Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

soup
I couldn’t tell you how long it’s been since I last posted a recipe, but I knew it had been a while when my cousin in South Carolina emailed me asking me if I had died. Obviously she was joking, but it made me realize just how long its been. I never have a good excuse. It’s always work. This new position is great for me professionally, but it is so much more time consuming. By the time I get home at night and work out, the last thing I want to do is come up with a new recipe. What I want to do even less than create something new is make sure that I take enough pictures and document my measurements so I can blog about it later. So TJ has been stuck eating the same old meals every week, and I have absolutely no creative outlet. Basically everyone loses. Including the four people who read this blog regularly and actually want new recipes. Whoops.

I’m really excited football season is back. Because football being back means fall is here, and I LOVE fall. But I also love football. Actually, I only really like the Redskins and Gamecocks and I really don’t care about watching any other games. The really crappy part is that TJ hates football. He couldn’t care less about it and actually thinks how much I love it is absurd. He has some lame argument about not liking a sport I have never and will never play, but I refuse to entertain that “argument.” So while I watch football he usually does stuff like redesign our entire bathroom or build a new dresser for our guest bedroom (he actually did that this weekend). To each his own, right?

Besides the great weather, clothes and and candles (sorry but certain candles can only be burned in fall/winter), fall also brings great food. Some foods just don’t feel right in the warmer months. Like chili. I LOVE chili and I have a great recipe for it, but I just doesn’t feel right in the summer. And butternut squash soup. That’s more of a fall dish to me. Maybe I’m wrong but its my blog, so whatever.

On that note of all of the fall greatness, I really want to get into pumpkin stuff, but I just can’t. I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, I don’t enjoy pumpkin bread, I don’t really feel the desire to add pumpkin to my diet at all. I know people go bat shit crazy for pumpkin everything at this time of year, but outside of carving a crappy pumpkin to leave on our front stoop, I don’t really want pumpkin in my life. Sorry ’bout it.

So the point of all of this endless rambling is that this soup is one of the best fall/football dishes ever. It’s GREAT for those football watching days when chili just doesn’t sound/feel right. It’s also great anytime, just in case you’re not a football fan. Or an emotional cooker. Which, judging by this blog post, I am. Epiphany.

salsa

I make this avocado salsa while I was waiting for my soup to cook and ended up topping the soup with it too. I will post the recipe soon!

Ingredients:

2 lbs raw chicken breasts. I used 4 breasts, but up to 6 will really work here.

1 cup chicken broth. I use water and a bouillon cube, but kudos to you if you make your own chicken stock. I wish I did.

1 yellow onion, chopped.

2 jalapenos, chopped.

2 garlic cloves, chopped.

2 cans diced tomatoes. To stay paleo, get canned tomatoes with no added sugar, or chop your own. I like canned because it adds a lot to the oveall soup.

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced for squeezing

1/2 avocado, sliced for topping

Directions:

Put the first 6 ingredients in a crock pot and let simmer for 6 hours. My crock pot actually doesn’t take that long, so let it cook for as long as it takes for chicken to shred in your crock pot. I have a crock pot on speed, so I was able to shred the chicken after 5 hours.

Once the chicken is ready, shred it put it back in the soup and top with the remaining ingredients! I use very little cilantro as I think it’s a bit strong, but I also add some sour cream (not paleo) and cheese (primal). You can do whatever you want to make this soup your own, but it is just as DELICIOUS with nothing but the lime juice added!

 

Shredded Chicken with Crack Sauce

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Yup, you read the right: crack sauce. I am obsessed with making shredded chicken. Maybe because it means I can just put random crap in the crock pot and when I get home, dinner is ready. Maybe its because I really like shredded chicken. Whatever the reason, I make it at least once a week. Since I make it so often, I usually try to find different ways to spice it up or flavor it so we don’t get really sick of it. Sometimes I’ll make shredded buffalo chicken cups, sometimes I make chicken salad. This time, I decided to finally try making paleo BBQ dressing. Continue reading

Buffalo Garlic Brussels Sprouts

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I love Brussels sprouts. Like, could eat them daily love them. They are definitely something I didn’t learn to appreciate and love until I was well into my mid-twenties, but now that I know how to cook them, we will never stop eating them.

Luckily for me, TJ loves them just as much as I do, so we pretty much DO eat them daily. Luckily for both of us, they are incredibly good for you. Unluckily for both of us, I always made them the same way. As good as that recipe is. it can get kind of boring after a while. Finally, I decided to try out something different. I love Brussels sprouts, but I also love wings and buffalo sauce. Why oh why did I never think to combine those two things? Continue reading

Coffee

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There are few things I love as much as coffee. I don’t have an addictive personality, but I actually think I could be borderline addicted to coffee. I drink it every single morning during the work week, and usually on Saturdays as well.

Here’s the funny part: the caffeine has exactly 0 effect on me. None whatsoever. Yet for some reason I need want it every single morning. I have cut it out completely a few times to see if there is any difference, and there really isn’t. I don’t get the 2 o’clock sleepiness, I don’t get the shakes, I don’t get caffeine withdrawal headaches. None of it. So I figured it was perfectly safe to keep having my morning cup of coffee, even if it really does nothing but make me a little happier. Continue reading

“Paleo Desserts”

I know I have shared my thoughts on paleo desserts before, but since I actually took the time to make 3 different ones last weekend, I figured I should dedicate a whole post to them.

I’m not going to lie to you: I am not a fan of “paleo desserts.” Mainly because I find that phrase to be an oxymoron. I think that using something like coconut sugar or coconut milk rather than table sugar or regular milk in order to call something paleo is kind of a cop out. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar. Coconut sugar is minimally better for you than white sugar, but really not by much (depending which source you decide to trust). At the end of the day, you really shouldn’t be consuming either. Both Juli Baur (paleomg) and Alanna (planksloveandguacamole) – where I got my dessert recipes from- have made that point though. “Paleo desserts” are still desserts and therefore should be eaten in moderation. Just because they are “paleo,” that doesn’t mean that you can (or should) consume an entire plate of them. Continue reading

Classic Chicken Salad

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This chicken salad is one of my favorite things ever. I guess technically chicken salad in general is one of my favorite things ever since this marks my third post in three months about chicken salad. Remember that time I gave you a recipe for pesto chicken salad? Or the one for curry chicken salad? If not, you should probably go check them out. I make a variation of one of these three chicken salads every week. Continue reading

Spaghetti Pizza Casserole

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I was so excited this weekend that it was finally getting warmer here in Maryland. And then I woke up today to cold and rain. I think this is without a doubt the longest winter we’ve had here. At least that I can remember.

Saturday I woke up at 8 am (a huge feat for me when I had had a few drinks the night before) so that I could go to the first day of the Farmers Market here. It was a little chilly out, and I was slightly hungover, but I was still so excited. Since it was the first day and it is really early in the season, there wasn’t a whole lot to chose from. There were LOTS of herbs, some really delicious caramels that I had to sample, and a lot of artisanal stuff. I wasn’t really into the blown glass and wax figures. I was there for the vegetables and meat. The vegetables were a pretty big let down, but I did score a pound of local lamb (for a recipe I’m trying tonight) and a pound of local pork sausage. I’m so excited for the farmers markets to come back. Getting local stuff isn’t super easy here, so when I have the opportunity I jump at it. Plus it gives me something to do during the day on weekends.

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Pork Fried Rice

I need to come up with better names for these dishes. I’m pretty much the least creative person on the planet and I’m pretty straight forward, and I think those lovely traits of mine are reflected well in my post naming. Oh well. I’ll work on that.

This has been a busy week for me. I had a lot of work to do (end of the month joys) and I had a few doctors appointments to cram in there as well. Throw in as many night workouts as I have been able to fit in, and cooking has taken a back seat this week. That means getting home at around 7:30 or 8 every night and throwing together a meal of whatever the hell is in my fridge and eating around 9 pm. Every night. Weekend, where are you? Continue reading

Bacon Bison Burgers

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I am constantly complaining about how there are not enough places in Annapolis for paleo people to eat. Well, on Friday night I returned to one that I haven’t been to in over a year and I am happy to say that it was just as good this time as it was the last time I ate there.

I went out for my moms birthday with my sister and a few of my aunts to Level in downtown Annapolis and I left dinner very satisfied. Level is an awesome restaurant that is huge on sourcing their food from local, sustainable resources whenever possible. It is a “small plates” type of restaurant, so we ordered about 8 plates for all of us to share. Continue reading