• Chicken Enchilada Soup

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    This soup is so hearty and so yummy, and both kiddos liked it a lot…major accomplishment!  It’s an extremely tasty crock pot meal and it’s so easy…definitely company worthy!

    You can leave the chicken out and stir in some leftover chicken just before serving and then continue cooking to heat chicken through.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
    • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
    • 1 can low sodium cream of chicken soup
    • 2 cups milk (I used 2% because that’s what I had)
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite size pieces
    • Tortilla chips
    • Lime, quartered
    • Shredded cheese
    • Chipotle sour cream (sour cream mixed with chopped chipotles)
    • Avocado, diced

    Directions:

    1. Combine black beans through salt in your slow cooker.  Mix to combine; then add the chicken.
    2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
    3. Place some tortilla chips into a bowl and ladle soup on top of the chips, squeeze a lime quarter into each bowl of soup, top with cheese, sour cream and avocado.

    Chicken Enchilada Soup:

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  • Favorite Tortilla Soup

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    Sorry it’s not the prettiest picture of this most delicious soup.  We love this tortilla soup, and have been making it for years.  You choose your toppings and make it your own, and yes the toppings are important!  Adapted from Emeril’s Favorite Tortilla Soup.
    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 c. chopped onions
    • 2 tsp. chopped garlic
    • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1 TBSP tomato paste
    • 6 c. chicken stock
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • Toppings: 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves; 1 lime quartered; Tortilla chips; 1 avocado, slice; shredded cheese; chipotle crema, see below

    Chipotle Crema:

    • 1/2 c. sour cream
    • 1 tsp. (or more or less to your liking) of chipotle in adobo sauce

    Directions:

    1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well.
    2. Combine sour cream and chipotles in a bowl; set aside.
    3. Ladle soup in bowls, top with tortilla chips, cilantro, lime juice, avocado, shredded cheese, and/or chipotle crema.

    Tortilla Soup:

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  • Tex-Mex Chili Mac

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    We like chili mac.  What’s not to like?  Chili with pasta and cheese.  This is by far our favorite version, which comes from the Tex-Mex Cookbook.  The taco seasoning mix is delicious and would be great for straight up taco meat…beef or chicken…or any recipe that calls for a taco seasoning packet.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
    • 1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 14.5 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
    • 3/4 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 1 packet of taco seasoning  mix, or homemade recipe below
    • 3/4 c. water
    • Grated cheese

    Taco Seasoning Mix:

    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Brown meat with bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until meat is no longer pink; drain.
    2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, macaroni, and taco seasoning, and add 3/4 c. water; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is done to taste.
    3. Remove the pan from heat and season to taste.  Top with grated cheese, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to melt.

    Tex-Mex Chili Mac:

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  • Coconut Curry Soup

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    This recipe comes from the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light.  The soup is delicious!!!  I substituted tofu for the chicken, but I think any protein would be really tasty.  Don’t be scared by the list of ingredients, because it comes together really quickly.  We will definitely make this one again.

    Ingredients:

    • 4  c.  water
    • salt to taste
    • 3  c.  fresh spinach leaves
    • 1/2  pound  snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise (or green beans)
    • 1  (5 3/4-ounce) package pad thai noodles (wide rice stick noodles)
    • 1  TBSP canola oil
    • 1/4  c. thinly sliced shallots
    • 2  tsp. red curry paste
    • 1 1/2  tsp. curry powder
    • 1/2  tsp.  ground turmeric
    • 1/2  tsp.  ground coriander
    • 2  garlic cloves, minced
    • 6  c.  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 1  (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
    • 2 1/2  c. shredded cooked chicken breast or 1 lb. baked tofu (about 1 pound)
    • 1/2  c.  chopped green onions
    • 2  TBSP sugar
    • 2  TBSP fish sauce
    • 1/2  c.  chopped fresh cilantro
    • 4  small hot red chiles, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 7  lime wedges

    Directions:

    1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt, spinach, and peas/green beans to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add noodles to pan; cook 3 minutes. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.
    2. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken mixture over noodle mixture in bowl. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

    Coconut Curry Soup:

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  • Nana’s Beef Stew

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    Our oldest has been asking for beef stew of late (he loves the beef stew at school), so I finally got around to asking Nana for her recipe.  It tasted just like I remember…tasty warm comfort food.  I used the crock pot because I didn’t have 5 hours to babysit my oven.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 to 2 lb. beef stew meat
    • 2 TBSP minute Tapioca
    • 6 carrots, cut
    • 1 c. celery, chopped
    • 1 8 oz. can stewed tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs
    • 2-3 potatoes, chopped in 1 inch cubes
    • 1/2 c. peas

    Directions:

    1. Oven directions: Preheat oven to 250F.  Mix everything except for the peas in a dutch oven.  Cover and cook for 5 hours.  In the last 20 minutes add the peas.
    2. Crock Pot directions: Mix everything except for the peas in a crock pot.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender.  In the last 20 minutes add the peas.

    Nana’s Beef Stew:

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  • Quick Turkey Chili

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    This chili recipe comes from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living, and is one darn good chili! The chili went really well with the extra cheesy grilled cheese too and a tossed green salad!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP   vegetable oil
    • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1  lb.  ground turkey
    • 2  TBSP chili powder (I used 1 TBSP chili powder and 1 TBSP ancho chili powder
    • 2  tsp. ground cumin
    • 3  TBSP  tomato paste
    • 1  (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
    • 1  (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2  c.  chicken broth
    • 1  tsp.  salt
    • 1/2  tsp. pepper
    • 1/4  c.  chopped fresh cilantro
    • Garnish: sour cream

    Directions:

    1. Sauté chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and sauté 1 minute.
    2. Add turkey, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Garnish, if desired.

    Quick Turkey Chili:

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  • Spooky Slow-Cooked Chili

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    Here’s a great dish to get into the Halloween spirit…delicious chili topped with festive Halloween shaped cheese slices.  To accompany the chili, I made my cornbread recipe in a silicone baking pan–shapes were leaves and pumpkins.  Everyone loved the cornbread too…-s even said he liked the cornbread better from the silicone pan.  I’ve never used a silicone pan before, but I was very pleased with the result.  Somehow the cornbread had a crisp bottom, sides, and tops…I’m definitely motivated to buy some more silicone baking pans.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
    • 1 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
      1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 15 oz can spicy chili beans, undrained
    • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • Cheese and Halloween cookie cutters

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet; add onions and meat; cook for a few minutes, then add spices (chili powder through salt), and continue cooking until meat is cooked.
    2. Meanwhile add the can of whole tomatoes to your crockpot insert and break up the tomatoes with your hands; then add the tomato sauce and both cans of beans.  When the meat mixture is done add the meat to the crockpot and stir to combine.
    3. Cover and cook HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
    4. Slice your cheese and use your Halloween themed cookie cutters to cut out shapes.  Top each bowl of chili with a cheese cut out.

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    Spooky Slow-Cooked Chili:

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  • Stovetop Chili Mac

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    Since my oldest has now asked to have chili mac 3 times since I first made it, I was planning on making it for dinner last night. Well, I got really busy doing some things around the house, and before I knew it it was too late to start the crock pot. So I adapted the crock pot recipe to make a stove top version and it was tasty and very well received.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
    • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 3 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 lb. pasta (elbow, baby shells, mini penne), cooked al dente
    • 1 c. frozen corn
    • 1/4 c. black olives, sliced
    • 2 c. grated cheddar or pepperjack cheese
    • 1/4 c. cilantro for garnish
    • Additional toppings of choice: Chipotle Tabasco, sour cream, salsa, or jalapenos

    Directions:

    1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onions and garlic until soft; then add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and turkey and cook until turkey is cooked through, stirring occasionally to break it up.
    2. Add the tomatoes and kidney beans to the meat mixture and combine. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
    3. Stir the cooked pasta, corn, and olives into the chili.
    4. Top with cheese and sprinkle with cilantro and/or any of the other toppings.

    Chili Mac:

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  • Slow-Cooked Chile Con Carne

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    This week’s crock pot recipe comes from the April 2007 issue of Cooking Light. It was really good, and not spicy, which was good for the kids, but we added some chipotle to our bowls to give the chile a bit more punch. I also made it thicker by making a cornstarch slury, because I like my chile a little thicker than this recipe turns out. -s really enjoyed it, and it’s one of those dishes that doesn’t taste like it was made from a crockpot.

    Our oldest has been asking for chili mac, so I mixed some of this chile with some pasta. He liked it, but he definitely loves that chile mac, so we’ll be having the chili mac next week.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 lb. sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 2 1/2 cups diced grape tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
    • 1/2 c. cooking liquid + 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 chipotles with adobo sauce, minced.

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Combine beef mixture, tomato, and next 6 ingredients (through broth) in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until beef is tender. Uncover; cook 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. If you’d like it thicker, remove about 1/2 c. of liquid and put in a bowl; then mix in 1 tsp. of cornstarch; dissolve the cornstarch; add back to crock, and bring to a boil. Stir in salt, if desired.
    2. Top with chipotle, sour cream or whatever you like.

    Slow-Cooked Chile Con Carne:

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  • Turkey Chili Mac

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    It’s Thursday, which means it is time for a crock pot recipe. I found a Chili Mac recipe in Beth Hensperger’s Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two cookbook which sounded interesting. I changed up the original version quite a bit to create my own Chili Mac, and it turned out quite tasty. A good dish to feed a family that likes different levels of spicy food, because the dish as is, is not spicy, but if you like spicy food, you can add the spice by using your favorite salsa, Tabasco, or jalapenos.

    Our son complained and complained when I told him what we were having for dinner. Even though I’ve never made this before he proclaimed that it is a “ucky dinner.” After a couple of bites he said “this is really yummy. Can we have this again?” That’s a glowing recommendation from a 4 year old!
    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
    • 3 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp (use more if you want a more spicy dish) ancho chile powder
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 lb. pasta (elbow, baby shells, mini penne), cooked al dente
    • 1 c. frozen corn
    • 1/4 c. black olives, sliced
    • 2 c. grated cheddar or pepperjack cheese
    • 1/4 c. cilantro for garnish
    • Additional toppings of choice: Chipotle Tabasco, sour cream, salsa, or jalapenos

    Directions:

    1. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray.
    2. in a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onions and garlic until soft; then add the chili powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and turkey and cook until turkey is cooked through, stirring occasionally to break it up; then place mixture in slow cooker.
    3. Add the tomatoes and kidney beans, to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
    4. Stir the cooked pasta, corn, and olives into the chili. Cover and cook on LOW for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until pasta and corn are warmed through.
    5. Top with cheese and sprinkle with cilantro and/or any of the other toppings.

    Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Mac:

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