Friday, December 27, 2019

Creamy Chicken Sausage Soup

Every year, instead of buying my coworkers Christmas gifts, I make them lunch. It is always a huge hit! This year I made this amazing tortellini soup from Pinch of Yum. It was amazing, all my coworkers wanted the recipe, and we lived happily ever after.

Ever since, I have been craving the creamy, slightly spicy red sauce. However, my pants do not support eating tortellini every day forever and I've been dabbling in lower-carb, higher-fat eating lately. I basically replaced the tortellini with chicken, but tried to keep the spices the same. Here's what I came up with.

What you need:
(I'm all about options so list a few possibilities. However, when I calculate nutrition values, I enter what I used, so if you adjust the recipe, keep that in mind!)

  • 10 oz turkey sausage, or 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 celery slices, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 t. Italian seasoning (I used 1 teaspoon since turkey sausage isn't as flavorful as Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. fennel, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1/2 C almond flour, or any flour
  • 4 C chicken stock
  • 2-3 chicken breasts or your favorite part, mine weighed in at 1 lb 9 oz
  • a huge handful of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 C half and half or heavy cream

What to do:
These are instant pot directions but you could do it all on the stovetop, or start on the stove and move to a crockpot.
  1. Use the saute function on your pressure cooker, or a large frying pan on the stove on medium-high heat. Saute the sausage in a bit of olive oil. Break it up well. The sausages I was using were a little stubborn so I pulled them out to chop up a little after they were browned.
  2. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and saute for several minutes until soft. 
  3. Add garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, fennel, and tomato paste. Saute for a minute while stirring.
  4. Add wine and stir
  5. Add flour and stir
  6. Add broth and chicken. Switch to "slow cooker" and set for 6 hours. *see below if cooking on stovetop or slow cooker instead of pressure cooker.**
  7. Pull chicken out and shred or cut into chunks, depending on your preference. 
  8.  After the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat or switch to "keep warm" and add the half and half and spinach. Stir to combine and serve!

For slow cooker: follow steps 1-6 on stovetop, then transfer mixture to slow cooker before adding broth & chicken. I'd guess 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, but haven't tested this. If you do, let me know how it turns out! Do steps 7-8 when chicken is done. 

Stovetop: follow all directions, turn down to low heat and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add half and half and spinach at the end of cooking. 

Makes about 9 servings of 1.5 cups. Nutrition info
Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 268
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g18 %
Saturated Fat 5 g25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 88 mg29 %
Sodium 816 mg34 %
Potassium 343 mg10 %
Total Carbohydrate 15 g5 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g11 %
Sugars 8 g
Protein 25 g49 %
Vitamin A114 %
Vitamin C53 %
Calcium17 %
Iron7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Creamy Chicken & Veggie Spaghetti Squash-Instant Pot

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Crockpot Turkey Red Lentil Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry/Stew

The name of this recipe is a real mouthful but I don't want to leave anything out! Inspired by, this is oh-so-good comfort food. If it would ever start FEELING like winter here in Denver, this is perfect to warm you up. I didn't know it would be blog-worthy when I made it so didn't take pictures along the way, whoops.

What you need:
-1/2 butternut squash, peeled and seeded. I only cut mine into 3 giant chunks because cooking it disintegrates it!
-1 lb. ground turkey
-1 chopped onion
-a couple chopped garlic cloves
-1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1.5 cups of red lentils, rinsed
-3 C broth of your choice (I actually used 2 C of broth and 1 C light beer...)
-curry powder: I used about 2 T regular curry powder and maybe 2 t. hot madras curry powder-it wasn't spicy at all. I'll add more next time.
-1 can coconut milk
-cilantro and sour cream/Greek yogurt to top, optional

What to do:

  • Brown up ground turkey and onions; cooking thoroughly isn't necessary
  • add all other ingredients to crockpot except coconut milk and cilantro/sour cream. Add ground turkey/onion mixture on top. 
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours. You'll know it's done when the lentils and squash are all falling apart. Stir well to ensure the squash is well disintegrated and mixed in.
  • Add coconut milk, serve, and garnish if preferred. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

When you're sick, nothing but chicken noodle soup will do! I even braved Costco on a Saturday when I realized I was out of chicken.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • optional: chopped mushrooms and/or 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 1/2 t dried parsley (or fresh if you have it!)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • a dash of oregano
  • 4 oz noodles of your choice-egg noodles are traditional

What to do:

  1. Salt some water in a small pot and throw the chicken breasts in to simmer. 
  2. While they're simmering, chop all those veggies!
  3. Put a drizzle of oil into a deep pot or dutch oven and put in the onions. After a couple minutes, add the carrots, celery, and garlic.
  4. While those simmer, remove the chicken out of the water  to cool. Then pour chicken water through a mesh strainer and add the water to the pot, with some "better than boullion" or boullion cubes. That gave me about 2 cups of liquid, so I added 2 more cups from a box. 
  5. Dice chicken and add to pot.
  6. Add mushrooms and peppers if using, thyme, parsley, pepper, and oregano. Don't add salt until you taste it, because the stock contains salt and may be enough for you. 
  7. If you want to let it all simmer for awhile, feel free. Check your pasta directions, put in the pot, and cover with broth if needed. I added 2 more cups of stock to the original 4 cups. Simmer according to package directions, probably 10-15 minutes, and remove from heat. Taste and add salt/pepper if desired, and serve!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hot Spiced Cider

Today is a snow day! I always have one or two things cooking when the weather turns cold. This one doubles as an air freshener for your whole house. Whenever I search my blog to see if I've posted a recipe I want to make again, I know it's a winner!

Hot Spiced Cider-Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple cider (I actually bought apple juice because it had lower sugar)
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • cinnamon candy-red hots were unavailable so I got cinnamon jolly ranchers and put in about 8
  • 12 whole cloves 
What to do:
Put it all into a medium to large size pot. If you have cheesecloth you can certainly use that, I just throw everything in and fish it out with a slotted spoon when I'm done! Let it sit on the stove on low all day, or sip/serve to the kids when they come in. You can certainly add water, as some recipes recommend (up to a quart), but I like it the way it is.

If I were an adult, trapped with a bunch of small people home from school and acting all crazy and cooped up, I might possibly splash in some Fireball for myself. Just saying. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Turkey Bean Green Chili “Enchilada" Casserole

Turkey Green Chili "Enchilada" Casserole

Inspired by  I first got the idea to use green chilis instead of tortillas from Kalyn’s Kitchen…it’s healthier, easier to skip all the rolling, plus those tortillas get so soggy in leftovers. I’m sick to death of shredded chicken, so I changed it up, but check out her recipe if that sounds good. It kind of took a long time and made a fair amount of dirty dishes, so plan accordingly. I’m in love with the result!

2 (15 oz.) cans mild or medium green chili enchilada sauce
1 package (1.25 lb.) ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 can of beans of your choice, drained (optional)
27-Ounce Can of whole green chilies,
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 small can sliced olives (optional)

  1. Pour the cans of green chili sauce into a small saucepan and simmer on low so it reduces, stirring occasionally. This takes some time so start it first.
  2. Brown ground turkey in a large pan in a little bit of non-stick spray or oil. Drain, then add onions. After a few minutes, add garlic and cumin. After a few more minutes, add drained beans and turn off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and drain the green chilis. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Take half of the green chilis, open up, and use fingers to slide off the seeds and extra water, and make a layer in the bottom of your pan. Top with half of the turkey/bean mixture.
  4. Add sour cream and cream cheese to the reduced green chili sauce. Mine stayed a little lumpy, but I didn’t stress out since it got baked anyway-it wasn’t noticeable!
  5. Put half of the sauce on top of the turkey, as well as half of the cheese and olives, if using.
  6. Layer the other half of the green chilis, turkey mix, sauce, cheese, and olives on each other. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered at 375. Feel free to turn on the broiler for the last couple minutes for a nice brown topping! Let sit for a few minutes before cutting. 
  7. Top with cilantro and serve.

This will serve 6-8. I didn’t even miss the tortillas!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Quickie Weeknight Wonton Soup

It's Monday night. I was hungry. I threw some things together without a recipe or prior research, and I like how it turned out! I'm recording it here for the next time I'm struck with a similar whim. This is an easy recipe to play with, use what you
have on hand! I think the only necessities are some sort of broth and the wontons; I was determined to use what I had on hand and not run to the grocery store!

Serves 2-3

  • 3 C broth of your choice
  • 1/2 cooked chicken breast (between 1/2-1 C) shredded, omit or sub with tofu if vegetarian
  • 1 t minced garlic or about 3 cloves, minced
  • a dash of seasoning salt
  • 3 large mushrooms, sliced thinly, 1/4 bell pepper, chopped into small pieces, other vegetables that would work are peas and bok choy
  • a dash of soy sauce
  • a dash of red wine or rice wine vinegar
  • rice or ramen noodles, if desired
  • about 8 frozen wontons (mine are tiny and only take 1-2 minutes to cook-check your bag for instructions)
  • green onions or dried scallions

To Do:
This is super easy but it helps to read cooking instructions for noodles, if you use them, and wontons. I added all ingredients before the noodles in order and heated to a simmer. My noodles needed 5 minutes and my wontons 1-2--so I added the noodles and set a timer for 3 minutes, then added the wontons and scallions, and set a timer for 2 minutes-that's it! Done!