Chorizo Butternut Black Bean Soup

How’s that for a title, eh?!  And that isn’t even mentioning the leek, or cabbage, or garlic…this soup is just CRAMMED with good stuff.

 

This soup also makes me laugh.  You want to know why?  Well…it came out of this beautiful book (I don’t think I’ve showed you this one yet, also from my favorite store 5 Below…which means I probably paid $4 for the thing!)

 

100 Best Fresh Soups

(If you are interested in it and don’t have a 5 Below, it’s on Amazon, I just checked!)

Anyways, back to my laughing…you see, I SAY this recipe came out of that book…but it was originally Sausage and Red Cabbage Soup…with potatoes and black eyed peas and cream…

Then one thing led to another…and now it is nothing like the original!  But I must still give credit, because this beautiful soup never would have happened without the inspiration of this lovely little book!

It started with the potatoes… Mr. Rodgers can’t have potatoes!  My first thought was “Well, I can just use sweet potatoes…wait!  Mr. Rodgers can’t have sweet potatoes either…what is kind of like a sweet potato???  Butternut squash!  We’ll try that.”  Step one in the transformation.

Then came the black eyed peas.  They are probably fine…but the husband has a specific list of what beans/legumes he can and cannot have…some are “eat every chance you get,” like black beans.  Some are “in moderation,” like chick peas.  So I just wasn’t sure about the black eyed peas, I’d hate to make something he couldn’t eat, or would be a bit of a compromise.  So I decided what the heck, I have a pantry full of black beans, we’ll use those instead.

Then I went to 3 or 4 stores looking for sausages without sugar or corn syrup or dextrose…NOTHING!  So annoying!!  But I grabbed some chorizo for a meatloaf recipe I will make later…NO SUGAR!  Hmmmm…I’ll use that for my soup too!

Then I went to add my almond milk instead of cream…and it was expired.  I guess this will be a brothy soup.

And there you have it.  Soup transformation.  I was so nervous because of all the changes…but this soup was BEAUTIFUL!  I can’t even describe how great the flavors worked together, and how comforting it was!  And I have to tell you…the day I made this was just the best day ever!!  I will tell you more about it in my pictures!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grassfed Butter
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Leek, Sliced (I had never used a leek before!  Life changing!  YouTube will show you how to cut them if its your first time!)
  • 6 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash, Cubed (About 1 lb)
  • 1/2 lb Chorizo (or more…it was enough, but I might add more if I make it again to be more “paleo”)
  • 1/4 Large Red Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it!

Note:  I used the chorizo in a way I am sure it was not intended, but I loved the outcome!  If you prefer to use it as a ground meat, feel free to brown it up before hand and add it back in right before the broth!  I wanted larger bites of meat, so I cooked it like you would a dumpling….and it worked!  I was so excited!!

  1. Prep all your veggies!  It’s easiest to have them all ready in bowls so you can dump as you go…but if you prefer to chop as you go that’s up to you!
  2. Melt your oil/butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until starting to get tender
  3. Add the leek and cook another 3 minutes or so.  Doesn’t it smell good?!
  4. Stir in the broth, add the butternut squash.  Now comes my crazy chorizo cooking method.  Since it came in a tubular shape, I cut it into small bite sized pieces and dropped it into the soup like dumplings and let it boil!  And it worked!  I was left with little chorizo bites throughout the soup!  Yay!!  Some oil from the chorizo will rise to the top of the soup…if this bothers you, use a spoon to remove it!  I left it though and it was perfectly fine.
  5. Add salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Stir in your red cabbage and black beans and cook 5-10 more minutes until the cabbage is starting to get tender.  Check your squash and make sure it is tender (but preferably not falling apart).  Spoon into bowls and top with some fresh cracked pepper!!

 

 

Peectures!

 

Chorizo Soup 1

The great gathering of the ingredients!

Chorizo Soup 2

Prepped and ready!

Chorizo Soup 3

Sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes, add leeks and repeat!

Chorizo Soup 4

Add broth…

Chorizo Soup 5

If you’re curious, this is how I cut my chorizo…just little bite size pieces…

Chorizo Soup 6

Add squash and chorizo and simmer for 20-25 minutes…

Chorizo Soup 7

Look at that beautiful color that comes from the chorizo!  Since I had never used it I did a little research, and that red color is from the peppers they use!

Chorizo Soup 8

Add cabbage and black beans, gently stir in, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender but the squash is not falling apart.

Chorizo Soup 9

Bam!  Scoop into bowls and serve!

Chorizo Soup 10

See my little chorizo meat balls?  Delicious!!

Chorizo Soup 11

I was so pleased with how the flavors played off each other…not to mention all the great textures!

Chorizo Soup 12

Yummy.  I’m sad it’s gone now.  Didn’t last long.

 

 

And now you get to see why I had the best day ever.  You know the first part…I adapted a recipe, took lots of risks, and it was successful!!  Great feeling already!!  Not only that, but I had been instructed to sleep in by my fabulous husband so I felt rested (it’s amazing you should try it!).  Then the sun came out and I got to lay in the grass near my flower bed, eat yummy soup, and spend time with my sweet Jesus.  Lately I have really been trying to cut back on the movies and tv shows, and spend more time just “be-ing.”  Having real moments, be they productive moments, thoughtful moments, “connected with others” moments (I’m bad at that one, Lord help me!),  prayerful moments…let me tell you, it’s only been a few days, and already I notice a difference.  My home is full of peace when I focus on abstaining from distractions and instead just “being.”  You guys should try it.  Aim for moments like these:

 

Chorizo Soup 13

I don’t know why I ever forget how good life can be when you stop to enjoy the weather (all kinds,) to enjoy a good hearty meal, and to talk to my Creator!!  Speaking of…wanna see some of the lovely flowers I got to enjoy on this “best day ever”?

 

Chorizo SOup 14

Pink!

Chorizo Soup 15

Stripey!  I love how full the stripey ones get!

Chorizo SOup 16

And my beautiful sunflower, the only one that has bloomed so far…she’s a survivor…broken nearly in half and still grew up from the ground and bloomed!  There’s gotta be a lesson in that!!

 

Okay, forgive me, this blog is getting way too long.  I will bid you goodnight…I hope you love my soup, and feel inspired to enjoy it in quiet, undistracted peace!!

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My Best Brussels Yet!

I am very proud of this side dish!  If you can even call it that, because it is so wildly flavorful, texture-full, and satisfying!!  And it came from my own brain!!  I actually had a different direction that this was going to go, but they were missing some of the ingredients I desired (I am not going to tell you what, because maybe I will find it and try agin and it will be amazing too!!).  So I grabbed a butternut squash.  Why not?!  Then I realized I had some pineapple leftover…and it all just came together!

Mr. Rodgers is madly in love with Brussels Sprouts.  It baffles me since he is not big on veggies, except this one.  And most people feel quite differently haha.  I was never crazy about them growing up.  Then I had them roasted and the rest is history!  A true love story! ❤

Anywho.  My love is even more deep now.  So I would like to share with you…my best Brussels yet!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Carton Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Halved
  • 1 Sm Butternut Squash, Peeled and Diced (Small!)
  • 1/2 Large Pineapple, Diced
  • 5 Tbsp Grassfed Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Prep your veggies!  I always buy mine whole, but you can also get squash and pineapple pre-skinned and cut 🙂  Put squash and brussels in a bowl, saving the pineapple for later.
  3. Melt butter and honey in a microwave safe dish.
  4. Whisk in vinegar and garlic powder.  Reserve a tablespoon or two of the “sauce” for later.  Dump the rest over the brussels/squash and toss to coat.
  5. Pour brussels/squash onto a baking sheet (foil covered for easier clean up), and slide into your and bake about 25 minutes.
  6. Add pineapple chunks, stir, and continue cooking 15-25 more minutes, until veggies are browned but tender in the middle!!
  7. Remove, sprinkle with reserved sauce, stir, and serve!!  And make your family Brussels Believers!  😀

 

Peectures!

 

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Bacon Bison Butternut Chili!

That’s a lot of B’s! And they all add up to something crazy delicious!  In fact, my husband was quite in love with this meal.  I had to bring it to him at work as I was on MY way to work (oh how crazy life is!)…but he was texting me before long about how much he loved it.  🙂  Funny thing is, I didn’t think he was going to like it very much, because it has a bit of a “twang” to it.  See, my husband is not a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, solely because of the smell.  He always uses different kinds of vinegar in his salad dressings…and he absolutely hates it when I use it to clean!  (It is a great natural cleaner!)  This recipe has apple cider vinegar in it.  And he LOVED it.  I kept asking “it isn’t too tart for you?!”  and he would reply along the lines of “no I love that!”  Maybe this chili will help make a believer out of him.  😉

I have never cooked with bison before.  It was fun…I felt like I was a brave prairie woman making a feast from the land!  Did any of you ever want to be Laura Ingles Wilder?!  Or was that just me?!

Anywho…here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Bison (Grass Fed)
  • 1 Butternut Squash (About 1 1/2 lb)
  • 1 Package Turkey Bacon
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Serrano Peppers, Diced
  • 14 oz Diced Tomatoes (Organic)
  • 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (Grass fed is best…we found a brand called Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch Cayenne Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.  Peel your butternut squash and dice into cubes.  Melt your coconut oil and pour over squash, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender…30-45 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, melt your butter.  Add your bacon and cook until done and crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add bison to the same pan with bacon grease.  Cook until browned.
  4. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos.  Cook until onions are translucent, then add the spices.  Stir and cook an additional minute or so.
  5. Crumble the bacon into the pan, add the vinegar and tomatoes with juices.  Let this mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has cooked down a bit and thickened.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon some of the bison mixture into a bowl, top with a handful of butternut cubes, and sprinkle with some cinnamon if desired!  We love cooking with cinnamon so we tried it.  And it was beautiful!!

Thank you to Abel James for this fantastic meal that I could adapt Rodgers style!  I am loving discovering fun, delicious, HEALTHY new recipes!  Okay, time for pictures!

 

Photo (18)

Preheat your oven and start prepping your squash!  Start by peeling it!

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Halving it…

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Scooping it…

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And dicing it!

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Now toss it with melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes!

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Now for the chili portion!  Start by prepping your veggies!

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Melt a pad of butter in a large pan.  (I do this because turkey bacon doesn’t have as much fat to render…but honestly it makes even pork bacon more delicious!)

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Add your bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Photo (27)

Add your bison to the buttery bacon drippings and brown.

Photo (28)

Add your diced veggies…

Photo (29)

Stir in and cook until your onions are translucent.  Add spices and cook an additional minute or so.

Photo (30)

Stir in your tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.

Photo (32)

Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until everything is cooked down and thickened.

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Your yummy butternut squash will have gotten done at some point in that process!!

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When ready to serve, spoon some chili into a bowl and top with squash cubes, then sprinkle with some cinnamon if you so desire!

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You should definitely at least try the cinnamon because it was heavenly!

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Yummmmmmm!  Let me know what you think!

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 3: Four Cheese Chipotle “Macaroni” and Cheese

Yum.  This little experiment has been in my brain for a long time!!  Ever since I first posted on facebook asking my friends what their favorite recipe is with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, in fact!  A wonderful, genius-in-the-kitchen lady from my church commented and told me about how her family blends chipotle peppers into their macaroni!  I have only tried to make home made macaroni once before…it didn’t work too well.  It was in the crock pot, and the recipe had an option where you mix eggs in.  Well, being a young cook at that time (well, honestly…I’m still a young cook)…I didn’t think about how that could be weird.  I like to use everything in the recipe the first time I make it, to make sure I get the full flavor.  So I put in the eggs.  Yeah.  Eggs.  Macaroni.  Crock pot.  Not a good combo.  It was like scrambled egg macaroni.  Gag.

This attempt was the opposite of gag.  It was super successful and delicious!  And I am proud to say that this is very nearly “healthy macaroni!!”  I say “very nearly” because…well, frankly, it’s macaroni and cheese.  The “diet” we try to loosely follow, The Maker’s Diet, says that dairy should be raw and less than 25% of your daily intake.  This exceeds the dairy limit according to that standard.  However…as far as macaroni and cheese goes, this is pretty phenomenal because of the substitutions I used in place of some of the more traditional ingredients.   Curious?  Read on!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 C Almond Milk, divided
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash (Alternately, apparently you can find frozen winter squash puree)
  • Small amount of butter or coconut oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb (2 Boxes) Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pagodas
  • 1 1/3 C Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 2/3 C Monterrey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 C Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Powdered Mustard
  • Pinch of Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan, Grated

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!
  4. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.
  5. Grate your cheese.
  6. In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.
  7. As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.  Pulse until smooth and creamy!
  8. Time to start your noodles!  Cook them according to the package directions.
  9. Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy
  10. When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.
  11. Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.  Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)
  12. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.
  13. Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.  Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni .5First, you gotta get your squash started, because it takes the longest.  Obviously, if you are going the “frozen puree” route then you can skip these next couple steps.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.  You may have to cut into the squash as far as you can, then use a rubber mallet or something similar to tap the blade through.

Chipotle Macaroni 1Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Chipotle Macaroni 2Place on a foil-lined pan.  Rub with a small amount of butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper!

Chipotle Macaroni 6Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.  When done, turn your oven up to 375* for your macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 3However, that is a long time, so while you are waiting, prep everything else!!  Grate your cheese…which is really easy if you a fancy little grater attachment.  🙂  Gotta love wedding present goodies, even two and a half years later 😛

Chipotle Macaroni 4In your food processor, dump your ricotta, 1/2 C of the almond milk, 1 chipotle pepper with a tsp or so of the sauce (depending on how spicy you like it), garlic cloves, salt, mustard, and chipotle chili powder.

Chipotle Macaroni 7As soon as your squash is cooked, spoon the flesh into your food processor.

Chipotle Macaroni 8Pulse until smooth and creamy!

Chipotle Macaroni 9Time for your noodles!!  Now, I know that these technically aren’t “macaroni’s,” but as far as pasta goes, I have found these to be the best noodles as far as health nerds go…they have quinoa flour in them, they are gluten free…and yet they are still a great texture and taste!

Chipotle Macaroni 10Cook according to directions on your package.

Chipotle Macaroni 11Now, pour your squash puree into a pan over medium heat.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 C of almond milk.  Stir until combined and creamy

Chipotle Macaroni 13When squash mixture is getting bubbly, mix in your ricotta/chipotle mixture and stir until combined.  When your noodles are cooked and drained, you can stir in the cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese.

Chipotle Macaroni 14Dump in your noodles and stir to coat.

Chipotle Macaroni 15Dump into a baking dish (9X13 or comparable)

Chipotle Macaroni 12In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, oil, and parmesan.

Chipotle Macaroni 16Sprinkle on top of the macaroni.

Chipotle Macaroni 17Slide into your preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Flip your oven on to broil if you want more brown…but watch it close and only leave in there for a minute or two.  It’s amazing how fast things burn in the broiler!

Chipotle Macaroni 18Yummy!!!  Doesn’t that look heavenly?!

Chipotle Macaroni 19Crispy, creamy, cheesy…

Chipotle Macaroni 20Doesn’t that look amazing?!  It is!!  The perfect amount of heat…not overwhelming like a Chipotle Pepper has the potential to be…but just a kick at the end.  A fantastic saltiness from 4 favorite cheeses…and just a hint of sweetness from the squash.  And more than a hint of health because of that same squash!

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.  😉

 

Chef of Honor: Rebecca Kirkwood with a Passion for Baby Food!

There are so many wonderful cooks in the world. There really are. I mean, just the fact that the “big names” like Bobby Flay have whole shows dedicated to challenging the “average Joe” chef and proving they can cook better…and the fact that the big names often lose…is an indicator that there is some really good food out there, made by really good cooks. The thing is…there are so many scattered throughout the whole world…people like you and I sit here trying our own creations and attempting Pinterest recipes and such…but we miss so many gems!!! So I have decided that I will do what I can to help you guys experience the “gems” in my life. I would like to share my friends, acquaintances, and fellow cooks in my life with you. And their recipes 🙂 So be watching for my occasional “Chef of Honor” posts! It takes all types to make our world, and we need each other to make it complete…even in the cooking world 🙂

How appropriate is it that I would start with my beautiful sister-in-law and one of my dearest friends…Becca Kirkwood!! Like me, Becca (or Jim, as I call her. Don’t ask. It’s a long story. But if I accidentally call her Jim, you will know who I am talking about 😉 ) has a passion for providing HEALTH for her family. See…when you realize that the length of your future actually affects another person, you start thinking differently…and when you realize that the length or quality of someone else’s life depends on what you put on the dinner table at night…then you REALLY start thinking differently. This blog is a beautiful expression of that paradigm shift in Jim’s (er…Becca’s) life. And she can offer you something that I cannot: recipes that are kid-tested! She has provided me with the most beautiful (and hilarious!) niece and nephew…and they are being raised on veggies and healthy, organic things. I’m so proud of that family! Please check out her whole blog, because she has multiple great recipes and I am sure she will be uploading more! But for this feature, check out her Homemade, Organic Babyfood!!

Organic Baby Food

My niece gobbles it down all the time! That’s a great sign, right? Healthy, organic…and the kids LOVE IT?! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But…it’s not! Let Becca show you how 🙂 (And get this…there’s quinoa in this one!! I stinking love quinoa! Maybe I’ll have to make some for me :D) If you are interested in her other recipes, check out: