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Thursday, August 20, 2015

5 Crock Pot Meals x 2 = 10 Dinners

Five delicious meals x 2 = the ultimate meal plan!
Get your lists and crock pots ready.

5 crock pot meals x 2 = 10 Dinners (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Whenever I write a meal plan post you guys seem to go bonkers and really, really love it {you can find others HERE and HERE}.  I had a few requests for another meal plan and more specifically one ALL about the beloved slow cooker, so I started brainstorming.

I have had my share of crock pot flops over the years, but at the same time I've had some fabulous keepers.  Ones that we fall back on often and everyone seems to love.  These are generally ones that are easy {because if you know me, I'm all about easy} and can be dumped in and forgotten until dinner time.

So...since I love you and since you faithfully come back and read my blog, I got my butt in gear and researched my favorites then prepped, labeled and took these pretty photos of mine all in about an hour.

Yes, I said an hour!

I picked my five and doubled them.  I'm sure many of you are asking why double them? Why not pick 10 different meals and have more of a variety?

Here's the thing.  I've learned from my mistakes.  I've done this in the past where I scour the internet and find ones that people recommend, prep them, freeze them, make them and then instantly HATE them.

I decided to pick five of our favorites, double them and then have peace of mind knowing we wouldn't be disappointed.  It's not like we'll be eating these 10 in a row.  There will be nights I make a homemade pizza in between, or we have leftovers, or I boil some spaghetti noodles, dump on some sauce and call it good.

I like to give my crock pot a break now and then, you know?

5 crock pot meals x 2 = 10 Dinners (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

When prepping my meals I have a few items on hand and it makes everything go SO much smoother.

Supplies You'll Need: Large cutting board
Sharp knife
Garbage bowl {throw everything in it, therefore eliminating millions of walks over to the garbage}
Jokari Ziploc Storage Holder
Large Ziploc bags
Sharpie marker

I like to prep my meals one at a time.  I know some people like to cut all meat, all veggies, etc. at the same time, but that isn't for me.  It feels a bit overwhelming and I always feel like I'm jumping from recipe to recipe with the fear that I'll screw one up.  Like put mushrooms in my tacos, or something odd like that.

Therefore I do one at a time and then move on.

I also like to freeze mine sitting up {as shown in the photo}.  I do lay some freezer items flat for better storage, but for ones that I know will most likely go straight into the crock pot frozen {because who remembers to thaw it the night before?} I find this way works a bit better.  It fits nicely in the crock pot and I'm not trying to break it in half in order for it to fit.

I lock and clip my clean Ziploc bag into the Jokari and simply drop items in.  This way the clips holds up the bag and spills are kept to a minimum.  And don't forget to label the bags PRIOR to filling them.  They are much easier to write on when empty and flat.

5 crock pot meals x 2 = 10 Dinners (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you're still reading {which I hope!} you're probably wondering what I made.  Here are our favorites in no particular order.

Creamy Mushroom Pork Chops
Teriyaki Chicken
Sweet Thai Chili Meatballs

The Italian Beef and Shredded Chicken Tacos are linked above for the recipe.  Please visit! Here are the following three - one of which will be featured soon on the blog!

Creamy Mushroom Pork Chops - 6 pork chops, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 c. chicken broth, 2 c. sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper.  Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Teriyaki Chicken - 4 chicken breasts, 1/2 can. pineapple chunks, 1/2 c. soy sauce, 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar, 1/4 c. brown sugar.  Serve over rice and veggies.

Sweet Thai Chili Meatballs - 2 lbs. ground beef mixed with 2 eggs, 1/2 c. breadcrumbs, 1 envelope dry onion soup mix, 2 T. Stubb's Beef Rub {or any other beef seasoning}, 1/4 c. thai chili sauce. Combine ingredients and form into 2 inch meatballs {should make 24}.  Lay on a greased baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours.  When frozen drop in the Ziploc bag and pour in an additional 1 c. thai chili sauce and 1 c. barbecue sauce.  Serve as is, or over rice with a potato or veggie side.

I assembled two of each of these meals, equaling 10 meals prepped and ready to go.  They are all ones I know we love, so there will NOT be any surprises.

All of these meals can be cooked on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours.  Each crock pot is different, so if you know yours runs a bit hotter, adjust your times and settings accordingly.

5 Crock Pot Meals x 2 = 10 Dinners...Perfect for working moms! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Whose ready to do this?  What questions do you have?  I'd love to hear your feedback!

***A reader was concerned about putting frozen meat into a crock pot, so I am providing this link HERE for more information.  I personally, have never had a problem with it, but since there are always health concerns, I am providing additional information HERE.

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