Too-Busy-to-cook-dinner

I’m Too Busy to Cook Dinner!

I do try to cook a nice healthy meal ever evening. I really try, I swear. But with working full time picking up the kiddo from school, helping with homework, getting her ready for bed, reading a story and trying to maintain my sanity, I also need to find time to grocery shop, cook and eat dinner. Whew! There just aren’t enough hours in my day. So, I got the bright idea to spend a few hours once a week and prepare all of our meals for the workweek and freeze them. Then in the morning before I leave for work I can just plop them in the crock-pot, and voila, they will be ready to go when I get home from work. Sounded easy enough, but will it work? Will they taste good? Can you really freeze all this stuff? I decided to give it a try, what’s the worst that could happen? So I got out the crock-pot from the back of the cabinet. Come to think about it, I don’t think I’ve even used this thing. It must have been a gift a hundred years ago. So Saturday morning I gathered up a few of my recipes and went to the grocery store. Now, I hate grocery shopping, it’s the household chore that I dread the most. But I must admit that when I left after about 45 minutes with my entire weeks worth of food, I felt such a weight of relief come off my shoulders. Instead of just aimlessly wandering up the aisles and thinking, “yeah, this looks good.” I actually had a list and a plan for preparing all of our food.

 GroceriesSo now at home in the kitchen I have my mound of grocery and my 5 recipes. Some of them were very experimental. But why not go out on a limb, at least until I can figure out how to do thin crust pizza in the crock-pot. Can I really freeze pineapples? It turns out yes I can, and it’s damn tasty too. So here are the recipes I made:

Hawaiian-Chicken

 

Hawaiian Chicken

 

 

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Savory Pepper Steak

black-bean-chili

 

Black Bean Chili

 

 

 

Adri choppingMy 7 year old was eager to help make the meals and it was a great bonding moment.  She asked questions about different types of food and it was a chance to educate her on nutrition.  This chopper by the way is the best kitchen gadget invention ever!  They sell them at Target for about $20, and it’s worth every penny!

 meals to freezeAfter everything was in a gallon sized Zip-Lock bag or glad-wear, we labeled it all and laid them flat in the freezer.  In the morning I let it thaw on the counter as I got ready, just enough that it would come out of the pouch, and dumped it all into the crock-pot and set it to low.  When I go home in the evening the house smelled heavenly and all I had to do was open the lid and dinner was ready.  All the groceries, including all the meat cost about $70 and it took one hour to prep everything.  Most meals were big enough that they fed the 3 of us and still had left overs for several more meals.  I must say my week long experiment was a complete success, all the meals were a hit, and man was it easy. I only had to grocery shop once, I only had to chop, mix and prepare once and most importantly I only had one mess to clean. So now I think the behemoth crock-pot will be a permanent fixture on the counter top as I search for more busy mom recipes.

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Comments 1

  1. Shannon McLeod

    I am quite anxious to try some of these recipes! When my children were growing up, I too used the slow cooker on a regular basis….. total life saver for sure!!! But even now, time is so precious and who wants to spend so much of it cooking and cleaning up… not me!!! I have, in recent months, been using the slow cooker a lot but primarily to cook the meat portion of a meal…. enough to accompany several meals. To do the entire meal the way you have shown is awesome. Awesome looking total meal recipes! :)

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