Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

January 2017 – Theme

Budget-Friendly Eats

How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017

I love this month’s theme the Recipe Redux has chosen to use! The New Year usually means New Year resolutions, and that usually has something to do with budgeting or saving more money than you did the previous year, right!? We all have goals that we try to reach and if you are trying to budget or cut back on the amount you spend every night for dinner this dish is a great start to save. It is so easy for money to add up and this can last you all week! Most of the ingredients for this soup is probably already in your pantry or fridge–this is a great way to make sure those ingredients don’t go to waste.

It has been raining more than usual in Monterey these past few weeks and I love it! Rainy weather means soup and cozy comfort foods. I have been on a soup kick lately and I am trying out new recipes with my crock pot. I just started to use my crock pot again because it is so convenient and easy. I wanted to make this soup on my stove and the day I planned on making it, our stove and oven stopped working (how convenient)….but I was still wanting to make soup so I used my crock pot instead. This soup can last a whole week and I like to freeze half of it so I always have soup on hand. Besides this soup being budget friendly, it is also a great hearty soup loaded with fiber, protein and plenty of vegetables!

Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

Crock Pot Sausage, Spinach and Bean Soup

This comforting soup is heart healthy, delicious and budget friendly!

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 (12.8-ounce) package of chicken sausage, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cups baby carrots; chopped

2 stalks celery; diced

2 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used white beans)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken broth

2 cup beef broth

Black pepper, a pinch

3 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup pastina (small pasta)

Parmesan cheese; to sprinkle on top (optional)

Crackers or bread for dunking (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a crock pot. Add all ingredients except for spinach and pasta.
  2. Cover crock pot and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. During the last 45 minutes of cook time, add pasta and spinach. Stir until combined. Once cooked, enjoy with bread or crackers all week long! Enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/01/crock-pot-sausage-spinach-and-bean-soup/

 

 

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5 Layer Fiesta Roll Ups

Looking for an easy snack or appetizer to make for your next get together? Here you go! Ditch the traditional 7 layered dip and get creative with these tasty bites! They have all the of same ingredients as your favorite layered dip except this is bite-sized and it can be on-the-go. You can also add as many different “layers” as you would like–just remember it may get tricky if you add too many more toppings when rolling your tortillas up. These take only a few minutes to assemble and when they are finished they look amazing!

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5 Layer Fiesta Roll Ups

5 Layer Fiesta Roll Ups

This is a unique twist of the traditional 7 layer dip in a delicious bite!

Ingredients

8 spinach tortillas ( you can also whole regular)

1 can of refried beans

1 cup Pico de gallo

1 cup shredded mexican cheese

1 cup whole corn

1 cup black olives

Instructions

  1. Place tortillas on a hard surface. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of re-fried beans to each tortilla. Spread evenly to ensure whole tortilla is covered. Repeat with every tortilla, then sprinkle tortilla with about 1 tablespoon of pico de gallo, shredded cheese, corn, and black olives. Roll tortilla tight to make sure everything stays inside. Wrap up rolled stuffed tortilla with either foil or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 20-30minutes. This will make everything stay together when you cut it into pieces.
  2. Unwrap tortilla and slice into about 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife. Serve with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Enjoy
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2016/04/5-layer-fiesta-roll-ups/

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Sweet Winter Kale Power Salad

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I have been making this yummy salad for lunch and I love it! Instead of beans, I also use rotisserie chicken breast. This salad is filling and hearty just like a salad should be. I love this because it is so clean, healthy, and every bite is packed with anti-oxidants. You can add your favorite salad toppers to this so there is no wrong way to make this. I also add feta or blue cheese to this occasionally for even more of a perfect salad!

Ingredients:
1 package of cut kale; pre-washed, ribs removed (about 5 cups)
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 cup raisins
1 shallot; finely chopped
1/4 of your favorite nut mix (I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of corn; drained
1 cucumber; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Place kale in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Massage kale )with your hands)  with olive oil and lemon until it feels tender. This is extremely important because it softens the kale so it is easier to eat. The color of the kale will also turn bright green and look very fresh. Continue to massage for about 3-5 minutes.

2. Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add raisins. Sauté for another 2 minutes until shallots look cooked and raisins look plump. Pour mixture over kale and stir until combined.

3. Add your favorite nut mixture, beans, corn, cucumbers, cranberries, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

****Another great alternative for a salad topper instead of beans, is rotisserie chicken.
*****This is great for make-ahead lunches, the longer the kale sits; the better!
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Baked chicken, bean, & cheese flautas

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These little bites of heaven are so easy to make and they can also be a great addition to any party or potluck! You can even cut them into thirds to make bite sized flautas. Since these are baked–not fried or greasy like traditional flautas, there is no need to feel guilty here. Indulge a little and enjoy!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
6 whole wheat tortillas
1 15 ounce can of refried beans (I used black beans)
3 small chicken breasts (cooked & seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or mexican mixed cheese
1 tsp butter; melted
Optional:
Guacamole (my fav!)
Salsa
Sour Cream

*Try my grilled guacamole recipe by clicking here!

 

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut cooked chicken into small cubes or you can shred it with a fork.

2. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of beans on each tortilla and then sprinkle with a half of a handful of chicken and then best for last….top with cheese. You can put as much as you want but I sprinkled about 2 Tbsp on each tortilla.

3. Roll tortilla, as you would if you were making cinnamon rolls (roll from end to end). Repeat 6 times with each tortilla. Place flautas on baking sheet and brush melted butter on top (to prevent them from burning). Sprinkle more cheese n top and bake for 15 minutes until everything is melted to perfection. Cut in half and serve with your favorite mexican dips such as salsa and guacamole!

*Quick tip: to cook chicken, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook on medium heat and add chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on both sides for about 4 minutes each or until meat is completely white.

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Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

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I love enchiladas and I also recently started to really enjoy spaghetti squash…so I combined the two! Spaghetti squash is my new favorite “pasta” when I’m feeling more on the healthier side. I really just made this recipe up as I continued to look in my fridge and I just happened to have everything I needed to make enchiladas. You could even switch out the beans for chicken if you’d like! The best part is..you don’t have to feel guilty at all for eating it!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
3/4 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup jalapenos (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro; chopped
2 Tbsp green onions; chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or mexican 4 cheese
1 cup black beans
3/4 cup corn
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place whole spaghetti squash in oven and bake for 1 hour. Then let cool and carefully slice in half. Be sure to leave oven on!
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2. With a fork, scrape out all of the squash (it should look like spaghetti!). Place in bowl and once both halves are scrapped out add enchilada sauce, japapenos, cilantro, green onions, cheese, black beans, corn, and seasonings. Mix until combined.
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3. Spoon in filling with a large spoon and top with extra toppings. Place back in oven and bake for another 20 minutes and until cheese is melted.
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