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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Freezer Meals in a Flash


In the heat of the summer, "busy" tends to take on a whole new meaning. Aside from the everyday chores, there are now baseball games to attend, swimming lessons to pack bags for, and summer camps to chauffer the kids to. Putting a healthy meal on the table is just another "chore" that can seem daunting, even for a super hero parent. However, with a little prep work, a freezer, and the magic of a slow cooker, nutritious family meals can fall onto the table in a flash.

There are multiple ways to create freezer meals. First, mixes can be made and used in multiple recipes. For example, brown ground beef with garlic and onion and freeze; then, transform it into tacos, sloppy joes or meatballs. Second, use one big day to make a week's worth of meals to freeze. What's better than having seven days' worth of meals and only having to spend one day preparing them? The third option is to create a freezer meal group where each person makes enough of one recipe for every person in the group to take home. With just one afternoon in the kitchen, you may take home a number of various meals. Lastly, prepare a double batch of the recipe you're making for dinner; freeze one, and eat one! Preparing foods for the freezer to be eaten later can make life just a little bit easier!

Green Chile Pork Tacos

4 lb. boneless pork loin

1 medium onion (1/2 cup), diced

1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa verde

Juice from 3 limes or 6 Tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon chili powder

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

Slow Cooker:

  1. Split pork loin into two even sections and place each section in one of two freezer bags. In a large bowl, stir remaining ingredients together. Divide evenly between the two freezer bags. Freeze until ready to use. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours before use.
  2. Place both freezer bags in a large slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or 4-5 hours on HIGH. Once pork reaches 160°F, remove and shred. Add pork back into slow cooker and stir to combine.

Yield: 7 servings, 2 small tacos each

Nutrition Facts (per two taco serving, no tortilla): 190 calories, 6 grams fat, 370 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein



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