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Cheese Enchilada Chowder (Crock Pot)

25 Jan


1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (red, yellow, or green)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, and finely chopped (or 1/4 cup nacho-style jalapeno slices)
1 (19 ounce) can green enchilada sauce (or one 10-oz can and 1 cup of chicken broth)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Worcestershire
salt and pepper to taste

1 can (15 oz) refried beans
1/4 cup water
1 can chunk chicken breast (or 1 cup cooked shredded chicken)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

– Add the black beans, tomatoes, frozen corn, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper to a 4 quart slow-cooker; stir to combine.
– In a mixing bowl, add the enchilada sauce and cream soup, garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper; whisk together.
– Gradually whisk in the milk until mixture is smooth.
– Pour over vegetables in slow-cooker.
– Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6 hours (it can go longer with no harm).
– Add chicken.
– Stir water and refried beans together until smooth, add to the crock pot and stir thoroughly.
– Add cheese, and stir until melted and hot.
– Ladle hot soup into individual serving bowls and top with sour cream, guacamole and broken tortilla chips if desired.

Jambalaya (Crock Pot)

25 Jan

12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can whole tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 can (15 oz) beef broth
1 tablespoon parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb shelled raw shrimp
3 cups cooked rice


– Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
– Put all ingredients (EXCEPT shrimp and rice) in crockpot.
– Cover; cook on low for 8 hours.
– Add shrimp the last 20 minutes of cooking.
– Stir in rice before serving.

I used two cans of chicken breast as we didn’t have any packaged chicken, and it turned out really well. I stirred a tablespoon of sour cream into my serving.

Makes about six generous servings.

Fish Chowder

25 Jan

1/2 lb bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups water
3 cups of peeled, diced raw potatoes
2 cups of cooked trout, de-boned and cut into one inch pieces
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter or margerine
salt and pepper

Fry the bacon in a large soup pot (I actually hold the slices of raw bacon together and cut them up before frying, so I don’t have to crumble it later) until very brown and crumbly. Remove the bacon and drain the majority of the fat, but not all of it, from the pot. Sautee the onion and garlic in the bacon drippings until the onion is transparent. Mix the flour into the onion and garlic, stir until well coated. Pour the water into the pot with the onion mixture, and add the potatoes. Simmer the potatoes until tender. Crumble the bacon (if you haven’t already), return the bacon to the pot, and add the trout, milk, margerine, salt and pepper. Heat until very hot, but not boiling (boiling milk is bad), stirring occasionally.

Eat for the next three days. It’s actually better eating after the first day.

Baked Potato Soup

25 Jan

– 4 lg baking potatoes
– 2/3 cup butter
– 2/3 cup flour**
– 1 1/2 quart milk
– Salt and Pepper
– 4 green onions
– 1 cup sour cream
– 2 cups crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
– 5 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees and baked the potatoes until tender (1-1.5 hours). Melt butter in a large soup pot. Slowly blend flour in with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended. Gradually add milk to the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the salt and pepper (and don’t we love us some whisking by now!) and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. Cut potatoes in half, scoop out the meat and set aside. Chop half the potato peels and discard the remainder (this part is optional, I personally don’t do it). When milk mixture is very hot, whisk (whisking is our life, after all!) in the potato. Add green onion and (optional) potato peels. Whisk (whisk whisk whisk) well, add sour cream and crumbled bacon. Heat thoroughly. Add cheese a little at a time until all is melted in.


I’m making a double batch of this stuff. It tends to go fast.

**For a gluten-free recipe, omit the flour.  Add 1/4 cup corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of milk to the mixture right after adding the sour cream to the pot, if you find the soup needs thickening (it may not need it).

Crock Pot Chili

25 Jan

2 cans (16 oz ea) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (16 oz ea) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (16 oz ea) tomato sauce (I used Ragu’s Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Chili)
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes (I used Ragu’s diced tomatoes with green peppers, celery, and onions)
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. Worcestershire
2 tbsp. Green Tabasco
1 tbsp. Cholula (optional – we use it in EVERYTHING)
1 tbsp. liquid from a jar of Pepperocini peppers (trust me)
1/2 cup water

shredded cheese and sour cream (for garnish)

Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until onions are barely golden. Add hamburger and cook until browned. Drain.

Dump all the beans, all the tomato sauce, and the diced tomatoes into the crock pot. Add hamburger mixture and stir well. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and sour cream) and stir well again. Turn the crock pot on low and allow to cook for four hours. It’s ready at that point, but it can hang out safely in the crock pot all day – the longer it sits, the better it is!

Garnish with your favorite chili toppings – we use shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. The flavor has a little bit of a bite without being overwhelming (that is, too hot). Folks who like Four Alarm Chili would do well to add no more than a tablespoon of Cayenne pepper.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

25 Jan

2 lbs stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1 inch cubes
2 cups (or more or less to your taste) peeled baby carrots, halved
1/2 onion, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 lb whole mushrooms, stemmed and cut into halves (optional)
4 cups beef broth (I make it with good ol’ bouillon cubes)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
seasoned salt/pepper
bay leaf

1/4 cup corn starch, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
2 cups frozen baby sweet peas (more or less to taste)
Chopped parsley (optional)

Mix stew meat in a large bowl with crushed garlic, tenderizer, salt/pepper, and Worcestershire to taste. Use your hands! It’s fun, and it makes you “one” with your culinary concoction. Just remember to wash your hands first. And afterward. Allow meat to marinate while preparing veggies. Place all veggies (except peas), meat, bay leaf, and one cup of beef broth into crockpot, mix thoroughly. Pour remaining beef broth over all. Turn crockpot to Low and cook for at least 8 hours, 10 hours is best if you like the meat to break up and mix in. During last 15 minutes of cooking time, turn crockpot to High. Add baby sweet peas and corn starch mixture (to thicken broth), and stir in. Stir in chopped parsley. Makes a huge amount (servings sizes have not been estimated as sometimes Calvin will stand there and eat it right out of the pot).

Zucchini Tomato PERK with Pasta Spirals

25 Jan

I actually came up with this recipe right out of my little own head. You really need to trust me on this – it may sound like a somewhat odd combination of ingredients, but it’s truly, truly good. PERK stands for Peperocini/Edemame/Roasted Red Pepper/Kalamata Olives. I’m so cute.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced (optional)
2 tbs. cold pressed olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced thin
1 medium summer squash, sliced thin
1 can Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Balsamic, Basil, and Olive Oil (or two medium diced tomatoes, two tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. basil, 1/4 cup water)
1/4 cup light white wine, or chicken broth
1/2 cup shelled cooked edemame (prepare frozen edemame in microwave according to package directions)
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 peperocini peppers, de-stemmed, drained, and diced (optional)
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. corn starch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
whole wheat pasta spirals

In a large skillet, saute garlic and onion in olive oil until golden. Add zucchini and squash, saute until softened. Add canned tomatoes, edemame, olives, roasted red peppers, peperocini peppers, and wine or broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain, and rinse with warm water.

Add corn starch dissolved in water to sauce/zucchini mixture, a little at a time and stirring constantly, until the mixture has reached desired thickness. Serve over warm pasta spirals.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, simply cook the noodles first and drain, then use the same pot to prepare the recipe, stirring the noodles back in at the end.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Couscous

25 Jan

I have yet to make this, as my family members are not big fans of a) vegetables; or b) couscous. But I am, and I think I’ll make a batch of this come wintertime. It’s a vegetarian dish, but I bet some spicy sausage or chicken would go really well in this. Again, Recipezaar is my friend.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups zucchini, cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans!), drained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the zucchini, onion, carrot and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, and the next 9 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.

While the stew simmers, bring the 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, stir in couscous, and remove from heat (or follow package directions). Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Serve stew over couscous.

Minestrone Stew

25 Jan

1 lb hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 4 oz can green chilies (note: NOT Jalapenos!)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can prepared Minestrone soup (I use Progresso)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 cups uncooked pasta shells

Brown hamburger with chopped onion and pressed garlic. Transfer to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients except uncooked pasta, mix well. Cook in crock pot on low for four to six hours. At end of cooking cycle, cook pasta according to directions. Rinse, drain, and add to crock pot mixture. Serve with crusty bread.

You’ll notice the note next to the green chili ingredient listing. That’s because around here, chopped jalapenos come in very similar packaging to chopped green chilies. I mistook the jalepenos for the chilies on one unfortunate occasion, and rendered the entire pot of stew inedible. Yarg. I mean, I like spicy food, but that was ridiculous.