Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Almost Friday!!!!! So ready for the weekend! I looked at making a Throwback Thursday post today, but I just ran out of time. This time last year, I made some yummy French Onion Soup.  https://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/01/29/french-onion-soup/

We had just had Snowpocalypse here in Georgia, so this soup was perfect. Today in my area, the low was 39 and the high was 59, so I was happy for some sunshine and milder winter temps. Still too cold for me, though. The girls and I were all bundled up to meet the bus, and they were taking turns putting their hands around my hot coffee cup. We were shivering and trying to remember how hot we were last summer; We are always wishing for flip flops, tank tops, and swim suits!

Here is another great winter comfort food…Chicken and Dumplings*** I researched this recipe for almost a week. I wrote down tons of ideas and finally came up with this to try. It turned out pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. I had to do a few changes along the way, so hopefully if you give this a try, you will love it.

***crockpot meals are not the most photogenic…this one is no different. Taste wins out against pretty pictures pretty much always.

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

2-3 carrots, chopped

2 small garlic cloves, minced- or 1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 golden potatoes, cut into chunks (or 4-5  new potatoes cut in half)- no peeling necessary (if you have Idaho or baking potatoes, I would peel and cut into small chunks).

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I think thighs would be awesome in this, so use those if you want)

1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, poultry seasoning

2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter

about 2 containers no/low sodium chicken stock

1 can biscuit dough

Directions

Make your homemade “condensed cream of chicken soup”. You could skip this step and the half and half that comes later and just buy a can of cream of chicken soup. Have you read the ingredient list on one of those cans? On medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook 2-3 minutes to create your roux. When it looks like wet sand, add 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir well and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large crock pot, layer onion, carrots, and potatoes. Put the chicken on the top. Add your seasonings. Pour  soup on top. You can do all of this the night before if you wish and add to your crockpot (cool the soup just a bit first before adding it to the chicken). If not, doing all of it in the am is still pretty easy. It took me less than 10 minutes to make the soup and add it.

Add enough chicken stock to cover. My crockpot is kinda small, so mine was almost to the top.

Heat on low for 6-8 hours. High 3-4 hours.

Now… my crockpot is small, so I suggest you transfer the cooked chicken and veggie soup to a stock pot/large pasta pot/etc. after the allotted time. Stir and shred your chicken with a fork. This should not be hard at all. Like butter =) Stir in your half and half. Add in cut up biscuit dough and cook for about an hour or until biscuits are not raw in the middle.

Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

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Veggie Fettuccine

So tonight the girls had dinner with the grandparents, while I went to yoga. When I was in shavasana (total relaxation pose), I was thinking of what I could make for dinner when I got home. I was totally relaxed and zen. My body was loose and stress free. Then my stomach growled and I knew feeding it pasta would be the only choice. This was yummy, and I will be taking the leftovers to lunch tomorrow.

Veggie Fettuccine- I cleaned out my fridge and cabinet for this one. Please use what you have and be inspired by this recipe!

3/4 box fettuccine

3 carrots, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3/4 can black olives, sliced (the girls ate the rest)

1 can diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoons red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

olive oil- about 1/3 cup or so…use your judgement

1 teaspoon pepper

salt if needed—-olives are super salty, so don’t overdo it

Directions

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a med heat pan. Add your carrots and onions. Cook about 5 minutes. Add your garlic and tomato paste. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Add your black olives, red pepper flakes,  Italian seasoning,  and a bit more olive oil if needed. Cook about 5 minutes or more.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water just under done. Add to sauce and cook long enough to mix pasta in sauce and cook a few more minutes. Add a splash of that starchy cooking water. veggiepasta

Spicy Veggie Couscous

Hello again! So I was thinking about what I wanted to take for lunch tomorrow. Today I ate a  whole wheat wrap with spicy chicken, spinach, and hummus  from my school.  I added a bit of  Light Ranch (the only kind they have) to the mix. It was actually pretty tasty. I would get that again! The menu tomorrow is not very promising, although they do have a veggie burger. Unfortunately, by the time I get to the veggie burger, it is  pretty cold and stale. I don’t think many middle school kiddos choose it. Who can blame them…

So tonight I had some couscous left over at dinner. I also had half of both a yellow and orange sweet pepper, 1 jalapeno, 1 sweet onion, 1 small head of broccoli, and 2 cloves of garlic leftover from last weeks groceries. I chopped up all the veggies and cooked them in a bit of peanut oil for about 10 minutes. Then I added the couscous and a bit of soy sauce and pepper to add a bit of flavor. I stirred well, and cooked for another 5 minutes. Now I have a yummy lunch for tomorrow! =)

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Marinated Asian Tilapia with Soybeans and Couscous

Hope everyone is well tonight! After work, I headed to the grocery store. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to shop this weekend, so I decided to go by myself after work. The last two weeks I have shopped BY MYSELF on a Friday afternoon and a Monday afternoon. Both were pretty awesome. Yes, the store is a bit crazy with last minute dinner shoppers, but no one is doing a week’s worth of shopping in one trip. Plus, I have no kids or bored hubby weighing me down. I can get in and out  and do what I need to do in less than 30 minutes. Since I went to the store tonight, I went ahead and planned on making fish. It would be the freshest and would cook pretty quick. I had an idea in my meal plan to cook a breaded fried fish of some sort, but as I was putting groceries away, I had a new thought… Marinated Asian Tilapia.

Pretty simple to make…

Ingredients

3-4 pieces of Tilapia (I bought 2 and that was decidedly not enough as of tonight…3-4 next time)

marinade of a mixture of equal parts (about 2-3 tablespoons of each) of any of the following- soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar, minced ginger, and pepper

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

Directions

Marinate Fish for 10-20 minutes

Shake off excess liquid and coat in flour.

Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. The thinner ends will be very tender and flaky.

I accidentally bought the Steam fresh bag of edamame instead of snap peas. Turns out the girls love them and are begging for them for a snack to take to school! No leftovers…hubby was the only one who didn’t eat them! I also served with a side of couscous. Only a bit of couscous left, so maybe something for lunch tomorrow… no pics of the soybeans and couscous. All inhaled before I could take a picture!

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Meal Planning 1/24/15

This Saturday has been amazing! Great day with my family and great night with friends… I just got back from dinner. I met some of my old friends for a girls’ night. Fun times with a bunch of lovely ladies that I used to teach with. Those were the “good old days” of my teaching career. My friends I grew up with fresh out of college. We went to bars together; we fell in love, got married, had babies; we went to grad school and more grad school; we all just bonded in a really special time in our lives. They were not all there, but each one holds a special place in my heart. I love you girls =)

Here is my meal plan for the rest of the week-

Sunday- Going to a birthday party for one of my BFF’s sons. Thinking of either using my “Kids eat for free” coupon at Chili’s or go home and eat bacon and waffles.

Monday- Pan fried fish, rice, and a veggie 023

Tuesday- Grandparents take the girls for dinner. I have yoga. Leftover pizza.
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Wednesday- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings- So easy…can’t wait to share this with you!

Thursday- Baked Ziti from the freezer 013

Friday- Date Night- ??????

Hope you guys have a great week filled with fun, family, friends, and food!!!

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Happy hump day! Here is an easy, healthy recipe you can use for a busy weeknight meal. You can throw all the ingredients in one pot and let it cook on low all day. When you come home, you will have dinner waiting on you. How easy is that?

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Ingredients

3/4-1 pound ground turkey
1 can each of black beans, kidney beans, and cannelloni beans- drained and rinsed
1 small can green chilies
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 small can diced tomatoes
3/4 container or so of stock (turkey or chicken)
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.
Add turkey into your crock pot; stir in the rest of the ingredients until well blended.

Cook at HIGH 4 to 5 hours or at LOW 6 to 8 hours. Top with crackers, cheese, sour cream, etc

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