Archive for March, 2012

Chicken Taco Soup


I made this recipe because it was chosen for a cooking club that I’m a part of. I was really excited to try this, and honestly, I can’t believe I hadn’t made anything like it before. I’ve made two Taco Soup recipes in the past, but both of them involved beef and not chicken. I was definitely looking forward to trying this one.

You may notice one unique ingredient: the beer. I was a little worried about this, especially after adding it to the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot. I’ll just say that it was a very interesting combination of smells. But as it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. The soup was really, really good. It had the perfect amount of spice from the Rotel, and the beer gave it a little bit of a bitter taste. Next time, I might replace the beer with a cup and a half of chicken broth to see which version I like better.

Chicken taco soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 can chili beans
1 can black beans
1.5 cups frozen corn
8 oz. can tomato sauce
12 oz. can or bottle of beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 package taco seasoning
3 chicken breasts (I used 1.2 pounds)

Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and tomatoes in your crockpot. Add taco seasoning, and stir to combine. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.

At end of cook time, shred the chicken breasts. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup until well combined. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, if desired.

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Menu March 24-30

Saturday: Biscuits Over Creamed Chicken
Sunday: Enchiladas from the freezer
Monday: Alfredo Tomato Chicken over pasta
Tuesday: Reuben Casserole
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Spaghetti with bolognese from the freezer
Friday: Pizza night

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Dijon Corned Beef

Source: A Year of Slow Cooking

Honestly, I was never really big into St. Patrick’s Day. It’s fun to wear green and all, but that’s about as far as it goes for me. However, with St. Patrick’s Day rolling around this past Saturday, the grocery had great prices on corned beef and cabbage. I had to take advantage of it!

This meal was delicious! The meat was sweet without being too sweet (I am not a fan of things that are too sweet, but I loved this). I’m also not a huge fan of cabbage, but when you mixed the cabbage with the corned beef, the flavors were amazing.

I bought a 3 pound corned beef roast that I used for this recipe. We plan on using the leftover meat for Reubens later in the week!

Dijon Corned Beef

3 lb. corned beef brisket
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Trim excess fat from the roast and place the roast in your crockpot. (Throw the seasoning packet away or use it with another recipe.)

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, brown sugar, and cloves, stirring until it forms a paste. Rub the paste all over the roast.

Add any combination of veggies you want on top of the roast. We used half a head of cabbage, a handful of baby carrots, and a couple red potatoes (quartered). You don’t need to add any extra liquid to the crockpot. The meat will provide enough liquid on its own during cooking.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Enjoy!

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Menu March 17-23

Saturday: Dijon Corned Beef w/carrots, potatoes, cabbage
Sunday: Reubens
Monday: leftover Reubens
Tuesday: Italian Chicken and Potatoes
Wednesday: Bubble Up White Pizza
Thursday: Spinach Enchiladas w/ rice
Friday: Pizza night

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Pesto Meat Sauce

I consider pesto to be a special treat. We don’t have it very often, but I just love it. That’s why I was really intrigued by this recipe for Pesto Meat Sauce when it popped up on What’s Cookin’ Chicago? I couldn’t wait to try it.

This sauce was really flavorful. The pesto was definitely prevalent, but not overpowering by any means. It’s very meaty, too, which makes for a very thick sauce. If you like your pasta sauce a bit thinner, adding in another half can of crushed tomatoes probably wouldn’t hurt. I might do that next time.

I used my 3.5 qt. crockpot and it filled it to the brim! I was really nervous that it wouldn’t fit once I started adding ingredients, but it all worked out ok. Thanks to my mother-in-law giving me a bunch of mason jars for Christmas, I was able to freeze a bunch for easy dinners down the road. (Now that we have a new upright freezer, I’ve been kind of obsessed with making freezer meals.) I froze seven 12 oz. jars of sauce, in addition to what we ate on the day it was made.

Pesto Meat Sauce

1.5 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup pesto sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. granulated sugar

In a large skillet, add the ground beef and pesto. Once the beef is browned, drain and then add to the crockpot.

Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-8 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

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Menu March 10-16

Saturday: L: leftovers; D: Fried Meatball Subs with salad
Sunday: L: out; D: Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
Monday: Taco Night
Tuesday: Taco Night #2
Wednesday: Meatball subs with salad
Thursday: Chicken Broccoli Garlic White Pizza w/tomatoes
Friday: L: tuna sandwiches; D: out

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Every now and then I’ll come across a recipe that just intrigues me. For whatever reason, I can’t get it out of my head. I think about it and think about it until I can finally put it on the menu.

This very same thing happened to me when I saw the recipe for Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup on Kitchen Stewardship. I was hesitant and curious about this recipe at the same time. It looked good. It sounded good. But would it taste good? I had never had anything like this before, so I really couldn’t imagine how it would taste. Plus, the curry was an up-in-the-air ingredient. Sometimes I like it, but if it’s overpowering, I really don’t. There was no way of guessing how this would turn out.

All I can say, though, is WOW! This soup was so good. Much better than I could have ever imagined. And look how healthy it is! The only unhealthy ingredient is the half-and-half, and with the amount of soup this makes, there ends up being very little half-and-half per serving. It’s so pretty, too! (Plus, as a bonus, this gave me an opportunity to use my new immersion blender. Unfortunately, I have not yet figured out how to use the immersion blender without splattering all over myself.)

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups baby carrots (almost 1 pound)
1 small onion, chopped
¾ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon (next time, I’ll use a little less at Rick’s request)
¼ teaspoon ginger
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¾ cup cream (I used fat free half-and-half)

Place potatoes, carrots, onion, curry powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger in your crock pot. Add chicken broth and stir. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Puree soup in a blender a few cups at a time or use an immersion blender. Stir in maple syrup and cream. Enjoy!

This makes about 6+ servings.

Shared at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventure’s Souper Monday.

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Menu March 3-9

Sunday: Chicken taco bowls
Monday: Spaghetti with pesto meat sauce from the freezer
Tuesday: Meatball and veggie stew over egg noodles
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner: Sausage and pancakes
Thursday: Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole
Friday: Pizza night

Find more menu ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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