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Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can 99% fat-free low sodium chicken broth
1 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Remove chicken from soup and shred. Return chicken to soup, stir, and serve.

We like things spicy and flavorful, so I also add in a dash or two of cayenne.

Number of Servings: 8


Black Bean Soup

2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup "gourmet" style salsa

Heat all ingredients in large pot on stove until heated through.
Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree into a "creamy" black bean soup.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or other herbs.

Number of Servings: 6


Chef Meg's Roasted Corn and Pepper Soup

4 ears yellow corn, shucked

3 bell peppers, (red, orange or yellow)
1 jar roasted peppers packed in water

5 Roma tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes, drained

1 T olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
pinch red pepper
1/4 t cumin, ground
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t black pepper
16 oz chicken broth, low sodium
1 T chives, chopped (optional)

Roast the corn and peppers over a grill set on medium heat or in a 400 degree oven until the kernels just start to brown and the skin of the peppers starts to char. Place the peppers in a paper bag or in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel. Allow the peppers to steam for 10 minutes. While the peppers are steaming, allow the corn to cool to the touch. Using a knife and slicing away from you, remove the kernels from the cob. Remove the charred skin from the peppers and chop them.
Heat a large stock pot or saucepan over moderate heat. Add oil and once hot, add onions. Cook onions for 3-4 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in food processor.

Make eight one-cup servings.

Number of Servings: 8



Our Fall picks for nutritious and delicious meal ideas:

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 (3 1/2-pound) roasting chicken
Cooking spray
12 ounces red potatoes, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan.

3. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.

Grown-up Grilled Cheese

Cooking spray
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese (such as Cracker Barrel)
8 (1 1/2-ounce) slices hearty white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
6 slices center-cut bacon, cooked
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion and garlic; cook for 10 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally.

2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 bread slices. Top each slice with 1/2 cup spinach, 2 tomato slices, 2 tablespoons onion mixture, and 1 1/2 bacon slices. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese; top with the remaining 4 bread slices.

3. Heat skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place sandwiches in pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese melts.


Butternut Squash Soup and Cheesy Toast

1 tablespoon butter
3 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 (1-ounce) slices French bread
3 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese

1. To prepare soup, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, carrot, and onion; sauté for 12 minutes. Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half and salt.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Place squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth.

4. To prepare toasts, arrange French bread on a baking sheet. Broil for 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Turn bread over, and top evenly with Swiss cheese. Broil for 1 minute or until bubbly. Serve toasts with soup.






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