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Make Ahead Meals From Freezer to Slow Cooker

Everyday Adventures Feature
#0825
By: Elizabeth Winslow
Make Ahead Meals From Freezer to Slow Cooker

The week begins with the best of intentions: healthy breakfasts, family dinners and plenty of time for exercise. Then life gets in the way. Soccer, meetings that run late, last-minute teacher conferences. Before you know it, your best-laid plans have fallen by the wayside, and you're dialing for takeout, defeated. 

But wait—hold the phone! With a little advance planning and the high-quality flavors of Spice Islands® spices, you can make sure there's a delicious, healthy and home-cooked dinner on the table every night. 

We all know the slow cooker is our friend: Toss in some quality ingredients and flavor boosters, turn it on, and head out for the day. By the time you walk in the door in the evening, a warm and fragrant meal awaits. But sometimes mornings are a little too crazy to get the magic going. Between making breakfast, finding lost shoes and putting the finishing touches on a costume for the school play, there's not always time for chopping and dicing. Here's where the secret comes in: Use the freezer and the slow cooker together for truly no-fuss meals that make family dinners consistently possible.

Essentially, you'll create slow cooker meal kits that enable you to "set it and forget it" in mere seconds. Reserve some time on a Sunday, stock up on zip-top gallon-size freezer bags and labels, and make room in the freezer. You'll be prepping and packaging ingredients for meals that will have you reaping rewards on your investment of time all month long. (The night before your morning, toss into the slow cooker; just transfer first from freezer to fridge to thaw.)

Ready to get started? To create a kit for BBQ Pork Sliders with an herb and citrus-scented sauce, just cut pork shoulder into chunks and place in freezer bag with ingredients for sauce. Defrost overnight, place the meat mixture in your trusty cooker, and look forward to a delectable dinner all day long. Serve with simple coleslaw and soft bakery rolls. 

For a slow cooker Corn Chowder kit, place everything but the liquids and cheese in a bag, press to squeeze as much air out as possible, and seal. When you empty the contents of the bag, add broth and let the cooking begin. When the chowder is ready, stir in milk and cheese at the last minute and serve with a loaf of crusty bread.

Chicken Chipotle Tacos are smoky and satisfying crowd-pleasers. To prep, just combine chicken with spices, onion and tomato in your freezer bag and dinner is one step closer to being done!

The next time you're tempted by takeout, remember this easy and rewarding system for healthy, wallet-friendly meals. Once you get around to it, you'll suddenly have time for everything on your plate.

Elizabeth Winslow is a writer, food blogger, teacher and entrepreneur in Austin, Texas. She is a regular contributor to Edible Austin and creates compelling content for brands both large and small. She has an M.A. in Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio and teaches cooking classes with Kitchen Underground. Winslow + co

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

 

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