Posts Tagged ‘dinners’

School Year Dinner Prep

In preparation for … (holding my breath)…. Back… To….(gulp) School….. (there, I said it), I am beginning to get things in order around the house. One of those tasks includes grocery shopping and preparing meals. Bless the Teacher-Mothers who are able to come home and cook dinner for their families; I just can’t seem to manage that, and I’m not even a mother! I decided to try frozen Slow-Cooker meals as a new option for my husband and me. I found some excellent recipes from Six Sisters’ Stuff – they really know their stuff! Very easy recipes without crazy ingredients, affordable, and delicious.

Though they have dozens of recipes, I picked 4 to begin: Cilantro Lime Chicken, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, Hearty Beef Stew, and Chicken Cacciatori. 

School Year Dinner Prep (c) Kristen DembroskiI began at the grocery store, where the above ingredients cost me only $51.63!!! Since I am making 8 Bags (16 meals), that’s only $3.22 a meal! I was very pleased with this, and I know I could have done better with coupons (new goal for next round).

The preparation took approximately 1 hour, just like the Six Sisters promise. I have a few recommendations if you are going to give this a try:

1. Begin by getting out a Sharpie and labeling all of your freezer bags. The Six Sisters recommend using freezer gallon bags. I did this, but I split each of the recipes into *2* gallon bags. They say the recipes are for approximately 5-6 meals, and it’s just my husband and myself, so I figured why not make it even easier by dividing in half.

2. Prepare all of the meat first. I hate this part and I like to get it over with. I clean and trim all of the meat and separate it into the appropriate bags. Then I can clean my countertops and not worry about cross-contamination.

3. Flip out the zippers of the bag. This makes the bags stand up nicely, and they are open for dumping in ingredients. You probably knew this already 😉

4. Use this as an opportunity to clean out your fridge/freezer! I love vegetables, so I added WAY more than the recipes called for. I cleaned out my veggie drawer and any little bags of frozen veggies I had left over from other meals.

5. Save the frozen ingredients for last. 

Here are the final products – 8 frozen meals for 2-3. The directions are right on the bag: they’re ‘Husband-Proof’!

Crockpot Meals (c) Kristen Dembroski

And here they are all stacked up, waiting to go in the freezer. They take up about a third of my freezer space.

Crockpot Meals (c) Kristen Dembroski

 

A tip I have heard is to use Slow-Cooker liners to speed up the clean-up process. I don’t feel good about cooking my food in plastic bags, so I will not be doing this.

I hope these meals will last us through the crazy first month of September. The investment (financial and time) are definitely worth it!

Click here to read about my healthy, low-calorie, filling, tasty, creative, and efficient ideas for school lunches.

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