Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Taco Chili

It was so nice to come home to an awesome smelling apartment!
I saw this recipe on pinterest and had to try it out!
I made my own changes...but I will give you the original recipe first!
<My changes are in purple>

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili
1 onion < I used a half onion, a whole one seemed too much>
1 16oz can Black Beans < I like to buy the dry beans and prep them myself>
1 16oz can Kidney Beans < I like to buy the dry beans and prep them myself>
1 8oz can tomato sauce
10 oz package corn <corn is high in calories, so I used a 8 oz can>
2 14.5 cans diced tomatoes <next time I will not drain and USE the tomato juice, wasn't thinking this morn!>
1 Packet taco Seasoning <Next time I am going to try and make my own taco seasoning>
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic--this was my call...I LOVE cooking with garlic!
3 Chicken Breasts <shredded or cut in cubes> I baked, then and seasoned them with onion and garlic powder
The recipe does not call for this but I also added 16 oz of water <I just filled one of the tomato cans with water to pour it in!
It also does not call for carrots or celery but they were veggies in the fridge that weren't going fast enough and I was afraid they were going to spoil. It added more veggies, nutrients and color to my soup! Next time I may add zucchini or green pepper! I love tweaking recipes! 

It says to put it all in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. I do not own a crock pot so I put the oven on 200 and let it simmer all day. <10 hours>

I like to prep my food on the weekends so that when the weeknights come I have stuff ready to just throw it together! For example: This weekend I seasoned and baked the chicken, and cut it into chunks. I then chopped all the carrots, celery, and onion, and placed all the canned goods that I needed in the pot on the counter. It made it SO much easier, and it felt like I was just dumping and stirring this morning! :) and again, it was SO nice to come home after an awesome workout to an already cooked meal! and hardly any cleanup. Now for some Spanish and some Biggest Loser!
Like my soup HOT so I had to add some crushed red peppers!

I learned something really neat from my friend Todd.
Leading a single life, it is hard to make meals like this and not get tired of the leftovers- especially soup...it can last for a week or MORE!
So what I have started to do is after I eat and let it cool down, I place 1 cup servings into freezer bags, then I place them all in one BIG freezer bag and label it with name and calories <so I don't forget a month later what I made!>
I place 1-2 of the bags in the fridge for lunches or suppers this week. But if I plan my weekday meals I am able to pull a bag out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw by nightfall.
I did this last week with my potato and veggie soup that I made and I have been able to ENJOY it rather then feel guilty about eating it so it doesn't go bad! 
Imagine the meals you could have....single servings of taco meat, soup, calzones, spaghetti sauce...the possibilities are endless... :)

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