As a working mother there is nothing more chaotic than rushing home after working all day and trying to prepare a healthy, delicious meal for your family. I found myself very stressed by the idea of trying to come up with a good meal idea every night that didn't take two or more hours to prepare. I also found myself missing out on some quality time with my children, so I made a decision to try and simplify the dinner process. Crock pot meals.
I had picked up a magazine of different crock pot recipes while waiting in line at the grocery store, so I decided to crack the magazine open and see what I could come up with. Here's how the week went.
Monday: Slow cooker turkey with cranberry stuffing. Here is the recipe I adapted for our Monday night meal. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-pork-chops-with-apple-cherry-stuffing/cb8d4813-3b6f-4dc3-b34b-91f339e853a2
Instead of using pork chops I used a split turkey breast. I also used Pepperidge Farm in-the-bird, cornbread stuffing, and I used Gala apples instead of Granny Smith. I prepared the stuffing as it said in the recipe, put that on the bottom of my crock pot and placed my split turkey breast on top of it. I turned the slow cooker on low and went to work for the day. By the time we all got home that night all I had to do was put a bag green beans in the microwave (I buy the Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers). The turkey and stuffing were cooked to perfection and that was it.
Mondays are a very busy day for me at work so I find myself particularly tired on Mondays and this meal was perfect for a mom who just wanted to come home and relax with her kids.
Tuesday: Slow cooker beef teriyaki. Here is the recipe I used for our Tuesday night meal. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-teriyaki-beef-and-vegetables/4bedf569-1603-4946-87b6-93673c917088
This meal came out very well. The only mistake I made in my rush to get the frozen vegetables in the crock pot was that I forgot to defrost them under running water before putting them in the crock pot. I had transfer the entire meal to a large dutch oven and finish cooking it on the stove so the vegetables would cook quickly. It all worked out fine though. I also served it over whole grain rice (we don't eat a lot of white rice in our house).
Wednesday: We went out for dinner as we were going to see a Christmas light display immediately after dinner. We also got to see Santa on Thursday night!
Thursday: I made a quick n'easy pizza with one of those Chef Boyardee pizza kits because I got called back into work for a couple of hours late in the evening so I didn't have much time to prepare dinner before I had to leave the house again. I added mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and presto, pizza for dinner.
Friday: My kids spent the day at home with my mother-in-law because our daycare was closed. My kids weren 't too anxious to eat so they got to have leftover pizza and sandwiches for dinner.
Saturday: Tonight we are having pineapple pork tacos for dinner. Here is the recipe. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-pineapple-pork-tacos/edc6dc18-9c74-4775-873e-5eaa46a6a3dc. Dinner isn't ready yet so we'll see how these turn out. My fiance Tim is very excited to try these (he's such a good food guinea pig), we'll see if the kids like them. I will report back with details of the meal.