A SOUP-er Roundup!

The weather has definitely been getting colder in Cleveland, which means that I’ve not only been baking up a storm, but B and I have also been in the kitchen more to cook. Baked ziti? Homemade sauce? Spaghetti squash? Homemade pasta with home baked bread? You name it – if I can turn the oven on, I’m happy.

Still, what about those days when all you want is a hearty helping of soup and crusty bread? Lately I’ve been just frequenting the Souper Market – but I plan to attempt to make at least one soup on my own as the days get cooler. Here are some of the soups I’m dying to cook:

Slow Cooker Taco Stew (from Mommy Hates Cooking)

Fall Harvest Stew (from The Daily Balance – another Clevelander!)

Tuscan Chicken Sausage, Kale and Vegetable Soup (from me!)

Spicy Pumpkin Soup (from My Recipes)

Buffalo Chicken Soup (from Bake Your Day)

Chicken Tortilla Soup (from The Pioneer Woman)

AND for those days that I don’t feel like turning on the crockpot or waiting for some soup to cook?

I “indulge” in the best light soup: I recently got to try some of Progresso’s new light creamy soups! I was sent the Chicken Pot Pie and Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese. The best part about the soups? They’re 100 calories per serving.

So if you’re me – you have two 100 calorie lunches to play around with (I usually also bring a side salad or a sandwich on an English muffin to round out the meal) – or if you’re B, you have one 200 calorie (yes, he eats the whole can) soup on your hand. The other cool thing? I was sent this really cute gift set – it included two cans of soups, a gift bag, a water bottle and a soup mug (yes, I ate mine out of my mug)!

I definitely recommend you check these soups out if you’re looking for something creamy, but light, to enjoy this winter or fall. Do they taste exactly like the originals and non-light soups? No … but I still really enjoyed them!

Creamy Potato with Bacon and Cheese Soup in real life

Disclosure:  The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Progresso® through MyBlogSpark

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken & Beans – For Two!

Even though it’s summer, I’ve been dying to use my crock pot. After all – what’s a better feeling than coming home from work and knowing that a healthy, easy dinner is already ready? That’s why I decided to find an easy recipe, with flavors good for summer, for two. That’s right – a crock pot recipe for TWO people (or one person – with a nice-sized lunch for the next day)!

 

So often whatever I make in my crock pot serves 6, or even more, and I’m eating leftovers for a week. After seeking a few recipes, I decided to just come up with my own – and here it is! Enjoy. If you are cooking for more than two, I have on doubt you could double, triple or quadruple this recipe to feed more hungry bellies.

 

slow cooker cheesy black beans and chicken
Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken & Beans for Two
Here’s what you need:
  • 4 chicken tenderloins or 1 whole chicken breast
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 (15.5 oz) jar of salsa  (I used Tostitos Chunky Hot Salsa for a kick)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 c Mexican cheese blend
Here’s what you do:
  • Place the chicken on the bottom of your crock pot.
  • Mix the can of black beans, half jar of salsa, and spices (cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder) together. Pour on top of chicken.
  • Pour water on top.
  • Set your crock pot or slow cooker to low. Cook for 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours, mix chicken/bean mixture and serve in two bowls. Top with Mexican cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Note: I also made some Uncle Ben’s 90 second whole grain rice and topped with the chicken and beans. I also cut up some avocado, and B added hot sauce. For cilantro lovers, the recipe would also be delicious with some fresh herb sprinkled on top.

If you liked this recipe, or want more slow cooker recipes, check out the ones I’ve tried and shared, here.

Kale is the new spinach (Subtitle: Healthy Crockpot Recipe: Tuscan Chicken Sausage, Kale and Vegetable Soup)

I got  a crockpot! I got a crockpot! I got a crockpot! (can you sense my excitement?)

A few months ago, B and I registered for a slow cooker (correct term… but that’s the only time you’ll hear me use it) at Macy’s. Here’s the model in case you’re interested. Well, one of my best friends got it for me for my wedding shower gift and I was super pumped to try it out. The review? Awesome! It was easy to clean, easy to use, and everything turned out great!

For one of my first recipes, I wanted something truly no fuss and healthy. This meant no searing any meat before using it, not toooo much chopping (I haven’t gotten my Mini-Chop yet from my registry:)) — something I could truly throw together before work and return home 12 or so hours later to eat. So when I found the Tuscan Turkey Sausage, Kale and Vegetable Soup recipe I was really excited to try it out — and it didn’t disappoint! See below for a fabulous, easy and healthy crockpot soup.

Tuscan Turkey Sausage, Kale and Vegetable Soup

adopted from RecipeGirl.com

Ingredients

  • One (12-ounce) package of turkey or chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (I used Al Fresco Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 medium bunch kale, stems removed, & leaves chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • One (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • One (15.5-ounce) can great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • One (14.5-ounce) can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (or water)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, optional (I’m a huge cheese fan … I ended up using Romano because that’s what I had on hand)

Directions (it really is as easy as 1-2-3)

  1. Chop all ingredients — chicken/turkey sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and kale.
  2. In a slow cooker, combine all chopped ingredients except Parmesan. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 hours.

Yield: 6 servings (1 1/2 cups per serving)

* Nutritional Information (without Parmesan): calories 241, fat 5g (sat 5g & trans fat 0g), cholesterol 37mg, sodium 1,258mg, carbohydrates 31g, fiber 8g, protein 19g, calcium 158mg

* according to Recipe Girl

If you liked this recipe, or want more slow cooker recipes, check out the ones I’ve tried and shared, here.

 

Here are a few of my other favorite soup-like recipes:

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Beef, Lentil and Spinach Stew

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

If you liked this kale recipe, check out some more!

Shrimp and baby kale fajita salad i crashed the web

Shrimp and baby kale fajita salad