Nothing makes me happier than the two words easy and food in the same sentence. Thanks to Shannon at Skinny Sometimes for this easy, delicious, paleo recipe!
Steak Dinner Foil Pack
Green Pear Salad
Crock Pot Meals for a month– Under $75
If you have followed any of my posts from “back-when” you will know that I do not cook. I just don’t. I don’t have many recipe ideas, nor do I care if I eat the same thing (chicken and veggies) every day for the rest of my life. However, my husband cares and since we are moving soon and he is now working out of the home, I thought it would be nice to have some meals ready when he comes in… annnnnnd I’ll be honest, I’m kind of getting bored of the same thing (just too lazy to do anything about it)
Well, my sister-in-law is living on one income with two kids to feed, so she’s always looking for budget-friendly meals AND of course, being a mom keeps her busy, so she doesn’t always want to cook.
She found these recipes on pinterest, did this last month and loved it, so she invited me on the grocery “tour”. I bought more food in one trip than I EVER have in my entire shopping life. I told her that my bill was going to be $120-130.
She said “No, I bet its only $80″… well… beat that! It was only $76 (and that was because I had a few extra things in there)
Total cost for these meals: $68!!** HOLY CRAP! I sure hope I like them, because I love the price.
They are all in the freezer and ready to go, so the first two weeks after moving, while I’m unpacking and have other things to do, we don’t have to spend more money eating out! I can’t wait!! I hope you all enjoy and please share some more crockpot recipes if you have them!!
** Depending on your grocery store and location or “on hand” ingredients, you may spend slightly more or less
I am going to add Notations of MY modifications 😉
We created a big shopping list– bought EVERYTHING for less than $75 and this should last at least 18 meals for 2 people. I have a feeling there will be leftovers in many of the meals.
Not all of them I would consider “the healthiest” but you can make substitutions and change as you wish.
These recipes were taken from Pinterest and ringaroundtherosies.net
We also did not follow the recipes as they were written– Basically–
PUT INGREDIENTS IN BAGS— FREEZE. DONE.
PS Most of these are gluten-free and paleo (if you don’t add the pasta/rice)
BBQ Pineapple Pulled Pork – prep/no cooking, freeze
– one 4 – 6 pound pork shoulder (I bought a pork roast, I’m not sure the difference, but it looked good/less fatty– I’d never bought pork before, so we’ll see how this one works!)
– all purpose seasoning
– one bottle of barbecue sauce (you can buy low-sugar BBQ or just use half the bottle to lessen the sugar)
– one 15 ounce can of diced pineapples, undrained
– Rub pork shoulder all over with all purpose seasoning and place in slow cooker.
– Dump can of pineapples (undrained) over pork.
– Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over pork.
– Lift pork a little to let the sauce get underneath.
– Cook on high for six (6) hours or low for ten (10) hours.
– Shred in the pot and mix with the juice.
Strain & serve!
(We took ALL of the ingredients– dumped in a gallon bag and threw in the freezer– I plan on defrosting for a day and just dumping into the crock pot— serve with brown rice?)
Lemon Garlic Chicken – prep/no cooking, freeze (this one we portioned into TWO bags)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 lb. in each bag)
2 T. butter (1 tbsp. in each bag)
1/4 c. water
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have fresh parsley, so I just used dried and it worked perfectly)
1 package cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat or fat free)
1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.
4. 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 crockpot, and whisk until smooth.
Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top!
(Again— dumped everything into two gallon bags and into the freezer– I think it will workout just fine)
Chicken & Spinach – prep/no cook, freeze (split recipe in half between two bags)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar Classico Pasta Sauce (or any marinara– 3 cheese, mushroom, etc.)
Onions, bellpeppers, etc.
Cajun seasoning to taste
Sliced zucchini & squash (the yellow ones that look like cucumbers) (optional)
mushrooms sliced (fresh or can)
Bag or container of fresh spinach (i break off the larger stems)
Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)
Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies and top with spinach. I cook it about 6 hour (Dumped everything in two bags— freeze)
Beef/Turkey Taco Soup – make day of, freeze leftovers
2 cans of kidney beans (I only used one)
–2 cans of pinto beans (I only used one)
–2 cans of corn (I only used one)
–1 large can of diced tomatoes —1 can tomatoes and chiles
–1 packet taco seasoning
–1 packet ranch dressing mix
–1 lb browned ground turkey or hamburger
–shredded cheese and sour cream for embellishment
–1 package of tortilla chips or bake corn tortillas
–brown meat if you are going to use it
–drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)
–sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
–drain and rinse the beans and add
–add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. About 20 minutes before serving, add desired amount of crushed chips into the crockpot. Then,stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. (I cooked the meat ahead of time and then just threw all the ingredients in two bags– I may or may not add the cheese and sour cream when the time comes to eat. Will probably make with a salad on the side)
Crock Pot Pizza Soup – prep/no cooking, freeze in zip lock bag (split recipe in half between two bags)
–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 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
–2 cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)
–1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (Hormel turkey pepperoni is labeled gluten free)
–8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
–1 T dried oregano
–1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (if your pasta is tiny, use 1/3 cup. if it’s big, do 1/2. I used 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s brown rice penne) (I didn’t add any pasta to this one, it might actually be great with garlic bread… mmmm!)
–shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)
Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.
Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces–I sliced, then cut the pieces in fourths. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.
Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.
Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese
(I didn’t make this yet, just threw all ingredients in two bags and freeze)
Slow Cooker San Francisco Pork Chops – prep/no cooking, freeze (I totally didn’t make this recipe at all, my sister did. I personally don’t care for pork chops, ever.)
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
Mashed Potatoes or Hot Cooked Rice (for serving)
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.
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. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.
Chicken Curry (this one we put into two bags)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I didn’t do this step)
4 tablespoons curry powder (2 tbsp in each bag)
2 teaspoons ground cumin (1 tsp each bag)
1.5-2 pounds chicken thighs, or breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces. (I just put entire breasts in the bags)
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes. (I didn’t add these, but I will chop them fresh, so I marked on the bag to chop potatoes later)
2 cups baby carrots.
1 coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion (used a white onion)
1 zucchini chopped, about one cup
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 2 tsp. chopped garlic in a jar)
2 chicken bouillon, one per bag (used a half cup of chicken broth from a can)
.5 cup raisins (for garnish) (raisins are nasty!! Did not use! LOL)
.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish) (didn’t use any nuts either)
Savory Chicken (split this recipe between two bags)
(we used a bag of frozen broccoli, threw all the ingredients in a bag and froze.)
Lazy Day Stew
(I didn’t use stewing beef, I used ground turkey on this one and I even added another can of corn and NO lima beans, I used kidney beans instead. We also did not use the tapioca– it was probably just for texture anyway. Dumped everything into two bags and froze)