Thoughtless Thursday: Italian Chicken and Rice Soup

As you all know I was sick last week.  It ended up not being such a bad time to be so, as I’d already batch cooked a bunch of chicken to make the stock for Thanksgiving dinner.  That made this crock pot soup a breeze to throw together, even though I felt lousy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pre-cooked chicken
  • 1 box chicken stock
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice

Directions:

  1. Add everything but the rice and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  2. Turn the crock pot up to high and add the rice.
  3. Cook for another hour.
  4. Serve with crusty bread.

Printable version.

Thoughtless Thursday: Beef and Salsa Soup

Okay, technically this should be Beef and Picante soup because I used the Pace Picante Sauce I had a chance to try via the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program.  I’ve always been a fan of Pace.  Love their commercials with the fresh fresh jalapenos.  Anyway it made for a fantastic soup.  Serves 4-6.  Just the right offering for this week’s Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 small poblano pepper, minced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, minced
  • 1 roma tomato, minced
  • 1 russet potato, diced
  • 1 box beef stock
  • 1 lb browned ground beef
  • 1 jar Pace picante sauce
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 Tbsp masa flour

Directions:

  1. Add everything but the masa flour to a crock pot.
  2. Add another cup or two of water, enough to cover the ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Add the masa flour and stir, cooking for another half hour.
  5. Serve with a good crusty bread.

Printable version.

Thoughtless Thursday: Chicken Corn Chowder

We had roast chicken for dinner the other night, which meant we had half a chicken left to do something with.  Soup was the thing because I wanted something I didn’t have to babysit.  Soup is another one of those blank slate dishes where I often start tossing things in to see what I come up with.  This wound up being a variation on my Spicy Corn Chowder, and hubby declared it to be right up there with Taco Soup (which is a family favorite).  It works out to 3 servings at 384 calories and 4.9 grams of fat.   It’s my second offering to Souper Sunday this week at Kahakai Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced, dried onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 heaping Tbsp masa flour
  • 4 oz. fat free cream cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 12 ingredients in the crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
  3. An hour before serving, add the masa flour
  4. Half an hour before serving, add the cream cheese and stir until well combined.
  5. Enjoy!

Printable version.

Retake Homemade: Red Beans and Rice

Look at that!  I’m finally back posting on my own revolution.  :blushes:  Sorry I’ve been busy.  Moving on!

I confess, I have never been a huge fan of red beans and rice.  This probably stems from my hatred of kidney beans in my chili, which was then generalized to kidney beans in everything.  And the fact that my mom is the most bland cook alive.  Sorry mom, it’s true.  Add to that an experience with only the KFC or Popeye’s version of red beans and rice and, well, you can see how I’d be uninspired by this dish.  But I had some cajun sausage and leftover rice in the fridge and we needed a crock pot meal that would be ready when we got off work so that hubs could scarf and run, so this is what I threw together.  I’m not even sure WHY I had a package of dried red beans.  Possibly my mom had picked them up intending to use them in a container for something arty looking and passed them on to me (it happens).  But whatever, this is the kind of dish where you chop everything the night before, then just before leaving for work in the morning, you toss in the crock pot and cook on low aaaaaaaaall day.  The end result was so far superior to KFC and Popeyes, I guarantee I’ll make it again, though I make no claims as to its authenticity.  It comes out to 6 large servings at 408 calories and 13.9 grams of fat (before you add the rice).

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. Conecuh Hickory Smoked Sausage (Spicy Hot)
  • 1 bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried celery (1/2 cup fresh if you have it)
  • 1 packet ham bouillon
  • 1 bottle of beer (I used Amber Bock)
  • 1 small bag of red beans (2 cups?)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups water

Directions:

  1. The night before, put the beans on to soak.
  2. Chop all your ingredients before bed (you can wait til the morning if you’re not in a rush to get out the door).
  3. Morning of, rinse the beans and add to crock.
  4. Add all other ingredients and give it a stir.
  5. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  6. Serve over rice.

Printable version.

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Thoughtless Thursday: White Chicken Chili II

I’ve been on a kick of trying new foods.  I’ll pick up a new food and figure out what to do with it.  This week’s new food was Anaheim chilis, which I learned were a mild chili and usually what those canned, chopped green chilis on the Mexican aisle consist of.  I’ve been craving chili, though not the big heavy tomato based variety we love in winter.  So I threw together this 2 serving batch in the crock pot.  It comes in at 479 calories and 5.4 grams of fat per serving (without cheese or sour cream).  So here’s my second offering for Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen this week.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 cups navy beans or white beans
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion, minced (or 1/4 cup dried minced onion)
  • 1 anaheim chili, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.
  2. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Printable version.

Pork Burrito Soup

Reruns!  It’s not often that I come up with something that so perfectly turns into something else.  But last night’s pork burrito filling was so tasty and there wasn’t quite enough for two servings of exact reruns.  So what else to do?  Throw in a bunch of veggies and make a new variation of the Mexican themed soups we so love.  This came out to 4 servings at 395 calories and 13.2 grams of fat “undressed” (i.e. without cheese, sour cream, etc.).  Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen is bound to love this one for Souper Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups pork burrito filling
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn

Directions:

  1. Throw everything in a crock pot and add enough water that all the ingredients are covered.
  2. Cook on high for 2-3 hours.
  3. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar, and crackers or tortilla chips.

Printable version.

Pork Burritos

I think I’ve made burritos out of almost everything.  This one uses a nice picnic pork roast and comes out moist, delicious and fabulous for burritos and for reinvention as leftovers.  I think I actually prefer this to beef or chicken.  Hubby declared these a winner as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2 pound pork roast
  • 2 packets Sazon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 cups salsa
  • tortillas of your choice
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • any other burrito fixin’s you like

Directions:

  1. Mix the sazon, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder together.
  2. Remove the roast from packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub the meat with the seasoning mix.
  4. Toss in a crock pot.
  5. Pour the salsa in.
  6. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10.
  7. Shred and stir.
  8. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of meat for tomorrow’s dinner.
  9. Serve the remaining as burritos, fixed however you like.

Printable version.

Thoughtless Thursday: Crockpot Baby Back Ribs

I haven’t done a Thoughtless Thursday post in a while.  Frankly, I just don’t use my crock pot as much in the summer except for routine things like batch cooking beans or making chicken stock.  But our grocery store overbought on baby back ribs for the 4th and had a huge sale at $2 a pound, so I brought home 3 racks of ribs.  This is round 1.  My husband was totally skeptical about doing ribs in the crock pot, but since it was highly doubtful we had enough gas for the grill to cook on low for 3 or 4 hours, I employed both it and my crock pot to produce succulent, fall-off-the-bone, finger licking ribs that hubby declared a total win.  Go me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack of baby back ribs, cut in half
  • garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground peppers
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Fire up your grill.  This would probably be a total waste if you are a charcoal person, but we use gas.  So flip it on and preheat to about 350 degrees.
  2. Season up the ribs with all the dry seasonings…just a light sprinkle of each on both sides, to taste.
  3. Sear the ribs on the grill, about 5 minutes a side.  Just enough to get a bit of caramelization and grill marks.
  4. Pop the ribs in the crock pot.
  5. Add the liquid smoke and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  6. After 4-5 hours, baste both sides of the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce and crank the crock pot up to high for 1 more hour.
  7. Enjoy!  You probably will want a bib.

Printable version.

Thoughtless Thursday: Mapuche Roast Beef

I admit it.  I’m a sucker for trying out new and random spice blends.  Always on the hunt for a new flavor.  I found this mapuche spice by Merken at a local closeout store.

According to the site “Merken since centuries, has been the Chileangourmet copper spice per excellence. This unique blend of dried and smoked red chilies (ají cacho de cabra or goat s horn), toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt is elaborated exclusively in the Araucanía Region of Chile by our natives, the Mapuches, ancient traditions.”


I decided it would go beautifully with roast beef.  The slow cooked beef makes for fantastic filling for most any Mexican themed dish.  Quesedillas (like I made), soft tacos, burritos, or whatever.

Ingredients:

  • mapuche spice blend
  • 1 beef roast (I used chuck)

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly coat the beef with mapuche.
  2. Cook on low in the crock pot for 6-8 hours.
  3. Use as filling for burritos, tacos, or quesedillas.

Thoughtless Thursday: Tuscan Vegetable Soup

I”m getting back on the diet wagon…again.  Consequently, I’m craving veggies.  Since I’ve been under the weather, I have some fresh veggies that were on their way out, so soup was the ideal solution.  Along with 3/4ths of a pound of Italian turkey sausage that was hanging out in the freezer (left over from calzones or something, I think), I made a variation of my Tuscan potato soup, swapping out the potatoes for zucchini for a nice, light, flavorful lunch that goes great with grilled cheese.  Makes 4 servings at 270 calories and 12.3 grams of fat.  I figure Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen will like it for Souper Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Nice and easy.  Toss it all into the crock and cook on low for 6 hours.

Printable version.