Monday, October 19, 2015

Vegan & Gluten Free Slow Cooker Freezer Kits (Dump Dinners)

Vegan & Gluten Free Dump Dinners - Freezer Meals for Crock Pot
Slow Cooker Kits are also known as "Dump Dinners." They're meals that you can assemble on one day by simply putting the ingredients into a Zippered Freezer Bag or Plastic Freezer Container. Then you have them ready to thaw and dump into a slow cooker on a busy morning. This allows you to get a lot of Freezer cooking done quite quickly in one assembly session. All of these recipes can work that way! : )

I made all 9 of these meals in less
than 1 1/2 hours total- that included time to label the freezer bags and time to clean up.

This post includes shopping list, assembly directions, and links to complete recipes. Although I think of this plan as making "9 Meals," in reality, many families will find that these meals stretch out to more than 9 evenings.

These are great kits to stock a freezer to prepare for baby, or for those busy times when cooking just isn't practical. You can serve these all for more than a week of easy menus, or you can work them into your vertical meal planning. They're frugal, healthy, fast, easy, vegan and gluten-free! : )

If you buy the ingredients and make a big pot of Yachni Sauce (which takes only 20 minutes) you're ready to assemble some or all of these nine dump dinners! (if you're making ALL of these recipes, you'll need a "Vat" AND a "Double Batch" of Yachni Sauce - recipes below)

Here is the shopping list
Canned & Jarred Goods, & Grocery
3  large (#10) Cans of Diced Tomatoes with Juice (OR 21 (15oz) cans OR 12 (32 oz) cans)
3 regular (15 oz) Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
2 (6 oz) cans of Tomato Paste
1 (26 oz) can of Spaghetti Sauce (such as Hunts)
1 Can (15 oz) Kidney Beans
1 Can (15 oz) Black Beans
5 Cans (15 oz ea) Chickpeas
4 Cans (15 oz ea) Black-Eyed Peas
5  Cans (15 oz ea) Butter Beans
1 Jar (48 oz) Randall's Great Northern Beans (or 3 cans any brand, 15 oz ea)
1 Can (15 oz) Quartered Artichoke Hearts
2 Cans (4 to 6 oz each) Mushrooms
Capers (2 - 4 T Total) or Green Olives if you prefer
1 Large Bag of Rice (enough to feed your family for at least 2 of these meals)
Minced, Jarred Garlic (or Garlic Paste)
Grated, Jarred Ginger (or Ginger Paste)

4 (12 oz) bags Frozen Diced Onion (or 6 cups diced fresh onion)
2 (12 oz) bags Mirepoix Mix  (or 1 Cup each, Celery, Carrots, & Onion, Diced)
2 (12 oz) bags 3 Pepper & Onion Mix (or 1 1/2 Cups Red Bell Peppers & 1 1/2 Cups Onions,
 cut in Crescents)
1  bag frozen Sweet Corn, or equivalent canned if you prefer (you'll need 2 cups of corn)
1  (2#) bag frozen Green Peas
1  (2#) bag frozen Green Beans
 3 (12 oz) bags Frozen Cut Okra

1 Large Eggplant (approx 1 #)

Olive Oil
Bay Leaves
Dried Parsley
Ground Cumin
Taco Seasoning (Store bought or Homemade)
Italian Seasoning
Lemon Juice

Label bags with name of entree, date, and defrost (these all defrost 24 hours in a plastic box in the fridge)  & cooking instructions

I usually write something like:
"Chili, 3 Nov 15, Defrost in Fridge 24 Hours (48 hours for larger bags), Crock Pot on High 3 hours"

First, Make your Yachni Sauce - while that's simmering, you can start assembling the first couple of meals (instructions follow Yachni recipes. If you prefer, you can make the sauce the day before when you have 20 minutes, and have it all cooled in the fridge & ready to go when you're ready to assemble. 

Vat O' Yachni


1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil (or up to 1 cup, depending on your taste)*
2 12oz bags frozen chopped onions (or 6 cups fresh chopped onion)
2 Tablespoons Garlic

Then add:
2 #10 cans chopped tomatoes with juice (OR 14 (15oz) regular cans OR 8 (32oz) cans)
4 Bay Leaves
1/3 cup dry Parsley
6 Tablespoons (one small can) Tomato Paste
2 teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Ready for use immediately, or may be frozen in 4 batches (5 or 6 cups per batch) for future use.

Double Batch Yachni
(for smaller freezers or smaller families)

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or up to 1/2 cup, depending on your taste)*
1 12oz bag frozen chopped onions (or 3 cups fresh chopped onion)
1 Tablespoon Garlic
Then add:
1 #10 can chopped tomatoes with juice (OR 7 (15oz) cans OR 4 (32 oz) cans)
2 Bay Leaves
3 Tablespoons dry Parsley
3T Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Ready for use immediately, or may be frozen in batches (5 or 6 cups per batch) for future use.

*To be authentic, these dishes traditionally have a LOT of oil. If you like less or none, it will still taste good (I've made it with none) but it will lack some authenticity.
The great thing is that they're all Vegan AND Gluten Free (assuming you buy your ingredients carefully) and they can be made Oil free if you like. Of course, if you're not gluten-free, you can always serve some bread with these - whether Garlic Bread, Naan, Corn Bread or another appropriate favorite.

Assemble these first two while the Yachni Sauce is simmering:


1 Bag 3 Peppers & Onions
1 can each, Kidney Beans, Black Beans & Chickpeas, Drained
3 Cans Tomatoes with liquid
2 Cups Corn
3 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning (store bought or Homemade)
1 Spoon Garlic 
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high. 

Eggplant Stew
1 bag 3 Pepper & Onion Mix
2 cans Mushrooms, Drained
1 Eggplant, 1/2" dice
1 can Chickpeas, Drained
1 - 2 teaspoons Rosemary
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Can (24-26 oz) Spaghetti Sauce (or Sub a combination of Tomato Sauce & Tomato Puree)
1 large Spoonful of Capers (2-4 T) or Chopped Green Olives
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 5 hours on high.

When Yachni Finishes, use it to assemble these

Greek Bean Soup ( Fasolia Yachni )

1 (48 oz) Jar Randall's Great Northern beans (or 3 regular cans) with liquid
1 bag Mirepoix Mix
4 Cups Yachni Sauce 
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Greek Giant Beans ( Gigantes  )
5 Cans Butter Beans, Drained
1 Bag Mirepoix mix
3 - 4 Cups Yachni
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 5-7 hours on high. 

Greek Green Beans ( Fasolakia Yachni )
1 (2# bag) Green Beans
6 Cups Yachni 
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Greek Okra & Tomato Stew ( Bamies Yachni )

3 Bags (12 oz ea) Cut Okra
6 Cups Yachni 
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Indian Chickpeas in Ginger Sauce over Rice

3 cups Yachni Sauce
2 Tablespoons Fresh Minced Ginger
1 Tablespoon Fresh Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander Seed
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (generous)
Black pepper to taste
*Optional Heat of your choice - a little cayenne or a broken dried chili pepper
3 15 oz Cans drained Chickpeas (or equivalent home-cooked)
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Indian Spiced Blackeye Peas over Rice

4 cans Black-eyed Peas (or 6 cups home-prepared), drained
3 cups Yachni *
1/4 cup fresh Ginger Paste (I use the jarred kind)
1/4 cup minced Garlic (I also use the jarred kind)
2 teaspoons ground Coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Cardamom
 - Heat of your choice maybe added if desired, although the Ginger in this recipe already adds a fair amount of spiciness.
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

Peas & Artichokes Yachni
1 Bag (2#) Green Peas
1 Can Artichoke Heart Quarters, Drained
6 Cups Yachni
After thawing
On cooking day, Slow cook for 3 - 4 hours on high.

That's it! You've assembled them all!

Be sure to follow proper freezer safety, chill the bags thoroughly as quickly as possible, and freeze them. Don't put several warm bags in a big pile in the freezer where they might not chill clear through, but space them out to chill & freeze thoroughly.

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  1. What a wonderful, helpful post!

  2. Wow, great ideas for quick meals! I love this :) Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Anna!

    1. Thanks so much for hosting & for visiting! I love seeing your blog hop first thing on Monday mornings : )

  3. Wow, what a huge resource. That's incredible to make that many means in such a short amount of time. I don't have a crock pot/slow cooker. Would these still work in the oven?

    1. Thanks so much for visiting & for commenting : ) Yes, most can work without a slow cooker. But, most are adaptable to the range (stove top) rather than to the oven. If you click on the link to the recipes, most if not all have directions for preparing them traditionally rather than with a slow cooker. Hope that helps : )

  4. Can't believe you did all that in an hour and 1/2! Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party.

    1. I really did! : )

      I'm a decided Type-B personality, too - I work slowly and I'm disorganized! I brought all the ingredients home from the grocery and left them in their bags - so that for each one I had to sort thru everything to find what I needed.

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if a Type A who is efficient & organized could make this in an hour : )

      Thanks for visiting!

  5. Thanks for the great suggestions! We recently made friends with a greek couple and they make a tomato base that was similar! They didnt tell us the greek name, but it was delicious and she told us it was super versatile. Found u via healthy living link-up party

  6. Super helpful! Thank you!
    Blessings and smiles,

  7. what a great idea and a time saver too! Thanks for sharing on healthy living link party!

  8. What great ideas! I saw this on Gluten-Free Friday and had to check it out, I'm always on the look out for things I can make ahead!

  9. These dump dinners are absolutely life-changing! What a smart, time-saving strategy! Thank you for sharing these healthy and delicious Vegan & Gluten Free Slow Cooker Freezer Kits with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I'm pinning and sharing. I can't wait to see what you share with us next!

  10. Hi Anna,
    What a smart way to save time, energy, money while eating well! I especially love the tomato and okra stew. I am so delighted that you shared these healthy and delectable Vegan & Gluten Free Slow Cooker Freezer Kits (Dump Dinners) with us at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up. I'm pinning and sharing.

  11. Hey, these were fun and easy to make, although I may never be able to fit anything into my freezer ever again.

    There were two mistakes in the grocery list, I think. One is that the tomatoes for the chili aren't mentioned (a tomato with chilis would be good here, I think). The second missing thing is the ginger paste.

    1. Thank you! I'm so honored that you made them all! And it's so sweet of you to do some editing for me! I fixed the tomatoes (oops!). The ginger paste was hidden among "staples" but I imagine you're right - not everyone keeps that as a staple. I moved it up because of your great suggestion. Thanks so much : )


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