Have I told you how much I LOVE my crock pot? I know I have. I’m sure I have. Well, if I haven’t – let me tell you now: I LOVE MY CROCK POT.
check out my skills. i made this.
I came across this recipe when we had a pot luck for work a few months ago. When I saw the list of stuff people had planned to bring to our crock pot luck (get it?) and saw it was buffalo chicken dip, chicken paprikash, some desserts, and so on, I knew I had to bring something healthy. So naturally I scrolled through one of my favorite blogs, Skinnytaste, and decided on this recipe. I made it and REALLY enjoyed it. I enjoyed it again and again actually – because there were tons of leftovers! Why’s that? Apparently “spicy” and “black beans” are scary at potluck. Yup, scary. A few of my coworkers shied away from it when they heard it was “spicy” (it’s not really) or it had “Black beans” in it. Which meant – more for me! (and it also meant that when half the office got sick from the potluck the next day everyone agreed it WASN’T my bean soup that got them sick … because none of the sickos tried it. It feels good to be cleared of the food poisoning charge) And more for B, who really liked it as well. So this week when I noticed my crock pot was looking kinda lonely (as tends to happen when its 80+ degrees out) I decided to make some of it again. Not only does cooking in the crock pot mean I’m not cooking on a hot day (it cooks for me while I’m at work!) but it also means that I can stay outside and enjoy the sunshine a little longer knowing that dinner is ready when I get home 🙂 Oh, and did I tell you that it’s low fat? (Yup, one large bowl that’s 1.5 c has less than 6 grams of fat and 300 something calories) Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Soup (modified from Skinnytaste, very slightly. but look at her recipe because her pictures are way better!) Here’s what you need:
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3.5 c low sodium chicken broth
- About 20-30 oz canned tomatoes with green chilies (I found 10 oz cans and 15 oz cans and used 2 of the 10 oz this time, last time I used 2 of the 15 oz cans)
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 skinless chicken breast
Here’s what you do:
- Using a food processor, combine one can of beans with 1.5 cups of the chicken broth. Puree them together and add to your slow cooker.
- Add the other can of beans and the remaining 2 c of chicken broth to the slow cooker.
- Add canned tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapenos, diced green chiles, cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder and chicken breasts.
- Set your crock pot to High for four hours, or Low for 6-8 hours (mine took 6).
- Before serving, remove the chicken and shred. Place back in the slow cooker. Serve!
- Original recipe suggests serving with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc. I just had mine plain and enjoyed it tremendously! B added more hot sauce to his.
Again, Skinnytaste’s pictures are much better…look at hers.
B and I have been eating about a head of cauliflower a week. Whether it’s raw or roasted, cauliflower has seemed to become a staple in our household, to my excitement. Why do I love cauliflower? It’s so versatile, healthy, super easy to make, and it can take on so many different flavors depending on what you do with it. A few weeks ago I made some mashed cauliflower for the first time and have been making it about monthly since. It’s another healthy side dish that tastes like it should be unhealthy – but it’s not!
Simple Mashed Cauliflower
Here’s what you need:
- 1 medium cauliflower or 4 cups cauliflower florets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- Optional – something to add more creamy goodness to the mixture: I’ve used cream cheese, Greek yogurt, butter, cream and milk
Here’s what you do:
- Chop cauliflower into large chunks, around 1-2 inches in length.
- Cook cauliflower. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add to boiling water and cook 10-12 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the cauliflower.
- Drain cauliflower and throw into your food processor.
- Use food processor to completely mash cauliflower. Throw in garlic, and the salt and pepper to taste. Mash the cauliflower completely, it may take 5 minutes to get it to a nice consistency like that of mashed potatoes.
- Taste the blended cauliflower mash. Add more garlic or salt/pepper as needed.
- Optional: Add some Greek yogurt, cream cheese or sour cream to make the cauliflower even creamier. I’ve made it with heavy cream (leftover from making the Murphy’s Irish Stout Cupcakes), Greek yogurt, and even Parmesan cheese. This most recent time I followed the recipe, above, without any added cream or anything (just garlic, salt and pepper) and it was delicious!
Pat yourself on the back and enjoy how delicious and healthy your mashed cauliflower is. If you somehow managed to eat half of the recipe (made as is without any of the optional add-ons) you’ve only downed about 105 or so calories. AND you’ll be stuffed! B and I manage to make 3-4 servings out of the above recipe when served as a side dish.
Disclaimer: this is a non-recipe post. What’s a non-recipe? It’s something that I typically just throw together, without following instructions. Or measuring things. Something that you just do but don’t really think about (or something that didn’t seem blog-worthy at first). But I decided to actually pay attention and write down what I do, so I can share it with you!
B’s been eating a lot of vegetables lately and this is one of the easiest, no-hassle ways to prepare one of his new found edible vegetables, cauliflower. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and then just sits in the oven while you go about your business. Think about all you can do in the 45 minutes it takes for this to cook! Go work out (only if you’re not leaving the building. I wouldn’t recommend having your oven on 375 without anyone around!), prepare more parts of your meal, make some lentils (the take about 30 minutes from the bag and is cheaper than the can) to go with the cauliflower, read a trashy magazine, catch up on your DVR, give yourself a manicure … think about it!
Easy Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or diced
- Sea salt and black pepper
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Chop up cauliflower. Remove the stems and leaves and chop florets into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Place chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet covered with Pam. Or spread foil sprayed with Pam on a baking sheet for an easy clean up. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper and garlic.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
A whole head of cauliflower made enough food for B and me for dinner, plus I got leftovers for lunch the next day!
Chop your cauliflower (this is the longest part of the process)
Season with garlic, pepper and salt (or other spices, like rosemary!)
Eat it! I served mine with lentils, fish, Brussels sprouts and sauerkraut
This is a 4HB friendly recipe (without the modifications, below).
This is the basic roasted cauliflower recipe. I’ve also made it where in addition to the above steps, at about 10-15 minutes before it’s completed I’ve added Parmesan cheese or other shredded cheeses (cheddar, gouda, etc.) for a slightly cheesy roasted cauliflower. I’ve also added breadcrumbs for added crunch!