As a busy individual, you will have to figure out what you are going to have for dinner. In some cases, you may be working late such that making dinner every evening might be almost impossible. If you don’t have time to cook, you can spend some time cooking slow cooking meals and freezing them over the weekend.
Preparation usually takes less than an hour, and you can do other chores while the meal is cooking. The good thing about making such meals is they can be frozen and used even after a week or two. If you do not have an idea where to start, the following are 5 slow cooker dishes you can make and freeze.
Cuban Ropa Vieja
· 1 teaspoon – ground cumin
· 1 tablespoon – white sugar, olive oil and vegetable oil
· 1 – can tomato paste (6 ounces), green bell pepper (sliced into strips), small onion sliced, can tomato sauce (8 ounces) and cup beef broth
· 2 – cloves garlic chopped and pounds beef flank steak
In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Brown the flanks on each side and transfer the beef to a slow cooker. Pour the tomato sauce and beef broth, then add all other ingredients. Stir until well blended, cover and cook for 4 hours on high. This is great served with rice.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili
· 1 tablespoon – chili powder, olive oil and pumpkin pie spice
· 1 – can seasoned black beans (15 ounces), can chili beans (15 ounces), can diced tomatoes (28 ounces), chopped onion and pound ground turkey
· 2 – cups cubed fresh pumpkin
· 3 – tablespoons brown sugar
Over medium heat use a large soup pot to heat olive oil. Brown turkey for 10 minutes or until when it is no longer pink, the drain and discard excess oil/fat. Transfer turkey to a slow cooker and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Set cooker to low, cover and cook for at least 3 hours.
Slow cooker cranberry pork
· 1/3 cup fresh salad dressing
· 1 – boneless pork loin roast (3 pounds), sliced onion and can cranberry sauce (16 ounces)
Stir together onion, salad dressing, and cranberry sauce in a medium bowl to make a sauce mixture. Place 3-pound pork in a slow cooker and cover with the mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Texas-style baked beans
· – cup brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon – chili powder and garlic powder
· 1 – cup barbecue sauce, small Vidalia onion (chopped and peeled), can canned chopped green chile peppers (4 ounces) and pound ground beef
· 3 – tablespoons hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco to taste
· 4 – cans baked beans with pork (16 ounce)
Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Set aside after draining the fat. In a large bowl, at least 3 and 1/2 quart, combine the barbecue sauce, onion, green chiles, bakes beans and ground beef. Season this with hot pepper sauce, chili powder, garlic powder and brown sugar. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or high for 2 hours.
Slow cooker chicken Marrakesh
· ¼ teaspoon – ground cinnamon
· teaspoon – ground black pepper, ground cumin, and ground turmeric
· 1 teaspoon – salt and dried parsley
· 1 – onion sliced, can diced tomatoes (4.5 ounces) and can garbanzo beans (15 ounces drained and rinsed)
· 2 – pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (each cut into two pieces), large sweet potatoes, (diced and peeled), large carrots, (diced and peeled) and cloves garlic minced
Place the chicken breast pieces, garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic and onion into a slow cooker. Use a bowl to mix the salt, parsley, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, and sprinkle over the vegetables and chicken. Pour in the tomatoes and stir well. Cover the slow cooker and set to high. Cook for 4 to 5 hours, or when the sauce has thickened and the sweet potatoes are tender.
All these are meals you can prepare in less than an hour. This means that if you plan on doing most of your chores over the weekend, you can squeeze in cooking one or more of these meals. The benefit of having several slow cooked frozen meals is that you can have a meal ready in less than fifteen minutes during the week. This can be very helpful when you work late and you have children to feed.
The ingredients mentioned can be found in most grocery stores in your location. The preparation and cooking methods are simple and you do not have to be a culinary genius to make them. All the above meals can serve between three and 12 adults depending on the portions.