Good Ol’ Fashioned Pot Roast

Pot Roast

I’m a career girl. I work A LOT. But that doesn’t stop me from cooking up a storm… most days anyway. Yes, I have my off days (mac and cheese, anyone?) but when I can anticipate an extra-long day at the office, those 12 hour-ers that have you crawling home, I try to plan my meals in advance. For those days, I break out what I call my handy-dandy “Freezer Packs.”

A freezer pack is simply fresh veggies, typically potatoes, onions, carrots and celery that I cut up, toss in a zip-lock and throw in the freezer. These little packs are life savers. Ready and willing my little freezer packs sit until they’re needed to save the day. The only other items you need are a crock-pot and a protein of your choosing.

Enter the pot roast—best friend of the freezer pack. I always like to have one of these bad boys in the freezer as well, just waiting for me to pull out when a long day at the office is in the forecast. Together, my freezer pack and slab of pork will make the perfect pair, and the best part, it takes me no time at all!

Make Ahead Freezer Pack

4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (I used whole red potatoes which works equally well)
4 Celery stalks
1 Onion, sliced
4 Carrots, chopped into pieces

Clean and chop into pieces, all of your vegetables. Place veggies in a zip-lock bag. Close bag and date bag with marker. Place bag in freezer and utilize when needed. Note—you can add (or leave out) any vegetables of your choosing.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

2-3lb pork chuck roast
1 Cup beef broth (any broth works, really)
1 Packet onion soup mix
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Freezer pack of vegetables (or you can always use fresh veggies)

Spray crock-pot with cooking spray and turn setting to low. Place pot roast into slow-cooker. Sprinkle half of onion soup mix over pot roast. Top the roast with your vegetables. Pour beef broth over top of vegetables and sprinkle with the remainder of your onion soup mix. Cover and let cook on low setting for 8 hours…or whenever you make it home from the office (wink!) Serves nicely with soda bread or similar. Enjoy!

American Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Peppers are one of the simplest, healthiest and easiest recipes I know how to make AND they are delicious. I play around with the recipe and have come up with everything from Southwestern stuffed peppers to Philly cheese-steak peppers (which, by the way, was not a bf favorite–the lead critic in my life.)

By Simply using yesterday’s leftovers or randoms from your fridge and cupboards, you should be able to craft some variation of a stuffed pepper. The pepper itself might be the one item you need to pick up.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Baking time: 30 minutes
  • Cost: $10
  • Wine pairing: Yes.

What you need (for an American stuffed pepper—depicted in photo)

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I use the Italian seasoned ones but it doesn’t matter)
  • 2-3 cups of cooked rice or quinoa
  • 1 lb. browned hamburger (feel free to mix with Italian sausage!)
  • 1 cup of preferred shredded cheese (one slice per pepper will also work)
  • Salt, pepper, other preferred seasoning

Set oven to 350. After the peppers are hollowed out, I throw them in the oven while I’m browning my hamburger and cooking my rice/quinoa (speeds up the process!) When the hamburger is cooked through, combine the diced tomatoes, rice and seasoning. Remove half-cooked peppers from oven and stuff with mixture. Top with your favorite cheese. Continue to bake for another ten minutes. Viola!

Side note—I tend to have extra stuffing left over.Not to worry—just serve it alongside your pepper. Makes for a beautiful side and I promise it won’t go to waste.