Chicken Enchilada Soup

by Michelle on February 10, 2016

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of my slow cooker. This is especially true on Tuesdays, our busiest day of the week. I am always looking for new crockpot recipes and I came upon this one at a Super Bowl party this weekend. My sister-in-law’s friend, Bridget, also an avid crock pot user, told me about this enchilada soup she made based on a recipe she got from her sister. She pronounced it excellent so of course I had to try it.

I made the soup yesterday and I would agree that it’s delicious. More chili like then soupy, but really hearty, everything a winter dish should be. It was also super easy. I made my own enchilada sauce which is totally worth it. Simple to prepare and you’ll know exactly what’s in it. This recipe will easily feed four people with leftovers and it’s not spicy so your kids might even eat it too!


Chicken Enchilada Soup (from Bridget Clark)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/4 cups or a 10 ounce can of red enchilada sauce (See below for the recipe I used)

2 (14-ounce) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14-ounce) can of whole kernel corn, drained

1 (4-ounce) can of diced green chiles

2 cups of good-quality chicken stock (I used organic low-sodium broth)

2 cloves of garlic, minced (I realize as I am typing this that I forgot to add the garlic)

1 white onion, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. (For me, 6 hours was plenty.) Shred the chicken and serve the soup warm with avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream if desired.


For the enchilada sauce (from

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until well combined, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze.








“Breaded” Chicken Fingers

by Michelle on January 15, 2016

It’s been a long time since I’ve started a new “diet” once January rolls around, but it’s also been quite some time since I’ve actually really paid attention to what I’m eating. Sneaking cheddar bunnies when I’m pouring them into a bowl for my kids… finishing their dinners when they don’t…eating carbs (white ones!) with abandon…you get the idea. As a result, I often find myself feeling sluggish and uncomfortable—not the best way to begin a new year. My new Pilates instructors swear by Isagenix, and a friend’s sister-in-law had success with it too, but I’m not much of a meal replacement kind of girl. I like food. I like to eat it, cook it, shop for it. The idea of drinking most of my meals did not appeal. I thought about doing a cleanse, but giving up caffeine didn’t sound like much fun either so that was out too. And then, last Sunday, I gave it more thought and I realized that the times I’ve felt and looked my best was when I was following The Zone Diet or a loose version of it. It’s relatively easy, you can eat normal food and it keeps my blood sugar in check all day long which makes me feel mentally clear (even when my teething little one has woken me up several times the night before). Mixing the right amounts of fat, protein and carbs is just a smart way to eat (Google The Zone Diet for more info on this) and I continue to be grateful to my friend, Heather, for introducing it to me so many years ago.

Since my last go-around with The Zone, The Paleo diet has become a THING and as I researched recipes, I realized that many Paleo eats are Zone-friendly as well. And there are some innovative Paleo followers out there! This one blog, Cook Like a Cavewoman has some tasty, low-carb recipes like this one, which I made for dinner last night. Seriously, these were the best baked “breaded” chicken fingers I’ve tried. They’re crispy and juicy and everything you want in a chicken finger. Even Johnny liked them and he’s never a fan of my modified chicken finger attempts. The kids will like them too! Healthy and good for the whole family? What more can you ask for in a recipe?


 “Breaded” Chicken Fingers (from Cook Like A Cavewoman)

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 cup almond meal/flour (If you can, buy Trader Joe’s Almond Meal. It’s so much cheaper than other brands.)

¼ cup tapioca flour/starch

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground mustard powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 whole eggs, whisked

2-3 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling


Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. In a separate bowl,  whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour/starch, unsweetened shredded coconut, garlic powder, ground mustard powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Cut each of your chicken breasts into about 6 lengthwise strips, for a total of 12 strips. Place them all into your egg bowl.

One at a time, remove a chicken strip from the egg bowl and dip it in the “breading” mixture. Make sure to thoroughly coat all sides of the strip. Lay it on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Once you’ve breaded all the strips, drizzle a little olive oil over the tops of each one – not too much, but not too little either!

Bake for a total of 17-20 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken fingers. Flip after 12-15 minutes of cooking time. (If the chicken fingers aren’t looking golden or crispy enough at 20 minutes, turn up the heat to 425 and let them cook an additional 3 minutes.)


Acorn Squash with Sausage and Apple

by Michelle on December 10, 2015

Have you seen these cooking videos on Facebook, where someone (usually you can see just their hand) prepares something decadent and delicious in quick succession, as the ingredients and directions pop up on the screen? There are several services who do this, but Tasty and Tip Hero come to mind. I always find myself pausing to watch one or two of these as I scroll through my newsfeed, because they’re often intriguing. I bookmark a lot of these recipes and sometimes I actually make them. This recipe for stuffed acorn squash from Tasty is one that I’ve made again and again. It’s easy and super tasty. I’ve made it with both pork and chicken sausage and it’s equally good. Acorn squash is in abundance right now and this is just the type of meal to fill your belly as winter approaches (though it’s going to be in the mid-6os this weekend, so it doesn’t seem like that’s happening anytime soon, at least weather wise.) Pick up some squash at your grocery store or farmers market and make it this weekend. Note: you will probably have leftover filling, which is yummy eaten all by itself.


Acorn Squash with Sausage and Apple

2 small acorn squash or one large

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 pound of bulk sausage

1 apple, chopped

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Parmigiano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut off the very top and bottom of each squash to create a flat base. Slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, heat oil and add onion, celery, salt and pepper and cook until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and sausage and saute until the garlic is browned on all sides. Add apple until slightly softened, followed by cheese and breadcrumb. Remove from heat. Fill each squash with the sausage mixture and return to the olive for 20 minutes, adding a sprinkle of Parmigiano on top for the last five.