Minestrone Soup :sans noodles:

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2T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped & sauteed
4c vegetable stock
2-3T minced garlic
2 15oz cans of tomatoes, drained
– I use 1 can of petite diced and 1 can of fire roasted. Then puree the fire roasted.
2 15oz cans of mixed veggies
– low sodium. I prefer carrots, celery, potatoes, green beans, corn, lima beans…you pick.
1 15oz can great northern beans, drained
1 15oz can garbonzo beans, drained
2 15oz cans of kidney beans, drained
– I prefer one each of light and dark red.
1T dried parsley
1-1/2t dried oregano
1t sea salt (or to taste)
1/2t ground black pepper
1/2t dried basil
1/4t dried thyme
8oz chopped frozen spinach

PREP
1. Add EVOO to medium pan. Sautee onion till it’s translucent.
2. Add everything to your crockpot.
3. Cook on high for 3-4hrs or on low for 6-8hrs.
– If cooking on your stovetop, bring to a boil and then drop the temp to simmer for 40 minutes.

– DO NOT SUBSTITUTE CHICKEN BROTH….it’s not the same.

Served with french or corn bread and parmesan.

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Chili conTaco

1T extra-virgin olive oil
1lb lean ground beef or turkey
1lb spicy turkey sausage
2t kosher or fine sea salt
1t freshly ground black pepper
1t garlic powder
2 (15oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (32oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1c fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 medium onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1T honey
1T chili powder
1½t ground cumin

Optional, for topping:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Lime wedges
Sour cream
Diced avocado

Directions

Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a utensil, until browned. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and stir to combine. Transfer the cooked meat to a (6-quart or larger) slow cooker. Add the remaining chili ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

Serves 8-10

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.