Comfort Food · Dinner · Easy recipe · soup

Empty the Freezer Soup

Savory soups that simmer on the stove create two things –

  1. An aroma that’s irresistible
  2. A meal that satisfies both appetites and hearts

Last week I had the blessing of spending time with my parents and helping out during a time of hardship. Fixing meals each day was one responsibility I took on with great delight. A sampling of my menu included things like, Pinto Beans like Cracker Barrel’s, traditional Rump Roast dinner with all the trimmings, Baked Potatoes topped with broccoli cheese sauce – all recipe I’ve made many times.

But then my mom requested I make her recipe for Vegetable Beef Soup. She had this recipe in her head and verbally shared it with me one morning. I realized it would pull together very quickly, and would also use up some of the little bits of this and that in the freezer. Always a good thing, right?

During the fall and winter we eat lots of homemade soups. Some of my favorites are Senate Bean Soup, and Cream of Wild Rice Soup but both of these recipes are a little labor-intensive and take some time to prepare (but so worth it!). I love having a delicious soup recipe that’s a snap to pull together, and my mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup definitely fits the bill! You can use whatever vegetables you like/have on hand. This soup is a great way to use up those little bit of leftovers hiding in the fridge or stored in your freezer!

Here’s her simple recipe…

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup lima beans
1 potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 can Bush’s northern beans
1/3 cup barley
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef and onion. Drain any fat. Add the chicken broth and then all the vegetables, spices,seasonings and barley. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes.

I like to serve a soup like this with a crusty bread and a side salad.

Yum! This is a perfect winter meal that will:

  • Wisely use up leftover veggies in your freezer
  • Warm bodies
  • Win the hearts of those that sit at your table!

Open up your freezer, grab those veggies and throw them in a pot for this delicious soup this week!

Refresh your menu with a savory soup!

Comfort Food · Crock Pot · Dinner · Ground turkey · Main dish.

Turkey Meatloaf in the Crock Pot

My husband loves Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf and with good reason – it’s delicious! However, it’s also high in calories. Because we’ve both been trying to eat more healthy, and are avoiding those high cal Cracker Barrel entrees, I looked for a meatloaf recipe using ground Turkey. That was when I came upon this gem – BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf that turned out to be FANTASTIC and also cooked in the crock pot! What? Meatloaf in the crock pot? You talk about easy! This recipe is a winner all the way around!! Take a peek!

BBQ Glazed Meatloaf – Cooked in the Crock Pot!

Clean-up was a cinch! Pull the foil out of the bottom of the crock pot and wipe it out! Ta-da! Friends, this recipe is for you if you’re looking for:

  • Delicious
  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Easy to clean up

A friend of mine told me she steers away from ground poultry because it just doesn’t seem right! Well, I understand, but you need to give it a try! It’s so good, and so much better for you! Now for the recipe!

BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup shredded Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp Dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (I used Dijon)

1. Fold a 24-inch length of foil in half lengthwise. Fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 5-6 quart slow-cooker.

2. Put the turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the foil in the slow cooker.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meatloaf juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 3–4 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low.

4. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture over the meatloaf, spreading it smooth. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the glaze is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. With the help of the foil, lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker and transfer to a platter. Discard foil and cut the meatloaf into 6 slices. Yields 1 slice meatloaf per serving.

This meal was absolutely delicious! My husband isn’t pining away for his Cracker Barrel meatloaf anymore!

I made this meal for our Sunday dinner and it was so great that it was ready when we got home from church! I mixed up the meatloaf the night before, then popped it into the crock pot before we headed out the door. What a great meal when you need something savory and have time to let the crock pot do the work!

Do you eat ground poultry? If not, I really hope you’ll get some turkey and try this recipe! I believe it will convert you!

Here are a couple other turkey recipes we love.

With love from my country kitchen,

Dinner · Make-Ahead

Shepherd’s Pie Made Light

I have a beloved cookbook that houses the recipes of some of our nation’s best Bed and Breakfasts.  One such recipe is for Shepherd’s Pie.  If you’ve never had it, it’s basically a roast beef dinner served in a casserole dish.  The beef, gravy and vegetables are on the bottom and then it gets “iced” with mashed potatoes! 

My cookbook’s recipe  contains a very detailed list of ingredients, including roast beef to make this delectable dish.  I don’t often have a roast on hand to make it, so I’ve learned that there is a simpler, but still delicious way to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It uses ground beef instead of roast. That makes it so much faster, but still delicious! 

My favorite new substitute for the roast is ground turkey, making it lower in fat.  Don’t worry – you still get the gravy, the vegetables and the mashed potato topping!  I like using just carrots and celery with the meat. I don’t want it to taste like a beef stew, but you could certainly add other vegetables to it. This is a great weeknight dish with all the hearty flavors your family will love!

Another blessing of this recipe is that you can make the whole thing up to two days ahead of time and pop it into the oven to heat up for dinnertime!

Here’s the easy recipe:

Shepherd’s Pie

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes:

  • 1-1/2 lbs  potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika

Filling:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (of course you could use lean ground beef as well)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until cooked and soft.
  • Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large saute pan brown meat over medium high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
  • When cooked, set aside on a plate.
  • Add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. (Add other vegetables of your choice) Sauté on medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the flour, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat and mix well. Simmer on low about 8-10 minutes.
  • Spread the meat on the bottom of casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes turn golden.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes before serving

This would be a great dish to take to a new mom, someone recovering from illness or surgery, or a new family that’s moved into your neighborhood.  Add a salad (how about a copycat Olive Garden Salad?) and a biscuit (here’s my favorite recipe) and you’ll have a complete meal!

If you like make-ahead recipes, you might enjoy this one for Hot Chicken Salad!

With love from my country kitchen,

breakfast · Dinner · leftovers · Lunch

Getting the Most Out of Your Easter Dinner Leftovers

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Happy Monday, Friends!  I trust you had a blessed Easter yesterday!  We had a special day celebrating our risen Savior!

After our church’s on-line service, I fixed a Roast Chicken dinner for my husband and me – quite different than it would normally have been, but it was good!  However, we Continue reading “Getting the Most Out of Your Easter Dinner Leftovers”

Comfort Food · Dinner

When You Can’t Go Out For Pizza

I have always loved a good Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut!  That thick crust that is golden and crispy is all I care about.  But just when you want a good pizza, you might be afraid to order pick-up for all the reasons that everyone in the world is aware of today.  What to do?  You make King Arthur Flour’s 2020 recipe of the yearwhich just happens to be Crispy cheesy Pan Pizza. 

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Continue reading “When You Can’t Go Out For Pizza”