The best way to take refuge from the cold, winter weather is to delight your senses with a hearty winter meal. When it comes to winter food, our minds immediately gravitate towards comforting stews and soups. To help you keep your stomach satisfied this winter, below are three delicious recipes perfect for the season.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (about 4 large chicken breast halves)
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced; or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder)
- 1 (15-ounce) can great northern beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (stewed and diced)
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (frozen, thawed)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (heaping)
- 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 bay leaf
- Garnish: sour cream or shredded cheese
- Optional: chopped fresh cilantro
- Dice the chicken or cut it into strips. Put the chicken pieces in the slow cooker along with the onion, bell pepper, garlic, drained and rinsed beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce, corn, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir to blend ingredients.
- Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then cook on low for 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Spoon the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream or shredded cheese, along with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.
- Serve with cornbread, crackers, or crusty bread.
Simple Meatloaf With Optional Topping Recipe
For the Optional Glaze/Topping:
- 4 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon (or similar mustard)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the Meatloaf:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs (plain)
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion (or 1/2 cup finely minced fresh onion)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons burger seasoning (or 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper)
- 1/2 cup ketchup (plus more for topping, if desired)
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Spray a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- If using the optional topping, in a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons ketchup, maple syrup, mustard and Worcestershire until well mixed. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, onion, seasoning and 1/2 cup ketchup. Mix until well blended and pack into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Carefully drain off any excess fat and then top the loaf with the optional topping mixture or about 4 tablespoons of ketchup. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 2 to 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion (yellow or sweet, chopped)
- 1 cup celery (diced)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 cup carrots (julienned)
- 3 medium potatoes (yellow or red, peeled, cubed, about 3 to 4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon basil (or dried herb seasoning blend)
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half (or milk)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (sharp; shredded or cut into cubes)
- Dash salt (or to taste)
- Dash black pepper (or to taste)
- Garnish: cooked bacon
- Brown ground beef, onion, and celery in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes or until the onion and celery are translucent; adding olive oil as necessary for ease during sautéing.
- Add the diced red bell pepper and cook for an additional minute. Add the chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, parsley, and basil or herb seasoning blend.
- Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.
- In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; stir in flour until smooth and cooked, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the half-and-half or milk. Then stir in the cheese.
- Continue cooking the milk mixture, stirring, until cheese is melted and the mixture is thick and begins to bubble.
- Add the milk mixture to the soup mixture, stirring until well blended.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture an additional 5 minutes and remove from heat.
- Garnish with cooked crumbled bacon, parsley, croutons or shredded cheese if desired.
- Serve warm with biscuits or crusty rolls.