I love everything about this recipe!  From the minimal preparation -- a few chops here and then you pour and go-- to the final spoonful of delicious enchilada flavor.  It's the perfect dinner solution for a cold, lazy winter's night.  

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
Total Time: 4-6 hours 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 4-6 hours 

What you'll need
Soup Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped and divided
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce (be careful not to get Green Chile Enchilada Sauce)
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, washed and drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon cumin
dash of dried oregano
1-2 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I only used one chicken breast, and I thought it was plenty of meat. However, if you like a really meaty soup I'd do two)


Soup Toppings
3 scallions, chopped
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream 

Directions
1. Add all of the soup ingredients to your crock pot; stir and cover. 
2. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or on high for 3 hours. 
3. Remove chicken from crock pot, and shred with two forks. 
4. Add chicken back to the soup; adjust salt and cumin seasoning to taste.
5. Serve in bowls and top with sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com
On a side note, I thought you guys might like to see how Baby O'Dempsey's nursery is coming along.  Creating a gender neutral nursery has certainly been a challenge.  I didn't want to do the traditional green and yellow nursery, so I opted for grey, aqua blue and yellow instead.  And here is the end result -- minus the rocking chair that has yet to be delivered and accessories.  
 
 
Fall is officially in the air, so I'm cooking up the perfect fall dish - White Chicken Chili.  This hearty and comforting meal is perfect for any chilly evening at home.  It also makes a great leftover - whether you freeze it and serve it another week, or you reheat it the next night.  Therefore, I haven't condensed the recipe down for two.  You will get a full batch, which will give you at least four servings, and trust me, you'll want all four servings!

White Chicken-Corn Chili 
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

What you'll need
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper (1/2 chopped and 1/2 sliced, seeds removed)
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 15-ounce cans large white beans (1 can undrained, 1 can drained and rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or White Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings
sour cream
tortilla strips 

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion; cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. 
2. Add garlic, chopped jalapeno, green chiles and cumin; cook for about 2 minutes. 
3. Stir in chicken broth, chicken and beans along with the liquid from one of the cans of beans; bring to a boil. 
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes. 
5. Using a potato masher, mash the chili until about half of the beans are broken up. 
6. Stir in corn, cilantro and 1/2 cup of cheese.
7. Serve chili and top with remaining cheese and sliced jalapenos.  Add optional toppings, if desired.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the foodnetwork.com
 
 
Today's featured recipe for two is a flavor-packed soup that eats like a meal.  It truly is a hearty bowl of deliciousness, without being loaded with fat and calories.  Even better, it's quick and easy to make.  Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Soup

Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

What you'll need
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth 
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken 
1 cup carrot sticks
1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 can (about 7 ounces) light coconut milk
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
fresh cilantro
roasted peanuts

Directions
1. In a medium Dutch oven or pot, heat oil, ginger and garlic over medium heat for about 30 seconds. 
2. Add onion; cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until onion is tender. 
3. Stir in broth; bring to a boil.  Add chicken, carrot, green beans and crushed red pepper.  Return to a boil; reduce heat. 
4. Stir in coconut milk and bell pepper; heat through.
5. Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts.  
6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Chicken Dinners Magazine
 
 
Enjoy the delights of a comforting bowl of Chicken Pot Pie minus its traditional calorie loaded servings.  By ditching the buttery crust and using a few simple substitutions, you're going to love how easy it is to lighten up this classic dish.  

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes

What you'll need
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 sweet or white onion, diced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
salt and pepper
1 large carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup 
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn

Directions
1. In a medium Dutch oven or pot, saute butter, onion and chicken over medium heat until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes. 
2. Add carrot and celery to the pot.  Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, mix cream of chicken soup, chicken stock, ground cumin and milk in a separate mixing bowl.  Stir until evenly mixed.  
4. Add soup and broth mixture to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 40 minutes or until carrots and celery are tender. 
5. Stir in peas and corn just before serving.  Heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
6. Serve and enjoy!
 
 
Let Hamburger Helper® do the work tonight with this wonderfully hearty chili-mac recipe for two.  I don't know what I love more about this dish -- how easy it was to make, or how great it tasted.  

Cheeseburger Chili-Mac Soup 
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

What you'll need
1/4 - 1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 medium onion, chopped 
1/2 bell pepper, diced (any color)
2 cups hot water
1/2 box Hamburger Helper® chili macaroni
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup diced tomatoes (from 11 ounce can, drained)
1 can (7 ounces) Green Giant® Mexicorn® whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, undrained

Directions
1. In a Dutch oven or medium pot, cook beef, onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through; drain.
2. Stir in hot water, half of the sauce mix from Hamburger Helper box, chili powder, garlic salt and tomatoes.  Continue to heat until broth comes to a boil, while stirring occasionally.
3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
4. Stir in half of the uncooked pasta from Hamburger Helper box and the undrained can of corn. 
5. Cover and cook for 10 minutes longer.
6. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker 
 
 
Happy Friday everyone!  Today I'm featuring a "little effort required" meal idea that leaves the heavy lifting up to your crock pot.  After all, the taste of the weekend is on the tip of our tongues, so it's time to take it easy.  

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 2-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low

What you'll need
15 ounce can pinto or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced 
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
3 cups chicken stock 
1 cup frozen corn 
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla strips 

Directions
1. In a slow cooker, stir together the drained beans, cooked chicken, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, cumin and chili powder.  Mix well. 
2. Stir in chicken stock.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or high-heat setting for 2 to 4 hours. 
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, top with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla strips.  Enjoy!
 
 
Beat the winter chill with a hot and hearty bowl of Turkey Taco Chili.  In 30 minutes your dinner table will be filled with the delightful aroma of a delectable bowl of taco infused chili.  And with every bite this flavor packed meal will warm your soul, while exciting your taste buds.

Turkey Taco Chili
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/4 medium onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 can (about 5 ounces) Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1/2 can yellow corn, drained
4 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 packet taco seasoning (regular or less sodium)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla strips 

Directions
1. In a medium Dutch oven or pot, brown ground turkey over medium heat.  Continue to break up meat with a spoon until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
2. Stir in onions and pepper; cook 2 to 3 minutes. 
3. Add tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Ladle chili into individual soup bowls.  Top with tortilla strips and shredded cheddar cheese. 
5. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.com
 
 
Picture
This week I'm in Chicago to celebrate the holidays with my family.  While I love to be home for the holidays, the brisk winter weather is always a bit difficult to adapt to.  However, it's nothing a hot cup of soup can't fix, so I'm serving just that for dinner tonight with today's featured recipe for two -- Lasagna Soup!

_Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Lasagna Soup
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes 
Cook: 25 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 pound Italian sausage (I used Jennie O Turkey Seasoned Italian Sausage.  It's amazing!!)
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (about 14 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, chopped
10 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked mafalda pasta
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons. thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon pepper


Directions
1. Brown sausage in a large soup-pot over medium heat.
2. Add onions and pepperoni; saut
é for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in garlic; sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add broth, stewed tomatoes (including juice), and tomato sauce, bring to a boil.
4. Drop in pasta and simmer until the pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes.  

*Note -- if you can't find mafalda noodles you can also use lasagna noodles, just be sure to break the noodles into smaller peices before adding them to the soup.
5. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
6. Place 1/4 cup of the diced mozzarella into each soup bowl and pour soup on top. 
7. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cuisine Tonight Magazine
 
 
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Continuing with my love for Panera Bread, today's featured recipe for two serves up a hearty bowl of Panera inspired Cream of Broccoli Soup.  Yum!

My recipe offers a "healthier" alternative to the original by using fat free half-and-half cream and scaling back on the butter and cheese.  In the end, you'll still have a creamy, soothing and delicious bowl of soup, but without the side of guilt. 

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Total Time: 60 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes

What you'll need
1/2 head fresh broccoli (approximately 2 cups)
1 cup matchstick carrots
1/4 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups fat free half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock 
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste 

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Sauté onion in butter.  Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Add additional 2 tablespoons of butter to the saucepan. Cook until butter melts.  Whisk in flour.  Continue to stir for about 1 minute.  Add the half & half, while continuing to stir. 
3. Add the chicken stock and cheese. Heat on medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and bubbly.
4. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from food.com
 
 
Mashed potatoes don't always have to be a side dish, you can also use them to make a delicious bowl of Chili even more delectable by adding a few spoonfuls of perfectly whipped potatoes to the bottom of your Chili bowl.  I must warn you though, once you've tried Chili with mashed potatoes, it will be hard to ever have a bowl of just Chili again.

What you'll need
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound ground turkey 
3/4 to 1 cup water
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced 
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 can red kidney beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
leftover mashed potatoes (I prefer garlic mashed potatoes)

Directions
1. In a large pot add crushed tomatoes, water, celery, salt, pepper and chili powder.  Mix well and simmer. 
2. While the tomato mixture is simmering, sauté onion and pepper in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey.  Season generously with garlic salt and pepper.  Cook until ground turkey is no longer pink.  
3. Drain any excess fat from ground turkey.  Add ground turkey, peppers and onion to the tomato mixture.
4. Mix well.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain red kidney beans.  Add beans to the chili a few minutes before serving.
5. Heat leftover mashed potatoes on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of mashed potatoes to the bottom of your chili bowl. 
6. Pour chili over the mashed potatoes. 
7. Serve and enjoy! 
*Note -- if desired you can top Chili with sour cream, shredded cheese and/or chopped scallions.