It’s Getting Chilly! Get your Crockpots Going!

It’s that time of year again.  The weather is cooling, the leaves are falling, and kids are back to school and the rush is on.

I have been getting asked a lot lately about some ideas to add more variety, flavor and a lot more vegetables to for a hearty meal.  Here are a few versions of my quick favorites!  Packed with flavor, veggies, and the best part…the crock pot does all the cooking! Challenge yourself to get creative with spices and types of vegetables.  If it can be chopped up, it very well may be added to these soups!

Version One Tomato Soup (Spicy):
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage cooked (chicken can work here too, but we like to change up the meat and spice a bit with the chorizo)
  • 1 box of the Pacific Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
  • 1 can of spicy black beans
  • unlimited amounts of kale spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, cabbage, or other tasty vegetable.
  • Can add fresh garlic cilantro, oregano, and if you are bold, a splash of chipotle powder!
Instructions
  1. Either cook on stove or throw in the crock pot for 4-6 hours on low
  2. Garnish with fresh avocado
Version Two Tomato Soup (more mild):
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 box of the Pacific Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
  • 1 can white cannellini beans or other favorite white bean
  • unlimited amounts of kale spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, cabbage, or other tasty vegetable.
  • Can add fresh garlic cilantro, and oregano
Instructions
  1. Cook on stove top or throw in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low
  2. Garnish with avocado
Version Three: Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 box of the Pacific brand Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 can of your favorite white bean; kidney cannellini, etc
  • unlimited amounts of kale spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, or other tasty vegetable.
  • Add some fresh garlic fresh or powdered ginger, splash of cinnamon and nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cook on stove top or throw in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low
  2. Garnish with avocado

ENJOY!!!

You could also add brown rice or quinoa to any of these soups to make them a little more filling with good fiber.  This would be especially good for those busy kids or your athletes who are burning a lot of calories.

Your kids ‘picky eaters?’  Hand them a knife, ask them to help and get their input!  No chef is ever too young to start in the kitchen!  Add some spices, chop some zucchini, get them involved in decision making.  What mom or dad wouldn’t love an answer to “What’s for dinner?”  Another trick:  Ask your whole family to try everything one time.  If the response is they don’t like it, ask WHAT they don’t like about it?  Spicy, mooshy, crunchy, peppery, sour, bitter?  Label the dislike and come up with an action or solution to make it better next time.  First few times we tried spaghetti squash my kids didn’t like it.  But, talking it through it was just “too crunchy” and I didn’t cook it long enough.  Problem solved!

I’ve been honest with my kids since the beginning about their bodies and minds.  Food is nutrition.  Nutrition is good health.  Good health is vital to grow to be a great person.  We want to be great people! Yes, I’ve made some not so good recipes, and there are many we have said “Don’t make that again, but low and behold I have, just different!  Spices can be a chefs best friend with adding variety to a heavily laden diet of meats and veggies.

I would love to hear your input, what you’ve tried or what works for you!

 

Posted in News, Recipes.