Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Soup

          I love soup. Judging by the plethora of recipes on the internet, I am not the only one, especially during this time of year! And if it can be made in my crock pot, well then it becomes irresistible!

     I found this recipe several years ago on a blog that is now unavailable. I made some changes and I also took the liberty of replacing the name. It was called chicken tortilla soup, but I take issue with that name. It doesn't have any tortillas in it (Although it is delicious served with chips!) and I don't feel like that is a great description. However, it has all the components of my favorite salsas: tomatoes, chilies, corn and onions. So, I feel like "Salsa Chicken and Bean" soup is a much better moniker!

    This soup is so easy, and it is pretty healthy all things considered. Slow cooking makes the chicken literally fall apart, and everything is so flavorful because it has had time to marinate in the spices. It isn't really hot (My kids eat it with no problem, even the one who is afraid of anything that might be hot).

Crockpot Salsa Chicken and Bean Soup
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cans Ro*tel diced tomatoes and chilies (I use original because it has just the right amount of heat!)
1 can black beans (low sodium)
1 can kidney OR pinto beans (low sodium)
2 c. frozen corn, thawed or partially cooked
1 white onion, diced, about 1 cup
3 cups chicken broth (I dissolve this bouillon base into boiling water, and add it straight to the crockpot)
1 cup water
3/8 c. taco seasoning of choice

    Rinse and drain the beans. Place the chicken in the crock pot and add Ro*tel, beans, corn and onion. Thoroughly mix the taco seasoning into the chicken broth and add both the broth and water to the crockpot. Cook on low 5-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Return chicken to pot, stir in. Cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with sour cream (Tillamook is the best, if you have it!), cheese and tortilla chips if you like. Serves 6-8.

   This recipe freezes beautifully. I usually serve it the first night, and then freeze the remaining portion flat in a gallon Ziploc. To reheat, place frozen soup in a large stock pot, and pour 1/2 c. water over it. As it thaws, continue to break it down into the pot. Once it has reached a boil it will be ready to serve. You won't know it isn't freshly made!

Linked up:
"Hearth and Soul Blog Hop" at April J. Harris
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less

Monday, January 12, 2015

Achieving Godly Goals

All Scriptures from the New International Version
        I don't share much about health or fitness on my blog. While I definitely see the importance in those things, they aren't my area of expertise. I have a sweet friend who has been a great encouragement to me, and keeps me involved in various Facebook groups that help me stay on track when it comes to eating right and staying active. A group that I am part of right now challenged each participant to create a "vision board". I tend to roll my eyes at those type of buzzwords. I am not inspired by models in swimwear or cliched quotes. I'm too "hip" for that stuff. (Or something!)

    So, I dragged my feet, feeling like a kid with a dreaded homework assignment. Until I realized that I could do a board with what never fails to motivate and inspire me: Scripture! Using my fav (FREE!) program, Picmonkey, I put together the collage above. I don't make "resolutions", but I do always have areas of my life that I am striving to improve. And none of those areas function in isolation. Each choice that I make should be filtered through the most important goal of all: honoring Christ with all that I say and do. Everything must pass the test: Does it bring me closer to Him? Does it help me accomplish His will?

    These Scriptures, some of them as familiar as John 3:16, others less well known, will all help to keep me on track, not just with eating and exercise, but with Scripture study, mothering, marriage, church, friends, and anything else that will come up this year. I wanted to share my "board" with you, because it will help keep me accountable. And maybe, it will inspire you.

    What challenges are coming this year that you need to find a verse to help face? What goals do you feel the Lord leading you towards? Perhaps, you can find just one passage that is especially meaningful, or maybe you can make an entire collage as well. Either way, don't move ahead with any goal or resolution that you haven't tested through prayer, Bible study and the Holy Spirit. If you have made goals, do a keyword search through a site like Biblegateway to see if you can find a verse that will encourage you. Or maybe you should spend time in the Word and prayer and then set your goals. Perhaps I should have added Proverbs 19:21
"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." 

Linked up:
"Motivation Monday" at A Life in Balance
"Hearth and Soul" at April J. Harris
"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less


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