8 Free Cookbooks for Your Cooking Inspiration

Are you looking for more cooking inspiration?  While, I’m hoping that you’ve already checked out my 6 weeks of Freezer to Slow Cooker recipes, sometimes it helps to just check some other recipes out.  If you can get your inspiration from free cookbooks, all the better, right?  :)  I’m all about a good deal!

8 Free Cookbooks

 

Click on the pictures below if you’re interested in getting the book.  It will link directly to the page on Amazon.

 

1.  The Groovy Green Kitchen:  Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker – Comfort Main Dishes with Quick and Easy Sides

Groovy Green Kitchen Cookbook_

 

 

2.  Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes – 5 Volume Collection – 202 Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

 

202 Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes

 

 

3.  Crock Pot Creations – 30 Slow-Cooked Comfort Food Recipes

Crock Pot Creations

 

4.  The Best of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

 

 

 

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

 

5.  40 Top Paleo Recipes – Quick and Easy Paleo Diet Recipes

Top Paleo Recipes

 

6.  40 Juicing Recipes – for Weight Loss and Healthy Living

40 Juicing Recipes

 

7.  Paleo for Kids

Paleo for Kids

 

8.  Raw Food Detox 

Raw Food Diet

 

 

 

(This post contains affiliate links)


Easy Crockpot Meatballs – A Freezer to Slow Cooker Recipe

This last recipe for the next freezer to slow cooker meal plan is probably the most time consuming.  Don’t worry though, it’s not THAT bad, it’s just because you’re rolling out little meatballs (or in our case, slightly bigger than they should be meatballs!).

The original recipe called for you to cook the meatballs in the slow cooker with spaghetti sauce over the top.  But, I just happened to use the 70/30 meat mixture and I knew I’d have a lot of grease if they aren’t precooked.

There was no way that I was cooking my sauce in all that grease.  Blech.  

I had a choice to make.  I could cook the meatballs in the crockpot by themselves OR I could precook them in the oven and then mix them up with the sauce.  I decided to do an experiment and try both ways.

The Verdict?  

They taste a lot better when cooked in the oven!  The ones cooked in the slow cooker without any sauce over the top while cooking, had a weird aftertaste that ground beef tends to get when it’s slow cooked by itself.

The Moral of this Story?

If you want to cook them immersed in sauce within your crockpot, make sure you get a package of ground beef that is low in fat, so that you won’t have a lot of grease floating to the top, that is, unless you like the grease.  I don’t!  (Oh I guess I already told you that, didn’t I?)  But in all seriousness, I think that you’ll NEED to be putting the sauce over it while it’s cooking so that it doesn’t have as much aftertaste.  That way it will take on more of the tomato-y flavor.

If you prefer to precook them in the oven, you could do that before you freeze them, and then all you have to do is put the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker when you’re ready to cook and cover them with spaghetti sauce.  Your choice.  Do whatever sounds easiest to you!

After all that, are you ready for the recipe?  Here goes….

Easy Crockpot Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef (low fat content if you plan to cook with sauce)
1.25 cups Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg
2 28 oz jars of spaghetti sauce
Spaghetti Noodles (for cooking before you serve)
 

Directions:

Mix first 5 ingredients together.  Shape into 16 meatballs.

Either precook them as described in paragraphs above OR place sauce in slow cooker and then put meatballs over the top of the sauce, allowing it to cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.

Freezer to Slow Cooker Instructions:

We rolled them into balls and placed them onto a cookie sheet.  We then placed the cookie sheet into the freezer so that they wouldn’t stick together when frozen.  Once they were all frozen, we threw them into the bag, making sure the bag was labeled.  Of course, if you plan to precook them before you freeze them you wouldn’t have to worry about it.  Always be sure to label your bag with the date and the name of the meal.


Crock Pot Freezer Meal – New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

Oh yay!  Crock Pot Freezer Meals get dinner for the week done!  We’re getting closer to adding that shopping list.  One more recipe to share and I’ll do it!

We lived in Louisiana for a couple of years.  In fact, my 2nd born child was born there.  We keep telling her she’s Cajun, but she’s not buying it.  She was almost 2 when we moved, so she doesn’t even remember it there.  When we talk about our previous Cajun life, it gives me reason to start practicing the way to say New Orleans.  Growing up, I’d say it, [Noo - Or lee unz] but now I know that you’re really supposed to say Nawlins.  Of course, that way of saying it is only acceptable when you’re actually around others from Louisiana.  The rest of the country may look at you like you’re crazy!

Every now and then I get the desire to make some Red Beans & Rice in honor of those Cajun memories we made.  We don’t have it often and this was the first time I’ve tried it in the slow cooker, but I was pleasantly surprised at my husband’s reaction!  He loved it!  That’s always good news to this wife’s ears!  When daddy likes his supper, mommy’s doing something right!  (Not that he complains much anyway).

New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

1 pound dried red kidney beans
7 cups of water
1 green pepper chopped
1 onion chopped (medium)
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage (or kielbasa)
3T. Creole seasoning
Cooked Rice 

Directions:

  1. Chop veggies and sausage
  2. Place first 8 ingredients in slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6.
  4. Cook rice about an hour before serving time and serve the beans over the rice.

Freezer to Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Chop veggies & Sausage.
  • Place everything but kidney beans, water and cooked rice into a gallon size freezer bag.  Label & Freeze.
  • On cooking day, remove from freezer night before (or throw it in frozen that morning).  Add kidney beans and water and cook as directed.
  • Cook rice about an hour before serving time and serve the beans over the rice (or mix it up like I did).

Food for Thought:  I wasn’t loving the texture of the smoked sausage, but my husband didn’t mind it at all.  I’m thinking about precooking it (browning it a little) before I freeze it and then throwing it into the crockpot in the last hour.  It seemed to get a little mushy after cooking in liquid for so long.  My husband who is normally sensitive to meat textures didn’t mind it at all, so it could just be a weird preference of mine.  The only drawback to doing it in the last hour would be that it wouldn’t be flavoring the beans the whole time they’re cooking.  It may not matter though with the green pepper, onions and seasoning.  Just something you may want to think about with this recipe.