Thursday, October 4, 2012

Orange you hungry?

Last week, we were able to make time for so many other, more important things on our ever expanding to-do list without having to worry about dinner plans. I must say we were definitely on top of our 'A' game preparing for our weekly freezer to crockpot cooking. We prepared five meals, but only had a couple of hectic days last week where we actually needed to turn to the crockpot method.

Tuesdays are my longest days, usually beginning with homework in the mornings, followed by a full 8 hours on campus going from class to library. By the time I arrive home at almost 10 p.m., the last thing I want to do is cook. This past Tuesday, I threw one of the prepackaged meals in the crockpot sometime in the morning and let it cook all day. The cleanup was as easy as preparing dinner- using the crockpot eliminates mounds of pots, pans, and other cooking utensils. Some readers may suggest this is a lazy way of cooking, and I would reply that this isn't lazy, it's smart and revolutionary! Why work harder, when you can work smarter?

Spending a couple hours one afternoon grocery shopping and prepping the food, allowed me more time for studying, wedding planning, and for quality time with family and friends. On top of that, we still have three nights of dinner in the freezer! What has been so great about all of this, is that the other half is actually getting involved with all the cooking I have been doing. He usually likes being in the kitchen anyway, so cooking together has always been something we love to do.

Not only were these meals so helpful in keeping me organized, but my Fiance agreed that these mouth-watering recipes definitely made the list of favorites into our personal cookbook. The first recipe we put to the test was packed with vitamin C; we cooked up some juicy Orange Chicken.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 hours on low
Difficulty: Easy
Serves 2

In the bag: Combine 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 onion, 1/2 red pepper, 1-1/2 cups carrots, 2 trimmed boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 cloves chopped garlic, salt & pepper (to taste).

To cook: Add bagged ingredients to crockpot. Then add 1/2 cup orange juice, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook with fresh orange, halved. Can serve over rice, or with fresh stir fry veggies as a side. 

We served our take of Orange Chicken with a house side salad that included a variety of unsalted nuts, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, and a light italian dressing.

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!


  1. I think that you are using the crockpot resourcefully. It's not a lazy method at all if you are using it on occasions where it is absolutely necessary. And I would count an 8 hour day on campus the perfect occasion. Your recipes look very tasty and as soon as I get a crockpot I'll refer back to this blog as a guide.

  2. Crock Pot meals where never something my mom did, but to me, they just scream "home cooked meals." Also being a busy student, I will try anything to have real food in a realistic time frame. Know a cheap place to pick up a crock pot?

  3. I completely understand having a busy schedule and never wanting to come home in cook. And I couldn't agree more with you though that the crock pot is such a life saver on some days, Its so easy it does all the work for you. I also really enjoyed reading your orange chicken recipe. It looks so delicious and easy to prpare. I'll have to try it soon.

  4. I really like this recipe and can't wait to try it myself. I love crockpot cooking because of all the variety you have using the same method. Not to mention the lack of numerous pot cleaning like you mentioned. I enjoy your posts and I'm excited to see what's in store.

  5. I've never really like the taste of orange in meat. I was wondering if it was just me, or if this is a normal thing. I feel like orange goes better with vegetables because they don't absorb the flavor as much. I just feel like the taste of orange is a bit overwhelming and it has a tendency to overpower and hide other flavors.