My favorite crockpot recipe is dumping some frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts and jarred pasta sauce to cover, then leave it on low all day. Once you come home, you can have it over pasta, quinoa, or even veggies.
I'm not sure about beef, but I cook frozen chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) all the time, and end up with very versatile cooked chicken -- cubed for casseroles, shredded for quesadillas, tacos, and such, or tender pieces to use as the main protein. I usually add enough water or chicken broth to cover, and add herbs, spices, or even salsa as desired. I usually cook a good 8-10 hours or overnight, so it's always cooked through just fine. Cook enough ahead of time, and you have plenty to make a variety of dishes!
Ocliao It depends on how many people your trying to feed, I use my 2 qt a lot, but on campouts and pot lucks I may use 1 or 2 5 to 8 qt depending on what I am going to do for my part, and how many there are of us.
I'm single and use mine for stews, a simple one is 1 med can of stew, 1 can mixed veggies, drained, 1 can diced tomatoes, drained, set on low, about 1/2 to 1 hr ahead of dinner add 1 c of rice, or pasta, or 1 small tube of refig bisquits, the little ones make good dumplings, and what you don't use can be "baked" in a small cast iron skillet on stove top.
I do this a lot, all day on low when working, 1 hr hi, then low for 1/2 day when home, using a 2 qt pot. enough food for 3 med or 2 large meals.
From someone who REALLY uses a crockpot, frozen veggies work just fine! Do you think a package of frozen broccoli won't cook in 6 hours in a crockpot? LOL. I also put meat and chicken in my crockpot right out of the fridge. No problem.
I thought you were supposed to have your meat the same temp as the crock pot... example if your crock pot is cold, your meat should not be hot.
I haven't made much in my crock pot except pot roast. I do need to utilize it more though. THe awesome thing about mine is it has a timer, so you set it to high/low and program the hours for it to cook, then after that it goes to keep warm. It's so awesome.
I use frozen vegetables in my crock pot all the time. We keep little containers in the freezer for leftovers. When we want stew we thaw them just enough to get the veggies out and toss the little chunk of icy veggies in.
I also don't precook beans but I do soak them overnight before cooking them.
I don't work outside our home; however, I have three slow cookers & use them almost daily. I have one going now. To this gal the crockpot is the best kitchen appliance - even more so than a dishwasher.
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