Counter Top Cooking for the Freezer – A Guest Post

proverbs wife freezer food

This is a guest post from Saidah at AProverbsWife.com.  If you are interested in guest posting on Eat at Home, contact me with your ideas.

One of the biggest challenges I tend to face is making sure that I have a healthy meal on the dinner table each night. I do not know what it is about dinner time that seems to throw me for a loop.

Maybe it’s the fact that dinnertime,  just seems to be the busiest part of the day. And not to mention, it is the time of day when I feel drained.

Since dinner is something that needs to be provided everyday I’ve tried to come up with ways to make preparing it as easy as possible.

I have been bulk cooking for the freezer for several years now and by cooking a little extra each time I cook I now have several close to cooked meals in the freezer.

I recently began incorporating my crock pot to prepare freezer meals which saves both time and energy. Cooking meals ahead with a crock pot doesn’t require a lot of attention which is why it works great for busy families.

Here is how to use a crock pot to fill your freezer with healthy precooked meals.

I cook when I have the most energy instead of at dinnertime when I’m exhausted.

Mornings for me is when I am most energized which is why I defrost meat over night and throw it in the crock pot in the morning right after breakfast.

I fill the crock pot with as much meat as it can hold, season and add liquid. Once it’s done I divide it into Ziploc bags for later use. One of the easiest and most versatile meats for the crock pot is chicken breast. Cooked chicken can be used for chicken salad, stewed chicken, barbecued chicken sandwiches and tacos.

I always cook more than I need for each days meal.

The same technique can be used with roasts and whole chickens. Instead of just adding one meat to the crock pot, try adding two or three. When they are done, use one for dinner and freeze the extra pieces for future  meals.

There are many ways to use a crock pot to relieve the burden of cooking meals, many of which I haven’t mentioned. I’d love to hear how you use your crock pot to make meal time easier.

Saidah blogs at AProverbsWife.com where she shares inspiration, frugal tips and great conversation for living life as today’s Proverbs 31 wives & women! You can find her on Twitter or chatting with friends at her frugal community on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. I am guilty of not using my crock pot enough! That’s because I don’t usually look and plan ahead for meals and just instantly fry or put stuff in the oven when I need to. This is a statement from the novice homemaker, so thanks for the tips! :)

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rach. You’ll probably use the crockpot more if it becomes a necessity. If it were just me and my husband I wouldn’t use it as much, in fact I never use it when the kids are away are grandmas and grandpas.

  2. Great post! I need to get cracking with some make-ahead meals. My life is so crazy busy, having food already to go in the freezer would help me so much!

  3. My make-ahead savior is the George Foreman. I buy those giant flats of skinless boneless breasts, plug in the TV and the Foreman, pull up a bar stool and dig in. 8 minutes on the Foreman with just a good sprinkle of Mrs. Dash Garlic/Herb, take them off let ‘em rest while the next batch goes on. Slice up the cooked ones and slip ‘em into zips.

    My dh and I are on a diet which requires a small amount of protein for each meal (5 meals / day) so this way I can do all the cooking on one day and then each morning we each grab a couple baggies from the freezer and head out the door.

  4. It’s interesting… the crock. For 20 months we lived in my in-law’s basement (not as fun as it sounds) and didn’t have a kitchen. It was uncomfortable taking food up to cook in thier kitchen so, we used the crock. That was a true blessing. We could cook all day long and not hardly have to do a thing for a great dinner!

    I cooked crock meatloaf and even crock lasagna!

    To be honest, we’ve been on our own again for the past 9 months and I haven’t used the crock ONCE! I think I’ll get it out again. Sounds great!! (Not to mention easy.)

    Blessings,

    Janet
    http://www.homeward4.blogspot.com
    http://www.homeschoolercafe.blogspot.com

  5. Oh how I love my crockpot! In fact, just used it last night to make Taco Soup and even my 2yr old ate it :)

  6. I use my crock ALL the time. I love to use it when I know we have a busy afternoon/evening for things like tacos and sloppy Joe’s – I can brown the meat at lunchtime and put it on low and then we can do an early dinner and the meat is warm. I also will prep the taco toppings and put back in the fridge so dinner is super easy. I also use the crock for bbq chicken, teriyaki steak – all super easy dinners that my family loves.

  7. Teriyaki steak in the crock pot sounds good.

  8. I LOVE, LoVe, lOvE my crock pot!!! Thanks for this post! I have never thought to do the above! Having 2 kids under 3 I have to use my crock pot or I burn something-seriously-!!

  9. I love your meal posts on Facebook each night!

  10. I never thought to use my crockpot to prepare my freezer meals! *doh!* Thank you, thank you! I need a new crockpot after reading all these great ideas. ;)

  11. Love my crock pot and a favorite for multi meals is an Italian Chicago Beef. Large cheap lean roast (4#), 1 packet each Au Jus and Good Seasons Italian seasoning & 6 pepperchinis an 1 cup water, cook on high for 6+ hrs until it shreds, pull out peppers, shred beef and cook additional 30 mins. We have steak sandwiches w/provalone and roasted red peppers, left overs are awesome in encheladas or shephards pie. Enjoy.

  12. Everytime I cook chicken breasts in the crockpot they come out dry and rubbery. I read online that the liquid (in my case terriyaki sauce pulls the moisture from them). I have also tried salsa, and just seasonings, but it just comes out terrible. I love my crockpot and don’t have this issue with other meats or just other cuts of chicken. How do you avoid this?

    • Andrea, I’ve had this problem too before, but not every time. Sometimes, I think I overcook them and they get too dry. And sometimes, I think it’s the brand of chicken breasts that are causing the problem or even just an “off” bag of them. It can even happen in the oven to me. I wish I had a better answer for you!

    • Chicken breasts are really easy to over-cook in the crock pot. Chicken – in general – needs no more than 6 hours on low to come out cooked and still moist. I love that my crock can fix dinner while I’m gone at work, but I never cook chicken in it unless I’m home to put it in mid-morning. Otherwise, after an 8 hour workday, it comes out icky.

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