Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

This crock pot meal takes bout 10 minutes of prep time and the incredible smell all day will drive you crazy! It’s easy, nutritious, and makes at least 8 servings at less than 300 calories per bowl…of course, that depends on what you like to put on top – some ideas are, diced avocado, raw onions, shredded cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), tortilla strips, or crushed corn chips…..

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Enchilada Soup

 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 /14 cups red enchilada sauce (store bought – or even better try the recipe below – very easy, healthy, and less expensive!)
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 14 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 15 oz can creamed corn, no salt added
1 – 4 oz can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Add all ingredients – except chicken breasts – to a your crock pot; mix well. Submerge chicken breasts into the soup. Cover and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low. About a half hour or so before you are ready to eat, remove the chicken from the crock pot and use two forks to shred it; add it back to the soup, stir to combine, and let it cook for another half hour.

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

1 chipotle pepper, plus 1 Tablespoon of the adobo sauce (the stuff the chipotle come packed in)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
4 Tablespoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Combine the chipolte pepper, adobo sauce, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, with no solids remaining.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the four and whisk for 1 minute (being careful no to let it stick to the bottom). Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and onion powder. Continue to whisk and add in the chipolte pepper mixture. Once the everything is totally combined and smooth; add in the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time; whisking continuously to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Keep whisking until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. You can use this immediately or let it cool and refrigerate it or freeze it.

This recipe makes almost exactly enough for 3 batches of the Enchilada Soup recipe above. I usually make this and use one serving for the soup and then freeze the rest in two equal portions – so the next time I want to make this soup, I just grab one from the freezer and I’m good to go!

 

 

Turkey Bar-B-Q – Slow Cooker

1 – 1/2 lb. turkey tenderloin
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (you can substitute water, if desired)

Spray the insert of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place the tenderloin in the bottom in a single layer. Combine the remaining ingredients together in a small box and mix well; pour sauce over turkey. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. About a half hour before it is ready, remove the cover and shred the turkey with a large spoon or 2 forks; replace the cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

This is great on toasted whole wheat buns or even served over whole wheat noodles!

 

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 cups potatoes, cubed (I use either red or Yukon gold and do not peel them)
2 cups carrots, sliced (I use baby carrots and quarter them)

½ Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons butter (I use Smart Balance Light with Flax)
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 ¼ teaspoons poultry seasoning – divided (I use Bell Seasoning)

1 cup frozen peas

Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken, potatoes, and carrots into the slow cooker; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the poultry seasoning. In a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and onions; saute for about 5 miinutes and then add the garlic and saute for another 1 – 2 minutes. Add the onion mixutre to the chicken and veggies. Turn up the heat under the pan to medium and add the butter. When the butter is mostly melted sprinkle in the flour and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning; using a wire whisk, mix well. You will have what looks like crumbs in the pan. Let this cook for about 2 minutes, keeping everything moving and letting the pan get fairly hot. Start adding the milk a little at a time, whisking well after each addition and making sure everything is smooth; letting the pan heat back up again before adding the next milk addition (this will help the sauce stay smooth and lump free). Pour this sauce over the chicken and veggies and mix well.

Cover, and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. At approximately 7 ½ hours add the frozen peas, replace the lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

 

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

If you’ve read my recipes/blogs here before, you are probably surprised that I’m included a “beef” meal. Well, I’ve been adding some beef back into my diet for a little while now; not a lot, maybe 2 times a month. I decided I wanted some more variety and since I’ve been doing a lot of running (getting ready for my 2nd half marathon in November), I sometimes feel like I need it. So here it is, and it’s amazing!

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 lb. lean stew beef
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (plus some more for coating)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low sodium beef broth
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (approximately) chopped carrots (I use baby carrots and cut them in half)
2 cups (approximately) chopped potatoes
1 cup frozen peas

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place about 3-4 Tablespoons of whole wheat flour into a zip lock bag; add in a few shakes of black pepper and garlic powder, shake it up. Put all of the stew beef cubes into the bag and shake to coat well. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef cubes a few at a time to the pan and lightly brown on all sides. When they are brown, remove them and add them to the slow cooker. Once you browned all of the beef add the onion to the same skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes (just to very lightly soften them), add garlic and cook for about another 1 minute. Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker with the beef and add in the carrots and potatoes. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the skillet (still on medium heat). Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and using a wire whisk get it completely incorporated into the paste/oil mixture; cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the beef broth a little at a time, making sure to get each addition completely incorporated before adding more. Once you’ve added all of the broth, add in the bay leaves, thyme, allspice, and pepper; bring to a simmer, whisking all the time, until it is smooth and thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Pour into the slow cooker and mix everything well. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. Just before you are ready to serve; stir in the frozen peas, replace the cover for about 15 minutes.

Delicious!!

Baked Beans – Slow Cooker

I just recently started making some recipes in my crock pot and I can’t believe I went without it for so long! I love putting it together in the morning and then having a delicious meal at the end of the day. I can work later in the day, still get in a great workout (I just started P90X3…more about that in another post), shower or a hot bath, and then sit down to a yummy hot meal. I’ve always loved baked beans, but I haven’t owned a bean pot in years so I haven’t made them. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it.

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

1 pound navy beans

The first thing you’ll need to do is soak your beans. I never remember to do this the night before, so I use the “quick soak” method. Rinse your beans in a strainer; looking for bad beans, rocks, dirt, etc. Dump the beans into a large stockpot and cover with about 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then let them continue to boil for 2 minutes; then take off the heat, cover, and let them sit for 1 hour. After the hour, drain and rinse the beans and they are ready for the recipe.

Navy beans, prepared as instructed
6 oz. can tomato paste, no salt added
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Chicken or Vegetable Stock, low sodium

Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Combine all ingredients into cooker; mix well. Add enough stock to cover to about 1/2″ above beans. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 – 9 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. That’s it 🙂

Curried Lentil Soup

This is a delicious – meatless soup full of protein, fiber, and flavor! Just throw it together into a slow cooker and at the end of the day you have an amazing meal…fair warning….if you are going to be home all day, the smell is going to drive you crazy!!

Curried Lentil Soup

2 cups lentils rinsed
1 can – 15 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 bay leaves

Place all ingredients into a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Stir really well to combine. Cover. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours or until lentils are tender. Yum 🙂