Fall Chicken Chili (With Beans and Butternut Squash)

Interesting combo, right?!  But stinking hearty, filling, and ooooooooh so delicious!  I actually made this months ago, but didn’t get a chance to post it until butternut squash was out of season.  So I have been waiting for SO long to post this bad boy!!  Well guess what folks?!  Butternut squash is back in the produce section!  And there is a chill in the air (as much as I hate to admit it), which makes it the perfect time to revisit this beauty.  Are you ready?!  I’m ready!!  Let’s do this!!

This is adapted from a lovely book my sweet brother and sister-in-law got me for my birthday!!  It’s called The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook!  Check it out, there are countless wonderful recipes in it!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled, cooked, and cubed (I’ll give you some help with that if you need)  Alternately, I believe you can purchase pre cubed (possibly pre cooked?) winter squash.  That works too!
  • 2 1/2 C White or Black Beans, Simmered until starting to soften (Or from a can if you want.  I am a firm believer in dried beans :D)
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Fresh Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Lg Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Small Can Diced Green Chiles

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prep your squash:
  3. This step is optional.  Butternut squash can be very difficult to cut through, so I read somewhere if you pierce it and microwave it for a few minutes, it helps it become more tender and easier to slice into.  I opted to try that way, but if you have more muscles you can skip that step 😉
  4. Chop of the ends and cut it in half to make it more manageable.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, peel down until the white is gone and you are left with orange flesh.  It may take a few swipes on each spot because winter squash has very thick skin.
  6. Cut open and remove seeds, then cut into cubes!!
  7. Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until starting to soften and brown.  They are going in to a crock pot to simmer so they don’t have to be completely tender.
  8. While you are waiting for your squash, melt 2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in your chicken breasts (after you salt and pepper them lightly) and sear 2-3 minutes per side, just so you get a good dark brown color.
  9. Toss them into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
  10. Melt the other Tbsp of Coconut Oil into the cast iron skillet and turn down to medium.  Add onion and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring so that you scrape up the bits of browned chicken off the bottom of the skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or so.
  11. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until combined and the smell of the seasonings is released.
  12. Dump onion mixture on top of the chicken breasts.
  13. Add squash, beans, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and tomatoes to crock pot.  Cover and cook, preferably on low for 8 hours.
  14. After 8 hours, fish out the chicken breasts and remove them to a plate.  Shred with two forks and stir back into the chili so everything is evenly combined.

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Black Bean Squash Chili 1This step is optional.  Butternut squash can be very difficult to cut through, so I read somewhere if you pierce it and microwave it for a few minutes, it helps it become more tender and easier to slice into.  I opted to try that way, but if you have more muscles you can skip that step 😉

Black Bean Squash Chili 2Chop of the ends and cut it in half to make it more manageable.

Black Bean Squash Chili 3Using a vegetable peeler, peel down until the white is gone and you are left with orange flesh.  It may take a few swipes on each spot because winter squash has very thick skin.

Black Bean Squash Chili 4Cut open and remove seeds, then cut into cubes!!

Black Bean Squash Chili 5See?  Pretty little cubes!!!

Black Bean Squash Chili 6Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until starting to soften and brown.  They are going in to a crock pot to simmer so they don’t have to be completely tender.

Black Bean Squash Chili 7While you are waiting for your squash, melt 2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in your chicken breasts (after you salt and pepper them lightly) and sear 2-3 minutes per side, just so you get a good dark brown color.

Black Bean Squash Chili 10Toss them into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.

Black Bean Squash Chili 8Melt the other Tbsp of Coconut Oil into the cast iron skillet and turn down to medium.  Add onion and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring so that you scrape up the bits of browned chicken off the bottom of the skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or so.

Black Bean Squash Chili 9Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until combined and the smell of the seasonings is released.

Black Bean Squash Chili 11Dump onion mixture on top of the chicken breasts.

Black Bean Squash Chili 12Add squash, beans, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and tomatoes to crock pot.  Cover and cook, preferably on low for 8 hours.

Black Bean Squash Chili 13After 8 hours, fish out the chicken breasts and remove them to a plate.  Shred with two forks and stir back into the chili so everything is evenly combined.

Black Bean Squash Chili 14Yummy in my tummy!  All the different textures in this were fantastic, and super comforting.  I could go for a bowl right now in fact, if I hadn’t just stuffed my face without Southwester Turkey Meatballs.  Yeah.  That’s a recipe you get to look forward to!!  But for now, make this gorgeous soup, curl up with a blankie…and thank me later.  😉

 

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Surprising Chicken Bake!

Why the title, you ask?  Because when I saw the original of this recipe and looked over the ingredient list, I thought…”this sounds really weird.  I never would have put those ingredients together.”  But the picture was so pretty.  So I had to try it…Feeding Mr. Rodgers style!  And so I planned a tweak here and a twist there, threw it all together (which seriously came together a lot faster than I ever would have guessed!)…and hoped for the best.

Pulled it out of the oven 40 minutes or so later and it was gorgeous!!  Dumped some on top of a steaming pile of quinoa, bit into it, and melted!  And get this!  I have tried to cook with zucchini before, usually grilled because my mamma raised me eating grilled zucchini and I love it!  Well Mr. Rodgers does not share that passion.  I figured that out pretty fast.  When it comes to cooked zucchini, he is NOT a fan!  Well after a few bites of this, a few approving “mmmm’s” and thoughtful moments…he said the words I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth.  “I REALLY like the zucchini in this!”  HOLD THE PHONE!  This recipe must be something special if it made a believer out of him!  😛

So let’s get down to it!  Adapted from myfoodreligion.com!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half (like tenders)
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced into approximately 1 inch thick rounds
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

And here’s how you do it:  (Really, it’s easy, but looks fancy.  If you know me, you know that is my favorite kind of meal!!)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get everything prepped…sliced and minced and opened and such.
  3. Lay your cut chicken breasts in a single layer at the bottom of a 9 X 13 (or comparable) baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.
  4. Take your zucchini rounds and lay them in a single layer on top of the chicken, then propped up around the sides if you have enough.  Confused?  Scroll down to my pictures.  Obviously you don’t have to do it exactly how I did…but it sure did turn out purdy!
  5. Take a large bowl and dump in your two cans (diced tomatoes and coconut milk).  Add dried herbs and minced garlic  and stir until combined.  It will be a faint pink color.
  6. Dump the mixture over the zucchini/chicken layers.
  7. Layer the asparagus on top in a single layer.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan if you so desire!  I did it on half to try it both ways…it was delicious both!!!
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked (if you want to make sure, you can probably stab a meat thermometer down until it pierces the chicken, and make sure it is at 165*), asparagus is tender, and the rest is bubbly, browned, and delicious looking.
  10. Serve on top of a pile of hot steaming quinoa and spoon some of the saucy deliciousness over top.  Now take a bite and be as amazed and surprised and Mr. Rodgers and I were!!  Yaaaaay healthy gorgeous one pan meal wonderfulness!

Peectures!

Chicken Bake 1.5Rinse and prep your veggies!  Pop the ends off of your asparagus, and slice your zucchini in about inch-thick rounds.

Chicken Bake 1Cut your chicken breasts in half, like tenders.  Lay them in a single layer across the bottom of your baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.

Chicken Bake 2Lay a single layer of zucchini rounds on top of the chicken.  Make a border around the edge with the zucchini as well.

Chicken Bake 3Open your cans!!

Chicken Bake 5Dump them in a bowl with the herbs and spices.

Chicken Bake 6Stir until combined.

Chicken Bake 7Dump over top of the zucchini/chicken layers…

Chicken Bake 8Layer on the asparagus…sprinkle with parmesan if you are going that route.

Chicken Bake 9Slide into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until chicken is cooked, edges are browned, and asparagus is tender….

Chicken Bake 10Doesn’t that look yummy?!

Chicken Bake 11I can’t believe how fantastic it turned out!!!

Chicken Bake 12Doesn’t that look tasty?!  It was.  😀  Try it!!  Let me know!!

Apple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

YUMMYYYY!  I made this on the same night as a salmon main dish.  After Mr. Rodgers had cleared his plate, he asked for seconds.  Of the Brussels Sprouts.  Yeah.  You know you made something special when the husband asks for more of the Brussels Sprouts instead of the salmon.  Seriously.  That’s cray cray.

I loved this too, because it was so super healthy, with the perfect twist of smoky, sweet, and acidic!  Yummy!  I love it when eating well tastes super delicious!  You all know my theory on veggies…if you don’t like them, it’s probably because you don’t know how to make them shine!!!  In one of my former Brussels Sprouts posts I had a whole paragraph about how Brussels Sprouts are like women.  It was comical.  And really deep.  😛

So, here’s what you need:

  • 4 Pints Brussels Sprouts (1 Carton)
  • 3-4 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • 1 Apple, Chopped into cubes
  • Fresh Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Red Wine Vinegar

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Rinse, trim, and chop Brussels in half.
  3. Chop bacon into small strips.  Lay them out on a cookie sheet and slide into the oven.  Cook until just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove bacon from cookie sheet and set aside.  Spread Brussels sprouts out on the same cookie sheet, salt and pepper, and slide back into the oven.  Cook until starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add apple and toss a bit, slide back into the oven.  Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle bacon back on, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, sprinkle with red wine vinegar, and toss.  Taste and adjust to your preference.  🙂
  8. Enjoy!!

What do you think?!  Brussels sprouts with bacon?!  Worth a try?  You won’t regret it! 🙂

Preheat oven to 425*  Cut bacon into small strips.  Spread out in a single layer and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Apple Bacon Brussels 1Lay Brussels out on same cookie sheet.  Salt and pepper.  Roast Brussels until starting to brown.  About 10 minutes.

Apple Cabbage Brussels 2Add apple and toss.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Apple Cabbage Brussels 3Sprinkle bacon back on, and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Everything should be browned and tender!

Apple Cabbage Brussels 4Yummy!!!  Remove to a bowl, sprinkle with red wine vinegar and stir.  Taste and adjust.

Now, serve!!

Apple Cabbage Brussels 5Hallelujah!

Salmon and Avocado 6 Apple Bacon Brussels

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 2: Chipotle Turkey Burgers

The beauty of a can of chipotle peppers!!!  As I discussed in my Black Bean Chicken Tacos post, I have recently started using chipotle peppers more often!  And as I have done so, a few revelations came along with it:  1) Chipotle peppers are potent, and you usually only need one for a whole recipe.  2) If you only need one chipotle pepper for a whole recipe…then a tiny little can of these beasts can be the inspiration for four, five, maybe even six meals!!!  How crazy is that?!  And they’re like…what…a dollar per can?!  Yowza!!  So I am on a mission to help you discover what meals you can use your little can of chipotle peppers on!!!  Here’s number two…ready, go!!!

These burgers had a fantastic flavor.  A nice kick of heat, with the smoky flavor of the peppers, the sweet crunch of the grilled corn, and the classic feel of the black beans.  It’s just…wonderful!  So, enough talking about it, let’s get down to it!!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1/4 C Red Onion, Minced
  • 1/4 C Grilled Corn
  • 1/2 C Black Beans, Rinsed (Soaked and cooked if you are using dry)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

And here’s how you do it!!!!

  1. So…for my corn, I had left over ears that we had grilled for a friend’s birthday party a few days before.  I just sliced it off the ear.  It was a great flavor addition, but you can use any other kind of corn if you want!!  Chop and mince all your veggies!
  2. Combine it all in a bowl!!
  3. Combine it with your hands, and form into four patties.  Make an indentation in the middle of each.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Melt a small amount of butter or coconut oil in the bottom, and gently drop the patties into it.
  5. Cook about 7 minutes, and flip.  Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through and browned.
  6. Serve on a bed of lettuce, or a nice whole grain roll.  Great with salsa and/or guacamole!! Enjoy!

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 1Prep your veggies!!

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 2Toss it all in a bowl!!!

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 3Use your hands to combine, and form into four patties.  Make an indent in the middle of each patty.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 4Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and melt a small amount of butter or coconut oil in the bottom.  Carefully drop in your patties.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, so that patties are cooked through and browned.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 5See?

Chipotle Turkey Burgers 6Serve hot on a bed of lettuce or a nice whole grain roll…with a side of salsa or guacamole!!

Spiced Salmon With Avocado “Salsa”

I haven’t had salmon in so long.  I missed it!  TABBY LOVES SALMON!!   However, I have never had it like this!  It was kind of fun for a change!  I knew my husband would like it because it has cumin on it….Mr. Rodgers loves the cumin flavor!  I don’t even know if he could tell you that it is cumin that he loves.  But it is!  I go through bottles of it like crazyl.  Anyways, even better is the fact that it has avocados on top!!  I think everyone loves avocados!

 

Adapted from laylita.com.  Awesome recipe from an awesome blog!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs salmon
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 *generous* tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Avocado, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Small Red Onion, or about 1/4 of a Large One (You can kind of tell by how the salsa looks)
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, Finely Minced
  • Juice from 1 to 1 1/2 Limes
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Little Squirt of agave if you want to cut the tartness.  Optional. 🙂
  • Handful Cilantro, Chopped
  • Salt to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Combine the dry spices in a small bowl.  Rub the salmon with olive oil and season it with the spice mixture.  Stick it in the fridge and let it “marinate” it for about 30 minutes.  Let those seasonings soak in!
  2. Preheat your oven or grill.  I used my oven because we are out of propane.  It was moist and tender, but would be great on the grill too!
  3. Prep your veggies!!  Put them in a bowl with the lime juice and olive oil and very carefully combine.  My avocado was quite ripe so I opted to use my hands to make sure I didn’t end up with guacamole. 😉  Salt to taste…and make sure to taste and adjust!  Add agave if it is too tart for you!  Put it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  4. Cook your fish!  I cooked mine at 350* for 15-20 minutes in the oven.  🙂
  5. Put a slab of fish on your plate, and spoon some wonderful avocado salsa on top!!  Now spoon the flakey fish goodness into your mouth, with the creamy avocado and tangy lime…with just a tiny kick from the Serrano!!  Yes, yes, it is true…you will love this!!

 

Peectures!

Salmon and Avocado 1Season your salmon!!  Place it in the fridge to let the flavors set in!

Salmon and Avocado 3Make your “salsa” while you wait!  Slice everything, put it in a bowl, and mix with salt, lime, and olive oil.  Don’t forget your cilantro!

Salmon and Avocado 2

Take your fish out!  Doesn’t that look yummy?!l

Salmon and Avocado 4Top with some avocado salsa!!

Salmon and Avocado 5Yummy yummy yummy!

Salmon and Avocado 6 Apple Bacon Brussels

Octoberfest Roasted Chicken

Yes, you read that right!  The time for fine fall lagers is here!  Rejoice!  😉  However, being a bit of a beer pansy myself (I have only finished a bottle maybe once!) I don’t get to enjoy them as much as my dear Mr. Rodgers.  But that has now all changed!  Because I just created an Octoberfest Chicken.   And it was delicious.  And simple.  Beer.  Chicken.   What more could you want?!  And the great thing is…if you are only cooking for a few…this is the perfect base for an amazing chicken soup!!!  The season for soups is here too!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 5 lb(ish) Whole Chicken
  • McCormick Mesquite Chicken Seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Carrots, Peeled and Sliced
  • 10 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 3 Stalks Celery, Sliced (Optional)
  • 1 C Samuel Adams Octoberfest

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Rinse your chicken thoroughly and make sure there are no goodies waiting in the cavity.
  2. Pat dry and rub with butter.  Cover generously with McCormick seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Check out my pictures…I put quite a bit on there!
  3. Prep your veggies!  Stuff some in the cavity, and arrange them around and under the chicken.
  4. Pour the Octoberfest over the chicken and veggies and cook according to package directions!!
  5. Serve on top a pile of hot steamy quinoa!

 

Octoberfest Chicken 1Rinse your chicken and make sure there aren’t any “surprises” in the cavity.  Rub with the butter.  Cover it generously with Mesquite Chicken Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper.  I mean, really…look at my picture.  I covered that birdie.  Chop your veggies, and stuff some in the cavity, and all around and under the bird.  Pour the Octoberfest over it.  You are ready to cook!  Follow the directions on your package to make sure it gets cooked through.  It will probably say something like “Cook for 30 minutes at 425…then for 45 more at 350.”  Something along those lines!  Keep your thermometer on hand just in case!

Octoberfest Chicken 3Oh, also…it helps to spoon some of the juices on top now and then as it cooks.

Octoberfest Chicken 2Yummmmm!  The veggies soak up the flavor so well…that one of the first things my husband said was “the carrots are really good!”   Here he is…being a weirdo…and showing his excitement to eat chicken that was cooked in BEER.

Octoberfest ChickenQuite the weirdo.  I wouldn’t have him any other way, haha.  Love him.

Octoberfest Chicken 5Yummy yummy yummy!

Octoberfest Chicken 4EAT ME!!!!  Best served over a pile of steaming hot quinoa!!