up with

   Lori's Culinary Creations  

Epic Mommy Adventures