Monthly Meal Plan (13 crock pot recipes)

I am still terribly behind in all the things I need to share on this blog, but I really want to record some of the meal plans I've done during the last few months so that I can re-use some of the recipes...and throw away some of the papers floating around my kitchen!  I'm starting with this month's menu...unfortunately I haven't tasted all of them so I can't tell you how wonderful they are.  But, the cooking process smelled amazing!

I started making a month's worth of dinners all on one day and freezing them about two months ago.  It worked wonderfully the first time (hopefully I post those recipes soon!), so I'm doing it again this month.  The summer heat has really set in, so I wanted to do more crock pot meals.

The plan is simple: In the morning, I pull the dinner bag out of the freezer and put it in the crockpot.  In the afternoon I may cook a pan of rice or veggies.  Then, voila!  Dinner is done!  I'm really, really excited!  There were a couple other recipes I wanted to try, though, so in addition to a ton of crock pot dinners there are two oven-baked dinners and a couple fresh vegetarian dinners.



I'll start with a list of the dinners, and then give the recipes I used:

July Menu

Chicken: Tortilla Soup, Southwest Chicken, Fajitas, Honey Garlic Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli Chicken, Chicken Orange Green Salad

Pork: Ranch Pork Chops, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Potato Bacon Green Bean "Casserole," Breakfast Burritos, Sausage Pancake Dogs

Beef:  Beef Stew, Beef Stroganoff, Southwest Beef Nachos

Vegetarian: Black Bean Enchilada Casserole, Broccoli Salad, Spinach Lasagna, Spanish Rice, Pizza, "Musical Melodies"

Recipes

1.  Tortilla Soup (adapted from savingyoudinero.com)

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

2-3 large boneless chicken breasts
2 (16-ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
1 chopped onion
1 (4 ounce) can green chiles
2 cloves garlic
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
salt & pepper

Write on bag:  add 4 cups water to crock pot.  Serve with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips.

UPDATE: This was amazing!!  Everyone loved it and we will be doing it again.  I did forget to put it in the crock pot, so I used a pot on the stove and it took about an hour to defrost, warm up, and cook.

2. Southwest Chicken   (adapted from savingyoudinero.com)

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

3-4 large boneless chicken breasts
1 can corn
2 cans drained black beans
1 (16 ounce) jar of salsa
1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese

Write on bag:  20 minutes before serving add shredded cheese.  Serve with rice and veggies.

3. Chicken Fajitas    (adapted from thestir.cafemom.com)

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

1 pound chicken
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
2 Tb cilantro
2 Tb lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 Tb chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 bell peppers

Write on bag:  after meat cooks, shred the meat and stir the mixture together.  Roll in tortillas with fresh tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.

UPDATES:  I used boneless chicken breasts.  After cooking for 1 hour, I used a knife and fork to separate the chicken breasts.  Everything was done cooking after a total of 6 hours.  Tasted delicious!!

4. Honey Garlic Chicken    (adapted from thestir.cafemom.com)

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

10 chicken drumsticks
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tb ketchup
2 garlic cloves
1 Tb ginger root
1 (20-ounce) can of pineapple pieces and its juice

Write on bag: add 1/4 cup water.  Serve with rice and veggies.

UPDATE: This was another hit!  I also separated the chicken pieces with a knife after about an hour in the crock pot.  It had tons of left-overs too, so we enjoyed lots of yummy chicken for a couple days!!  After the first night we also made chicken sandwiches and wraps.

5.  Cheesy Broccoli Chicken

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

16-ounce frozen broccoli bag
1 chopped onion
1 bell pepper
1 can corn
2-3 large chicken breasts
1-2 cups chopped celery
1 cup milk
1 cup cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Write on bag:  Serve with rice!

6.  Chicken Orange Green Salad **Not crock pot meal!**

Start with a huge green salad.  Add chicken, mandarin oranges, chopped apples, cucumbers, and a dressing of your choice...my kids always like Ranch.

7.  Ranch Pork Chops   (adapted from savingyoudinero.com)

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

1 (10 ounce) package Ranch Dressing Powder
6 boneless pork chops about 1/2 inch thick
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk

Write on bag: serve with mashed potatoes & broccoli.

UPDATE:  These were wonderful!!  Another huge hit with yummy left-overs!  Again, I separated the meat after about an hour in the crock pot and it took about 7 hours on high to defrost and cook up.

8.  BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

3-pound pork butt
1 jar BBQ sauce

Write on bag: serve with coleslaw on potato rolls!

9.  Potato Bacon Green Bean "Casserole"

Place the following ingredients in freezer bag:

3 pounds chopped potatoes
1/2 package bacon (cooked and chopped)
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Write on bag:  add 4 cans green beans.  20 minutes before serving, add cheese to top of crock pot.

UPDATE:  Yummy and easy.  It took about 7 hours on high to cook and my kids put ketchup on theirs.  I added salt and pepper.  :)

10.  Breakfast Burritos **not a crock pot meal!**

Cook a pound of sausage.
Cook a dozen eggs.
Mix sausage and eggs together with about 2 cups of cheese.
Roll into 20 little burritos.
Place burritos in a freezer bag.

Defrost by placing individual burritos in microwave for about a minute.  I've done these several times--they're super easy!

UPDATE: Still love these things!

11.  Sausage Pancake Dogs **not a crock pot meal!**

My kids discovered these "corn dogs" in the freezer isle a few months ago.  They get them about once a month for a Friday Fun Day Party.  I serve them with syrup and loads of fruit.

12.  Beef Stew   (adapted from savingyoudinero.com)

Place the following ingredients in a freezer bag:

1-1/2 pounds beef
1 chopped onion
2 cubes beef buillon
1 can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic
4 chopped potatoes
1 pound chopped carrots
about 2 cups chopped celery
salt & pepper

Write on bag: add 2 cups water.

13.  Beef Stroganoff   (adapted from thestir.cafemom.com)

Place the following ingredients in a freezer bag:

1-2 pounds beef
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 beef bullion cubes
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Write on bag:  add 1 cup water.  Serve over pasta with veggies on side.

UPDATE: I added garlic, oregano, salt & pepper to stroganoff when it cooked.  This was another very popular meal.

14.  Southwest Beef Nachos  (adapted from M&M's Mommy)

Place the following ingredients in a freezer bag:

1 pound beef
1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese
2 cans black beans
1 can corn
1-1/2 cups salsa
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning

Write on bag: serve with guacamole over tortilla chips.

UPDATE:  These were amazing!! Seriously...this may be my new favorite nacho recipe!  It took about six hours on high in the crock pot.

15. Black Bean Enchilada Casserole  **not a crock pot meal**    (adapted from thestir.cafemom.com)

Mix the following ingredients:

1/2 chopped onion
1/2 bell pepper
2 cans black beans
1 can corn
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Smear some salsa on the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.  Then repeat these layers in the pan:  tortillas, bean mixture, cheese, more tortillas, and more cheese.  Cover and freeze!

16.  Broccoli Salad  **not a crock pot meal**    (adapted from M&M's Mommy)

Mix the following:

2 huge heads fresh broccoli
1 red onion
1/2 package bacon, cooked and chopped
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup nuts or seeds

Make and chill dressing:

1 cup olive oil or mayonaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb white vinegar

Mix it all together when you're ready to eat.

17.  Spinach Lasagna  **not a crock pot meal**

Mix the following:

2 (10-oz) frozen spinach bags
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Mix 1/2 cup water with 3 cups marinara sauce.

Smear the bottom of a 9"x13" pan with marinara sauce.  Then repeat these layers: lasagna noodles, spinach mixture, Mozzarella cheese.  Freeze!

UPDATE:  Everyone loved this except for Kaia.  She must have been sick that night or something.

18.  Spanish Rice

Put the following ingredients in a freezer bag:

1 chopped onion
1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup salsa
cumin, salt, pepper

Write on bag:  Add 1/2-1 cup water!s

UPDATE:  I do not like the texture of cooked rice in a crock pot.  Maybe I'll give it one more try, but I was not happy with this one.  The flavor was fine, though, so I added it to some of our left-over meat and made burritos.

19.  Pizza  **not a crock pot meal**

Um...it's pizza.  We like to have a party meal on Fridays...pizza is just about perfect.  Serve with veggies!

20.  Musical Melodies  **not a crock pot meal**

Kaia found this in a cook book for kids.  It's a beautiful fruit tray with strawberry yogurt in the middle for dipping.  We also served it with Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Bread (recipe below).

21.  Apple Cinnamon Bread  (adapted from glitteringmuffins.com)

Peel and chop two large apples.  Set aside.

Place the following ingredients into your kitchen aid (in this order) and beat between each ingredient:

2 eggs
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
two chopped apples (from earlier)
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

Grease crock pot and pour batter into it.  Cook on high for about two hours.  I lifted the bread out of the crock pot with two spatulas.  If you let it cool, it holds together much better.  I liked it warm too!  This is not a dessert bread--if you want it really sweet, add more sugar.  I liked it best with a bit of butter on the top...mmm!

UPDATE:  I want to make more.

***

I'm sharing this post at Menu Plan Monday.

1 comments:

BerryMorins Bits & Tips July 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM  

Thanks for sharing recipes.
I hope you have a wonderful and delicious week.