Chicken wrapped Asparagus

This recipe is so simple is should be illegal.




Salt and Pepper.

That is it. No really. The first time I had this meal I was at my good friend Eryn's house. She'd pre-pounded her fresh chicken breasts and froze them between parchment... then just thawed to slap these bag boys together. Let me tell you what, I was not expecting the flavor to be as it was. In fact, when I decided to make this, I  made a gravy just for my husband... because he needs flavor explosions. But it was good enough to not need it (though he used it anyway).

So, how then can we make this into a freezer meal? Quite simple. Assemble ahead of time and wrap in foil and VOILĂ€, you have prepackaged go to meals. And goodness are they easy.

What I used:
4 chicken breasts
1 head of garlic (more like 4-5 cloves)
2 bunches of asparagus (snapped at the bend)
Salt and Pepper

First off, you have to get the chicken thinner then then fat ole chicken breasts. Now, I've never EVER ever filleted a chicken breast so, this had me a bit nervous. But I just used a VERY sharp knife (sharpened it immediately before) and went to cutting. Surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. 

I then stuck the chicken breasts INSIDE a plastic bad and pounded the heck out of them with an ice cream scoop. I know, I think I'm supposed to use a mallet, but I'm improvising here. I beat mine to pretty thin but not so thin it's falling to bits.

Then I stuck 5-6 sprigs of asparagus into the middle... chopped some garlic and placed it over the top. Salt and peppered it, then just tied it shut with kitchen twine.

Aren't they pretty?

Don't look at the one closest to the camera. That was my FIRST TRY in which I learned that beating chicken too hard will result in chaos for both you and the chicken.

Now it's time for you to wrap EACH of these INDIVIDUALLY in foil. Then put them in a bag labeled Asparagus Chicken.

Thaw them in a pan or dish in the frig the night before, then unwrap and cook one of the follow two ways:

Oven: 350 for 35-45 minutes until just a bit golden
Crockpot: coat inside of crockpot with coconut oil (just a little so that is prevents sticking) then line the bottom of the crockpot with your chicken wraps. Cook on low 4 hours.
That's it! And it's so good!

Next time I'm going to try this... wrapped in bacon!


Garlic Crockpot Chicken

When I found this recipe, the blogsite hostess said, "If you do not like garlic, do not try this recipe." I love garlic so of course I am going to try this!

However, what the blogsite hostess failed to say was that not only do you have to LOVE garlic, but your neighbors have to love it. Your children have to adore it, because it will permeate every piece of clothing in the room on their bodies. And your husband better enjoy bathing in it. I mean seriously. You have to LOVE LOVE LOVE garlic.

I thought I loved garlic. But this lends itself to a new kind of infatuation. I mean really. REALLY.

SO I'm going to say the same thing, only amended. Ahem.

Only make this chicken if you have a very unhealthy LUST for garlic. Because that is all you taste. Just garlic. So, let that be your warning.

Moving on.

So my thoughts on this bird were not only that it could have not been sooooo flippen garlic-y, but that there was hardly any flavor in the meat itself... well maybe there was flavor but it was masked by all the garlic! So, right. If you like garlic flavored everything and a house that smell like garlic two days later, this is the bird for you. No vampire attacks here this week.

What you will need: 
2 gallon sized freezer bags
1 quart sized bag
1 sandwich bag

Write on the outside of bag 1, 40 Clove Garlic Chicken - Low 5-8 hours (depending on bird size)

Put 1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry, giblets and excess fat pockets removed inside the gallon sized freezer bag. Cut a lemon in half and stick it INSIDE the cavity of the chicken and seal the bag.

In sandwich bag put 1-3 tsp of each of the following spices (depending on bird size):
salt and pepper
and smoked paprika (I put more like a tablespoon or two cuzz I love that stuff ;))

In the last bag you are going to put about 40 cloves of unpeeled garlic (I used 5 heads and no I didn't count the garlic pieces I just said, looks good). You need to NOT peel the garlic because in the slowcooker they will absolutely turn to mush and not be what you want. So make sure to get them in their peels. TO do this I just whacked the side of each bulb with the side of my knife and then they fell into pieces. I did remove most of the flakey bunk.

Seal all the bags and stuff them into the main bag and into the freezer it goes.

The day before you cook it, make sure you thaw your bird out WELL! No frozen birds in the crockpot, please. Dries out the meat. And don't think you can turn it on high just to make amends. Just don't do it. 

Place cloves in the bottom of the crockpot. Next put the chicken over the top (Breast side up) and then sprinkle with all the spices. That is it. Set the crockpot and come back in 5-8 hours to see the results.

When it's done, you can get the color you want (that you can't get in a crockpot) by separating the chicken into individual pieces (breast, wings, leg quarters) and broil them on a baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Makes the skin crispy but makes an awful mess too ;)

You can use the drippings inside the crockpot to make gravy or mix into your cauliflower potatoes. But expect ultra garlic.

I apologize for no pics of the finished bird. My kids were so starved I just worried about my own safety and not a pic. No one (but my husband) complained about the meal... but no one had seconds either. And later it was agreed it was wayyyyyy too garlic-y. Okay fine. It was 40 clove garlic chicken. Lesson learned. I don't lust for garlic.

The bird itself had little flavor as well. Possibly because our nostrils were overrun with garlic but... it just wasn't a huge win. But someone who loves Garlic (with that unhealthy love) will love this too.


Paleo Crockpot Fajitas

I was a little worried about this recipe at first because I love flavor (big duh) and there were very few ingredients in the sauce. And as I do with a lot of recipes, I was very tempted to hack it from the gate. I mean, my Chicken Pad Thai recipe came from two different recipes and my head and I'd never had it before or even attempted to make it before, but it worked and was divine.

I digress.

So right, I thought about hacking this before the gun, but decided that I'd let this one slide and just SEE how it turned out.

Boy, am I glad I did. Perfect amount of spices (a tad spicy for some pallets) but serious yum.

What you need:
3 Gallon sized bags

Bag 1, write Fajitas 4-6 hours on high

Bag 2, put in the following ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Juice of 2 Limes

I put mine in a bowl first then went DOH! So don't dirty a bowl you don't have to.  Ha!

Seal and squish until well mixed. Then add 1.5lbs of sliced flank steak (or any type of steak really). Seal the bag and toss around to coat well. 

Bag 3, put in the following ingredients:
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 onion sliced

Put Bag 2 and 3 inside bag 1 and freeze. On the day you want to cook it, you can stick it in the crockpot frozen (Just allow for extra cooking time) or you can thaw it in the frig the night before and put it in defrosted. I defrosted this time, but know factually that this recipe would work perfect in a pinch when still frozen because of the type of meat and sauce.

I served mine to the non Paleo-ans with tortilla's but for Toby and I, we had it on a bed of lettuce with Avacado. So delicious! 

Definitely a recipe I would make again!


Chicken Pad Thai

Paleo friendly freezer meal number two. And so far, I'm feeling pretty confident about these recipes.

And really, how can Pad Thai that is Paleo Friendly be a bad thing... even my picky twelve year old ate it. I'm hankering for more to have for dessert. No really. SOOO GOOD.

What you will need:
2 gallon sized freezer bags
2 quart sized bags
1 Sandwich bag

Write on outer gallon bag: Chicken Pad Thai (needed day of cooking: coconut oil, cilantro, lime wedges, cashews and siracha)

Label gallon sized bag (#1 Chicken Mixture) put in  the following ingredients:
1.5lbs chicken, (Cut into bite sized chunks)
5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely, I used the PC garlic press)
1 bunch green onions (only the white ends and a it of green. Save rest for later)
Salt and Pepper
1 TBS of Ground Ginger

Shake the bag well to mix all the ingredients together. Place into outer bag.

Label quart sized bag "#2 Sauce" put in  the following ingredients:
3 TBS of Fish Sauce
1 TBS of Coconut Aminos
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 Heaping TBS of Sun Nut Butter

Squish bag well once sealed and put into outer bag.

Label quart sized bag "#3 Veggies" put in the following ingredients:
2 carrots (washed, peeled, and sliced thin like noodles.I used my potato peeler to get thin slices)
2 zucchini (washed, peeled, and sliced thin like noodles.)
1-2 cups of Bean Sprouts (optional but sooooo good)

Label sandwich bag with "add after" and put the remaining green onions.

Have on hand the day of cooking:
Coconut oil
Lime wedges (Optional)
Cashews (Optional)
Siracha (Optional)

When it's time to cook your meal, thaw in the frig the night before.

To cook:

1. Heat wok or large frying pan on med-high. Add bag #1 to the skillet and cook chicken completely.

2. Next add #2 Sauce and mix well. Bring to slow simmer.

3. Next add #3 Veggies, but only set the veggies just on the top of the bubbling mixture. You want to steam them not boil them. Allow the mixture to steam for 3-5 minutes or until your veggies are cooked the way you prefer.

5. Serve with or without the broth but top with the "add after" green onions. This is also the moment you would top with cashews, siracha, and fresh squeezed lime. Add the siracha for an extra KICK!

YUMMMMM! We will make this A LOT! It was such a hit!

And there are crockpot directions! So you can either do this meal immediately, go in the freezer for later then on the stove (cooks up in 10 minutes), or allow your cockpot to do the work.


Crockpot directions

What you will need:
2 gallon sized freezer bags
1 quart sized bag
1 Sandwich bag

Write on outer gallon bag: Crockpot Chicken Pad Thai (needed day of cooking: cilantro, lime wedges, cashews and siracha)

Label gallon sized bag (#1 Chicken and sauce mixture) put in  the following ingredients:
1.5lbs whole chicken breasts
5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely, I used the PC garlic press)
1 bunch green onions (only the white ends and a it of green. Save rest for later)
Salt and Pepper
1 TBS of Ground Ginger
3 TBS of Fish Sauce
1 TBS of Coconut Aminos
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 Heaping TBS of Sun Nut Butter

Squish bag well once sealed and put into outer bag.

Label quart sized bag "#2 Veggies" put in the following ingredients:
2 carrots (washed, peeled, and sliced thin like noodles.I used my potato peeler to get thin slices)
2 zucchini (washed, peeled, and sliced thin like noodles.)
1-2 cups of Bean Sprouts (optional but sooooo good)

Label sandwich bag with "add after" and put the remaining green onions.

Have on hand the day of cooking:
Lime wedges (Optional)
Cashews (Optional)
Siracha (Optional)

Cooking directions: Thaw in your frig the night before.

Add Chicken and sauce mixture to the bottom of the crock pot. Try to get everything out of the bag, because this sauce is sooooo good. ;)

Now carefully set your veggie noodles on top of your liquid and meat base.We want them steamed not stewed.

Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on low if you are using a 4-Quart Slow cooker.

Cook for no more than 6 hours on low (5 is ideal) if you are using a 6-Quart slow cooker.

Remove your chicken and slice into bite sized chunks. Throw it back into the crockpot and stir it p. There will be lots of broth, but if you use a pasta spoon, you should get just the right amount in your bowls. You can always ladle in more.

Top with cilantro, green onions, cashews, and a squeeze of lime. Add the siracha for an extra KICK!

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

The first meal to come from my freezer and into my crockpot was the Beef Stroganoff. I went with this one first because I knew my kids wouldn't touch it and I had tamales that I'd purchased from a fundraiser still in the frig, so I knew they wouldn't starve. See, this meal is packed with mushrooms and onions. Yummm. YUM!

I made TWO of these meals for my freezer and after the first trial run, so delish. So it's a keeper. One to bring out for adult pallets, or kids who don't mind bits of mushroom and onion.

What you will need:
2 gallon sized freezer bags

  • Write on one bag: Crockpot Beef Stroganoff - Cook 6-7 hours on low - add 1 tablespoons arrowroot at the end to thicken.

Ingredients to add to the blank bag:
1 1/2lbs of beef chuck steak
14 oz of mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup homemade beef stock
2-3 garlic gloves, pressed or minced well
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock (or white wine)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Seal bag well and stick inside labeled bag. You always want to double bag because when it defrosts, it will save you a mess.

Take from the freezer the day before cooking. Put mostly thawed meal (or all the way thawed if you had lots of time) into the crock pot, cover and set for low 7 hours. Add arrowroot at the end and allow to thicken.

I checked mine at 5 hours and if you like medium steak, it would be great here. But we are going for the full time here. Then at the end, I added my arrowroot and tried to thicken. Notice I said tried. It didn't really thicken... at all. So you could leave out the arrowroot and it would be the same meal... I think. When I cook it again I will try to let it cook a little longer in the arrowroot? I dunno. It also wasn't creamy like traditional stroganoff. I know I might be asking for the world here, since I'm not using dairy, but it didn't LOOK like the stroganoff I was used to. So be it.

How did it taste?

Regardless of the non-thick, un traditional looking stroganoff (because it was not creamy at all) served over a red potato, the flavors were awesome! Very full flavored broth and just deliciousness on my plate! My husband hummed while he ate, which means he REALLY liked it and I found myself going back for more to top off my already full belly.

When it was time for leftovers (the next day) I mixed some sour cream into my husbands portion (none for me-- paleo means no dairy) but it turned perfectly stroganoff colored and still tasted fabulous. So if you aren't paleo but want a healthy crockpot stroganoff recipe... here you go! :)

Next up, Chicken Pad Thai!

Paleo time!

Because of some health issues of my own and my son's, we went Paleo. Well, technically only the kid and I have jumped on the Complete Paleo bandwagon, but the rest of the family will continue their unhealthy ways and just be forced to paleo meals for dinner. Which they aren't sad about and quite frankly, I don't think they are going to miss their grains/dairy at dinner anyway.

So, on this new paleo road, I realized I was going to need to completely adjust my freezer meal brain. Not only would I have to be tomato free (because of an allergy) but now I had to cut out a whole slew of things I relied on in my freezer meals.

I spent hours on the internet, gathering recipes and searching for things I believed would taste good and have my picky eaters asking me for more. I was certain those recipes existed, I just needed to find them.

And I did!

Oh yah, I found paleo meals that I could adjust to the freezer. And I'm happy to report, my freezer is full and happy and waiting for the results.

The recipes I found that suited my needs were:
(Anything linked below will have the recipe and my notes behind them, all will eventually be linked as they come from the freezer!)

Notice I stuck to two different meats (just beef and chicken) and repeated ingredients. This saves on time and cost. All of the meat and ingredients for these meals (some of them making two meals not one) cost under $250 and will feed this family of five for well over a month.

Some of these recipes include the veggie with them, some didn't. So I did buy extra broccoli and other paleo friendly veggies that would keep in the freezer until I'm ready. All included in that price. However most of my spices were already in my cupboard. I had to buy fish sauce and coconut aminos, which aren't cheap, but definitely worth the price. I get mine on Amazon.

So as the meals come out of the freezer, I will update this page and link up the recipes. I have tried two, so I will put them up shortly.