Thursday, September 25, 2014

Taco Chili

So I think of this as Taco Soup, Jake calls it Taco Chili...whatever we call it I'm in love with how easy it is to pull together and how easy it is to freeze.

Start with your crock pot...I LOVE my crock pot, I have 3 of them, big, medium and tiny (perfect for cheese dips, etc.). Here is how you make this wonderful pot of goodness...I know it is a lot of cans and some people are against cans, but you could do it without the cans if you wanted to work really hard...I don't want to work really hard and cans don't scare me so I go with cans. This recipe will provide 6 or so servings so it is perfect for Jake and I for a nightly meal and then 4 zip lock baggies for the freezer.

Taco Chili
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can rotel, I use the green chili kind
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced green chilies
1 can enchilada sauce (I use the green kind, but any kind would work)
2 TBS taco seasoning (you can use more or less depending on your preference)
8-12 oz tomato juice (depending on how thick you want it)

Put all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3. I top with some shredded cheese and plain, non-fat Greek yogurt.

Freezer Prep Method:
If you wanted to prep all the ingredients and give this away to a friend you could brown the hamburger and onions and cool that mixture then add everything to a gallon sized zip lock baggie with the cooking instructions on the outside and freeze then give to a friend or pull out when you are having a long week. Note: I find it easier to write on the bags when there isn't anything in them, so keep a Sharpie in your silverware drawer for just this occasion.

There are lots of variations you can make to this, don't like green chilies (shame on you) you can remove all together, you could add corn (I love corn, just not in soups), you could add other seasonings like chipolte or tomatillo salsa instead of the rotel...you could replace the ground beef with turkey or chicken or a can of pinto beans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It is September 23rd and sickness has hit our house. Well it started with me getting a sinus infection/allergies two weeks ago and then he came down with the crud hard on Sunday...let's hope we are getting this out of our systems before real winter hits. So I thought what makes you feel better than Chicken Noodle Soup.

I am calling this homemade Chicken Noodle Soup but please don't think that the noodles are homemade, if they were then I would call this Chicken and Noodles, you all agree right?

Well even if you don't here is the world's most simple and tasty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup that only takes 30 minutes from start to finish to complete, can't beat that!

1 precooked rotisserie chicken
1/4 white or yellow onion
15 baby carrots, the smaller the better (optional)
1 stalk of celery (optional)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 boxes of 99% fat free, 33% lower sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1/2 bag No Yolk Egg Noodles
2 tsp All Purpose Greek Seasoning (Salt Free)
Butter, olive oil, salt and pepper

Start your butter and olive oil in a stock pot. I use about 1 TBS butter and about the same olive oil. Finely dice your onion, chop your carrots and celery and add to the pan over medium heat. Let that mixture cook for 5-7 minutes or until your onions start to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for one minute making sure it doesn't burn.

Next add your chicken broth, water and bay leaf to the pot and turn the heat up to medium high and bring the broth to a boil. Once to a boil add your egg noodles stirring as you add so they don't stick to each other and return to a boil. Reduce to a slow boil/simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until the noodles are cooked. While your noodles are cooking remove all the meat from your chicken and chop coarsely. Once the noodles are cooked, remove the bay leaf, add the chicken and Greek Seasoning and additional salt and pepper to fit your taste. Serve immediately.

This will keep in the refrigerator in plastic containers for a few days. It will freeze but I've never had the best luck freezing cooked noodles so if you can eat it in a couple days it would probably be best. This recipe above made 5 big servings.

Here is a picture of the final product, no I am not a food photographer but it doesn't look too bad. You will notice we don't have celery in our soup because someone who will remain nameless but is currently sick doesn't like celery in soups. No biggie we just left it out and I added some celery flakes to it.
I also must have deleted the picture from my phone after I posted it to Instgram so here is a screen grab of my Instagram post. Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you should. @travelingcowgirl