Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Been Chili Here

Last week the weather was cold, rainy, and overcast; just the way people described it would be when we said we were moving to WA. Since the weather is actually turning into "real" Fall weather opposed to "fake" Fall weather that I am used to in California, I decided it was time to put my crockpot into full use. I've been researching in my good ol' Fix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining: Slow Cooker Favorites for All the Year Round cookbook, aiming at what recipes would be good for Fall weather and also good for freezing. Two ideas jumped out at me right away: Chili and Veggie Soup. I looked through all the dozens of Chili recipes (who knew there were 24+ ways to make the stinkin' thing) and through the same amount of veggie soup recipes (still a shocker at all the ways)! I finally settled on a recipe for each. Last Friday I gave the Chili recipe a go and last Saturday I made the veggie soup. I really, really, really loved the Chili recipe, it was so delicious! The vegetable soup was good, too, with a little twirks.

Slowly Cooked Chili
1-2 lbs. ground beef or turkey, browned in skillet (I used ground turkey)
15 1/2 oz. can kidney beans, undrained (I also added in a can of black beans, a can of pinto beans and a can of white beans, all drained)
3 cups tomato juice
3 Tb. chili powder (won't hurt flavor if you lower this amount)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2-1 tsp. salt, according to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow-cooker and cook for 10-12 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Serve with corn bread. YUMMY!!!

Easy Vegetable Soup:
4 cups vegetable, beef, or chicken stock
4 cups vegetables (any you prefer. I used, corn, celery, broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms)
leftover meat, cut into small pieces or 1lb. cubed beef browned in a skillet (I did not use any meat and it was just fine)
15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup uncooked rice, barley, or pasta (I used Quinoa and it was great)
(I would also add in some garlic powder, salt and pepper, and italian seasoning for more flavor)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker except rice or pasta. Cook on low for 6 hours, adding in rice or pasta 1/2 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or corn bread.

The veggie soup was good, but needed more flavor (even though I added additional seasonings than what the recipe called for). Yummy!!

My friend and I also made a REALLY good meal this last week, too. It's from and it's called Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos, and you can find the recipe here. I definitely would recommend making this on your own!! Maybe make it for a nice date night or anniversary, to really please your spouse :) If you serve it with this Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta, and you've got yourself a satisfied man (and you!!). I really cannot wait to make this for Adam; he's gonna LOVE it! :D

How looked like

*How mine came out (I didn't put in the picture that I served the portobello with more marinara sauce; fabulous!!)*

Happy Eating!

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