Tomato Soup with Chickpeas

It’s finally getting warm outside!  Yet, I can always enjoy a bowl of hot soup.  Seriously, it can be 90 degrees outside and I’d still love to eat this soup. 
I’ve made this a few times and it’s always so good. I always have the ingredients on hand and it’s a great soup to make in a pinch when you don’t know what else to cook!

Tomato Soup with Chickpeas Recipe
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (fresh would work too)
3-15 ounce cans of tomatoes (I used diced)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1. Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat, and add the garlic and rosemary. Cook for a minute or two, and then add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, a few grinds of pepper, roughly half of the chickpeas, and the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the soup from the heat to purée. If using an immersion blender, purée the soup directly in the pot. Otherwise, wait a few minutes, until the soup cools; then purée it in batches in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot. Add the remaining chickpeas, and warm the soup over medium heat.
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Spicy Goulash / Chili Mac

I first heard of goulash from my mother in law. I had never had it before her. I enjoy hers, very tasty. I’ve never gotten the recipe though.
So when I saw this, I thought I’d give the old goulash a try.
This is nothing like moms. At all.

It is, however, quite delicious. And I got to use my slow cooker, which made me very happy.
This may be called spicy but it really isn’t. It’s quite flavorful and tasty. More like a chili mac.
Maybe someday I’ll get mom’s recipe…
Spicy Goulash or Chili Mac Recipe

1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans (10 oz) Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
2 cans (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups beef broth
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

In a large skillet, cook ground turkey, peppers and onions until done. Transfer to a slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, beef broth, vinegar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 5 – 6 hours or until heated through. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until macaroni is done.

Total calories = 2925 calories
13 cups = 225 calories per cup


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Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

This is a fantastic low calorie tasty salad. I used to make the super fattening broccoli cauliflower with tons of mayo, sugar, sunflower seeds and tons of bacon. Delicious yes, but so fattening, you can eat such a tiny portion compared to this salad. The red wine vinegar is so good in this. It’s a nice make ahead salad but I wait until about an hour or two before serving time to add the dressing.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

3 roma plum tomatoes

1 pound fresh broccoli florets, about 8 cups
1 small head of cauliflower, about 1/2pound
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup light sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup Splenda

Dice tomatoes, chop broccoli and cauliflower. Mix veggies together in a large bowl. Mix mayo, sour cream, salt and pepper, Splenda and red wine vinegar together in a small bowl. Add to veggies. Stir thoroughly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, stirring often. Keeps in the fridge for about 24-36 hours nicely in my opinion.

Total calories = 791

13 loose filled cups

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Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Pot Pie

It really always comes back to comfort food, doesn’t it?

I like this recipe as it comes together pretty quickly. It uses canned soups which certainly can be helpful when short on time.

This is my take on Jenny’s recipe, you must check out her recipes, she takes the most amazing pictures.

I do increase the ranch from the original recipe. I love ranch and I think it adds an awesome flavor. However, my husband says that it is a bit too salty. Ranch is salty. I happen to love salt so this isn’t an issue with me. So keep in mind before adding extra salt besides the ranch if you are sensitive to salt.

Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Adapted from Picky Palate

2 pounds chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 packets of dry ranch dressing mix (or 5 – 6 tablespoons ranch powder)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 – 10 oz. cans cream of chicken soup, Healthy Request
1 – 10 oz. can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup 1% milk
2 – 16 oz. bags frozen veggies, I use carrots, peas, corn and green beans
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 pound crumbled turkey bacon pieces, already cooked
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
6 canned homestyle biscuits (I used Pillsbury)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place shredded cooked chicken in large bowl. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons (or 1 packet) of ranch dressing, salt and pepper. Toss to combine seasonings.
In a large pan, saute onion for about 5 minutes until soft. Place soups and milk in pan and whisk until combined. Stir in mixed veggies and then shredded chicken. Transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle bacon on top.
Open biscuits and cut each biscuit into 10 little triangle pieces. Place little pieces of biscuit over the top of chicken mixture until it’s all covered. Sprinkle biscuit dough with another packet of ranch or about 2 tbsp. of ranch. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 25 minutes or until biscuits are cooked and nice and browned.

Total calories = 4228 calories
8 huge servings = 529 calories per serving

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Italian Style Green Bean Casserole

You know the classic green bean casserole that everyone feels the need to make on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas?  Really, the only thing awesome about that casserole is the french fried onions on the top.  I could just eat those out of the can.
Well, maybe it’s time to start a new tradition and make THIS green bean casserole. 

You so don’t have to wait until the holidays to make this. I’ll be making it again no matter what the season.  These were amazingly delicious!  Creamy, cheesy and fresh! 
The only thing I would change is to cut the green beans in half.  I try to control portions and it was hard to cut a portion evenly with the large green beans.

Italian style Green Bean Casserole
Adapted by Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

2 lbs. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
4 tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 red pepper, cut up finely
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
25 Ritz crackers, crushed in baggie
1/4 cup parmesan, grated

Gently steam the green beans until tender but still firm.  Place in 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 

Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a pan, add the onions and red pepper and saute for about 5 – 6 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for another couple of minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a simmer but not boil.  Stir in cheese and turn off heat and stir until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add just a bit of nutmeg and stir.

Pour the sauce over the top of the green beans.  Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter and combine with the crackers and parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over casserole.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 until bubbly and golden on top. 

Total calories = 2565 calories
8 servings = 321 calories per serving

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Enchiladas are just something that I never grow tired of. For one thing, you can make them a bazillion different ways.  So I’m always excited when I see a new way to make enchiladas.  This time I needed something quick.  I had the chicken, I just needed stuff to put in it.  These were perfect.

The flavor combination of the honey, lime and chipotle is wonderful.  A lot sweet with a little spice for the tongue. 

This recipe made a lot, we froze one 8 x 8 pan so I have something to look forward to next month! 

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Adapted from TidyMom

2 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded
2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

6 tablespoons honey (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
6 ounces colby jack cheese (or whatever kind you’d like)
1/2 cup milk
18 -6 inch 100 calories whole wheat tortillas

  • Cook chicken, cool, shred.  Mix together the honey, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and garlic powder.  Add the chicken and black beans to it, stir and marinate in the frig for 30 minutes or more. 
  • I used a 9 x 13 pan and an 8 x 8 pan.  Pour a small bit of sauce on the bottom of the pans. 
  • Mix milk with the enchilada sauce. 
  • Lay out tortilla. Spread a small amount of enchilada sauce around on tortilla.  Place 1/4 cup of chicken/bean mixture on the tortilla, sprinkle with a bit of cheese.  Not too much as you want to save some for the top. Fold enchilada and place in pan. I got 12 in the 9 x 13 pan and 6 in the 8 x 8 pan.  Cover enchiladas with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Or cover one pan with aluminum foil and freeze for another night. 

You could also use 3 – 8 x 8 pans with 6 enchiladas in each and freeze two of them.

Total calories = 4801 calories
18 servings = 267 calories per enchilada

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I have a friend who hates to have her food touch other food. She’s very particular about keeping it all separate on a plate.
I wonder how she’d be with Shepherds Pie?
I think Shepherds Pie is just an excuse to play with your food and throw it all in a pile and eat it. 
It helps that it’s extremely delicious too!
I’ve been on a buffalo kick and I find myself throwing it in just about everything.  I’ve made this Shepherd’s Pie a couple of times and am always amazed at how incredibly tasty it is. 
Buffalo Chicken Shepherds Pie Recipe

Adapted from Once A Month Mom

2 pounds boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon oil (I used bacon grease)
3 stalks celery, diced (6 oz)
2 carrots, diced (6 oz)
1 large onion, diced (12 oz)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Franks)
1/4 cup ranch dressing, light
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, part skim, shredded
6 potatoes (I used 3 pounds)
1/2 cup sour cream, light

Cook chicken with salt and pepper.  Remove and dice or shred.  In same pan, combine celery, carrots and onion with oil and saute for 6 – 8 minutes. Add garlic. Saute for a couple more minutes.  Add chicken, cherry tomatoes, paprika and more salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and buffalo wing sauce.  Stir to combine.  Reduce heat and simmer. 
Boil potatoes until done.  Mash and combine with 1/2 cup sour cream.  Set aside.
Pour the chicken mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 in. pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Add the ranch to the top and the mozzarella cheese. (you can use blue cheese instead of ranch and mozzarella if you like).  Spoon the potatoes on top of chicken mixture.  Bake at 375 for 25 – 30 minutes. 

Total calories = 3699 calories
8 servings = 462 calories per serving

Buffalo Chicken Shepherds Pie = 462 calorie dinner

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Holiday parties, football parties, and New Years buffets.  They are all around us. And at every one, there is a dip of some sort.  Fruit dip, chip dip, veggie dip, you name it, it’s there. 

Here are a few of my favorite dips.  And believe me, I don’t need a special occasion to eat any of these. 
The chocolate hummus is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  My bean hating, hummus despising, 9 year old requests this all the time.  It goes with fruits, crackers or pretzels.  Did I mention this was amazing.

I am in love with onions so of course the caramelized onion dip has a special place in my heart.  I’ve made it several times and end up eating way, way too much.

The peanut butter dip is just pure joy. Sweet smooth and just perfect. 
Chocolate Hummus
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup splenda (or sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 – 4 tablespoons warm water

  • Mix everything in a food processor. Add water as needed for consistency.
Sweet Caramelized Onion Dip
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese, room temp
1 tablespoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, light
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat on the stove. 
  • Once butter has coated the bottom of the pan, add onions, salt and cayenne pepper. 
  • Saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for additional 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and caramelized. 
  • Add mustard and vinegar to the pan. 
  • Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayo and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Add cooled onions to the mayo mixture and mix thoroughly. 
  • Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to combine. 
  • Serve with your favorite veggies or chips.
Peanut Butter Dip
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used lite n fit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used peanut butter chocolate chips)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with apples, veggies or pretzels.  or just a spoon.
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Need something to do with those turkey leftovers? 
I love this time of year. All the super cheap turkeys around. I’ll cook one up just to shred it for meals like this!  Enchiladas, soups, casseroles, potpies…tons of things to do with shredded turkey! 
…and of course the bacon makes it better!!

Smokey Bacon Enchiladas Recipe Adapted from Meg’s Cooking Corner

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic; minced
5 cups cooked chicken breast; shredded
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
15 – 100 calorie whole wheat flour tortillas

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
3 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

5 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350,
In a medium sized bowl combine all sauce ingredients and stir to mix well. Set aside.
 In a pan sprayed with cooking spray, add onions and cook until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove to a large mixing bowl. To the onions, add chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, shredded cheese and 3/4 cup of the prepared sauce. Stir to mix.

Spoon 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the 9 x13 baking pan and spread evenly. Warm tortillas slightly until they are soft and flexible. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chicken filling down the center of each tortilla. Fold in the ends and roll up the tortillas. Place seam side down in the Dutch oven or baking pan. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top and top with cheddar cheese and green onions.

Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and cheese is bubbly.

We put 10 enchiladas in a 9 x 13 pan and then 5 of them in an 8 x 8 pan and froze the small pan. 

Total calories = 4500
15 servings = 300 calories per enchilada

2 Bacon Enchiladas = 600 calorie dinner

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Bean & Sausage Cassoulet

I’ve already made this twice.  It was that good. It’s on the higher side of calories per portion but it was super filling.  It was wonderful to have this is the refrigerator for lunches all week.

I don’t cook with sausage too often but I happened to have 2 packages of sausages.  Which is why I ended up making this twice.  I could probably drop the calories by adding chicken instead but the sausage was SOOOO good!  I also loved the slight tang from the red wine.  You could use beef broth but I encourage the red wine as it tasted wonderful!

Bean and Sausage Cassoulet Recipe

1 (15 oz) can of black beans
1 (15 oz) can of white beans
1 (15 oz) can of red kidney beans
1 lb. turkey sausage, diagonally sliced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients in an ungreased 3 qt. casserole dish. Cover and bake until carrots are tender, about 1 hour or until hot and bubbly. 

Total calories = 3320 calories
8 servings = 415 calories per serving

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