With kids going back to school, life can get busy. Busy parents don’t always have time to cook a healthy meal in the evening, leaving people to order out a lot more often than they should. It can get expensive and unhealthy. One way to stick to healthy meals without taking hours out of your day is to prep some crock pot meals ahead of time. You can put all of the ingredients you need for each meal into a gallon sized freezer bag and stick it in the freezer. The morning you need it, just dump it into the crock pot and wait until dinnertime. Here are some healthy meals you can try.
Roasted Chicken & Veggies
This is probably one of the most common meals you can make, which is great because it’s more likely to be kid-friendly. All you need to do is put the chicken into your freezer bag along with potatoes and carrots. Dice the vegetables ahead of time so they can cook more quickly in the slow cooker. Add your seasonings to the freezer bag as well. These include:
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Cilantro lime chicken is a delicious meal that can be made many different ways. The easiest way, of course, is in the slow cooker. Put some chicken thighs into your freezer bag. Add a tsp of garlic salt, 1 tbsp of chili powder, ½ tsp of pepper, and a ½ tsp of paprika. Mix 2 tbsp of olive oil with a whole freshly squeezed lime and then pour it over the thighs and seasonings. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of minced, fresh cilantro on top, and seal the bag until you’re ready to cook.
If you’re having trouble picking some veggies to go with this delicious meal, Hampton Creek has many delicious recipes on YouTube and Pinterest.
Fajitas are delicious and easy to make, especially if you put them in the slow cooker. By dinner time, the chicken will be shredded and you will have the best fajitas you have ever tasted. Put a few chicken breasts in your freezer bag with some peppers. Cut green, red, and yellow peppers into strips about two to three inches long. Slice up a yellow onion the same way and add it to the bag.
Add a half cup of water to a measuring cup and pour in your fajita seasoning. Mix it together well and pour it into your freezer bag on top of all your ingredients. Seal, label, and throw it into the freezer until you’re ready to make fajitas.
General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s is a favorite of many people when they order takeout from Chinese restaurants. If your family is starting to miss getting takeout all the time, make some yourself at home. It’s healthier and it’s much less expensive. This takes a little more work than other meals you will prep, but it’s worth it if you’re dying for some Chinese food.
Cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and throw them in a ziplock bag with ¼ cup of cornstarch. Shake up the bag to coat all the chicken. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet (or a wok if you have one). Put the chicken in the skillet and sauté on each side for two minutes so the chicken is golden brown. Set the chicken on a paper towel while it cools.
Once it’s cooled off, throw the chicken in your gallon freezer bag. In a separate freezer bag, add 1 cup of Hoisin sauce, 4 tbsp of rice wine vinegar, 4 tbsp of light brown sugar, 2 tsp of sesame oil and a teaspoon of sesame seeds. Seal the bag and then put it inside of the bag with the chicken so they don’t get separated.
When you’re ready to make the General Tso’s chicken, put the chicken with the bag of sauces in the slow cooker. When it’s finished, just make some white rice on the stove to serve it with.
Beef and Broccoli
The slow cooker beef and broccoli has a delicious sauce that is so good, you will want to drink it. Fill your freezer bag with flank steak strips and broccoli florets. Add 1 cup of beef broth, 2/3 cup of soy sauce, and 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Finally, add 1/3 cups of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of minced garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of red chili flakes. Seal it in the bag and just pour it into the slow cooker the day you’re ready to try this delicious meal.
Prepping slow cooker meals is a great way to feed your family healthy and delicious food without spending hours in the kitchen. Every Sunday (or a day that you aren’t busy) prep your meals for the week and label them. All week long, just pull one out of your freezer in the morning and dump it into your slow cooker.