Thursday, January 31, 2013

Freezer Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken


This Freezer Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken recipe is the third recipe of the four meals I made for my brother and sister-in-law to help them post-baby.  This recipe is similar to my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe with a few changes.  Just to recap, the first freezer slow cooker recipe was the Freezer Slow Cooker Mustard Maple Chicken and the second recipe was the Freezer Slow Cooker Honey Chicken.  Not only are these freezer meals great for new parents, but also for busy families or couples/singles.  Enjoy!

P.S. We're still waiting on my niece to arrive!



Freezer Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup barbeque sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar.)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons onions, diced

Directions

In a bowl, mix together barbeque sauce, brown sugar, chili powder and onions.


Add chicken to sauce.

Place in plastic freezer bags.  Label bags.

Defrost in fridge the night before cooking in slow cooker.  Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Freezer Slow Cooker Honey Chicken


This is my second recipe of the four meals I made for my brother and sister-in-law to prepare them for meals post-baby.  The first recipe was my freezer slow cooker mustard maple chicken.  This freezer slow cooker honey chicken is an update to my first slow cooker honey chicken recipe.  I love that it is a freezer friendly dish and I added bell peppers, onions and carrots this time.  You also don't have to freeze any of these recipes if you want to make it right away too!  Enjoy!

P.S.  We're still waiting for my niece to arrive; she seems to be on asian time (a little late) haha!



Freezer Slow Cooker Honey Chicken

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup honey (I used half honey and half agave.)
½ cup soy sauce (I used a low sodium soy sauce.)
½ cup ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.)
¼ cup bell peppers, diced
¼ cup onions, diced
½ cup baby carrots


Directions

In a bowl, mix together honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and seasoning.

Add chicken to sauce.  Add in bell peppers, onions and carrots.

Place in plastic freezer bags.  Label bags.

Defrost in fridge the night before cooking in slow cooker.  Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freezer Slow Cooker Mustard Maple Chicken


My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby anytime now and I wanted to give them a few frozen slow cooker meals to help them out.  They are also doing a full kitchen renovation at the same time so slow cooker meals are going to be perfect for them.  This was a hit when I made it for my friend Ashley when she had her baby last summer.  The only change I made to my first Slow Cooker Mustard Maple Chicken recipe was I added thyme.  You can also add rosemary if you have that instead.  I think those flavors would go great with this dish.  This is the first recipe of a total of 4 freezer slow cooker meals that I made, enjoy!

Note:  I halved the portions and placed 2 chicken breasts in a 1 quart freezer bag.



Freezer Slow Cooker Mustard Maple Chicken 

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon thyme, dried (or rosemary)

Directions

In a bowl, mix together mustard, maple syrup, red wine vinegar and thyme.

Add chicken to sauce.

Place in plastic freezer bags.  Label bags.

Defrost in fridge the night before cooking in slow cooker.  Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pesto Stuffed Shells


I love pesto and these pesto stuffed shells are delicious!  This is one of the meals I am making and freezing for my brother and sister-in-law.  The frozen meals will help them out post-baby when they don't have much time or are too tired to cook anything.  I used my homemade tomato sauce with ground turkey for these pesto stuffed shells.  I do have several other homemade tomato sauce recipes, such as this basil tomato sauce and easy tomato sauce.  Feel free to use what you have too, store bought sauce works just as well.   I really hope my brother and sister-in-law will enjoy this meal!  I will soon be posting a few freezer friendly slow cooker meals that I made for my brother and sister-in-law too - these are perfect for any expectant friends, families or if you like having meals ready to go.



Pesto Stuffed Shells

Ingredients
12 ounces jumbo pasta shells, cooked (about 1/2 box)
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 to 3 tablespoons pesto sauce
Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray two 8x8 inch baking dishes with cooking spray and spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on bottom of each baking dish.  (You may use a 13x9 inch baking dish.)

In a medium bowl, beat eggs.  Add ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and pesto to combine.


Spoon filling into each pasta shell.  

Arrange stuffed pasta shells in baking dish.   Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese on top if desired.

Cover with foil and baking for 30 to 40 minutes.


Freezer Option:  You may prepare the stuffed shells ahead of time and place in a freezer bag (without the tomato sauce).  When ready to bake, there is no need to defrost, just place in baking dish with tomato sauce and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Tomato Sauce with Ground Turkey


I love making homemade tomato sauces and decided to use ground turkey instead of ground beef to make it a little more healthier.  This homemade tomato sauce with ground turkey is going to be used for a lasagna and a stuffed shells dish.  Also, a little hint whenever I use tomatos from a can, I always fill the cans about a quarter way up with water to rinse and make sure I get all the tomatoes out of the can.  Just pour the watered tomato sauce into the pot.  I probably made at least 8 cups of sauce with this recipe.  You can use the sauce right away or freeze for future use.  Here is the recipe for how I made the lasagna using this tomato sauce with ground turkey instead of the one in the recipe.


 
Homemade Tomato Sauce with Ground Turkey

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
28 ounce can tomato sauce
28 ounce can tomato puree
6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon parsley
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil


Directions

In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil.  Add ground turkey.  Break up ground turkey with wooden spoon and continue cooking until no longer pink.

Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, and tomato paste.

Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley and red chili flakes.

Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool before storing in refrigerator or freezer.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pizza


I was craving buffalo chicken pizza after eating it at Ledo's not too long ago with friends.  Ledo Pizza is one of my favorite local pizza places in the DC metro area.  They first opened in 1955 in Adelphi, Maryland which is near University of Maryland, College Park - my alma mater!  I ate at the original Ledo back when I was in college but there is one near me in DC that delivers, how cool is that?  I thought I would try making my own Buffalo Chicken Pizza and it turned out great.  I made sure my crust was thin and crispy, plus the provolone cheese is what makes the pizza extra special.  My sister-in-law once worked at a Ledo Pizza restaurant in the area and told me they used provolone cheese on their pizzas!  I drizzled some ranch dressing on top of my pizza too - be sure to try that because it makes it more awesome.  Enjoy!



Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Ingredients
1 batch homemade pizza dough (recipe here or use store bought)
1 cup shredded chicken, cooked (recipe here)
½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded mozzarella provolone cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
ranch dressing (optional)
blue cheese dressing (optional)


Directions

Drizzle olive oil on pizza stone.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Place pizza stone in oven while preheating.

Roll out pizza dough to size of pizza stone.


In a bowl, mix together chicken, hot sauce and butter. 


Spread chicken mixture over rolled out pizza dough.


Top with shredded cheese.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until edges of dough are crisp and cheese is melted.

Optional:  Serve with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing on the side or drizzle on top of pizza.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Pot Roast


I love coming home from work and dinner is already done.  I made this Slow Cooker Pot Roast last week and it was so easy and delicious.  All I had to do after work was boil some egg noodles and make a simple side salad.  This is a perfect winter meal for a weeknight or on a weekend.  Enjoy!


Also in case you were wondering about how Buddy was doing, he seems to be okay now (I wrote about his health issue earlier in the Leftover Ham Soup post).  According to the vet, he has hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) and it is common in older pets (and people).  Right now he's on Levothyroxine and will need another blood test in a couple weeks to determine if the meds are working right.  He will likely have to be on these meds for the rest of his life.  It just seems like all of a sudden Buddy became an old dog this year and I'm not ready for it.  Did you know older dogs get cold easily?  He actually shivers outside now and a dog trainer friend told me he needs to wear a coat out and its normal for older dogs to get cold easily.  He's turning 11 this spring but still acts like a young dog most of the time, thanks to his younger sister Ellie.  Here is Buddy yesterday in the kitchen with me hoping for something to "fall" haha.  Look at that cute face!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Ingredients
1.5 to 2 pounds boneless chuck roast
10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup water
1 large russet potato, diced (larger pieces)
1 onion, diced (larger pieces)
2 cups baby carrots
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Salute Seasoning)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Directions

In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, seasoning, salt, and black pepper.

Season both sides of roast with spice mixture.

Place carrots, potatoes, and onions in bottom of slow cooker.

Place seasoned roast on top of vegetables.

In a small bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup and water.  Pour over roast.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. 

 
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Remove meat and vegetables from slow cooker.  Whisk in cornstarch to make a gravy.  Add meat and vegetables back in slow cooker.


Serve with egg noodles.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easy Fried Rice


Whenever I'm hungry and want something quick, I can always count on this Easy Fried Rice.  It is one of my go-to-meals when I don't want to spend too much time cooking.  Somehow I always have leftover rice in the fridge - which is a key ingredient to fried rice.  If you use fresh rice, it will be too sticky so leftover rice is a must.  Fried rice is a chinese dish that is made with leftovers, so you can throw it in whatever you want.  Also if you don't have oyster sauce that is okay, you don't really need it, but I like it since my grandmother used to add it to her fried rice.  My grandmother passed away several years ago but I have some great memories of her making my brother and I her fried rice.  She would also add in diced chinese roast pork and chinese sausage to her fried rice, but that is not something I always have.   Hope you make this easy fried rice soon!



Easy Fried Rice

Ingredients
2 to 3 cups leftover rice
2 eggs
½ cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 – 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until onions are softened.


Next, stir in rice.  


Next, stir in vegetables and add in soy sauce and oyster sauce.


Add in one egg at a time and stir.  Allow egg to lightly scramble.


Continue stirring until eggs are completed cooked.


Serves 2.