Post # 1
In a few weeks I’m having foot/leg surgery. It’s the 4th one I’ve had in a little over a year and Darling Husband has been awesome and has taken care of me completely. However, this is the longest recovery of the 4 I’ve had recently. I’ll be completely laid up unable to lower my leg from above heart level for six weeks, then will be able to move around on crutches for a few weeks, then slowly easing back into minimal walking. Darling Husband has to take care of our two dogs and cat during this time as well as work full time, clean, run all the errands, etc. About a week after, my sister (age 15) will come up to help take care of me, but she isn’t old enough to drive. She also can’t eat gluten.
I will require ice on my leg 24/7 for the first 6 weeks so the majority of our freezer will need to remain empty to accommodate the bags of ice. So most of the foods will need to be made after the surgery by Darling Husband, who will already have so much on his plate. For the last 3 surgeries, we’ve used a local pre-made meal company but unfortunately, Darling Husband is sick to death of the food there after eating it for so long.
So I thought I’d turn to y’all for your recommendations for easy to make meals! I don’t mind eating pot roast or enchiladas etc. for breakfast or anything, so no need for breakfast meals, but definitely bonus points for 1 or 2 that are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free.
So what are your favorite super easy casserole/crock pot/freezer meals?
Post # 2
I really like cheesy chicken spaghetti. You can find some healthy alternatives or sub the pasta for a gluten free one. Also chili is always super easy and cheap. I love making whole chickens in a crock pot too. Literally throw one in with seasons you like on low for 6 hours or high for 4.
I will probably be a broken record but, try pinterest! There are thousands. :]
Hoping for a fast recovery for you!
Post # 3
Post # 4
Best of luck with your surgery! This pumpkin chili is my favorite crock pot recpie. I make it probably once a month and eat it for lunch all week long. http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-black-bean-pumpkin-chili/
Post # 5
Shredded Chicken tacos is my favorite crock pot meal, and it makes plenty of meat and actually freezes pretty well, too! It’s definitely my favorite chicken taco recipe. SUPER easy.
4-6 chicken breasts (I normally do 4 big ones or 5/6 smaller)
1 jar of your favorite salsa (I use generic picante salsa as I dont like chunky tomatoes)
1 packet of taco seasoning (I use the low sodium one)
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours. (I prefer high for 4 hours, it gets super tender on low, almost too tender for my taste)
This isn’t a freezer or crock pot recipe, but it’s something Darling Husband and I do a lot on nights we don’t feel like cooking after the gym.. We get the frozen parmesaea tilapia from Sam’s, and the steam broccoli bags from Sams as well and make a little rice with it. Sometimes we switch it up and get salmon or cod instead. This depends on if yall like fish though.
Another easy meal I make is baked tortellini. I get the frozen tortellini (or ravioli) and always keep one on hand. You boil the tortellini for like 8 mins, throw it in a 8×8 baking dish, add a jar of marinara (or alfredo, or half and half in the same dish is surprisingly yummy!), and bake for a few mins at 350, add mozzerella and bake a few more mins and you’re done.
Brats, steaks or burgers on the grill are also our easy go to’s, especially if I’m busy and Darling Husband is left to the cooking.
Post # 6
LittleDove : I’m doing the same thing in prep for birth. I think the two easiest ones I’ve done are shredded balsalmic beef (for sandwiches) and lasagna rollups (which was slower but still simple enough – I added artichoke too). Both from this website http://thrivinghomeblog.com/healthy-recipes-index/healthy-freezer-meals-recipes/
I also bought a crap ton of chicken that I sliced into half breasts and pieces – ready to toss in the oven for salad tops, pasta mix-ins or whatever.
Post # 7
A good rule of thumb if you’re in a pinch to mix it up is you can pour a bottle of almost any sauce/salad dressing/etc on some chicken breasts and it makes something good
My absolute go to is BBQ chicken (put your breasts in the crock pot, cover with bbq sauce, let it cook for 4-6 hours until shreddable) its really yummy on its own but super versatile, you can repurpose in salads, on rolls with cheeese for sandwiches, put it on pizza.
Same for chicken taco meat, just use whatever taco seasonings you like and then you have fillings for tacos, for enchiladas, for some kind of bake. I love this one by EmilyBites (they have a lot of god recipes) http://www.emilybites.com/2012/01/chicken-tamale-bake.html because it turns into a hearty casserole but takes minimal measuring and one bowl! (basically you just have to measure out milk then everything else you dump in 1 can, 1 box etc and top with premade chicken, its super easy) I always like to repurpose it for chilaquiles too if hubs has the energy some night and wants something different, just cook up some scrambled eggs, then throw in chicken tortilla chips and a can of enchilada sauce to the skillet and toss until soft.
Not sure if you have it in budget with all the surgeries, but it might be worth investing in a smaller second crockpot like this one http://www.crock-pot.com/deals/memorial-day-sale/crock-pot-hook-up-connectable-entertaining-system-2-quart-metallic-blue/SCCPMD2-BL.html#start=3 so that its easier to clean out on days that are busier or more stressful
If you’re trying to keep freezer space free, you could do a fondue night by putting the cheese in the crock and having hubs get a deli platter on the way home (also could do the same for nachos)
I LOVE making oatmeal in my crockpot. More of a weekend recipe because it takes some watching, I like to put a few apples in the crock pot (core them and pack with butter and brown sugar) pour some apple juice or cider in the bottom and let them get alllll delicious and baked. Then take all but one out (now you have baked apples for later!) cut it up, pour in a cup or two of oats and some water or more juice and let it get to how soft you like your oatmeal.
Post # 8
One of my favorite easy crockpot meals is chicken thighs or breasts + jar of salsa verde + bottle of beer (something light like a lager or an IPA, not an amber or stout) + seasonings. I like to do lots of cumin, garlic, chili powder, adobo seasoning, cayenne, a pinch of cinnamon (trust me), cilantro, and lime. Set it on low for 6-8 hours and shred it up. It makes an amazing filling for tacos or enchiladas, or in burritos, or over rice. All of my favorite crock pot recipes involve beer, though, haha. I also make a pot roast cooked in Guinness and BBQ chicken cooked in beer and a blend of seasonings.
These are my favorite casseroles. Neither are very healthy, but both are delicious 🙂 Someone also mentioned doing baked frozen ravioli with storebought marinara sauce, and I do that very frequently as well. I’ve done different versions with ground beef, ground turkey, eggplant, zucchini, and spinach before, and all turn out great.