Category: Soups & Salads

Chipotle Chicken Chili

First of all…the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to post TWO DAYS IN A ROW…is madness. Complete and utter MADNESS!! I love my baby girl, but boooooooooy do I love nap time. Muhuhahahaha.

Not only am I sharing another NEW recipe today, but this is another super simple crock pot recipe! Just in time for fall, amiright? I have never loved my crock pot as much as I do now that I am a mom. The faster I can get something done, the more likely I am to eat it without having a baby on my boob! Though, I can’t lie, I’ve gotten pretty great at doing things with one hand because I have a baby in the other…or balancing her perfectly on the Boppy while I eat OVER her. I prefer to avoid that if I can, though, heh.

Anywho, the Falcons were playing last night (What a game! I’m not sure I’d really even call that a game…poor Bucs.), so I wanted to make something appropriate for football viewing. Chili was the obvious choice. But without having any beef on hand I decided to go for a chicken version.

BEST. CHOICE. EVER.

I posted a photo of the finished product on Instagram last night and had a few requests for the recipe. So here it is, my friends.

Words cannot describe how easy this chili is to make. You literally just stir everything together in the crock pot, add the chicken breasts, pop on the lid and BAM. You are a mere 5 hours from delicious!

Chipotle Chicken Chili

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
    (add more or less … depending on your spice tolerance. 1 gives it a nice kick, but you won’t be sweating)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • salt to taste

In the base of your crock pot, add the can of tomatoes. Fill the empty can halfway with water and add it to the crock pot. Add the beans, peppers, onions, and spices. Stir well to combine. Nestle the chicken breasts into the tomato mixture. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken shreds easily with two forks. Shred up the chicken and serve your chili with cheese, avocado, and whatever else you fancy…just make sure you have plenty of tortilla chips for scooping!chipotle chicken chili

Also, because I can’t keep this cuteness all to myself…check out my little happy bear!! EEEEEEEEEEEE. I just can’t.

Real Food Recipe Roundup #1 – Tilapia Tacos & Southwest Slaw

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!!!

Thursday is finally here!!

I’m soooooooooooooo excited to share my very first Real Food Recipe for my Real Food Recipe Roundup. Today I’m sharing a recipe that is tried and true in my home. I hope you love this recipe as much as Johnny and I do (though he’d prefer more tacos and less slaw)! I make this over and over again because it’s so quick and easy to throw together, lite and healthy after a workout, and freaking delicious. If you plan to link up below, and I sure hope you do, be sure to grab my button and pop it into your post so folks know where they can find other Real Food Recipes, too!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


tilapia tacos with southwest slaw

Tilapia Tacos & Southwest Slaw

serves 2 

For the Southwest Slaw

  • 1 bag of preshredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup of Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Yogurt Southwest Ranch Salad Dressing (You need to take some shortcuts somewhere, folks. Check out the ingredients! I’m never guilty when I use this dressing!)

Combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl!! Toss well with dressing to coat!

For the Tilapia Tacos

  • 3 (4 oz) pieces of tilapia
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons H2O
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Avocado for garnish

Spray a medium skillet with some nonstick spray and place over medium high heat. Season the tilapia fillets with the spices and add to the skillet. Let the fillets cook for about 5 minutes before you try and flip them (It’s okay if they break apart a little, because you’ll flake the fish apart before serving! Am I smart or what?!) Once you’ve flipped the fish, add half of the lime juice, all of the lime zest, and the water and cover with a lid. Let cook about 3 minutes more or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from heat and flake the fish apart with a fork.

Warm your tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds.

To server, portion out the flaked fish in the warm tortillas. Top with avocado and remaining lime juice.

Serve with salad on the side OR you can get really fancy and put some of it INSIDE of the tacos, too!! Crazy!!

southwest slaw and tilapia tacos

Now don’t be shy!! Heck, even if your post isn’t brand new and you’ve got a real food recipe to share let’s see it!! Happy cooking and eating to all!!

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Soup for Days

So I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me based on some of my more recent posts (like White Chicken Chili, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, and My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever…buuuuuut I really like soup.

Like, I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly like soup.

Like I could eat soup every day and be totally happy with my life.

Although there are many soups I am quite fond of, for as long as I can remember, Matzo Ball Soup has always been one of my most favorites!. If you’re not familiar with Matzo Ball Soup, it’s essentially like a delicious chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles, plus matzo balls. Matzo, if you’re not familiar with it (which ,if you’re a child of the Rugrats generation, I find hard to believe – but ya never know) is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week of Passover among other holidays, like Hanukkah!

Now, I don’t talk much about religion or faith – particularly on my blog. It’s  just one of those things, ya know? But, in sum, although some of my family is Jewish and actively practices the religion, I wasn’t raised to follow any particular religion. I was just raised with faith. We celebrated Christmas… and sometimes I lit a menorah. I participated in a few Passover Sedars in my time, I learned to write my name in Hebrew, and I know what L’shanah tovah means.

My husband is Catholic, our wedding was Catholic, our children will be Catholic, and I’m confident when I say that there will come a day where I will be Catholic. Regardless of my choice of religion, I’m proud of my Jewish heritage. (Some people have a hard time separating those two and understand the difference. That’s pretty much why I don’t talk about it.) Ultimately, though, the extent of my Judaism is my constant use of Oy Vey in everyday conversation, letting my friends know if they’ve got a schmutz on their face, and my ability to make a perfect pot of Matzoh Ball Soup.

Every good Jewish girl (or lover of Matzo Ball Soup) knows the key…is schmaltz. Schmaltz is chicken fat. Yuppers! Chicken fat. You cannot make a perfect pot of Matzo Ball Soup in a day. You make the stock ahead of time, chill it, and remove the fat from the top of the chilled stock. That fat is what makes Matzo Ball perfection. Here is my recipe for Matzo Ball Soup.

Matzo Ball Soup

For The Stock

  • 1 whole chicken, about 5 lbs, giblets removed
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (I always use part chicken broth and part water when I make my stock for soups. I think it gives it a much richer quality. If you’re ambitious and confident in your stock making abilities, you can use all water)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 carrots, quartered
  • 4 stalks of celery, quartered
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A big handful of fresh parsely
  • 2 tablespoons of salt, or to taste
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

Put everything in a large stock pot and bring it up to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer gently for about an hour and a half to two hours – until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.

CAREFULLY remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a large cutting board (or something like it) to cool. Once cool, remove and discard the skin. Shred the meat with two forks and place in a container.

Strain the stock into a separate large stock pot. Let your stock cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill completely overnight. TIP: To cool your stock as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of any food born illnesses, one of my favorite tricks is to take an  empty 2 liter bottle and fill it 3/4 with water and freeze it. Use the frozen bottle to stir the stock to cool it faster from the inside, out!  

For the Soup

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

Add all of the ingredients except the chicken to a large stock pot. Bring the heat up to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chicken during the last ten minutes of cook time to heat through.

For The Matzo Balls

  • 1 box Manischewitz® Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball mix (both packets) (yes, I use mix and not just Matzo Meal – it’s pretty much the same the mix just already has salt and baking soda added it it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons schmaltz (skimmed from the top of the chilled stock. it’s solid when chilled, so heat  it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to liquify)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of onion, grated fine on a microplane

Whisk the eggs, schmaltz, parsley, and onion together until combined. Add both packets of matzo ball mix and mix until just combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 minutes, but up to an hour is kosher (heh…get it…nevermind).

To cook the matzoh balls, bring a pot a chicken stock up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a slight simmer.

Moisten your hands with a bit of cold water (I like to keep a little bowl of it handy to keep the matzo mixture from sticking to me) and gently form the matzo balls in your hand.  They are deceiving and get much bigger once they start to soak up all of the liquid they are cooked in, so only make them about the size of a golf ball.

As you complete them, gently place the formed matzo balls into the simmering stock. Once all of the matzo balls are added cover the pot and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

To Serve

To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowl and top with matzo balls. I like to start with 3. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley.

Eat with friends and family and enjoy.

mbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Loaded

Howdy ya’ll!

Happy Tuesday!

Is it frrrrrrreeeeeeezing by you?? I can’t tell you how many screenshots of thermometer apps I’ve seen on Facebook today. We all know it’s 2 degrees out. I found it hard to believe that so many schools and businesses shut down today. So…. it’s a cold day instead of a snow day? Meh, whatevs! It’s probably only 7 degrees in my office (but that’s every day). Gosh, do I sound kind like a grump or what?! I guess I’m just jelly because I would have enjoyed a cold day, too. *sigh* In honor of these sub-zero (well…almost) temperatures today, I decided the best solution is to get loaded (baked potato soup)!!

Whhhatttt?!

Gosh. I know, I’m hilarious.

But seriously.

This Loaded Baked Potato Soup is awesome and pretttttttty foolproof. It’s even more foolproof if you have an immersion blender (thanks, Mom) but is still quite simple with a potato masher or regular blender. This soup is so think and rich that you’d never guess it’s actually quite lite!! I leave the skins on my potatoes, because that’s where all of the good stuff (ya know, nutrients and the like) are! If you don’t care for them, feel free to peel your potatoes. The topppings are what make this soup extra fun (if you read my recent chili post you know how I feel about toppings!) – I use bacon, cheddar, and green onions. If you dig sour cream – throw some of that on here, too. I’ve added steamed broccoli on top before, but I was fresh out when I made this last night. I’ve also added some frozen sweet potato chunks to the mix in the past, too. It makes the soup look extra cheddar cheesy without adding the extra cheese!. I didn’t have any of those last night either. But this soup is delicious no matter how you make it! Stay warm!

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 5 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 28oz containter of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8oz block of nefchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toppings: Cooked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Green Onion, Sour Cream, Steamed Broccoli, or Whatever Else You Fancy!

Add the potatoes and the chicken broth to a large pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and mashable.

Remove the soup from the heat. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic, salt, and pepper. With your weapon of choice (mine was my immersion blender) carefully puree your soup until all of the ingredients are combined to your desired consistency. I prefer this soup to be creamy, but if you want to leave in some chunks go ahead!

Return the soup to medium heat. Add the milk and stir well to incorporate.

Serve immediately with whatever toppings you like!
baked potato soup

Quincy was like “Daaaaad, is there any bacon left?!” He’s too cute sometimes! Quincy smells bacon

This Snow Sure is Chili

So how many of you East Coasters out there had a snow day today?!?

Lucky. You. 

I wish I could say the same. I was up extraaaaa early to make sure Johnny and I had enough time to scrape all of the ice and snow off the car and get to work on time. The roads weren’t too shabby this morning, though. Especially compared to last night! Yikes! Our usual 40 minutes commute took an additional hour. It was insane. I’ve been living in Central PA for almost four years now and they just never seem prepared for snow.

Oh well, ya know what I do when it snows?

Make cozy foods.

Like chili! And oatmeal!!

I don’t know how you feel about chili, but I effing love it.

Beef Chili. Chicken Chili. Turkey Chili. Green Chili. White Chili. Bean Chili. On a train. In the rain. You name it, I love it. It’s definitely up there as one of my most favorite foods of all time. One of the many delicious reasons I love chili so much is all of the fun ways you can serve it!! You can top it with cheese, cilantro, red onions, green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream (if you’re into that sort of thing), with cornbread, over rice, over spaghetti (Cincinnati style), on a baked potato, on french fries – the options are endless!! I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I just love any food that I can customize and play with! On any given day I can mix up whatever pot of chili I’m feeling like and I can top it with whatever I have on hand and it’s like a party! But ya know…with just me…and chili….which sounds kind of lame but I swear is actually really exciting!

Johnny enjoys chili…but not the same way I do.  He thinks that I make too many “southwestern” inspired dishes. Boooooooo!! Chili powder, garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipotle. I go through these spices faster than anything else in my pantry. I can’t help myself. I’m so drawn to the smokey/spicy/sweet combination that so many southwestern dishes offer and chili is no exception and the best by far! I have tried many-a-different version of chili. This, of all my recipes, is my favorite. It’s not too complicated to make and the it’s the perfect combination of lean ground beef and beans with a hearty portion of peppers and onions, too. It’s even more appropriate for me these days (meaning “being pregnant” days) since it’s super important to make sure I’m getting enough iron and fiber – which this recipe is chock full of thanks to the beef and bean combo!! Johnny describes my chili as “weird – it’s spicy and sweet all at the same time!” Well, my love, that’s exactly what I was going for!  Here is the recipe!!

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo the chipotles come in)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional Garnishes: Cilantro, Scallions, Avocado, Lime, Cheese, Sour Cream, Red Onion, Tortilla Chips

Begin by heating 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the peppers and onion and let them cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. They will start to char in some places from the high heat and this is exactly what you want!! Add the beef and garlic and continue to cook until the beef is brown. (If your using a less lean beef, you may want to stop and drain off some of the fat).

When the beef is brown,  lower the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon or spatula to get up all of the good stuff from the bottom! Fill the crushed tomato can halfway with water, swirl it around to get out any extra tomato hanging out on the sides of the can, and add it to the pot. Add all off the spices and stir well to combine. Add the beans, stir, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or as long as you can patiently wait before digging in!).

Serve with whatever topping you like!

This time around I had cheese, avocado, red onion, and some tortilla chips for scooping….and it was perfection.

chili!Now did I mention something about oatmeal up there before? I seem to have gotten particularly excited about chili. Oh well! I love to enjoy a cozy bowl of oatmeal from time to time. Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like standing over a pot in the morning to make myself a cozy bowl. The instant stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore these days. I had some suuuuper ripe (like I had to use them up before the turned to mush) pears on hand this week and I whipped up a quick, healthy, and easy baked pear oatmeal for breakfast! If your New Year’s resolution is to watch you waistline this is a hearty recipe that will definitely tide you over until lunch (unless, maybe, you’re pregnant and find you’re eating everything in site…then you may want to have some clementines on hand to munch on the side…or maybe that’s just me…) Here is the recipe!

Baked Pear Oatmeal

  • 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced fat vanilla soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, eggs, extracts, brown sugar, and maple syrup. When the mixture is combined, add the pears and whisk gently to combine.

Add the soy milk mixture to the oat mixture and mix well until everything is combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes or until golden.

Serve immediately! (Or, let cool completely before slicing and placing the squares into individual baggies and freeze! Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warm through!)

bakedoatmeal