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

buffaloranchcknchili_logo

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.

Advertisements

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.

 

Busy Day Crockpot Potato Soup

QuickPotSoupLogo

It’s county fair season!  My 2 kiddos entered their rabbits this year.  This was their first year to enter so I prepared them, as any momma who has two kids competing against each other would.  You know the dialog… “You may not win anything”… “If your sister wins something and you don’t, I want you to be happy for her – no whining”… that kind of thing.  Well, all that was for naught because they both won prizes!  My daughter’s rabbit, Blueberry, won Best of Show and Champion Fur Rabbit – 2 trophies!  My son’s rabbit, Ninja (love that he named a rabbit ‘Ninja’ – funny boy!), won Reserve Champion Fur Rabbit.

 

The funny thing is, I have no idea what qualifies as a champion rabbit.  We just thought it would be fun to let the kids enter, and we lucked out, apparently, by getting good quality show rabbits.  Who knew?!

The kids were so proud of their trophies and have shown them to everybody they know, of course.  My daughter must have felt sorry for her brother though, since he only got one, so later she made him this:

bonus trophy

It says “1st Most Improved Brother.”  Ha!  I couldn’t help but chuckle at her handmade consolation prize.  Such a sweet sister!

On this busy fair day, while the kids were readying their rabbits, I threw together our favorite potato soup in the crockpot.  I love potato soup but I used to hate making it simply because it’s time consuming to peel and chop the potatoes and onion, cook bacon for the toppings (gotta have bacon – see my handy tip below!), etc.  I also struggled for a long time to come up with a good potato soup recipe.  I don’t like it brothy (not a word but it works here).  I like a creamy, rich, thick potato soup.  This recipe is all that without all the usual work because it uses frozen hash brown potatoes!  It’s quick and easy to get in the crockpot on a day you are feeling not-so-motivated to make supper (or in a hurry, like today) but need some good comfort food.  With 5 minutes of work, this was prepped and cooking away.  A few hours later, we came home to supper… ready, warm, and waiting.  It was exactly what we were craving!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.   ~Erin

Ingredients:

4 oz. Greek cream cheese, softened (This can be found next to the other cream cheeses in the grocery store.  I get it at Walmart.)*

1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request condensed cheddar cheese soup

1 (32 oz.) box fat-free chicken broth

½ c. fat-free half & half

½ a medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1 (32 ounce) bag frozen “Southern style” diced hash brown potatoes (not shredded!)

Salt & pepper

Optional toppings:  shredded cheese, bacon bits, chopped green onions

20170423_002227

Instructions:

Whisk softened cream cheese and cheddar soup together in your crockpot.  (Or if you are lazy like me you can use your crockpot to soften the cream cheese as it warms up.)

Whisk while adding chicken broth and half & half until smooth.

Stir in the onion and 2/3 of the bag of frozen hash browns; reserve remainder for the last 30 min of cook-time.

Salt and pepper lightly.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the remaining 1/3 of the hash browns when 30 minutes cook time is left.

Top with shredded cheese, bacon bits, and green onions if desired.

Tip:  Use prepackaged real bacon bits and toss them in a small skillet for 30 seconds or so to crisp them up.  You could also put them on a paper towel lined plate and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to crisp them.  They are never crispy enough straight from the package for my liking.

Weight Watchers info.:  This makes 8 one-cup servings at 5 SmartPoints per cup, not including optional toppings.  I like to add ½ cup fat-free shredded cheddar for 1 SmartPoint, 1 Tablespoon real bacon bits for 1 Smartpoint, and chopped green onions.

*If you can’t find Greek cream cheese, you can substitute reduced fat cream cheese but it will increase the Weight Watchers SmartPoints to 6 per cup.