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Chili, Soups and Stews

Chilly and Cloudy night = delicious soup

My family and I are huge soup eaters. We particularly enjoy it on the days when it gets really chilly and cloudy. On Wednesday we had another overcast and cold evening, a perfect night for a soup supper.

I made this warm, savory, and hearty Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. It’s a healthy, fast and easy crock pot recipe for those hectic nights and cold, cloudy days. Simply add the ingredients into the crock pot and then you can continue on with your day.

I’ve included some of my favorite soups and chili recipes towards the bottom that I have made this year.

Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients

1lb chicken breasts
1/2 small onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
One large or two small bay leaves
2 Tbsp butter
6 C chicken broth
3/4 cup wild brown rice blend

Directions

1. Place the chicken into the bottom of your 6-quart crock pot and put the rest of the ingredients on top. Then cover and cook on LOW for six-eight hours or until the chicken and rice is cooked through. The chicken will cook in the broth and add more taste to the soup.

2. About forty-five minutes or so before serving, shred the chicken then stir back into soup. Cover and continue cooking until you’re ready to eat.  Serve warm with crackers. Enjoy! 

Source Iowa girl eats

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My favorite soups and chili

Skinny Butternut Squash soup

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Soup

Not all non-spicy soups are tasteless

A Texans Favorite

Not Just For Cowboys

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Skinny Butternut Squash soup

I love having Wednesdays as my slow cooker/crockpot day. It’s really nice to have one day out of the week where I have to do little or no preparation for dinner lol. So then I can have the whole day to myself to do some chores and other miscellaneous stuff. Haha!

However, yesterday after my morning workout, this time, it was an entirely different story. Why might you ask??? Because I had to wrestle with a butternut squash (In other words had to remove the skin, it took forever lol.) and yes I do admit that I did get a little irritable lol, during my scuffle with the vegetable. Although I was determined to show it who’s boss and yes, of course, I did win! The result of me defeating the butternut squash was that I prepared this incredibly delicious not to mention healthy butternut squash soup. The soup almost has the consistency and the taste of applesauce but with a kick.


Give this soup a try, because I promise you 100% you’re gonna LOVE it!!!!!


Skinny Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

4-pound butternut squash
3 apples
1 sweet onion
1 medium white onion
32 oz Pacific Organic Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp rosemary and garlic blend seasoning
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Olive oil

Optional*:

reduced-fat sour cream, fresh chives, chopped, *Optional ingredients does not include in nutrition calculations.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking dish with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

1. Place butternut squash in the microwave for two-three minutes to soften squash before slicing. Slice the squash lengthwise down the center from top to bottom. Scoop out seeds from squash. Slice onion down center. Place squash halves and onion onto the previously prepared baking pan.

2. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake squash and onions in the oven for thirty five-forty minutes. Remove squash and onions and allow to cool down. Peel and dice apples and add to your crockpot. After squash and onions have cooled, remove skin and chop squash.

3. Add the squash to the slow cooker. Dice the onions and add to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, rosemary and garlic blend, salt and pepper to slow cooker. Stir all ingredients to combine and cook on high for four hours or on low for eight hours. After squash has cooked, discard the bay leaves and using an immersion blender or blender, blend to desired consistency. To serve, top with an (optional) tablespoon of light sour cream and fresh chives.

Source Skinny Mom

CREAMY BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

I love Panera Bread’s soups. Here are some of my favorites: loaded baked potato, tomato basil, and creamy broccoli cheese. And oh let’s not forget about the bread bowls lol. Yum yum! 😀 Lol, so anyway I want to share with you a creamy broccoli cheese soup recipe and no it’s not Panera Bread’s copycat version, but it is similar. One of these days I will share the copycat one with you too. 🙂 This creamy, cheesy, warm and cozy broccoli cheese soup is excellent for a chilly, rainy day. This soup will warm you up from the inside out.

What is your favorite soup?

CREAMY BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Directions

5 Tbsp salted butter
1 C. white onion diced (about ½ a large onion)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp dried thyme
⅓ C. flour
2 C. chicken broth
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 bay leaves
2½ C. milk
¾ C. half and half
3½ C. chopped, fresh broccoli pieces
2 carrots, peeled, grated
2 C. freshly shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese shredded or grated
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine the onion and sauté for seven minutes or until the onion starts to turn translucent. Then add the garlic and thyme and continue to cook for one minute.

2. Mix in the flour and continue to cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the broth, nutmeg, bay leaves, milk, and the half and half. Cook and frequently stirring until the mixture begins to boil, approximately six-nine minutes.

3. Add the broccoli pieces along with the grated carrots. Allow the broccoli to get slightly tender, about six-eight minutes. Turn the heat off, remove the pot from the stove, add in the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with crusty French bread.

Source Little Spice Jar

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Lasagna Soup

This past weekend while I was watching day one of the Olympics I was going through some old Penzeys magazines and clipping out some recipes to put into my ginormous homemade cookbook. (lol I found 30+ recipes), and I came across this lasagna soup recipe. I, of course, became very excited about wanting to prepare it as I am a huge enthusiast of soup and lasagna.

Making the soup was relatively easy and it was very yummy.
Also, It tastes just like lasagna but takes less time. I promise! 🙂
I almost forgot lol it’s full cheese. Yum! Haha, that’s one of my favorite things about this soup.

Lasagna Soup

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 C. white or yellow onion, diced (1 medium onion)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced (1 tsp. PENZEYS MINCED GARLIC)
3 C. chicken broth (3 C. water with 2 tsp. CHICKEN SOUP BASE)
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can Goya tomato sauce
1 tsp. Penzey’s TUSCAN SUNSET
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. PENZEYS FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
1 tsp. GARLIC SALT (or ½ tsp. GRANULATED OR ROASTED GARLIC)
1/4 tsp. CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES (optional)
1 tsp. CALIFORNIA BASIL
1 box of noodles (I used a 16 oz. box of Barilla’s elbow)
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. In a large skillet pour in the oil and brown the ground beef with the onion, green pepper, and garlic, stirring regularly, for about ten minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, SEASONING OF CHOICE, salt, PEPPER, GARLIC SALT, CRUSHED RED PEPPER and BASIL. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for two minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

2. Cover and cook for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the noodles and cook until soft, about fifteen minutes. When ready to serve, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Source Penzey’s Spices

 

Crockpot Frito Pie

I’m happy to be sharing with you a recipe I prepared today, that’s not on Pinterest (well besides the salmon cake sandwiches), but other than that, all of the 51 recipes I have made came from Pinterest. Lol, as you can tell, I’m addicted to the social media site. You are probably thinking geez girl, have you ever thought of picking up a thing called a cookbook and or why do you oppose to using one?

To clarify your thoughts yes, of course, I actually have convinced myself to use one haha, 😀 and no I don’t have anything against using cookbooks it’s just that since I’m social media geek, I’ve realized I have a huge habit of depending on Pinterest for my cooking inspiration lol. However, for those of you who often prefer working with cookbooks instead of social media, I support you 100% all the way. 🙂 🙂

Furthermore, like I said earlier, I decided to do something a little different in using an actual cookbook instead of my regular go-to spot.
I found this Crockpot Frito Pie recipe in an all crockpot recipe cookbook (in which of course, I certainly will be using more frequently) that was given to me last Christmas from my Aunt.

Now onto finally talking about today’s recipe; Whenever I think about Frito Pie, my mouth begins to go crazy for it. And evidently here’s why: it’s somewhat messy, fun to eat, Crunchy, Salty chips smothered in all sorts of tasty additions… there’s just no WAY to go wrong with this family-friendly favorite.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

Crockpot Frito Pie

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey or beef

1/2 sweet onion

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 package of chili seasoning

Fritos

Optional:

Sour Cream

Shredded cheese

Black olives

Directions:

1. Chop an onion using either a knife and or a food processor. Next, pour a few drops of olive oil into a large skillet along with the onion and meat. Cook over medium-high heat. And cook until it’s no longer pink. Drain grease.

2. Throw in meat and onion mixture into a 4-qt slow cooker. Next, combine the stewed tomatoes, pork and beans, and the chili seasoning. Stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.

3. After finished cooking, place Fritos in the bottom of a bowl, cover with chili and add toppings. Yummoelicious! 😀

Cooking tip: If you have sensitive eyes and always end up crying cutting up an onion I recommend wearing goggles lol. You will look funny but trust me it helps. 🙂

Recipe adapted from The Crockin’ Girls Slow Cookin’ Companion

Quote of the day:

“I never met a meal I didn’t like!”

~ Miss Piggy

A Texans Favorite

Hello, fellow food bloggers,

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything within the past couple of days. On Wednesday, my mom and I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to go pick up my sister from college and then we drove back home the next day. It was two and a half days full of craziness and very busy, but we are happy to have her home. 🙂

Now moving on to today’s recipe

If you are from Texas, like I am, you will have a great appreciation for Chili, and so a few weeks ago, to show my enjoyment for chili I thought I would prepare Cowboy Chili. It was incredibly tasty despite the fact that it was pretty complicated due to the numerous of ingredients and transferring a hot pot. However, tonight I cooked a different chili recipe, the fantastic thing about this version is that it does not have as many ingredients, and it’s not as difficult. What makes this recipe easier you might ask??? Because you don’t have to use all the ingredients that it calls for, in other words, you can decide what ingredients you prefer using. Also, you will be working with the crockpot. 🙂

One skill to making great chili is to build flavor gradually by simmering awhile so everything can cook…the longer, the better! So this is what I have here…my Texas Crockpot Chili! And don’t worry about it not having a kick to it because I can honestly say that this one has a 100% punch. Haha!!!! 😀

It is a super easy crockpot dinner your family will be sure to savor!

My Texas Crockpot Chili

Ingredients

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 small Roma tomato diced
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 30 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 C chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cube beef bullion
1 C water
1 4 oz green chilies can 

Optional:

1 16 oz pinto beans can – drained
1/8 tsp-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Homemade cornbread
Crackers or Fritos
Sour Cream

Instructions

1. Pour a few drops of olive oil in a large skillet. Next, place ground beef and onion into the pan. Cook on medium/high heat until cooked through. Drain excess grease and set aside.

2. In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients including the cooked ground beef. Stir and set on low. Cook on LOW for six-eight hours until you are ready to eat. Enjoy! 🙂

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Recipe adapted from Cooking with Melissa

 

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Not just for cowboys

I have a very long list of things I love about living in the vast state of Texas. But, I can’t share them with you today because that would take forever. However, I will tell you the two most important, and those are cute cowboys and chili. Not that I’m married to a Cowboy. But, if I ever do I surely would make him this dish. Moreover, if you have one in your life or wherever you have a family of your own then may I suggest you cooking this for your love one(s). And no worries if you don’t have a Cowboy cause they’re not required to eat this dish. 🙂

For those who don’t live in Texas, I know you probably think we are insane to be eating this dish all year round. But for us, this recipe is full of fantastic flavor and we’ll eat it regardless wherever it’s hot or cold outside. Haha! 😀

Cowboy Chili

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. ground beef
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2  C. water
1 (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can of stewed tomatoes
2 cans of drained kidney beans (optional)
⅓ C. chili powder
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp cumin
For thicker chili
⅓ C. cold water
2 Tbsp of flour

Optional:
Cheese
Cornbread
Fritos
Crackers

Let’s get cooking!

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium to large skillet then place meat into the pan. Cook on medium/high heat. Once the meat is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink, dump the meat into a colander  to drain the fat out.

 

Step 2. Then very carefully transfer the meat to a medium/large pot and return to heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

 

3. Next, add salt, pepper, water, crushed tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, beans, chili powder, cayenne, and cumin.

Step 4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease heat to low and simmer for 20 min. If you would like a thicker chili mix add ⅓ cup water and 2 Tablespoons of flour together and add to the chili after it has simmered 20 minutes and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Chef-In-Training

5. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Cooking Tips:

Disposing of the fat

I often use my kitchen sink dispose of the fat as I find it so much simpler and to prevent my sink from clogging up I place a small/medium glass bowl under my colander.

Concern of transferring a freaking hot pan with heated food in it

I know that moving hot food from one pot to another can be nerve-racking for some of you. Especially, if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength due to your physical limitations. I totally understand how you feel. Since I do have Cerebral Palsy, I know what it’s like to be uneasy to carry a hot pot from one section of the kitchen to another. However, because I’ve been doing this for awhile, my discomfort with taking a hot pan off of the stove and transferring it has gradually decreased.

Although, If you are a beginner cook and you frequently feel nervous whenever you carry a hot pot from the stove to the sink and back. Then I have a few recommendations I want to share with you I often use. I hope it will help you feel more at ease transferring hot meat.

I often put an oven mitt on my dominant hand then I’ll pick up the handle of the pan and cautiously transfer the hot pan to my colander. Next, using my non-dominant hand, I slowly dump the meat out with a slotted turner. If you don’t prefer dropping all of the meat all at once into your colander, you can also use a large solid spoon to scoop it out.

I have another chili recipe cooking with the crockpot and will be posting it on my blog pretty soon. That one is not as complex and doesn’t have as many ingredients like this one does.

Keep up the good work. I know you’ll be an excellent chef someday.

Thanks again for reading! 🙂