Cheesy Vegetable Soup

While visiting my sister right after she had a baby one of her friends brought this yummy soup over for dinner. I loved it and have been meaning to make it for quite some time! It is super creamy yet light and there are lots of veggies hidden inside as well. 3/5 of us loved it and the other two still didn't complain too much so that worked for me ;-)! (I believe it originally came from the site

1 1/2 quarts water
5 chicken bouillon cubes (I used 6)
1 small onion, chopped
1 c diced celery
2 1/2 c diced potatoes
1 1/2 c diced carrots
1 1/2 c diced broccoli
1 1/2 c diced cauliflower
1 lb Velveeta cheese (I used 2%)
2 cans cream chicken soup (I used 98% FF)
(we sprinkled a little bacon on top)

Cook until done: Water, onion, celery, potatoes, carrots, bouillon cubes, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Stir in 2 cans cream of chicken soup and cheese.
Stir constantly 6 to 8 minutes until cheese melts. Do not boil!

The Most Perfect Burger and Homemade Fries

Since we have been eating out less I have been experimenting more in the kitchen again and it has actually been so fun to get back in the cooking groove. There was a very important Georgia football game last weekend and we decided to make some homemade burgers and fries for the big event. The burgers were SOOO amazing! The kids have brought it up repeatedly since we had them, so I decided I better save the recipe forever! The fries were pretty good, but we have some additionally experimenting to do to get them perfect so I will keep updating this post as we figure it out! (the idea of the rack was great because you don't have to flip them, but I think I used a little too much oil)

The burger recipe is from Genius Kitchen
1 egg
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1 lb medium ground beef

Lightly oil grill& heat BBQ to medium.
Whisk egg in a bowl& add next 6 ingredients.
Crumble in beef & using your hands or a fork, gently mix together.
Handle the meat as little as possible – the more you work it, the tougher it gets.
Gently shape (don’t firmly press) mixture into burgers about ¾ inch thick.
Using your thumb, make a shallow depression in the centre of each burger to prevent puffing up during cooking.
Place burgers on the grill, close lid& BBQ until NO LONGER PINK INSIDE, turning once, about 6 – 8 minutes per side.
An instant read thermometer should read 160F.
The fries recipe came from 101 Cooking for Two
2 russet potatoesmedium
coarse salt, cajun seasoning, garlic
1 tablespoon oil

Start with a couple of medium russet potatoes. That will make four servings. Preheat oven to 425.
Peel potatoes if desired. Cut your fries.
Place in cold water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse the fries with cold water and place on a towel and dry reasonably well.
Dry the bowl and put fries back in and mix with about a tablespoon of oil.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a rack. Spray with PAM.
Spread the fries on a prepared rack. Give a light sprinkle of coarse salt. Bake until golden brown. About 30 minutes.

Healthy White Chicken Chili

I have been embracing the fact that I actually have time to cook again and it has been fun looking for new (and hopefully healthy) recipes to try! I love all kinds of chili but especially chicken chili. I found this healthy version on The Lyons' Share and changed up a couple things but it was great and made tons!

original recipe HERE, what I did below...

1-2 lbs raw chicken breast
4 stalks celery
1 small yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow/orange bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups kale, cut in bite size pieces
2 T minced garlic
1 c salsa verde
1 t salt
2 cans beans (I used 1 great Northern and 1 cannellini)
1 carton chicken broth

- Chop all vegetables except 3 stalks of celery into bite-sized pieces and place in crock pot
- Place chicken breasts, garlic, salt and 1 can beans on top of vegetables and pour salsa over top (I used great Northern)
- In a blender place remaining 3 stalks of celery, chicken broth and other can of beans (cannellini)and blend together
- Pour mixture on top of everything else in crockpot
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours
- 30 minutes before serving shred chicken and add the chopped kale

Stuffed Enchilada Zucchinis

We loved this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe! (original recipe here) It took a little more prep work than I am willing to do every night but it was well worth it. We had plenty of leftovers for me to have for lunches the next couple days :-).

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

4 medium zucchini, halved
12 ounces lean ground turkey or ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and membrane removed for want less heat)
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Scoop out the center of each zucchini, discarding the seeds and leaving the outer zucchini flesh about 1/4-inch thick, forming little zucchini boats. Sprinkle the cut side of each zucchini with a little bit of salt (a pinch for each zucchini half). Set aside while preparing the filling.
In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook the ground turkey or beef over medium heat with the salt and pepper, breaking the meat into little pieces as it cooks. Once cooked all the way through, drain any excess grease, except for 1-2 teaspoons, and scrape the meat to a plate.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook the mixture until the onion has softened and turned translucent, 4-5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, and coriander. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle in about 1/3 cup of the sauce and spread across the bottom of the pan.
Stir the cooked meat and beans into the remaining sauce in the skillet.
Scoop an even amount of the meat and sauce mixture into each zucchini boat, piling it on.
Cover the baking dish with a layer of lightly greased foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and layer the cheese over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes more until the zucchini is fork tender.
Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top and let the zucchini enchilada boats rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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