Buffalo Ranch Chicken Chili

This recipe was inspired by my husband. When I created my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili, he suggested that Buffalo style might be another tasty variation. He was right! Even if you don’t love Buffalo wings, I am confident you will love this chili. It’s packed with flavor & has just the right amount of kick! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

4 oz. reduced fat or Greek cream cheese, softened

1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Cheddar Soup

32 oz. unsalted chicken stock

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – individually frozen

½ c. finely chopped carrots

½ c. finely chopped celery

3 cans (15.8 oz. each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 package (about 8 tsp.) Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix

1/3 c. Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce

Optional garnishes: real bacon bits, green onions, extra buffalo sauce

Instructions:

In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together softened cream cheese and condensed cheddar soup until well combined.

Whisk in chicken stock, dry ranch dressing mix, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and wing sauce. Stir in celery and carrots.

Add frozen chicken breasts (you can use thawed chicken if you prefer; just keep in mind it will cook faster).

Add beans but do not stir them in — leave them on top.

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. When 1 hours of cook time is left, remove the chicken breasts, shred, and return to pot to finish cooking.

Garnish with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce, bacon bits, and green onions, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each 10 oz. serving (about 1 ¼ cups) is 2 SmartPoints on the FreeStyle plan. Serves 10. Optional garnishes should be calculated separately.

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Slow Cooker Beefy Pinto Beans

BeansLogoThis is my husband’s recipe for beefy pinto beans.  He made this for me when we were newly married and honestly, until then, I didn’t know how to make pinto beans.  Sounds silly because they are like the easiest meal in the world to make.  If you can run water, you can make pinto beans.  I just never had done it before we got married and didn’t know where to start.  (The basic directions are usually on the package, I found out later.  Duh!)  The good thing about beans is that they are customizable and basically take on the flavor of whatever you cook with them.  I grew up with ham in my beans.  My husband, who was raised on a cattle ranch, always had ground beef in his beans.  I like them both ways, but I prefer this beefy version over the ham… especially with some chopped up jalapenos and fresh cornbread mixed in!  If you’ve never tried making pinto beans, try them this way.  The beef and seasonings add so much flavor!  I think you’ll love them.  ~Erin

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds dry pinto beans

3 T. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s)

1 lb. 93% lean ground beef, browned

Water

Optional: pickled jalapeños

 

Instructions:

Rinse your beans in a colander and remove any beans that don’t look normal.  Place the beans in the slow cooker pot and cover them with 2 to 3 inches of water above the top of the beans. They will expand a lot.  Allow the beans to soak overnight at room temp.

In the morning, pour the water off the beans and rinse them again.  This doesn’t have to be a perfect rinse job.  Just pour as much off as you can without dumping them in your sink, run water over them, and repeat a couple times.

Finally, fill the pot with enough to cover the beans with about an inch to an inch and half of water over the top of the beans.

Cook the beans on low for at least 10 hours.  When about 2 hours of cook time is remaining, stir in the seasoned salt* and cooked ground beef and continue to cook for the last 2 hours.

Serve the beans with cornbread and, if desired, chopped pickled jalapenos.

Weight Watchers Info.:  This recipe makes 11 servings.  Each serving is 8 ounces (about 1 cup).

Old SmartPoints:  9 SmartPoints

New Freestyle SmartPoints:  2 SmartPoints

*The salt is not added until the end of cook time because, if added too early, it inhibits the tenderizing process.

 

White Chicken Chili

I couldn’t ever find a white chicken chili I liked, so after trying several “meh” recipes, I decided to make my own.  Threw this together on a whim thinking it would at least be a quick, easy weekend prep to weekday meal kind of item.  But it turns out that Barry declared this his favorite thing I’ve ever made, so I figured I better share.  I make this pretty spicy but you can adjust (or eliminate) the heat easily. ~Robin 

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Ingredients: 

2 T. olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, diced*

4 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded, diced (reduce for lessened spice)

4 4-oz. cans (2 c.) chopped Hatch** green chiles; don’t drain (I use mild on these – more for flavor than heat)

4 cloves minced fresh garlic (or about 2 tsp. minced jarred garlic)

13 c. low-sodium chicken broth (can always add more if you need it, but you don’t want it too soupy)

4 c. cooked shredded chicken breast

3 cans cannellini beans, drained well

3 T. fresh lime juice (I just juice one small lime)

1 T. cumin

1 – 3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I do the whole tablespoon because I like it spicy!)  

23 c. cilantro (about 1/2 a bunch) chopped; reserve some for garnish

12 tsp. garlic salt

Optional garnishes/accompaniments (not figured in WW points): sliced avocado, shredded Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips, and/or a cilantro sprig.

Instructions:

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on med-high heat. Then add onion, jalapeño, chiles, garlic, and sauté for 5-7 minutes (until veggies soften).

Reduce to medium heat. Add drained beans, chicken, broth, cumin, lime juice, garlic salt (sounds like a lot of garlic, but it’s a whole lot of food too — trust me), cilantro, & red pepper flakes. Cook for 12-15 min.

Serve and garnish as desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This makes a whopping 11 one-cup servings.

Old SmartPoints:  4 SmartPoints per cup

Freestyle SmartPoints:  1 SmartPoint per cup

*For easy onion dicing, using a gator chopper will save you some tears, literally. They have varied dicing sizes, so be sure to check on that before purchasing – I used one with a ¼ inch dicing size, but you could use a larger one as well. I used to hate chopping onions before my folks got me this for Christmas one year. Now I can chop without tears and much more quickly.  (We’re not paid or compensated in any way to advertise for the Alligator company; I just really love mine since I’m a big cryer with onions!) 

**You can use any chopped green chile, but I prefer Hatch chiles.  

Hearty Beef Chili

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Hello all!  Tracy here.  It was unseasonably cold and rainy here in our neck of the woods recently.  On days where I find myself putting my warm clothes on, I start to look for comfort food – preferably something that I know my family of meat loving boys will eat.  Even the pickiest of eaters in your family will love this chili recipe – especially if you top it with cheese and serve it with a pile of Fritos.  If you like things a little spicy, like we do, you can also add some diced jalapenos to the top.  If you follow Weight Watchers (or attempt to, like me), this comes to 2 Freestyle Points for a one cup serving!  With the new Freestyle program I’ve added extra beans so it’s extra filling with lower points! Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs 95% lean ground beef (You can also use half ground beef, half ground venison, as we often do).

1 c. chopped onion

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ T. chili powder

¾ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 ¼ tsp. dried oregano leaves

¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

2 cans (16 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (16 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained

1 can (16 oz.) light red kidney beans, drained

1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained

Instructions:

Cook beef, onions, and garlic in a large sauce pan until beef is browned; drain away any excess fat.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except the beans.

Gently stir as mixture heats to boiling, breaking up tomatoes.

Once mixture boils reduce heat to simmer; cover and simmer on low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cans of beans, heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, for about 20 minutes longer.

Serve topped with cheese, over Fritos, or with your favorite southern cornbread.

Weight Watchers Info.:  Figured with 95% lean ground beef this recipe comes to 2 Freestyle Points for a 1 cup serving.  

Fiesta Salsa Dip

Kathy tried this recipe at her baby shower, and we recreated it to enjoy many times over. It’s a summer sensation all year long.  Healthy, filling, and full of flavor. It’s great as an appetizer, over grilled chicken, or as a meal on its own. Plus you can eat it on a chip; how can you go wrong?

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Ingredients:

6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white corn, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional–do more if you like a kick)

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced

¼ teaspoon lime zest (optional)

3 avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

½ cup of fat free Zesty Italian dressing (bottled, not powder)

Salt to taste

Instructions: 
Combine all ingredients well except the last three. Add lime juice and Italian dressing; then gently fold in avocado. Cover and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips.  

Weight Watchers info.:  

Old SmartPoints plan: 7 SmartPoints per cup

Freestyle plan:  2 SmartPoints per cup

This recipe makes 10 servings.