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First Day of School

Our morning went pretty smoothly. The boys needed a little coaxing but we had plenty of time and even managed to get a few cute pictures. I am going to miss these days . . .


You think these two like each other?!

I took the first day of school off from work. I really wanted to drop the kids off and pick them up on the first day without feeling rushed. It turned out to be a good thing because dropping and picking up were both bonkers.

I wanted to prep some meals that we can freeze and eat as needed over the next couple of months. I did this once last year and made 3 meals and it was so nice to have something home cooked that I could just throw in the crockpot. The only mistake I made was to not prep more meals while I was at it! There are TONS of resources out there for this type of food prep. Just search “crockpot freezer meals” on your Pinterest page. I searched through several posts until I found a few meals that sounded good. We don’t eat much red meat so I was looking for meals with chicken, turkey or just veggies. It’s not quite soup season here in South Carolina (as the heat index today is over 100!)  so I skipped past all soup recipes. Here are the three that I picked. I made two freezer bags of each meal so I had to double the recipe on two of them. We will cook one on Wednesday so I will report back on how it was.

Crockpot Food Prep

Here is all the food. I shopped for it on Saturday during my regular weekly trip.

Also, I didn’t post any of the pictures from the websites because I have reached the conclusion that crockpot food doesn’t really look yummy. It tastes yummy but it looks like weird mush. The pictures weren’t really inspiring.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground chicken
  • 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, grated (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on “low” setting for 4-6 hours or until chicken is tender.
  2. Break apart chicken and serve.

To Freeze

Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag.  Remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze for up to three months.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight and then cook in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on “low” setting.  Break apart chicken and spoon onto lettuce.

Serve on big pieces of iceberg or Boston bibb lettuce.

*I doubled this recipe to make two batches. I used half chicken, half cauliflower. Each batch had 1 lb of ground chicken and 1/2 a head of cauliflower. I didn’t add the red pepper flakes because I was out. My kids don’t like any spice so we probably won’t miss it.

 

Crockpot Cabbage Casserole

*The title of this dish doesn’t sound very good but the creator says it’s a favorite in her family. Plus it’s not as heavy on the meat as most crockpot dishes so I thought I’d give it a go. I split this recipe into two freezer bags without doubling the ingredients.

Yields 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 3 cups beef broth or chicken broth

Directions

  1. In a very large pot, brown ground meat and onions with olive oil. (If you choose to use ground beef, you can omit the olive oil.)
  2. Remove pot from heat and add cabbage, carrots, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Spray crockpot with cooking spray.
  4. Place rice in the bottom of the crockpot.
  5. Pour meat/cabbage mixture on top of rice.
  6. Pour broth on top.
  7. Cover, and cook on “low” for 4-6 hours.
  8. Stir before serving.

Serve with soy sauce

To Freeze

Label your freezer bag. Add all ingredients EXCEPT for brown rice and chicken broth to bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal and lay flat in your freezer for up to three months. When ready to cook, thaw, spray crockpot with cooking spray, place rice in the bottom of the slow cooker, add ingredients from freezer bag, and pour broth on top.  Cook on “low” setting for 4-6 hours. Stir before serving. Serve with soy sauce.

 

Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken

*This was by far the easiest one to prep as it didn’t require any chopping! I made one batch with salsa verde and one with regular salsa so I will let you know which came out tastier.

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2lbs boneless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 16oz jar salsa verde*
  • 8oz package cream cheese

Directions

  1. Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Add black beans, corn, and salsa verde.
  2. Cook in crockpot on “low” for 6 hrs or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add cream cheese (just throw it on top) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

To Freeze

Combine all ingredients (except cream cheese) in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to three months. When ready to cook, thaw and dump into crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Add cream cheese and let sit for 1/2 hour or until warm.

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I hope that everyone had a great first day back at school. I know a lot of little one’s had their first day today and that is a big deal, mostly for the mamas! Fleet and Luke both reported that their days went well.

Fleet says –

“My teacher, what’s her name? Oh yeah, Ms. _  is nice.” “I didn’t have any down time” Read: no playtime  or centers like he had in kindergarten. He is in the big leagues now. He is very concerned that first grade is going to be boring. “I did everything right today.” This was my favorite. He is referring to all the work he was given today.

Luke says –

“Recess was so short, like 5 minutes.” Poor guy. His old school had very long outdoor time, multiple times a day and it was rain or shine.

Happy Back-to-School!

 

Contact: laurenskijones@gmail.com

 

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