Stuffed Pepper Soup and Sick Days

I know I’m not the only one LOVING this cooler weather! Bring on the sweaters, soups and cider! My sweet, sweet husband surprised me with my favorite orchard’s cider and donuts yesterday- what a guy!

We’ve been fighting through a cold this week, even poor little Raymond is stuffed up with a little cough. Sick babies are just the worst, followed closely by tired, stuffy toddlers. I decided to ignore our normal rule about tv limits yesterday and lean into a full-blown, loungy, pajama-wearing, couch day. The best thing to end a sick day is homemade soup.

Poor sick kiddo- no better cure than zoning out to some Doc McStuffins!

Poor sick kiddo- no better cure than zoning out to some Doc McStuffins!

Thank you Solly Baby for helping me out once again! Our littlest man has been stuffy and did not want to be laid down , so baby wearing was the best solution in order to actually accomplish something around the house. Not to mention, I loved snuggling him close to me knowing he wasn’t feeling his best, while still being able to make soup for my other sick baby.

photo 1 (23)

Now, onto the recipe! This was a hit with the whole family. I’m always looking for ways to get Ricky to eat more protein and this definitely fit the bill!

Stuffed pepper soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 cup rice (cooked)

Directions

  • Brown beef and onions over medium heat
  • Add beef, onions and remaining ingredients (EXCEPT RICE) into crockpot
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours
  • When there is 30 minutes remaining, stir in cooked rice
  • Enjoy!

Bowl of stuffed pepper soup

Freezer Meal Prep and Crockpot BBQ Chicken

My saint of a husband and I knocked out some serious freezer meal prep this weekend. We typically purchase our chicken from a local meat market in 5 lb untrimmed bags in order to save a little extra cash. My hubby then trims up the chicken and we freeze it in appropriately sized portions for meals that I’ll make over the following weeks. I do not care for uncooked chicken- it gives me the heebie jeebies in a very real way, so any time I can avoid handling it I jump at the opportunity. Since Karl was going to be trimming up the chicken already, I figured this would be the perfect time to make some freezer meals that require diced or strips of chicken so I wouldn’t have to do any dicing/handling of the yucky raw chicken the day of the meal! Freezer meal prep was one of the big to-dos on my pre-baby checklist. Because of Ricky’s food allergies, even when we are fortunate enough to have people drop off meals after the new baby arrives, Ricky will not be able to partake. So, home cooked, Ricky safe meals will still need to be on rotation, even when this momma is in recovery and does not have the energy to cook. Enter freezer meals *cue heroic music*!

Allergy safe freezer meals

This weekend we made:

Baked Chicken Fajitas
Honey Balsamic Chicken
– Rosemary Dijon Chicken
– Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
– Crockpot BBQ Chicken

I’ll share more of these recipes throughout the week, but let’s start with Crockpot BBQ Chicken. This recipe is super simple and great to freeze ahead! Just thaw the chicken mixture in the fridge overnight, then dump the bag contents into a crockpot in the morning or mid-day and cook until ready to serve! I prefer this yummy shredded bbq chicken as a sandwich on a hamburger bun, but you could serve it alone as well.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs and 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs and 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients (except chicken) in the crockpot and stir. Add chicken, stir to coat and cover in the sauce.
  • Cover and cook in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours
  • When fully cooked, shred chicken with two forks and serve on hamburger buns

Note: To freeze, simply combine all ingredients (including chicken) in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer until ready to cook. 

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Hey all! I hope everyone’s Monday wasn’t too painful and the week is starting off on a good note, following a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. Although it was Mother’s Day, I’m guessing more than a few moms still had to cook for extended family get togethers. So, I figured I’d share something extra quick and easy to give everyone a day of minimal kitchen time. I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE my crockpot. This little invention has saved me countless hours, not to mention I’m often feeling motivated to cook in the morning, but not so much by the time dinner rolls around so these types of recipes are my jam. This is a yummy recipe for shredded chicken that we use in tacos. The left overs are also great for restaurant quality baked nachos- just add this chicken along with cheese and any other desired nacho toppings on tortilla chips and bake in the oven until warm and melty! Tacos are obviously a little advanced for a 19 month old, so we just give him the deconstructed version (which in his case is just shredded chicken) along with the chosen veggie for the night. Please forgive the lack of photo narration, but shredded chicken just doesn’t make for the most aesthetically pleasing photos.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs thawed chicken breasts
  • 1 jar salsa (~16 oz)
  • Homemade taco seasoning packet (keep scrolling for homemade recipe, but you can also substitute a prepackaged packet)

Directions

Place salsa and taco seasoning in the crockpot and mix. Add chicken breasts, stir together and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Shred with a fork prior to serving.

Boom- done! Now, wasn’t that easy?

Most premade taco seasoning packets contain soy (random, right?), so I make my own. To save on time, I mix around 3 at a time and just separate evenly into ziplock bags for storage.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp.black pepper

I hope you all enjoy this super easy, family pleasing meal! Now go kick back and enjoy that free time you earned by making such a time-efficient meal!

Here’s a cute picture of Ricky, just so this post isn’t completely deprived of visuals.

Ballin'