I was inspired by my friend Kate@didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/ to try making freezer meals as a great time saver for work nights. I am a picky cook and do not like to use convenience foods or processed foods if time, money, or sanity permit. To start with I found four recipes online that I liked and thought the family would like. One of the meals I chose to make first was for crockpot Hawaiian chicken.
I put my grocery list together for the items that I didn’t have on hand and away I went!
When I got home I organized what I needed to make the meals and started an assembly line with prepping the foods. Some of the meals had the same or similar ingredients and I was able to dice, chop, or grate those at the same time for all of the meals.
I put the vegetables and sauces in the bags first and then added the meats. For my first time of making these meals I did the chicken meals first and then cleaned that up before doing the ground beef meals. The stroganoff didn’t have any meat prep, since I bought stew meat.
The first one we had was Hawaiian chicken sandwiches. Our little family of four (down from 6, then 5, now 4) all enjoyed them. as well as the side dish I served with them! We really, really enjoyed it.
I served this with Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, which I know from eating at several Hawaiian Barbecue restaurants in California, is different than what I am used to making. After a search I found this recipe on Epicurious and it is delish!
While we all loved this meal the Macaroni Salad was definitely some of the most awesome and amazing macaroni salad ever!
I will be posting the other freezer to crockpot recipes that I have made the past 2 weeks! It is so easy and they made putting dinner on the table so easy! Kate was right! I’m so glad that I took her advice!
Be on the lookout for many more orts in the days to come!
Hawaiian chicken sandwiches
- 1 can crushed pineapple; reserve 2 Tablespoons
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger peeled and minced, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 chicken breasts butterflied and cut to fit a slider size roll
- 3 slices provolone quartered
- 2 Tablespoons crushed pineapple reserved from earlier
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Open the can of pineapple; reserve two tablespoons for the mayonnaise.
Place the pineapple, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a zip-top bag and mix well.
Add the chicken to the bag. Remove all of the air, seal and place in the fridge for 6-8 hours, or freeze. Remove from freezer (if necessary) and thaw overnight. Pour contents into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
In a small bowl, stir together two tablespoons pineapple, mayonnaise and vinegar. This keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Cut the rolls in half. Spread the bottom with pineapple mayonnaise. Place cooked chicken on top and add a slice of provolone to melt. If desired add a tomato slice or lettuce leaf.
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups whole milk divided
- 2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise divided
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 4 scallions sliced thin
- 1 large carrot peeled and grated
Whisk 1 ½ cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in bowl.
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add vinegar and toss until absorbed. This prevents the vinegar from curdling the milk. Transfer to bowl. Cool pasta 10 minutes, then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.
Add scallions, carrot, ½ cup milk, and ½ mayonnaise to bowl with pasta mixture and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.