Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup

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If you know me, you know Happy Fit Mama is one of my favorite bloggers. A successful young mom running her way to happiness and writing about it. What’s not to love.SAM_5001
Oh, and on Wednesdays, she shares her healthy little recipes. Oftentimes, they sound delicious, but I never get around to trying them.
But you know how much I love soup, especially soup I can freeze in mason jars and grab any time I need a quick lunch to take to work.
So I tried her Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup one Saturday sometime back. It was delicious. The recipe, which serves about six, follows…SAM_4991
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Red, Yellow Or Orange Pepper (or combination), diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 14.5 Oz Vegetable Broth
  • 15 Oz Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn
  • SAM_49971/2 Cup Zucchini, diced (optional)
  • Additional optional toppings: avocado, shredded cheese, plain greek yogurt, cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add red onion and pepper. Cook till softened.
  3. Add garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn and zucchini (if using).
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with toppings, such as diced avocado, shredded cheese, yogurt or sour cream and cilantro.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup for the Crock-Pot

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Remember my adorable Crock-Pot? The one with the damask pattern my mom surprised me with? I used it like crazy over winter break, and now I’m back at it again, Crock-Pottin’ away (my new favorite verb). SAM_4942

Lately, I’ve been using it a lot to create tasty soups. I’ve blogged about this before, lots actually, that I love making big portions of soup.

Yes, this sort of goes against my single-serving approach, but it’s the one kind of cuisine I (1) can’t get enough of, and (2) one that I actually like having as leftovers. Why go against my usual routine? Because soups freeze so well. They almost never taste like leftovers.

Here’s what I do: After making a big batch of soup, I portion the remaining soup out to mason jars and old glass salsa jars I’ve saved. I like to freeze in glass because it’s more sustainable, reheats well, and freezing glass doesn’t break down chemical compounds as plastic containers do. So anytime I need a quick lunch-on-the-go, I grab one from the freezer in the morning, let it thaw throughout the day (leading up to lunch), and then heat it right in the glass jar. It’s kind of fun eating soup from a little glass jar, but you can always pour it into a bowl if you don’t get a kick out of that like I do.SAM_4947

So to make this very easy Crock-Pot soup, here’s what you need and need to do:

Ingredients
4 cups water
2 cans cream of chicken (or mushroom or celery) soup
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (10 oz.)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or -10 oz. bag)
1 t garlic pepper seasoning
1.5 cups dried egg or rotini noodlesSAM_4952

Directions
-Turn the Crock-Pot on low if you have time to let it cook for 6-8 hours, high if you only have 3-4 hours.
-Stir in water, then condensed soup until well blended.
-Add in chicken, vegetables, and seasoning. Cover and cook.
-About 20-30 minutes before serving, add in the dry noodles. If you’re using the low setting, switch now to high. Serve once noodles are tender.

CrockPot Sesame Chicken

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Nothing was sweeter than the look on my dad’s face.SAM_4521

“You made this in that CrockPot? This is good.

He was so surprised. And that was the point.

I’ve written about this before, but one of my favorite things about cooking is cooking for my loved ones, especially my dad. The man is a laborer, been one his whole life. He works hard, and unfortunately, most of his suppers aren’t up to caliber in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge him for living off venison tacos and Little Ceasar’s $5 Hot-and-Ready pizzas (he is, after all, a bachelor and loving it), but I think he deserves something better. Something more satisfying. Something healthful.SAM_4513

So I made him this recipe, CrockPot Honey Sesame Chicken from The Comfort of Cooking. My dad doesn’t like anything very sweet though, so I scaled that back quite a bit and modified it for two very big servings.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1.33 pounds)

Salt and pepper SAM_4515

1/3 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

2 packets stevia

1/4 cup ketchup

3 T low-sodium soy sauce

1 T olive oil

1 dash of red pepper flakes

1 T cornstarchSAM_4518

2 cups brown rice, optional

1-2 cups fresh cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) or carrots

1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds

3 scallions or celery, chopped

Directions

-Begin by heating CrockPot to low. Slice chicken into smaller pieces, almost shredding (but into larger chunks). Season lightly with pepper and salt and let the cooking begin in the CrockPot.

-Meanwhile sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft and golden brown. Transfer to a medium bowl.

-In the medium bowl, start mixing in the stevia, soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Drizzle over chicken.

-Cook the chicken on high for about 1.5 hours or on low for 3 to 4. You can add a tablespoon or so of water if the chicken begins to dry out. Stir occasionally.

-Once cooked through and well-marinated, the chicken is ready to be served in pieces or can be shredded. I served mine over brown rice and veggies, which I cooked separately to keep the flavors from merging together too much. But you could add in the rice and veggies an hour or so in (plus 1/3 cup water to cook the rice).

-When finished, season with sesame seeds and top with scallions (for flavor) or celery (for crunch).

Serve warm over a bed of rice, and if you like you can sprinkle a little ginger on top because it’s oh so good for you, too!