Smoked paprika, Orzo, Chicken stew

There is nothing better on a gloomy day than a hot bowl of stew and on days when I can’t breathe out of my nose and my sinuses feel like they might explode, I need a stew with a bit of a kick. I have been obsessing over smoked paprika lately so I  put together this yummy southwestern stew  featuring the bright red spice.

For this recipe I used a pound of leftover shredded  ( unseasoned) chicken from taco night so if you don’t have cooked chicken on hand use chicken breast cut into tiny pieces and cook it up in a skillet with a bit of oil until just done.

What you need

  • 1 pound of chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 of a white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 32 oz can of tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp each of smoked paprika, new mexico chili powder, cumin, black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt to taste

How to make it

  • Saute garlic & onion with a few tablespoons of olive oil until translucent
  • add chicken & spices and cook for a few minutes until chicken is well coated in spices
  • add tomato sauce, broth and orzo
  • cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until orzo is done
  • add salt to taste
  • serve with a dollop of sour cream  and a warm tortilla

Southwestern quinoa chili with cheesy polenta


Yesterday got a gloomy start with high winds and dark skies, so of course I woke up with a stuffy nose. On days when I just want to sip tea and stay in my robe my family still needs to eat and as much as I would love to tell the kiddos to fend for themselves I’d rather not have to deal with the disaster in the kitchen that would follow. The crock pot is a magical invention that allows moms with the sniffles to make amazing meals while laying on the couch watching teen mom, don’t judge me I know you’ve watched it too.

I wanted to make something warm and filling and also something with a lot of leftovers just in case the sniffles turned into the plague. Chili is always a hit with the whole family and there are literally dozens of ways to make it. I have made beet chili, simple turkey chili and now my favorite- southwestern quinoa chili. This chili is not only healthy its super filling and is even better the next day. Try it in your eggs for breakfast, yum!

I hope you enjoy this yummy quinoa chili with cheesy polenta, top with avocado , cilantro and sour cream if you like and freeze any extra for a quick rainy day meal!

What you need

  • 1 lb ground turkey, swap for firm tofu to make it vegan!
  • 2 cans of organic black beans
  • 1.5 c corn, either fresh off the cob or frozen
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 c amaranth
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1/4 c chili powder
  • 4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 3 8oz cans of organic tomato sauce, no herbs or spices added
  • 1 C polenta
  • 1/2 c mozzarella shredded
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro, lime, avocado and sour cream to top, all optional

How to make it

  • In a pan brown turkey
  • add onions and cook just a little
  • add to crock pot on med/high (mine is from the 70’s and only has high and low settings, I put it on high)
  • add beans, garlic spices, tomato sauce, corn, quinoa and amaranth
  • cook for 4 hours
  • in a pan cook polenta (3 parts liquid to 1 part polenta) , add cheese and mix until melted, salt to taste.
  • Layer chili on top of polenta and add toppings.

Turkey chili & gruyere biscuits

turkey chili and gruyere biscuits recipe

It is grocery day here which means we are eating all our leftovers and cleaning out the fridge  so I thought I  would share one of my favorite winter recipes with you. This is a recipe for those  winter days when all you want to do is cuddle under a blanket.  This is a crock pot meal that you can throw together quickly so that you can get back under the covers.  The chili is healthy and packed full of nutrients and the biscuits are flaky and cheesy and delicious, perfect food to warm you up.

My family loves this recipe so much that I made it a few times a month and there are never leftovers. This is pretty much a fool-proof recipe so even if you aren’t too comfortable in the kitchen I guarantee this will come out delicious!

This recipe was featured on Winco’s website HERE

Chili Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ground turkey
  • 1 can of organic black beans
  • 3/4 cup quinoa ( I used red quinoa)
  • 1 can organic crushed tomatoes
  • 2 small bulbs of garlic roasted in the oven (trust me, the mess is worth the flavor)
  • 1 carrot –
  • 1 onion
  • spiced: cumin, chili powder, sea salt, cracked pepper  (I don’t measure these I just add until it tastes awesome)

Biscuit ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour ( I used white but feel free to use a wheat/white combo) 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening ( I used smart balance)
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 grated cheese-any kind will do!  I used Wasatch mountain Gruyere I had leftover from an apple Gruyere pie but  next I want to try  beehive cheese‘s  seahive cheese!

Chili directions:

  • put bulbs of garlic in the oven  at 350 until tender, about 10 minutes. I wrap them in foil with oil)
  • Brown the chili in a pan  with a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • Add onions and cook  until the onions are translucent
  • Transfer to a crock pot, juices and all and turn to high (if cooking on the stove use a small pot on med heat)
  • Dice carrots and add to crock
  • Add can of tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and spices to taste
  • Add roasted garlic
  • Let cook until carrots are tender and quinoa is done. You can tell when quinoa is done because i t will look like it sprouted.
  • While your chili is cooking , whip up some biscuits!

Biscuit directions:

  • Add dry ingredients and mix
  • Add grated cheese
  • Add butter or shortening and blend together with a pastry knife or fork until it is coarse
  • Add the milk and mix until blended
  • Knead on a floured surface around 15 times
  • roll out with a roller and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes (circle or heart), the extra dough a i just rolled by hand and threw in the oven with it.
  • you can grate extra cheese on top for an added crunch
  • cook at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Beet & chicken crock pot chili

BeFunky_DSC09665.jpg  I have had a vintage crock pot for years but I only started using it recently and every time I finish an easy and delicious meal,  I kick myself for not using it sooner. On days when I have piles of laundry and cranky kiddos the crock pot is a life saver.

Beet chili is so yummy (and pretty) and  with chicken added it is a hearty filling meal. This is great for those people who think they hate beets (dad I am talking about you!)  and it is a great way to add some extra vitamins to chili. This recipe calls for lentils but I have also used quinoa in the past for extra protein and it was just as yummy!  For a vegetarian version just omit the chicken!

A lot of people say to use gloves while working with beets but personally I love when my hands get stained pink and really it does come off with soap and water. When I cut off the beet tops I give them to my daughter to make pretty beet art with and usually she ends up covered in hot pink beet juice. A couple baby wipes later and she is all clean!

What you need

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast ( omit for vegetarian version)
  • 4 large beets
  • 1 can organic pinto beans
  • 1 can organic kidney beans
  • 1 cup red lentils ( or quinoa for extra protein)
  • 2.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cracked red pepper
  • salt to taste
  • sour cream, I like Nancy’s

How to  make it

  • cook chicken breast  in a tablespoon of olive oil until it is nice and done, chop into pieces  and add to crock pot
  • chop beets and onions and add to crock pot with minced garlic
  • add cans of beans and lentils
  • add chicken or veggie broth
  • add seasonings
  • turn crock pot on high for 1 hour, med for 1.5 hours, or low for 2 hours
  • make sure lentils are nice and soft
  • serve with a dollop of sour cream!