I love my crock pot. It is not the special, fancy schmancy kind bought at some top shelf cooking store. This is a simple crock pot, purchased some time ago at a big box store. But I love it because it works! It does exactly what I need it to do and I don’t have to stand there and supervise it. And, it allows me to make a number of meals ahead of time so that I can freeze them for later. It is a beautiful thing.
I love making meals ahead of time and freezing them for two reasons. One, I have a 45 minute each way commute every day, so this makes days when I might be running a bit late easier. Let’s face it, as much as I would like to throw in the towel and go out to eat, it is expensive, and the “morning after a trip through the chip basket” guilt is just not worth it. I also like having these on hand for lunches, avoiding the digging around for lunch money at the last second maneuver. There is always something in the freezer.
So, I thought I would share the crockpot love, and the ideas. Just a few each week to get you to fall in love with your crock pot as well.
Shredded BBQ – Take the defrosted protein of your choice, trim most of the fat, and place in crock pot. Cover with BBQ sauce of your choice. Put lid on crock pot, set on high, and go away. When your protein is done (chicken takes about 4 or so hours, beef and pork a bit more depending on thickness), shred it, and let it cool in the sauce. When it is cool enough, divide into portions and freeze. This is great for BBQ baked potatoes, BBQ sandwiches, or just by itself. This is one of those great dishes for lunches, too. Pack it in a small enough container, and it will defrost during the day while you work.
Spicy Chicken – Take your boneless, skinless chicken and place in crock pot. Add diced tomatoes, onion, pepper, green chilies (or you could short cut this and use Rotel tomatoes), chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Put lid on crock pot, set on high, and go away for 4 or so hours. When the chicken is done, shred it, and let cool in sauce. Divide into portions and freeze. This is great for tacos, wraps, burritos, nachos, tostadas, taco salads, or you could just eat this by itself, or maybe with some rice.
My husband and son love both of these, and there is rarely ever a quibble with either of them when I mention that these dishes are in the freezer for lunch or supper. It does not get better than that!