Life has really been crazy lately. We are all homeschooling now or maybe you could call it co-teaching since teachers are sending the work home and grading it. All we have to do is help our kids and make sure they do their work and learn something. It is a big change for all of us though. We are all together all of the time which means there is less quiet time, more meals to serve, more dishes etc. We have lots of space and luckily the weather is warming up so the boys go outside a lot, but there are still moments when they are so loud and just generally driving me crazy that I have to send them outside. We all need to make sure we get lots of fresh air and sunshine and this mama needs a break every now and then! I should make it part of our routine, Mom's afternoon break, except we should call it something fun like recess or outdoor adventure. Everyone goes outside and Mom gets 20 minutes of quiet and a cup of hot tea. Sounds like a plan. (Today the boys are outside digging for worms...I love living in the country!)
With busy households and limited grocery options right now I know a lot of you are wondering what to make for your families. I went through all the recipes on Home Ec @ Home and selected eight of our favorite slow cooker recipes that rely heavily on pantry and freezer ingredients. I hope you find something useful. Here is a link to more slow cooker recipes.
Butter Bean Soup
Butter bean soup is one of my favorites because it is delicious, easy, and budget friendly. The ingredients are mostly pantry items. I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge since its so easy to use and I cook a lot. Onions can keep for a month or two in a cool, dry, dark place like the pantry or garage. They will keep even longer in cooler weather. If you don't have vegetable broth, use beef or chicken broth or make broth with bouillon. Butter stores well in the freezer too. This is one of our favorite simple hearty meals. The boys love it too. Such an easy meal to throw together in the morning and have a hot cooked meal at night.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing with Sweet Potatoes
This slow cooker chicken and stuffing with sweet potatoes is one of our absolute favorite meals. Simple to prepare and complete comfort food. Since we are all about pantry and freezer staples right now, there are several substitutions that can be made too. You can easily substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs for chicken breasts. If you don't have chicken broth, sub vegetable broth. You could use any brand of stuffing mix that you could find and since you are only using half the bag, you could just use a smaller boxed stuffing. If you don't have herb seasoning, use any seasoning you like on chicken or even just salt and pepper.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
An old classic from the archives, Chicken Tortilla Soup, is super easy to make and it relies heavily on pantry staples like canned beans and corn. I have always used boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you could use chicken thighs or even canned chicken. If using canned chicken, it should be ready in less time too.
This slow cooker potato soup has been one of our favorite meals for years. I always make the whole package of bacon and serve the extra bacon on the side as a treat for the boys. Bacon freezes really well so in this time of social distancing and staying in, you can keep a couple packages of bacon in the freezer, thawing it in the fridge when you need it. This recipe uses simple produce that lasts well, potatoes, onions, and celery. You can also substitute a can of evaporated milk for the half and half.
Split Pea and Ham Soup
Slow cooker split pea and ham soup is hearty and delicious and it is made from really simple ingredients. Dry peas, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 rib celery, 2 potatoes, butter, ham and a few standard spices come together to create this creamy, filling, healthy meal.
Slow Cooker Cuban Black Beans
Slow cooker cuban black beans is always a treat and has really simple ingredients. Beans store well in the pantry. You can leave the bell pepper out. Remember onions and garlic store well and you can keep a jar of minced garlic in your fridge. You can freeze bacon and thaw in the fridge when you need it. You can keep chorizo in the freezer until you need it, but I always leave it out because I like it better without the chorizo. This is pretty versatile. You can even adjust the seasonings if you need to. It's a simple, delicious and inexpensive way to feed your family and add some variety to the menu.
Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole
This lazy cabbage roll casserole is always a treat. Simple ingredients and easy to throw together, it is one of my favorite family meals. It is great with ground venison or beef. It does call for a bell pepper, but you could use frozen diced peppers which are a good idea to have on hand in the freezer. Whole cabbage stores well in the produce drawer in the fridge for 3 weeks up to a couple of months.
Easy One Pot Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner
Easy One Pot Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner has been one of my easy, go-to family dinners for a long time. This one is really easy...layer vegetables and chicken in the crockpot, season, cook on low. Your house will small amazing and your family will love it. This is so flexible too, use your favorite chicken cuts or a whole chicken. Use any kind of potato you want or other root vegetables. Potatoes will store well too so this is great for meal planning.
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3/26/2020 10:30:26 am
They look very delicious. Chicken is hard to find these days.
3/27/2020 10:54:37 am
It's been a week since I have been to the store, but our little small town Save-A-Lot still had chicken last week. I think Wal-mart was sold out last time I was there. Luckily we still have some in the freezer. I hope it gets easier for everyone to find ingredients.
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Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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