Classic Chili

INGREDIENTS

2lb Italian turkey sausage (or 1lb Italian turkey sausage & 1lb ground turkey)
– you could also use sausage or beef
2 – 15oz cans of dark red kidney beans
1T extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2T garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2t salt
2 – 28oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
1 – 16oz can tomato sauce
1 – 3oz can tomato paste
3T chili powder
3T cumin
1-2T granulated sugar (to taste)
1t black pepper
1-2t crushed red pepper (to taste)
1/3c jalapeno slices (optional)

PREP

1. In a large pot brown meat. Drain fat. Add EVOO, onions and garlic, saute for 5 min.
2A. IF NOT USING A SLOW COOKER: In a separate medium pot, make sauce. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, sugar, black pepper, red pepper, bay leaves, and jalapenos. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2B. IF USING A SLOW COOKER: Add all ingredients from 2A, stir.
3A. Add beans and sauce to the meat pot. Simmer 30-45 min.
3B. Add meat mixture to slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10hrs or on high for 4hrs.

Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and tortilla chips! Or corn bread!

Refried Beans

INGREDIENTS

3c dry pinto beans, rinse to clean
water, veggie broth, chicken broth (you choose!)
1/2 medium onion, don’t chop…just peal outside layer/skin
2T minced garlic or 4 garlic cloves. If using garlic cloves, remove skin and add whole.

OPTIONAL

cilantro, dry or fresh
black beans instead of or in addition to pinto
salt
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PREP

1. Add beans to slow cooker. Add enough water/broth to fill the slow cooker 3/4 of the way full. Add onion and garlic (as well as any other additional items).
2. Cook on low until beans are soft, about 8-10 hours OR about 6hrs on high…stir occasionally during cooking process. You may have to add more water/broth as beans absorb liquid, so check on them periodically.
3. Strain beans or pour off juice; saving the juice in a separate bowl.
4. Use a hand blender/pureer to mash the beans. Add additional juice as needed for the consistency you want. You’ll want to leave them slightly runny because they will thicken as they cool off.

Crockpot Sloppy Joe’s

FullSizeRenderINGREDIENTS

3lbs ground beef OR turkey (pictured)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 – 8oz cans tomato sauce
3/4c ketchup
2T brown sugar
1t yellow mustard
1T garlic, minced
1t chili powder
1/4t pepper
1/4t salt

PREP

Brown beef in skillet and drain off fat. Put in crockpot; add remaining ingredients.  stir thoroughly. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours (high- 3-4 hours). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on buns, add a slice of sharp cheddar and dill pickle, and enjoy!

PICTURED: Gluten-free Udi’s Everything Inside bagel.

TIP: Add cooked/pureed carrots to hide a veggie. You can also puree the green pepper and onion for picky eaters.

Honey Sesame Chicken

EVERYTHING about this recipe is stolen. I pinned it months ago and we just tried it last night. Everyone other than Tyler, who announced he was now a vegetarian during this meal, LOVED it. My only major change is I added broccoli, but you’ll find at the bottom that I added how to make this meal vegetarian. I love any Chinese or Chinese-mock dish with broccoli. Thank you SixSistersStuff for posting this!!!
Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 8.30.35 AMINGREDIENTS

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts **
Salt and pepper
1c honey
1/2c soy sauce
1/2c diced onion
1/4c ketchup
2T olive oil (could also use vegitable or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional – doesn’t really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4t cornstarch dissolved in 6T water
Sesame seeds

PREP

1. Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.

2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.

3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
– I cooked this for 3hrs then added a bag of frozen broccoli florets for that last hour.

4. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.

5. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.

6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles. I prefer brown rice. YUM!

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

** Veggie LOVERS! This recipe can be changed to omit the chicken and add in tofu, carrots, broccoli,  summer squash, zucchini, and any other veggie that sounds good! Also, I probably wouldn’t use a crockpot going this route because it would be super easy to make on the stove.

Zesty Chicken Barbecue

bbq chicken with broccoli slaw and blue cheese crumbles...YUM!!!

INGREDIENTS

3-4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
12oz bbq sauce (our fave is Sweet Baby Ray’s honey)
1/2c Italian salad dressing (MY fave is Marzetti’s roasted garlic Italian vinaigrette)
1/4c brown sugar
2T Worcestershire sauce
1T minced garlic (optional)
1/2c baby carrots (optional)

PREP

1. Place frozen chicken in a slow cooker/crockpot (and carrots if you’re hiding veggies). In a bowl, mix the bbq sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Pour over chicken.
2. Cover, and cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
3. Shred chicken with a couple forks, and mix the chicken in the sauce.

Serve on a whole wheat hamburger bun.

Items to incorporate…sharp cheddar cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. Or with out the bun over garlic mashed potatoes topped with cheddar for the GF folks!

TIP: If you’d like to hide veggies in this, carrots are PERFECT. Just add carrots to your crockpot with the chicken and mash/mix in when you shred the chicken!

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

In search of locating a soft, non chunky soup this past week (I had surgery on my mouth yesterday) I ran across THIS ONE from 365 Days of Slow Cooking via Pinterest. There is now a new favorite in my world, and I have my girlfriend, Teri’s, approval…being that I can’t taste it as well with a huge guard in my mouth. After getting my kids off to school I passed out for a couple hours and missed the slow cooker opportunity (thanks meds!), so I grabbed my dutch oven and tweaked it to what I had in my house AND made it ready to serve in just over an hour. This is too good not to share….

INGREDIENTS

1T unsalted butter
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
(I had canned petite diced tomatoes w/sweet onions)
1c finely diced celery
1c finely diced carrots
1c finely diced onions
1-2T minced garlic (I added this because I LOVE garlic)
1t dried oregano
1T dried basil
4c chicken stock (use veggie stock for all you veggie lovers)
½ bay leaf
½c flour (use rice flour to make GF)
1c Parmesan cheese
2c half and half, warmed
1t salt
¼t ground black pepper

1.  Add butter, celery, carrots, onion, and garlic to dutch oven. Saute till tender.
2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and bay leaf.
3.  Cover and cook on med/low for 30-45 minutes, until flavors are blended.
4.  Ladle out about a cup of broth and mix with flour in a separate bowl. You may need to also add 1/2c water to make the rouge smoother. Add parmesan cheese to your dutch oven while making the rouge…giving it more time to melt.
5. Slowly while stirring, add rouge to soup. Turn heat up to medium and allow to thicken for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the warmed half and half, salt and pepper.
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 10-15 minutes or so until ready to serve.