What a rapid change in weather we have had recently. It is cooling down fast. Kids are back in school. Sports are back in season. Life is crazy again – well it can be. It’s important to eat healthy, even when the market is done. You can keep feeding your family farm fresh foods through the cold season. One way to do that is prepare freezer meals now, while produce is still being picked fresh for your purchase. Freezer meals can benefit your family in several ways.

  1. Freezer meals seal in the nutrition of your farm fresh produce. We all know store purchased fruits and veggies lack the same nutrition value as farm fresh, picked yesterday produce. So lock in that summer nutrition now to eat ALL winter long.
  2. Freezer meals save you time. Many freezer meals can be thrown in the crockpot as you head out the door to work. One day of prep and countless days of fresh food cooked while you are away. There are a myriad of websites that instruct you on preparing freezer meals for the week, month or several months if you are so inclined.
  3. Freezer meals can save you money. We all have been there on Wednesday night (or any other night) when we rush in the house and have to feed the family. We look at our fridge and see the yummy goodness of farm fresh produce, but then think of the cutting, the dicing, the chopping, the dishes and we give up and order pizza. It happens… We have all thrown something out because it wasted away in the back of the fridge. Save the money you’d use on pizza for something special. Save that veggie hiding in the back by prepping him into a future freezer meal. Pop it in the crock pot before you leave and when you walk in the door the warm smell and delicious food will be awaiting you.  

These are only four of the HUNDREDS of recipes available online. Please search out what works for your family and HAVE FUN!

We will be demoing these recipes ONSITE at Kalamazoo Farmers Market, September 24th. Please come out and join us, share your experience and pick up some fun kitchen gadgets.

Items in bold are produced locally and can be bought at the PFC or markets

Crock Pot Meals

Vegan Minestrone Soup

28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup dried kidney beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 cup green beans, diced
1 small zucchini, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1.5 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 cups broth of choice (or water)
1 cup small noodle of choice (macaroni, ditalini, small shells, etc)

Combine tomatoes, beans, onion, celery, carrots, green beans, zucchini, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, thyme, pepper and broth in a 6 quart slow cooker. Set on low and leave for 6-8 hours. Add noodles and cook for 30 mins longer on low. Serve and enjoy

Vegan Senate Bean Soup

Recipe from Shady Side Farm

2 cups dry Jacob’s Cattle Gold Beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup mashed potatoes
¼ cup chopped parsley

1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil

1 bay leaf
4 quarts of water or broth

Combine beans, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, mashed potatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, oregano, basil, bay leaf and water (or broth). Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve and enjoy.

Chicken Fajitas

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup salsa

fajita seasoning (to taste)

Mix seasoning in to salsa. Place chicken in the crock pot first and then places veggies on top. Pour salsa on top and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with warmed tortillas, garnish as desired and enjoy.

Black and White Chile

2 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced

8 oz green chile peppers, chopped (can be canned or fresh)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ cup dried calypso beans
¾ cup dried marrow beans
¾ cup dried black bean of choice
(I suggest valentine if you can find them)
Optional:  1 lb chicken (on the bone is preferred for taste)
4 quarts of water or broth

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. If you used chicken, remove the chicken and debone the meat, shredding it and adding it back in.  Serve and enjoy.

 We made nine crock pot meals for $63.50!

We made nine crock pot meals for $63.50!