A couple months ago I told you about a fantastic new e-cookbook by Stephanie from Mama And Baby Love. I’ve given a couple more recipes in it a test run, so I thought I’d share my successes.
A couple weeks ago, I whipped up a few bags full of her Summer Veggie Soup and Valencian Paella. Easy peasy.
I made a few batches of each recipe, so I’m glad we ended up liking both of them. The paella includes shrimp that you add in just for the last half hour of cooking time, so I put those in a separate bag and taped it to the big bag. I also got another great idea from Stephanie’s book: dumping chicken into the bag all in one big chunk and then cutting it up when it’s cooked. I rarely cook meat, and I don’t enjoy handling raw meat. Gives me the willies. Anyway, I had some organic chicken thigh meat in the freezer when I was prepping this bag of food, and I didn’t want to thaw it, cut it, and then re-freeze it. Instead, I put the whole frozen chunk into the bag with the veggies and seasonings. Yesterday I dumped the whole thing into the crock pot and when it was cooked, I pulled the chicken out and shredded it with a fork (much easier than cutting it raw). Most of our meals will continue to be meat-free, but my guys all love meat, so there are some chunks of chicken getting cooked around here. But cutting it up after it’s cooked is far preferable, and I’ll continue to do it that way. Thanks for the idea Stephanie!
One other thing that I did with this go-round of freezer cooking was that I worked on it bit-by-bit, as I had time and ingredients. It took me a few days to get the bags fully assembled, but it seemed like very little effort because I didn’t have to block off a large chunk of time to do it. The first day I chopped some veggies and also dumped in things like peas and green beans that were already prepped (in giant bags from Costco). I didn’t have any tomatoes or onions on hand that day, so I made myself a note listing what still needed to go into each bag, and then after I went shopping I did a bit more chopping and added the remaining ingredients. I also made some substitutions (the only dry beans I had on hand were kidney beans, so that’s what I soaked and put into the veggie soup – it turned out great) in order to use what I had in the kitchen.
These were both very easy and very tasty. We have lots of leftovers, which are my secret weapon in the kitchen. If you haven’t got Stephanie’s awesome cookbook yet, I highly recommend it. Next up on my list of things to try is her Cumin Beans and Carrot Ginger Soup. Get the cookbook here if you want to start filling your freezer with bags you can dump into your slow cooker whenever you have a busy day.