Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Turkey Veggie Chili

Now that’s a mouthful! This recipe is a staple ’round these parts because it takes just minutes to assemble, practically cooks itself, and satisfies bellies with its hearty southwestern flavor. I get a little help from a store bought spice packet but I ratchet things up a notch by adding additional spice, liquid smoke and half a can of beer! You can’t go wrong on a cold night with a warm bowl of chili and chips…

Ingredients: Feeds 6 – 8

  • cooking spray
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey, browned
  • 1, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I use “fire roasted” tomatoes)
  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium Bermuda onion, medium dice
  • 1 Tex-Mex Chili seasoning packet (I use McCormick’s)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 6 oz of beer (I use Corona)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet on the stove.
  3. Combine tomatoes, beans, chopped peppers, onion and seasonings in the slow cooker. Add the turkey, beer and liquid smoke. Mix well.

4. Cook on LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.

5. Serve over rice or with tortilla chips. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese.

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Monday Minestrone

Sometimes I find it difficult to cook on Monday nights… just because it’s Monday, after all!? But this easy Minestrone soup comes together quickly, feeds a small crowd and will leave you not only full but proud of how you started off your week of suppers!

Ingredients: Feeds 6 – 8

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1, 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice (I like Muir Woods, Fire Roasted)
  • 1, 15 oz can dark kidney beans, drained
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 3 – 4 carrots chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale (I use Lacinto)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (something small in size like Pipette)

Directions:

  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, combine the other ingredients and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. Remove rosemary stem.
  3. Drain pasta and add to the soup. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper if desired.

Suggestions:

  • This soup can be made ahead and reheated. If planning on doing so, leave out the pasta until you’re ready to reheat and serve or it will soak up all the liquid!
  • Try adding additional protein like meatballs! Leftover meatballs work great but if not, I always have Trader Joe’s mini party meatballs in my freezer and they work like a charm!

 

Best Butternut Squash Soup

The added apple and cayenne pepper elevate the flavor and add a kick to this simple butternut squash soup!  It’s the perfect weeknight supper, paired with salad or sammies!  Start to finish, you can have it on the table in 40 minutes with only 10 minutes of active prep!

Ingredients: Feeds 4-6

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped (approx. 6-8 cups)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (I use Gala)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven or enamel coated cast iron pot, sauté onion, celery and carrot in butter over medium heat until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the squash and apple, the cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne.  Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low until veggies are tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat.  Using an immersion blender, purée the soup to desired consistency.

Suggestions: 

  • Off heat, stir in sour cream to make it more creamy before you purée the soup.
  • Alternative spices include smoked paprika and/or cumin to give it a more middle eastern flair!
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, parsley, cilantro or chives… and don’t forget the toasted pepitas!

* Adapted from Simply Recipes, Butternut Squash Apple Soup

 

Fabulous French Onion Soup

I woke up this morning to snow falling yet again… and the first thing I thought of was French Onion Soup!?  This is how my foodie mind works lol; the colder the weather, the greater my cravings for comfort foods like this rich, cheesy and flavorful classic!

Ingredients: 6 bowls of soup

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 4 small sprigs of fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 8 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 8 oz of gruyere cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and a dash of salt and pepper.  Cook the onions until they soften and begin to caramelize (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the alcohol to cook off, leaving the onions almost dry.
  3. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Reduce heat to low and dust the onions with the flour.  Cook mixture for 5 minutes or so to allow the flour to incorporate.
  4. Add the beef stock, raise the heat and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, slice and toast the baguette under the broiler.  Place a toasted slice in the bottom of each bowl.
  6. Ladle the soup into each bowl.  Top with an additional toasted baguette slice (or two)!  Sprinkle with a small handful of gruyere cheese. Place the bowls of soup on a baking sheet and under the broiler for a few minutes allowing the cheese to bubble and begin to brown.
  7. Serve immediately, keeping in mind the bowls will be hot (and the soup will be delicious)!

Comments:

I chose to use Spanish onions because I love their sweetness.  And.. I went with a Pinot Noir because that’s my favorite kind of red and it’s what I opened and sipped while I cooked!  Feel free to follow your own tastebuds!

*Adapted from Tyler Florence

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I am literally in the process of making a crock pot full of this soup for my kids to bring to youth group tonight!  It’s so easy to make and never disappoints, especially if you are a loaded baked potato fan!  I actually added riced broccoli to the original recipe the first time I made it to try and sneak in an extra veggie without my kids knowing, and no one suspected a thing!  And of course it’s not fully loaded until you add the bacon!!!

Ingredients: Makes 4 – 6 cups / 6 – 8 bowls of soup

  • 6 large potatoes*, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups riced broccoli
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter, sliced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra
  • 3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped plus extra
  • 8 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • sour cream

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (potatoes – pepper) in a large crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours (until potatoes are tender).
  2. Mash the mixture using a hand held immersion blender.  Then stir in the cream, cheddar cheese and chives.  Let cook 5 more minutes.
  3. Serve each cup/bowl with a dollop of sour cream, crumbled bacon, cheese and chives!

Comments:

  • I prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe.  However, I ran out of them this morning and had to add 2 large baking potatoes to the mix!
  • You can cut the cooking time in half by cranking your crock pot to HIGH for 4 hours.  The reason I typically go with LOW heat is because I am a firm believer in “low and slow” when it comes to crock pot cooking.  And… I get a weird kick out of starting something cooking in the morning, tending to it and smelling it as it cooks throughout the day, and then finally getting to feast on it at 5:00!?!

Original Recipe from geniuskitchen.com

Best Ever Chicken Tortilla Soup

As I said on Insta, this soup may change your life!  It’s incredibly easy to make and the flavors are off the chart!  As my husband would say… it’s a “no-brainer”!  Be sure to give it a try!

Ingredients: Feeds 6 – 8

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1, 12 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1, 28 oz can diced tomato (fire roasted if possible)
  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 light cream
  • 1/3 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and green onion for serving
  • tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. Rinse chicken, pat dry and place in the bottom of your crockpot.
  2. Add the next 10 ingredients (onion – chicken stock) and stir to mix.  Set crockpot on high for 3.5 hours, stir occasionally.
  3. Remove chicken, shred with two forks, then return it to the pot.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add the cream and shredded cheese.  Mix well and let cook an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and cream is incorporated.
  5. Place a handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of individual serving bowls.  Ladle 2 scoops of soup on top of the chips.  Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of both cilantro and green onion.  Muy Bien!

Suggestions:

  • The original recipe called for chicken breast but I prefer boneless, skinless thighs especially with crockpot recipes.
  • I tried to lighten things up a bit by using low sodium stock, light cream and low fat cheese.  You could even eliminate the cream if you really wanted to…
  • Don’t pass on the tortilla chips!!! They’re a must and layering them at the bottom of the bowl and allowing a few minutes for them to soften and dissolve, really gives this dish its authentic flair!

*Adapted from delish.com