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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chicken Corn Chowder (GF)


I don't know about you, but we love soup for an easy fall dinner. I had a ton of milk to use up a couple weeks ago and was scavenging Pinterest for a good creamy soup recipe to try.

I am a huge fan of potato soup, sadly it is one of the very few things my husband doesn't like. He prefers spicier soups like my White Chicken Chili or Taco Soup. Since he is such a good sport and eats so many of my experimental meals, it's only fair to try and accomodate his tastes when I can.

If White Chicken Chili and Potato Soup had a baby--they would name it Chicken Corn Chowder. Ha ha! It's a bit on the spicy side to please my man (but easily tamed down for those who like things more mild) yet still incorportates some well-hidden potatoes and is topped with crunchy bacon bits, green onions and delicious cheddar cheese.

I think it's a winning combo! Paired with a simple tossed salad it definitely hits the spot on a crisp fall night.

Enjoy!


Chicken Corn Chowder
Serves 6

8 slices nitrate-free bacon
1/2 c. onion, chopped
4 oz. can mild green chilies (optional--but I highly recommend adding)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. chicken broth, divided
2 c. frozen hashbrowns, shredded or diced variety
2 c. frozen corn
2 c. cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
1 t. Old Bay seasoning (or make your own but don't omit--this ingredient makes it perfect)
1/4 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt (less or more to your taste)
dash pepper
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped or 1/2 T. dried parsley
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
2-3 T. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
3 c. whole milk
shredded cheddar cheese for serving
chopped green onions for serving


1. Chop bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Save cooked bacon for serving chowder.

2. Reserve approximately 2 T. of bacon grease and saute garlic, onion and green chilies.

3. Pour onion and garlic mixture into a large pot and add 1 cup of chicken broth, corn, potatoes and chicken. Simmer 5 minutes.

4. Add remaining broth and seasonings. Whisk arrowroot powder or cornstarch into cold milk and pour into the pot.

5. Simmer for at least 30 min. for chowder to thicken and flavors to meld. For thicker chowder, add more arrowroot or cornstarch (1 t. at a time). To thin, add more milk or broth.

6. Top with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions. Serve warm.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meal Plan Monday: Easy Tips for Filling the Freezer & GF Meals for Sept. 23-30



Filling the Freezer WITHOUT a Freezer Cooking Day

You can stock your freezer full of healthy, homemade meals with minimal extra work. Look at your weekly menu and decide if there is anything that could easily be doubled or even tripled and would freeze nicely. I try to plan at least one main dish a week that is "freezable".
For example, soups and casseroles are perfect for freezing and reheating. Crockpot meals can be doubled and the extra ingredients thrown into a freezer bag for a future meal. If you are making pancakes or muffins, plan to bake extras and freeze for busy mornings.
How do you decide what will "freeze well"? Think about it this way...if you can buy it premade and frozen at the grocery (Lean Cuisine meals, waffles, grilled sliced chicken breasts, etc. etc.) you can make it yourself and freeze it! I even buy inexpensive glass casserole dishes for $1 at yard sales and Goodwill to use for my freezer meals. {Be sure to thaw in the fridge overnight before putting into hot oven and cracking your dish!}
This week, I am making Skillet Chili Mac which I will double--freezing the leftover as a casserole for later. When freezing soup, like my Chicken Corn Chowder, I use a muffin tin and transfer "soup pucks" to a freezer bag. I am also baking up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Muffins and Pumpkin Scones, both of which will be excellent to freeze and reheat. {Recipes coming soon!!}
I don't plan a special freezer cooking day as some people do. For me, it's just as simple to make extra of something I am already cooking anyway and sock away the surplus in the deep freeze. Not to mention that it means a no-mess, low-stress, easy meal for another day. And the best part? You get twice as many meals with half as many dirty dishes!

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Here is what is on our family's menu this week. Recipe links are shown in BLUE. 

Monday
GF Skillet Chili Mac  ~ Recipe Coming Soon!
Honey Lime Fruit Salad


Tuesday
GF Chicken Corn Chowder 
Mixed Green Salad
GF Thin Mint Cookies


Wednesday
Dinner at church


Thursday ~ (Kids' night--Dad works late)
GF Pumpkin Scones  ~  Recipe Coming Soon!
Nitrate-free Bacon
Blueberry Banana Smoothies (with spinach...shhh!!)


Friday
GF Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic & Butter
Homemade Applesauce


Saturday
Dinner out


Sunday  ~  (Company for dinner)
Grilled BBQ Chicken
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Oven Roasted Broccoli
GF Apple Crisp w/Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

Do you have a favorite meal to use for planned leftovers? Something that freezes and reheats beautifully? Leave a comment or link to your recipe in the section below. Have a great week!