Vegetarian Freezer Crock Pot Meals

Provided by Brittany Wolfe

One of my biggest challenges when I decided to give up meat was finding or creating quick and easy meals for the whole family. A roast with veggies, a beef stew, shredded Mexican chicken for enchiladas and a protein rich chili were all in my meal rotation and without those, I felt kind of lost. I was pretty sure healthy, family friendly and quick vegetarian meals were just a myth. After searching pinterest and a few unsuccessful attempts, one of my biggest challenges when I decided to give up meat was finding or creating quick and easy meals for the whole family. A roast with veggies, a beef stew, shredded Mexican chicken for enchiladas and a protein rich chili were all in my meal rotation and without those, I felt kind of lost. I was pretty sure healthy, family friendly and quick vegetarian meals were just a myth. After searching pinterest and a few unsuccessful attempts, I’ve started to compile a pretty good list of meatless meals that are not only quick and easy to throw together, but also healthy, family and freezer friendly! Whether you’re vegetarian or just looking for an awesome recipe for Meatless Monday, these meal ideas are sure to be a quick and easy crowd pleaser!

  • One of my favorite ways to sneak a ton of veggies into my toddlers diet is this crock pot spaghetti sauce. If you have a food processor this recipe has a pretty short prep time and you can’t even taste the vegetables. You can divide this into freezer bags or put into jars to store in the fridge. I use this sauce in goulash, add it to chili in place of the diced tomatoes, and into other meals throughout the week.

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http://http://healthyslowcooking.com/2015/02/14/slow-cooker-vegan-bolognese/

  • This crock pot chili is a really hearty dish and is great for the cooler weather! The pinto, black and red beans add a good amount of protein and fiber and is a good base for whatever toppings or veggies you choose to add in. You can either toss the ingredients in the crock pot before you leave the house or dump them all into a freezer bag before or after the cooking process to make meal prep a breeze.

VEGAN CHILI

1 cup pinto beans
1 cup black beans
1 cup red beans
1 cup lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 ancho chili pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Chili powder to taste
Cumin to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into crock pot. Cover with water and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

  • This recipe isn’t a crock pot meal but can be frozen for a short amount of time and it’s well worth the effort! I’ve made this pot pie with and without meat and it’s delicious both ways.

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http://http://www.thecandidappetite.com/2013/11/06/roasted-autumn-vegetable-pot-pies/

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Garlic Confit

garlic confit 5WHAT THE HECK IS CONFIT, you may be asking?

Wikipedia defines it:

Confit (French, pronounced [kɔ̃fi] or in English “con-fee”) comes from the French word confire which means literally “preserved”;[1][2] a confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation.[1]

Confit as a cooking term describes when food is cooked in grease, oil or sugar water (syrup), at a lower temperature than deep frying. While deep frying typically takes place at temperatures of 325–450 °F (163–232 °C), confit preparations are done much lower—an oil temperature of around 200 °F (93 °C), sometimes even cooler. The term is usually used in modern cuisine to mean long slow cooking in oil or fat at low temperatures, many having no element of preservation such as dishes like confit potatoes.

In meat cooking this requires the meat to be salted as part of the preservation process. After salting and cooking in the fat, sealed and stored in a cool, dark place, confit can last for several months or years. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food,[citation needed] and is a specialty of southwestern France.

Instead of meat, we are using GARLIC! there is POWER in garlic, isn’t there? I mean, really, who doesn’t like garlic? even a little? how about garlic infused oil? that’s some goodness right there!

So you are going to need quite a bit of fresh garlic for this.garlic confit Or I have seen bags of peeled cloves at the store, so if you are appalled at the thought of peeling garlic, that may be a great choice for you, although, I have a great technique for peeling garlic. Loud as heck, but very effective technique!

You can use two stainless steel bowls, but I can’t even figure out how to hold onto that, so I use this super cool pot that I picked up an estate sale for $4… it’s really got more uses then to help peel garlic, but for today, right now, it’s the magic garlic peeler.

garlic confit 4

I used 4 cloves which was about 2 cups of cloves, but halving or doubling works out perfectly, you just may need to split up the amounts so there isn’t overcrowding in the pot. Also, the goal here is to shake it up and down to bang the garlic against the insides of the pot to knock the peels off, it’s not a strength exercise. I’ve mistakenly asked a ‘male person’ to do this for me and the garlic cloves were broken, oil from them everywhere inside, sticking to all the peels and it was a mess, so just do it yourself. If you are a male person, don’t be too vigorous, you’ll kill it.

garlic confit 2

Once you have all your nicely peeled garlic cloves, put them in a heavy pan. I use a small pressure cooker pot, but that’s really a bit tall, but it works. I like the weight of it for this.

Next, add your olive oil to the cloves. If it’s not covering the cloves, add some more. There is some leniency to this. I added 1.5 cups first, then added another half cup, so 2 cups total. It’s really all about the size of the cloves, so don’t be too serious about this. It will work out!

garlic confit 3

Heating this is not a high then low game. Start at low/med. Your goal is 200-225 degrees, never allowing this to boil. Remember, LOW AND SLOW for confit.

Keep the temperature range in the lower 200 degrees for an hour. Then just turn off the heat and let it sit until room temperature.

Pour it all into a jar that is manageable for use. You will want to be using those cloves, which are now very soft and user friendly! You also want to be using the infused oil!

garlic confit 5Above is the oil not yet refrigerated and the oil refrigerated. Anytime you use fresh herbs or garlic, onion, versus dried, you need to refrigerate since there is water in the fresh products, which will grow bacteria and it will become rancid and or mold. YUK! So, DEFINITELY refrigerate this!

Garlic Confict Recipe

Leave a comment and tell me what you use it for and how!