Fall is Coming Chicken Soup

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I got a little excited this past weekend because of the cool front that came through. Lows in the upper 50’s was something to celebrate, even if it did get up to 85 during the day. I mean, that’s cool weather for us Texans, right? We wanted something “fall-ish” for dinner, but nothing too complicated because we were busy outside (had to get those fall decorations out!). I figured a nice chicken soup would do! Now, when it comes to soups and stews, I don’t do measurements. I just start dumping things in until it tastes good. 😀

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2lbs Chicken (I used chicken breasts, but whatever cut you prefer will do.)
  • 6-8 Celery Stalks, chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Small Bag of Carrots, chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 2 Bell Peppers (any color is fine), chopped
  • 2 Onions, Chopped
  • 2 Shallots, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Big Handful Fresh Baby Kale
  • 1 Big Handful Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • Herbs & Spices to taste: Salt, Pepper, Thyme, Rosemary, Garlic Powder, Sage, Basil, Bay Leaves

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Put chicken in a stock pot (I believe mine is a 10qt.) and cover with water. (Leave about 2 inches at the top.)
  • Add in your Herbs and Spices.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Add Celery, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Onions, Shallots, Garlic and Coconut Oil.
  • Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat back to low, cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
  • Remove Chicken and shred with a fork, then put it back in the pot.
  • Add in your handfuls of Kale and Spinach, and simmer for about 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Enjoy!

**This makes a lot, and tastes even better the next day!

Savory Beef Stir Fry

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The other day at the grocery store, I noticed Michael loading up on something while we were in the produce section. He was excited that the hatch chili’s were in season, so he was quickly filling up that plastic baggie with his find! We’ve been finding various ways to use them, so, I thought I would spice up some stir fry, and they gave it just the right amount of heat. 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1lb Beef Cut for Stir Fry, or Top Round Steak thinly sliced
  • 2 Hatch Chili’s, sliced
  • 1 of each: Green, Yellow & Red Bell Peppers sliced (alternatively, I have found pre-sliced bell peppers and onions in the freezer section at Kroger. It’s much cheaper, faster and easier! 1 bag would do the trick.)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T. Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Sesame Seeds for Sprinkling
  • 2 Cups Long Grain Brown Rice, Cooked (This takes about 40-45 minutes, so I always get that going first.)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the beef, balsamic vinegar, sesame seed oil, garlic, salt & pepper & set aside for about 15 minutes to marinate.
  • Grease a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat on medium-high.
  • Toss in your beef and marinade and saute until the beef is browned.
  • Add in your hatch chili’s, bell peppers and onions and cook until they are soft.
  • Serve on top of your cooked brown rice & sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

**Makes 4 Servings.**

Salsa Chicken Salad

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I’m going to give you the easiest way to make lots of tasty chicken, with almost zero effort. Ready? Here it goes:
Take 4-5 chicken breasts and 1 jar of green salsa (make sure there’s almost 0 sugar!), toss it all in the crockpot and let it go, let it go!!! 4-5 Hours on High or 6-8 Hours on Low. Once it’s done, you just take two forks and shred it all up. Easy, right? 🙂
You can eat this on its own, put it over brown rice, or in a whole wheat tortilla. The possibilities are endless. I put mine over a salad for a super healthy lunch or dinner.
Salad Mix:
• Spinach
• Romaine Lettuce
• Purple Cabbage
• Shredded Carrots
Toppings:
• Salsa Chicken
• Raw Sunflower Seeds
• Kalamata Olives
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

Mix the following in whatever size glass jar or container you might have. I use an old olive oil bottle and it works perfectly:
• 1 Cup Olive Oil
• ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
• 1 tsp. Salt
• 1 tsp. Pepper
• 1 T. Garlic Powder or Chopped Garlic
• 1 T. Italian Seasoning (i.e. Oregano, Basil) Even better, use chopped fresh oregano and basil.
Shake it all up!

Enjoy!

Cottage Pie

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If you’ve noticed, I like to make one dish meals. Mainly because I can get them together ahead of time, then pop them in the oven while I’m teaching a class. While this one is easy to make, it does take a little while, primarily because of the bake time. It’s yummy, nonetheless!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1lb Ground Turkey (at least 93/7)
• 1 Onion, chopped
• 1 ¾ Cup Beef Stock
• ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 heaping Tbs. Cornstarch
• 12oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn) (uncooked)
• Thyme, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste
• 4 Medium-sized Sweet Potatoes
• 1 tsp. Coconut Oil

Here’s what you’ll do:

Bake the potatoes:
• Heat oven to 450.
• Line baking sheet with foil.
• Wash & dry potatoes, make little pokes all over with a knife, then place on baking sheet.
• Bake for 35 minutes.
• Turn them over, then bake for another 35 minutes.
• Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
• Slice them open, and using a spoon, scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.
• Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp. of coconut oil, then mash altogether with a fork.
• Set aside.

Make the turkey:
• Brown ground turkey and onion in a medium skillet, then drain off the liquid.
• Mix the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch and spices together, then add to the turkey.
• Add mixed vegetables
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
• Place into a medium casserole dish, then add the mashed potatoes to the top
• Fluff the potatoes with the ends of a fork

**If you will be serving right away, place it under a broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the potato peaks are golden brown.

**If you will be serving later, then you will bake it at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until it bubbles.

Enjoy!

Mexi-Mac

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Carbs always seem to get a bad rap, but the truth is, our bodies actually need them. They are the body’s main source of fuel and what gives us energy. It’s best to steer clear of simple carbs that cause the “rush, then crash” such as sugar, processed foods, white rice, white bread and white pasta. Complex carbs take longer to break down and give you a steadier supply of energy.

Serving this Mexi-Mac along with a side salad topped with balsamic/olive oil vinaigrette will give you a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1.25lbs Ground Turkey (93/7 is preferable)
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • Box of Finely Chopped Tomatoes
  • Diced Green Chili’s
  • Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed (look for BPA free brands such as Eden)
  • Chili Powder – To taste
  • Cumin – To taste
  • Salt & Pepper – To taste
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni
  • ½ Cup Reduced Fat or Dairy-Free Cheese

Here’s what you do:

  • Brown turkey in a skillet with onion and garlic.
  • Drain liquid off, then add tomatoes, green chili’s, pinto beans and spices.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then add macaroni.
  • Let turkey mixture simmer until the macaroni is done (usually 6-7 minutes).
  • Drain macaroni.
  • Mix macaroni and turkey mixture together.
  • Place in a broiler safe dish and top with cheese.
  • Place under the broiler for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
  • Enjoy!

**This makes enough for several meals and actually tastes even better the next day!

Crockpot Chicken Curry

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If you want something healthy and delicious, that’s also super easy to make, then try this Crockpot Chicken Curry! I usually tend to make this on Bootcamp nights because I can just toss everything in, then dinner is ready when Bootcamp is over.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts (thawed)
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk (I’ve used full fat and light with no major difference noted)
  • ¼ Cup Curry Powder (more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 8-10 Carrots, peeled and chopped about an inch thick
  • 6-8 Celery Stalks, chopped about an inch thick
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups Brown Rice (cooked)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Salt and Pepper chicken breasts.
  • Mix curry powder and coconut milk together and pour into Crockpot.
  • Place chicken breasts in the coconut mixture.
  • Top with the carrots and celery.
  • Cook on Low 8 hours, or High for 4 hours.
  • Before serving, shred the chicken using two forks, then mix in the cooked rice.
  • Enjoy!

***This makes A LOT! It ends up making 3 meals each for my hubby and myself.

***My hubby loves his served with Chutney and Coconut Flakes. 😉