Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork

Freezer Meal Time!

I’ve mentioned in my last few posts that these adorable monkey feet and adjusting to parenthood have made it very difficult for me to stand in the kitchen and prepare a nice and healthy meal each night.

I mean, c’mon…

Adorable FeetSock Monkey FeetObviously, I’d much rather enjoy every moment I can with my little guy (and take pictures of his feet!). Enter the freezer meal…

Today – Mediterranean Pork.

Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork What’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! But are they any good? Round one (pot roast) proved successful! So let’s move on to the next one…

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

6-8 Pork chops
1 Sweet potato (although we used two the first time and three large sweet potatoes the second time)
½ Cup of olive oil
2 Cups of chicken Stock (we used three to four, unmeasured because of the extra sweet potatoes to ensure we had enough liquid)
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped (we always tend to use extra here too because we love the stuff)
2 Tablespoons of paprika
2 Tablespoons of chicken seasoning (we used Montreal Chicken)
2 Tablespoons of dried oregano
2 Tablespoons of dried basil (we used fresh basil because we grow it out back)

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Chop or slice the garlic cloves.

Mix the sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil and all the seasonings together in a large bowl.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the sweet potato mixture and one for the pork.   I didn’t add the chicken stock until I was ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the pork and sweet potatoes overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump everything in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Pour in the chicken stock. I like to add a little of the stock before I put the food in and then pour the rest over the top, but people say I’m weird.

Cook on low for eight hours.

But is it any good?

Delicious! We’ve already made this dish twice. And I have a feeling we’ll have it again soon…

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://kleinsis.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/its-nearly-time-lets-pepare/

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Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

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Pinteresting – October’s Recipes

It’s time for this month’s Pinteresting post where I share a few Pinterest ideas I have borrowed from other users and share whether or not they work.

Today, we’re taking on a few of the recipes…

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Skillet EnchiladasRotel Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I made this dish the week that my family stayed with us.  I asked my nephew what types of food he and his brothers would like, because feeding nine is always cheaper at home, and Mexican made the list.  And since I can’t make my mom’s enchilada casserole as well as she can, I decided to try something new.

Enter Pinterest and the Rotel Chicken Enchilada Skillet recipe.

Man, I love this site.

All you need is:

No stick cooking spray
12 corn tortillas, torn/cut into bite size pieces
3 cups of shredded, cooked chicken (we used cans of white chunk chicken, drained)
1 – 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel!), undrained
1 – 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce (we used green)
1 – 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (we used garlic and lime tomatillo salsa instead)
1 cup shredded cheese

Spray the skillet or Dutch oven with cooking spray.  Add the tortilla pieces and chicken, mix well.  Cook over medium to high heat five or so minutes, stirring frequently.

Poor the undrained tomatoes and chilies, enchilada sauce, and other sauce over the chicken mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle half the cup of cheese over the mixture.  Cover and cook five minutes until hot, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle the remaining half of cup of cheese on the top and serve.

It’s that simple!  And it’s pretty good.  Everyone gave it a thumbs up!

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Crock Pot Coconut Chicken CurryCrock Pot Coconut Curry Chicken

My guy LOVES Thai food.  LOVES.  But unfortunately, I’m not all that great at cooking it for him.  I have found one recipe of Tom Kha soup that he definitely liked but that’s really about it.  So when I found this Crock Pot Coconut Curry Chicken recipe, I decided to give it a go.  After all, it’s a crock pot recipe… and I can’t turn a good crock pot recipe away!

No stick cooking spray
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables (we used two because we’re big veggie eaters)
1 – 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
1 – 14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of curry (we used the red curry paste)
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 minced clove of garlic (we used two because we’re big on fresh garlic)
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
salt/pepper

Spray the crock pot with the cooking spray.  The recipe says this is very important.  I thought it odd because of all my years cooking in the crock pot, this is the very first time I’ve had a recipe tell me to coat it with cooking spray.

Place the chicken at the bottom of the crock pot and pour the vegetables on top.

In a side bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch, until smooth.  Pour over the veggies and chicken.

Cover and cook on high for three to four hours or low for five to six.

Ten minutes before serving, scoop out the chicken and cut into bite size chunks before putting it back into the crock pot.

Mix the tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the crock pot and stir.  Cook five more minutes.  *Use additional cornstarch mixture to reach the desired thickness.

Serve over rice.

I felt this recipe was missing something… maybe cashews… maybe pineapple… but definitely something.  Honestly, it was probably a spice.  But my guy really enjoyed it and we will make this one again.

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Your turn—have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you would like to share?  Did it taste as good as its picture looked?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipes found on these sites:

http://www.ro-tel.com/recipes-Chicken-Enchilada-Skillet-2273.html?utm_source=pinterest

http://www.wifessionals.com/2012/10/coconut-curried-chicken-crockpot.html

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

Pinteresting – July’s Recipes

Over the past few months, I have fallen into the Pinterest craze along with millions of other people.  At first, I didn’t know exactly what to do… but once I got the hang of it, I found myself spending hours on the weekends checking out neat Do-It-Yourself tricks for around the house, finding cute clothes that I needed to add to my wish list, learning interesting beauty and hair techniques, and probably my biggest downfall, discovering recipes that I absolutely must try.

Now it’s time for this month’s Pintersting post where I share a few Pinterest ideas I have grabbed from other users and share whether or not they work.

Today, we’re taking on a few of the recipes…

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Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

I love refreshing foods during the hot summer months… salads, fruits, sandwiches, etc…  But up until recently, I only knew how to make a tuna salad that I liked.  I enjoy a good chicken salad; I just never had a recipe that sounded easy enough that I wanted to try.  So, instead of making it fresh, I’d trek to United Market Street and grab a container of already made chicken salad with grapes.  I love my chicken salad with grapes.

And then came Pinterest…

I wasn’t sure how my guy would react to my making chicken salad for a Monday night dinner, but he played along nonetheless.  He even helped me chop everything.

And let me just say… we both loved it!!  The grapes are my favorite part (surprise, surprise), and he likes the crunch of it all (celery, onion, and pecans).  It was so tasty; we’ve even made it a second time this month!  Twice in one month!

3 cups of cooked chicken
1 cup of chopped celery
½ cup of chopped pecans
1 cup of chopped grapes – we used purple grapes
¼ cup of finely chopped green onion
¾ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip – we used regular mayo
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon of onion powder

In a large bowl, mix chicken, celery, pecans, grapes, and green onion.

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Cover the chicken mixture with the “dressing” and stir until well mixed.

Cover and chill until served.

We toasted some challah bread from Whole Foods Market, spread mustard on each piece, and covered it with large mounds of the chicken salad served open-faced.  Perfecto!

I do wonder though, what will Granny Smith green apples taste like if added?  Maybe next time…

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Italian Chicken Before
Crock Pot Italian Chicken

I’m a crock pot cooker.  Dump, cover, and cook.  How easy is that?  Give me any recipe to try in the crock pot and I’ll give it a chance… especially chicken.

Sadly, the last chicken dish we tried was extremely dry.  But not this one!  The Crock Pot Italian Chicken dinner is melt-in-your-mouth good.  Especially when served on Hawaiian sweet rolls.  And the peppers?  Oh, the peppers give it just the right amount of sweetness and spice.

2 pounds of chicken – we used frozen chicken breasts
1 jar of pepper rings (12 ounces) – we used mild
2 envelopes of Italian dressing seasoning and/or spice mix (.7 ounce)

Dump the chicken into the crock pot, cover with pepper rings, and sprinkle in both envelopes of Italian dressing.  Cover and cook for four hours on high (or eight on low).

Shred the chicken and turn the heat to low or simmer until ready to serve.  If low on the liquid, add broth or water.

Serve on buns with feta, peppers, and olives if desired.

My guy went with the feta…

I stayed away from all three…

Italian Chicken After

And I’m glad I did.  YUMMY!!  Seriously.  So good.

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Your turn—have you tried any Pinterest recipes that you would like to share?  Did it taste as good as its picture looked?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipes found on these sites:

http://www.skinnymom.com/2012/04/25/skinny-chicken-salad/?_szp=163117

http://beyerbeware.net/2012/09/hunk-of-meat-monday-crock-pot-italian-chicken.html

And, feel free to follow me on Pinterest.