Monday, October 28, 2013

Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup

*originally published on on 10-21-13*

This weekend was our first really chilly one of the season, so I HAD to make something to warm us up on Saturday! That meant a delicious soup was needed. This one fit the bill! I made a double batch and will be enjoying it for lunch all week at work, too.

sausage soup

Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup

  • 1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage
  • 1-24oz jar pasta sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained & rinsed
  • 1 box (10oz) frozen chopped spinach
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 lb ditilini pasta (you can also sub rice)
Brown the sausage in pan before putting it in your crock. Throw in all ingredients except the pasta. (note...I subbed brown rice for the pasta in my soup. You can put 1/2 cup dry brown rice into the crock with everything and it will cook up just fine in the soup). Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.

Before serving, cook pasta according to box directions. Add to soup and serve!

*Note: I used turkey sausage, and brown rice instead of pasta (as noted above), and I was lazy and just bought match stick carrots, all worked well for a delicious soup! And my version is only 230 calories a cup, in case you are looking for a healthier modification.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Crock is back! Season 3's first recipe is Cafe Rio Chicken!

(originally posted on on 10-14-13)
The first Crock of the Week for this season! This is the third season of sharing recipes with you all, and I enjoy it so much.  I use my crock pot all year long, not just in the colder months. This particular recipe I made a few times this summer, it’s PERFECT for parties and get-togethers. For my daughter’s 1st birthday in June, I had a chicken taco/nacho bar, and made a huge batch of this for people to build their own tacos with. I also had some buns on-hand for those who preferred to eat it in sandwich form. I also made it when we had a cabin getaway weekend with friends, everybody loved it! It’s so versatile! leftovers can be used for a taco salad, enchiladas & burritos, cheesy chicken dip for your next football party, you name it. Plus, it freezes well. Make a double or triple batch and freeze some of it to use later for a lickety-split meal. And I admit that I call it “crack chicken” because it is so addictive! It’s so  tasty! Haha!


  • 2lbs chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 packet (3 Tbsp) dry ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
Put chicken in the crock pot. Add all ingredients, and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken easily shreds up with a fork. Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to crock. I like to let it cook for at least another half hour so the shredded chicken soaks up all the juices. Enjoy!
**TIP!!! If you make a double or triple batch, here is a SUPER easy way to shred a large amount of chicken: If you have a stand mixer like a kitchenAid, put the cooked chicken in there with the paddle attachment, and in less than a minute, you will have perfectly shredded chicken!