Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Slow Cooker Meals for Under $100

A friend of mine suggested we try this experiment that has been floating around.  The premise is that you prepare a bunch of slow-cooker meals ahead of time and save a ton of money.  Count me in!  We ended up making ten different recipes and freezing them.  Now, a disclaimer, I haven't actually eaten any of these recipes.  But I can vouch that it is an inexpensive way to make a lot of portions!
Here's the vlog I did of the day to explain it better and to show you the finished product:


RECIPES:
BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork
one 4 – 6 pound pork shoulder
all purpose seasoning 
one bottle of barbecue sauce 
one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained
Directions:
Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in freezer bag, adding pineapple and BBQ sauce. FREEZE.
Thaw bag overnight before the day you want to cook. 
Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.
Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.  Serve on a bun with some veggies!

Lemon Garlic Chicken
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 T. butter 
1/4 c. water
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 package cream cheese
Directions:
Place all ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese in the freezer bag. FREEZE.
Thaw bag night before in the fridge. 
Dump all contents of bag into slow cooker.  Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. 
About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the chicken and place on a serving  platter. Add the cream to cheese to the juice in the slow cooker, and whisk until smooth. 
Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top


Chicken and Spinach

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar any pasta sauce
Onions, bellpeppers, etc.
Cajun seasoning to taste
Sliced zucchini & squash 
mushrooms sliced (fresh or can)
Bag or container of fresh spinach (I used a frozen box)
Directions:
Put all ingredients except pasta into a bag and freeze.  Thaw.
Cook on low for at least 7 hours.  Serve over pasta or rice.


Taco Soup

- 2 cans of kidney beans (I only used one)
2 cans of pinto beans (I only used one)
2 cans of corn (I just eye-balled and used frozen)
1 large can of diced tomatoes 
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger
 Directions:
Brown meat
Drain and rinse the beans and add all ingredients into freezer bag.
Thaw bag the night before.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. About 20 minutes before serving, add  desired amount of crushed tortilla chips into the slow cooker.   Serve with a handful of  shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Crock Pot Pizza Soup
1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
3 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cooked Italian sausage (I used four small sausages, whatever was cheapest)
1 cup sliced pepperoni
1/2 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
Directions:
Cook sausage. Add everything to freezer bag. 
Thaw overnight the night before.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. 
Thirty minutes before serving, add half a cup of dry pasta, and turn to high. 
Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese

Slow Cooker San Francisco Pork Chops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Directions:
Put all ingredients in a freezer bag.
Thaw in fridge the night before.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker.  Serve over rice or with mashed potatoes. 

Apple, Cheddar, and Turkey Meatballs
1 1/2 pounds extra lean turkey (I used beef)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 green apple shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar shredded
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
Directions:
Mix all ingredients, make golf ball size balls, freeze, thaw, and cook for 8 hours on low.

Brown Sugar Chicken
12-14 chicken thighs (I used four chicken breasts)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Sprite 
Mix all ingredients, freeze, thaw, and cook for 6-9 hours on low.

Sloppy Joes
1 pound lean ground meat (I used beef)
1 1.5 ounce packet sloppy joe mix
1 6 ounce can tomato paste 
1 cup warm water (added morning of)
Directions:
Mix all ingredients, freeze, thaw, and cook on low 6-7 hours.  Serve on buns with vegetables on the side. 

Chicken and Corn Soup 
1 lb red potatoes 
1 lb sweet potatoes 
4 lbs chicken thighs (I used four chicken breasts)
4 cups chicken broth 
4 scallions 
4 cloves garlic 
salt and pepper 
1 bag half ears of frozen corn 
2 red peppers chopped 
Directions:
Mix all ingredients, freeze, thaw, and cook on low 6-7 hours.



Grocery List (Double check recipes, some things I omitted or substituted for ingredients I already have)

Meat
  • 2 ½ lbs lean Turkey
  • 20 Chicken thighs
  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 4-6 lbs pork shoulder
  • Ground beef
  • 2 italian sausages
  • 1 c. pepperoni
  • 4 pork chops
Frozen
  • Bag of corn
Canned
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 2 large can diced tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • diced pineapples
Dairy
  • Egg
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • 1 pkg. cream Cheese
Fruit
  • Green Apple
Dried
  • Dried cranberry
Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Packet sloppy Joe mix
  • Chicken Broth/Bouillon
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • Basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Corn starch

Vegetables
  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 11 cloves garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • Onions
  • 3 Green peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • 2 c. Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • ½ Red onion
Sauces
  • Sprite (1/4 c.)
  • Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 14 oz pizza sauce



9 comments:

  1. Good for you, dear. I'll look at the Vlog in a little while. You must feel so good about having those meals ready to go. I'm impressed. Love, Mum xx

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  2. Let us know how the meals taste!! And thank you for the posting.

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  3. These all sounds incredible! I'll have to try these.

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  4. Let us know your fav! This is my new goal... freezer meals. i have no time to cook each day so this was awesome. THANK YOU

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  5. Have you tried the pulled pork recipe yet? I just went and bought a pork shoulder ( I bought 5 lbs ) and its HUGE!!! As in, I think I could probably honestly feed about 10 people....or more. And I'm worried that one bottle of BBQ sauce won't be enough. Let us know

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    Replies
    1. So I tried the pulled pork, and it was ok. I expected it to taste different, but it wasn't bad. And the sauce wasn't an issue at all. I actually had to take some sauce out before I pulled the meat apart, and I added brown sugar. I wouldn't use so much meat next time though. I'd say 2-3 lbs max. That would feed 2 ppl, plus lunch the day after.

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  6. Yes! I also wondered about the pulled pork! Have you tried it yet?

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  7. These look great!! I'm definitely going to try these out.

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