Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe was contributed by Tia Sherwood.

This recipe is great because it is quick, easy, and meat-free. Meat is kinda gross and definitely expensive, so I like meat-free :)

1 16 oz can of chili beans
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn (I just use a can)
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Comibine all except the last two in a pot, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally.

Serve and top with sour cream and cheese.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken

This recipe was contributed by Tia Sherwood.

Three reasons this recipe is great: 1)it goes in the crock pot, 2)it can be served a variety of ways, 3)it is DELICIOUS.

Combine all of the following in a slow cooker:

2-4 chicken breasts (I usually do 3 and have tons of left overs, but have added up to 6 when we were having guests over)
1 cup chicken broth (I don't always do this)
1 cup salsa
1 15 oz can of corn, drained
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained
1 pkg taco seasoning

I usually just put the chicken in the bottom then mix everything else up in a mixing bowl before pouring over. The chicken can be frozen or fresh, whatever you have.

Cook for 3-4 hours.

After this you can "Choose your own adventure". You can scoop out the chicken and pour the salsa mixture over it on the plate. Top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. I've never done this variation but it is the way it was originally written.

OR shred the chicken about 30 min before you are ready to serve. It will be so tender at this point you can easy just reach into your slow cooker with 2 forks and break up the chicken breasts. Leaving for another 30 minutes will allow the chicken to then soak up all the juices that are in there, otherwise it will be kinda watery.

After shredding it you can add 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1 cup grated cheese, or for a healthier version just use the sour cream and cheese as toppings. I do both!

I love to buy the corn tortillas and fry them up to serve this in. Regular flour tortillas or hard shells would be great too.
You could use it to make taco salads or we have even used it to fill enchiladas before. It is likely you'll have enough leftovers to try 2 or 3 variations if you want.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Italian Sausage Spaghetti

This recipe was contributed by Tia Sherwood, one of Rachel's best friends.

This one is great for 3 reasons: It goes in the crock pot, it makes enough for 2-3 meals (if you have a small family or are cooking for 2) , it freezes really well. So I like to make it, have it for dinner, lunch the next day and then put the rest in a gallon size freezer bag to save for one of those time you need a quick meal. Also, my mom taught me to lay the bag flat, like on a pizza box to freeze it, that way you can stack it once it is frozen AND it will thaw really quickly. I usually put it in a sink of hot water and within a few minutes it is soft enough to get into a pot to heat up. Anyway, here is the recipe:

Italian Sausage Spaghetti

1 package Italian turkey sausage links, cut into 1/2 pieces
1 cup diced onions
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves minced garlic
28 oz can crushed tomatos (undrained)
15 oz can tomato sauce
12 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs spaghetti (so about 3 dinners for us)

I cut up the sausage and throw it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except the spaghetti of course, pour that in over the sausage and leave it be!

Cook in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours. I usually forget to put it in until later in the day and put it on high to reduce the time. So long as the sausage is done it is fine.

Boil pasta according to the directions and viola! Meatballs and all--it is great.