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.