Three Chicken Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

Our halls are decked here and we are taking a break from school, so I’ve been busy cramming my freezer with ready-to-go meals.  Today I stumbled upon some marked down organic boneless skinless chicken thighs.  I love thigh meat, it holds up to long cooking without drying out.  It will shred nice, but also will stay in nice chunks if you cut it up.  I am a big proponent of eating the whole chicken, but there is much to be said for the convenience of boneless skinless meat.  I only buy it when it is organic and on markdown.   

While my hubs grilled up one pack, I put together some freezer meals for the other packs I bought. I must mention again that I have a large family, so these could easily be cut in half for two meals for a family of 3-4.

Cranberry Ginger Chicken

(this would also work with a pork tenderloin or pork roast)
2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs
2 bags of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup of organic sugar, sucanat or evaporated honey
(you could sub. a can of canned whole cranberries)
1 tsp. of ground ginger
2 tbsp. of arrowroot powder or corn starch
4 oranges, quartered then sliced
2 small onions (or one large) sliced
1 tbsp. of sea salt or real salt *
3 tbsp. of whole-grain mustard
1 cup of chicken stock (*if you are using store bought, leave the salt out until the end of cooking and then adjust accordingly, I use homemade stock and it doesn’t have any salt)
Combine all ingredients (except stock) in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  This fits tightly into a 1 gallon bag, but could easily be split between two.
On day of cooking add ingredients to slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 6-8.  Shred chicken if desired and serve with mashed potatoes or rice.
I love to serve this tart/savory sauce with goat cheese smashed potatoes.  The combination of flavors is amazing.

Tropical Curry Chicken

2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch peices
3 bell peppers sliced
2 small onions (or 1 large), sliced
2 mangoes diced
1 whole pineapple, cored and diced
1 can of additive-free coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp. of curry powder
1 tbsp. of sea salt or real salt
1 cup of homemade stock
Combine all ingredients (except stock) in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  This will fill a 1 gallon bag pretty tight. On day of cooking add ingredients to a slow cooker add stock.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours on low.  Serve with Jasmine Rice and fermented veggies like kimchi.

Fajitas (Oven or Slow-Cooker)

2-2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
3 bell peppers sliced
2 medium red onions sliced
2 generous tablespoons of taco seasoning
4 tbsp of lard or butter

Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag.  Freeze flat.  I like to defrost these and cook them in the oven, but you can also dump it all in the slow cooker.  If using the slow cooker, add 1 cup of chicken stock.  Serve with tortillas, or over rice.  Add cheese, salsa, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro to taste.

When you layer the food in the bag start with the fruit or veggies.  Intermingle the spices into the center parts of the bag, that way they won’t be stuck to the sides.  And put the meat on the top.

Make sure you cut all of the pieces into bite-size, especially if you have little mouths!
Grocery List
7-8 lbs of Chicken Thighs
6 bell peppers
2 red onions
4 yellow onions
1 pineapple
2 mangoes
2 bags of cranberries
4 oranges
1 can of coconut milkCheck you Pantry/Fridge for:
taco seasoning (make some!)
ginger
whole grain mustard
arrow root powder or corn starch
sugar/sucanat/evaporated honey
curry powder
sea salt
Chicken Broth (make some!)

Well that’s one less thing to worry about during the holidays.  Now as I start my cleanse from sweets in January I will have some yummy meals ready to go in my freezer.  And this only took the better part of an hour!

Taco Seasoning

Who doesn’t love tacos?  I would literally fall over dead if I met some one!  I’ve been trying all sorts of homemade taco seasonings I found on Pinterest and think I finally came up with one my family loves.  It’s not too spicy, but some we tried along the way were.  But here’s the final recipe:
Ingredients

1 cup of Chili powder 

1/2 cup of Onion powder
1/3 cup of Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons of Paprika
1 tablespoon of Sea Salt or Real Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne (this adds a minimal amount of heat, but you can leave it out)
Makes 1 pint, so get out one of those lovely ball jars.  Add all of the ingredients and shake-it-Oh-Baby-Now!  That’s it.  It couldn’t be simpler–it is literally simplier than going to the store to buy it, and then searching for that skinny little packet in your pantry…seriously.  And if you consider all of the MSG you will be avoiding or $$ you will be spending on the facny organic packs–How can you go wrong?
We go through a lot of taco seasoning here.  I use this on fajitas, in chili, shredded chicken, burrito filling, refried beans, and of course taco meat.  There are also a lot of quick recipes floating around that use taco seasoning packets.  I think somewhere near 2 tablespoons would equal a packet, but the beauty in not using a packet is you can adjust to your taste!  You can store it in the pantry in a glass jar for up to six months.