Inside Out Cabbage Roll Soup – Crockpot

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I’m late to the “get bikini ready” party. It is the end of June and I’m just now starting to worry about eating healthier, exercising more and ultimately looking decent this summer. Better late than never I always say! I was unsure of this soup at first because I am not a huge fan of cabbage unless it is in colcannon on St. Patrick’s Day. However I needed something to start me off right and everyone raves over cabbage soup. I have to say this recipe took me by surprise. It had a great flavor that was not overpowered by the cabbage. Also, my apartment did not stink as the cabbage cooked either which was a fear of mine. I was pleased with how easy and tasty this recipe ended up being. We had many meals, lunches and dinners, out of one batch. This recipe will make it into our soup rotation for sure! The original recipe can be found at http://www.sugarfreemom.com, but I did modify the ingredients a bit. I halved the amount of ground beef and upped the amount of veggies.

Serves: 9-12     Calories: about 290 per serving    Time: 3.5 hours on high or 6.5 hours on low

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 16 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, riced
  • 8 cups of beef broth
  • 1 large head of cabbage

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil over high heat and sauté until soft.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant
  3. Add the seasonings, cauliflower and marinara sauce to the beef and mix until combined.
  4. Add beef broth, cabbage, and beef mixture to your crockpot. Stir until combined
  5. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com

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Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Noodle Soup

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With Football season upon us I think it is appropriate that I post a “game day buffalo chicken something” recipe. This is a great dish for game day because it doesn’t require a lot of fuss and will feed all your footballers. Be warned, that with everything else buffalo chicken, this soup is ADDICTING! It has a great spicy bite with tender shredded chicken and fill-your-belly veggies/egg noodles. This soup is so easy to throw together and such a pleasure to enjoy with family and friends! We love this recipe and cannot wait to make it again!

Serves: 10   Calories: 255 per serving    Prep time: approximately 30 minutes   Cook time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 12 oz buffalo sauce
  • 6 cups of chicken broth, I used reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion, chicken, buffalo sauce, and chicken broth to the crock pot. Cook on low for 3 1/2 hours.
  2. Add the egg noodles, raise the temperature to high, and cook for a half hour.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts, shred them and return them to the crock pot
  4. Turn off the crock pot and stir in the heavy cream.
  5. Serve hot and GO TEAM! 😉

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.wineandglue.com 

CrockPot Cheesy Burger Soup – ★★★★★

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It’s that lovely time of year when pintrest is FILLED with seasonal soup/stew recipes. I came across this fantastic recipe from http://www.familyfreshmeals.com and knew it would be my first soup of the season. Seriously, who wouldn’t love a cheeseburger inspired soup? My family loved it and I am certain we will be making it a few more times before winter is over. The flavor was described as “creamy cheeseburger.” Everyone had seconds and we still have left overs for lunch. Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

This soup can only be improved upon with a hot roll accompaniment. The flavor was excellent with a silky broth and hearty meat/veggies. I like that Kels cooked the bacon separately and added it as a garnish because it added a nice crunch. I don’t enjoy soggy bacon, no matter how much flavor it is supposed to add. I think next time I will suggest warm bread and a bleu cheese crumble topping. Five stars for this soup!”  

NOTE: Since we’ve moved back to Pennsylvania I have the added adventure of trying to tailor my recipes to fit my parents’ dietary needs. My dad is diabetic which is why you will now see Carb values, and my mom is doing weight watchers which is why you will now see the PointsPlus values. I hope these extra calculations I’m providing will help not only my parents but also anyone else who clicks on this blog with dietary needs. That being said, I am aware this is a “high carb”/”high points” recipe. Please, please, please change ingredients as you see fit. Substitute turkey for beef, turkey bacon for regular bacon, low fat cheese for shredded cheese, etc… I am making it as close to the original for the first time to gauge taste so in the future I can substitute things and see what I can change without sacrificing too much flavor. 

Serves: 8+  Calories: 448 per serving  Carbs: 39.5g per serving  WW PointsPlus Value: 13 points per serving

Prep Time: 30 min  Cook time: 7 hr (low)  Total Time: 7hr 30m

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups of white potatoes, cubed
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp back pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled to garnish (reserving a little bit of the grease to stir in for flavor)

Directions:

  1. Sautee onions over medium high heat. Before they start to become translucent add your ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink in the middle.
  2. Add the onion/beef mixture to your crockpot along with the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, celery, carrots, potatoes, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Stir to mix the ingredients in together.
  3. Cook on low for 7 hours
  4. Before cooking time is up, fry up the bacon reserving a bit of the grease. Also, mix together the milk and flour until there are no lumps in the mixture. Add the bacon grease, flour/milk mixture, and shredded cheese.
  5. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted
  6. Spoon a healthy serving into bowls, garnish with bacon and anything else you would garnish your burger with
  7. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe found at http://www.familyfreshmeals.com

Pineapple Teriyaki Slow Cooked Beef – ★★★★★

ImageWe are quickly approaching the first day of winter, and if you have not already broken out your slow cooker I recommend you do it now. Literally stop reading this and dust off your crockpot this instant! The chill has arrived and there is no better way to add  extra warmth to your home like the smell of a home-cooked meal. This recipe is so easy that I think even Perry could pull it off 😉 The flavor is perfect, but I have read reviews where people say that theirs came out too salty. Keep this in mind when you buy your teriyaki sauce. If they have low sodium or sweeter options for sauce I would go that route. I’ll let you in on a little trick I did to lessen the salty taste during the directions part of the recipe. Perry gave full stars and here is why:

“This dinner was just what I needed after a crappy day at work. I  could smell it cooking outside when I walked from my car to the apartment so I knew instantly  it would be a five star recipe. The flavor was explosive, and I say that because the pineapple slices were so juicy I almost couldn’t stop eating. I can not find fault with this recipe.”

Serves: 7+      Calories: 308.3      Time: 5-6 hours (high) / 7-8 hours (low)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 24 oz (two jars) teriyaki sauce (reduced sodium is best)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 20 oz can pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved
  • optional: toasted sesame seeds to top, rice/veggies to serve

Directions:

  1. Place beef in bottom of slow cooker (you can use frozen or unfrozen… We used unfrozen)
  2. Pour sauce and garlic overtop
  3. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. My slow cooker cooks extremely hot so it only took us like 4 hours on low. If your cooker also cooks hot just keep an eye on it.
  4. When you have 30 minutes of cooking left throw in the pineapple chunks.
  5. TIP 1: if you think your sauce is too salty add a little bit of brown sugar (tsp by tsp until you get desired taste.)
  6. TIP 2: Our sauce was thin and salty so what I did was I added 1 tsp brown sugar AND a mixture of 1 tsp corn starch to 2 tsp reserved pineapple juice. This thickened up the sauce and made it sweeter at the same time. Worked like a charm!
  7. Serve over rice or veggies of your choice
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from http://www.eatathomecooks.com

Crockpot Chicken Potpie – ★★★★★

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Its getting colder which means it’s about time to start making soups and stews in the crockpot. We’ve also been feeling a bit under the weather so I decided it was time for me to try my hand at chicken potpie. I stumbled on a gem of a recipe at allrecipes.com and was shocked to find out that you can make potpie in the crockpot. I changed so much of this recipe so I am adapting it as my own but want to give allrecipes credit for giving me the idea and the base. This is my dream recipe because it has little mess, little fuss, it is delicious and perfect for the chilly weather. Perry gave it five stars and this is why:

“I really liked this diner because it was creamy, full of veggies, and hit the spot after a long day of work. I think the best way to eat it is with the biscuit on the bottom with the soup poured overtop. Kelsey tried making it with the least amount of added salt so you may need to add a little if you like your soup salty like me. We had leftovers for a few days and it got better each day we reheated it.”

Serves:8           Calories:  263 (without biscuit)         Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, washed/ trimmed and cubed (about 1in cubes)
  • 2 bags mixed frozen vegetables (we used corn, peas and carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cans cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1 can cream of celery condensed soup
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • Biscuits

Directions:

  1. Combine everything but the frozen veggies in the crockpot. Cook on high for 5 hours
  2. Add the frozen veggies and cook for an additional hour.
  3. Serve with biscuits and enjoy!

*Idea adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers – ★★★★★

ImageI love my slow cooker especially being in school all morning and afternoon. I set it in the morning and come home to an apartment that smells amazing and get to give the family a good hearty meal. I found this recipe in a place I never EVER look… on the McCormick spice. I never trust an endorsed recipe to be that good but I went out on a whim and learned I should stop being such a recipe snob. This was a treat and I cannot wait to make it again. The sausage practically melted in my mouth and the sauce was not overly herbed taking away from the sausage and peppers. Perry gave it a whole ★★★★★ and this is why:

“Kels has been into making Asian dinners a lot lately so I was happy when she said she was making sausage and peppers. I envisioned a sub sandwich with links of sausage topped with peppers but should have known Kelsey would give me something completely different. I would describe this recipe as a meat sauce you could eat by the spoonful.. or at least that is what I did.”

Serves: 10     Calories: 310 per serving 

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. sweet italian sausage (if you get links cut into 1in. pieces if you get ground sausage crumble into 1in. chunks.)

– 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1in. thick

– 2-14.5oz cans of stewed tomatoes

– 2-6oz cans of tomato paste

– 1 package of McCormick’s slow cooker italian herb chicken seasoning

– 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch strips

– 1 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch strips

– Pasta or whatever you want to put the sausage and peppers on top of. We used gemili pasta.

Directions:

1.) Place all ingredients except pasta in your slow cooker. Toss to coat well and cover with lid.

2.) Cook for 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH

3.) Prepare whatever you want to serve with the sausage and peppers like pasta or a soft roll.

4.) Enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.mccormick.com

Mini Asian Meatballs – Party Pleaser!

Yesterday we went to a BBQ and signed up to bring an appetizer. My husband automatically said he wanted meatballs so I turned to the internet to find a recipe for cocktail meatballs. After looking for about an hour I found “the one.” This recipe does not take 5-8 hours in the crockpot (this was key because time was not on my side.) Also if you cook a lot of Asian style foods you probably have a lot of the ingredients in your cabinet. If you don’t have the ingredients however it will be a little more pricey initially but don’t fret because you can make a ton of great recipes with those same left over ingredients. These little morsels are very flavorful and extremely easy to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

For the meatballs:

-2 lbs. ground beef

-2 tsp. sesame oil

-1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I grated fresh ginger and did not used dried ginger)

-2 eggs

-3 tsp. minced garlic

-1/2 cup of sliced green onion (you want to slice these guys pretty thin)

-garnish (completely optional): sesame seeds lightly toasted in a pan over the oven.

Ingredients for Sauce:

– 2/3 cup of hoisin sauce (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1/4 cup of rice vinegar (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-2 garlic cloves minced

-2 tbsp. soy sauce (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1 tsp. sesame oil (oriential foods aisle at the grocery market)

-1tsp. ground ginger (once again I grated fresh ginger instead of using dried ground ginger)

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.) In a fairly large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs.

3.) Once combined roll the mixture into 1-in balls and place in a greased baking sheet. (Approx 30-40 balls)

4.) Bake 10-12 minutes until browned and not longer pink.

5.) While the meatballs are baking whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

6.) Drop baked meatballs into the sauce and fold the balls into sauce to coat.

7.) If you want to keep them warm (like I did) put the balls and sauce into a crockpot and turn to low/warm.

8.) Either have the sesame seed garnish in a separate bowl by the meatballs or dump them into the sauce and mix.

9.) Make tons of copies of this recipe to hand out to your friends who ask for it 🙂

**Photo is an original by me

**Original recipe was found at http://www.allrecipes.com