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Creamy Crockpot Tomato Soup

Categories: crockpot, dinner, easy recipe, food

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Talk about a delicious, rich tomato soup that is as healthy as it is creamy! This recipe will make enough for leftovers that will last the week. The soup is prepared in a crockpot and is made using herbs, tomatoes, Roman cheese and chicken broth. It can be served as part of the main meal and also enjoyed with a variety of other foods such as garlic bread, corn bread or kids personal favorite: grilled cheese sandwiches!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs thyme
  • ¼ C of fresh basil
  • 1 C of finely chopped carrots
  • 1 C of finely chopped onions
  • 28 ounces of whole, ripe and plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 C grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus an optional cheese rind
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3 1/2  C of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Pour the tomato juice into the crockpot and place on the low setting. Crush the tomatoes and add them to the cooker. Add the vegetable broth as well as the chicken pieces. Finally, add the cheese, basil, thyme and other spices.

Cover the soup and let it cook for a couple of hours. After about 5 to 6 hours, the flavors will blend nicely and the vegetables will get soft. Remove any cheese rind in the soup and then blend until smooth.

Brown Sugar Chicken Wings

Categories: dinner, easy recipe, snacks

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Chicken is one of the best foods for parties and family gatherings. There are endless recipes for brown sugar chicken wings. You can use a number of spices to create one of your own unique recipes. Using brown sugar adds a depth of flavor compared to other sweeteners such as honey. Here is how to prepare the Dijon brown sugar glazed wings. These take about 10 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to cook.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 C of brown sugar
  • 6 Chicken wings, cut into pieces, tips removed (4lbs)
  • Salt & Pepper (to season)
  • ¼ C dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs of water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Season the wing pieces with salt and pepper then bake for 35 minutes. Turn the wings once during the cooking period.

3. Mix the dijon mustard, water and the brown sugar in a small pan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Brush the glaze onto the pre-cooked wings about every 10 minutes while turning them each time. Repeat the glaze until the wings are well coated and sticky.

5. Serve immediately.

Easy Homemade Calzone

Categories: dinner

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Need kid-friendly but filling recipe for you and your kids? This Homemade Calzone recipe is perfect for those cold days when you need a great cooking distraction. Whether you make the dough from scratch or use store-bought dough, this recipe is simple and fun, letting you get a little extra creative in the kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 C. pizza sauce
  • 1 C. ricotta
  • 1 C. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 roll pizza dough
  • fresh herbs: basil, oregano, broccoli
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta, cooked
  • egg wash
  • Parmesan cheese for inside of dough and seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the dough until it is about a quarter of an inch thick. Spread your ingredients on half of the dough, leaving room for when you fold the unused half over the used portion later on. Spread several tablespoons of mozzarella down first. On top of the mozzarella, place all of your favorite ingredients (pepperoni, sausage, yummy veggies etc.)

Season the fillings with a little salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Brush water lightly on the edges of the dough. Fold the unused half of dough over the fillings, so the edges meet and form a half circle. Make creases along the edges with a fork by pressing firmly around the C-shaped edge where the two halves meet.

Before putting your calzone on a baking sheet and popping it in the oven, brush the top of the crust with olive oil to create a crisper, browner finish. Bake for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

**Looking to make your own delicious, homemade crust? Check out this healthy, pizza dough recipe from Food Network.

Healthy Zucchini Noodles

Categories: dinner, easy recipe, healthy recipes

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Zucchini is a vegetable packed with essential protein and fiber, and what better way to sneak it into your diet than through a delicious pasta? This simple Zucchini Pasta recipe, calls for a few basic ingredients and cooks in under 20 minutes. Healthy and quick? You couldn’t ask for a better dinner dish! Check out these easy instructions on how to make one of our favorite new recipes.

First you’ll need a few things:

  • One pound of sliced zucchini.  Summer squash can be substituted
  • One crushed garlic clove and four or five basil leaves
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • One pound of angel hair pasta.  Any type of pasta is okay, while fresh is best for this dish.
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • ½ C of grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot to boil and cook your pasta. Slice the zucchini by hand while waiting for the pasta to fully cook. Cook zucchini and let it simmer for about 10 minutes with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. After the pasta is cooked, add the cooked zucchini or summer squash.  Mix the pasta with zucchini and let it simmer over low heat, adding the fresh basil. Then, serve.

This recipe is pure vegan but you can also add Parmesan for an extra dash of flavor.  With a side of French or Italian bread and a side salad, this recipe will certainly fill you and your family up and makes a great leftover lunch for work the next day!

Delicious Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Categories: dinner, healthy recipes

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Nobody in your family will go hungry with this delectable Italian spaghetti squash recipe.  This low cost, mouthwatering meal brings Italy to your dinner table.  We love the playful spaghetti squash for it’s healthy nutrients, and our kids love it because it’s a vegetable disguised as noodles! The homemade sauce using fresh basil and tomatoes will fill the air with delicious aromas making your family gather around the dinner table before the meal is even finished!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 C diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 spaghetti squash sliced down the middle and seeded
  • 1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1 C feta cheese

First, preheat your oven to approximately 345°F.  Place the squash in a small baking tray and bake for thirty minutes.  As the squash is baking, boil a pot of water, place the spaghetti noodles inside, lower heat and continue cooking.  While the squash continues to bake and the noodles start to cook, begin making the sauce by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan.  Fry the onions and garlic until golden brown.  Add the tomatoes and continue to cook on low heat.  When the tomatoes are soft, sprinkle the fresh basil into the pan, cover, and let sit for a few minutes.  Finally, take the squash out of the over, scoop out the soft inner portion, and mix in the sauce. Toss in some feta cheese for extra flavor.  Finish by adding salt and pepper and serving the dish with a side of garlic bread.  Bon Appetite!

Classic Fish and Chips

Categories: dinner, easy recipe

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Your hungry teenagers will devour this delicious fish and chips recipe (rumors have it this may be Prince George’s favorite meal!).  Not only is this traditional English meal delectable, the recipe is very simple to follow for moms who aren’t that savvy in the kitchen.  Serve this easy, royalty worthy recipe to fill those hungry bellies in your family.  Oh, and make sure to save a piece or two for yourself because, after all, you deserve to feel like an English Aristocrat too!

What you’ll need:

  • Medium sized frying pan
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 Frozen or fresh fish fillets
  • Half a dozen potatoes
  • Bread crumbs or corn flakes
  • Salt, pepper, and multipurpose seasoning
  • Deep-fryer

Begin by whisking the two eggs with some salt, pepper, and multipurpose seasoning in a medium sized bowl.  Take the fish fillets and, one at a time, lather them in the egg mixture and cover them with either bread crumbs or corn flakes.  Preheat a large sauté pan with half an inch of oil and place the fillets slowly into the pan.  Cook until golden brown; this will take about four to five minutes on each side.

As the fish cooks, peel the potatoes and cut them into long, french fry shaped strips.  Heat an oil of your choosing in a deep fryer and put the potatoes in.  Cook until they become golden brown and crispy.  Take your cooked fish, strain the oil from the pan, and place the fillets on an oil absorbing napkin.  Finish by placing both the fish and chips on the plate and serve hot with tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and a healthy portion of fresh salad!

Baked Ziti Casserole

Categories: casserole, dinner, easy recipe, pasta

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Busy moms will love this flexible, family pleasing basked pasta casserole recipe.  It guarantees full bellies, includes everything needed for a well balance meal, and only takes one hour to whip up.  Whether it be your carnivore, pasta enthusiast, or cheese lover,  everyone will be able to find something they enjoy about this dish.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of uncooked ziti pasta
  • 1 pound of sausage links
  • 1 C chopped onions
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ C of chopped basil
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a medium sized stockpot with water and bring to a boil; do no add any flavoring to the water.  Slowly add the pasta to the boiling water, lower the heat, and continue cooking until the pasta is done, about eight to ten minutes.  Set pasta aside.  Remove the casings off the sausage links and cook them in a large sized stockpot with the onions and garlic until brown.  Continue by adding the tomato paste, pepper, salt, and diced tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and continue simmering for ten minutes with occasional stirring.   Add the pasta and basil into the sausage mixture; pour half of this mixture into a casserole dish.  Coat the dish with half of the prepared cheese.  Repeat the process for the other half of the mixture.  Bake it in the oven for around 25 minutes and serve.

Taco Pasta

Categories: dinner, easy recipe, kid friendly recipe, mexican food

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Everybody loves an easy to make, wholesome meal that is healthy and delicious.  Tacos are great, but sometimes they can get overdone. Switch up your recipe routine with this unique takes on traditional tacos. This taco pasta recipe only takes a few minutes to make and is sure to please your little carnivores. This meal is great for planning ahead because it will keep for about a week in the fridge!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • ¾ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 or 3 sliced onions
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz wide egg noodles
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 4 oz of diced green chilies

Begin by mincing the garlic and dicing the onion.  In a medium sized pot with olive oil, add the garlic and onion over medium heat for about three minutes.  Next, add the ground beef to the mixture and cook until tender.  Once tender, the chili powder, diced tomatoes, and green chilies can be added.  Submerge the noodles into the mixture, cover the pot, and continue cooking for ten minutes until the noodles are cooked.

Easy Crockpot Pesto Chicken

Categories: crockpot, dinner, easy recipe

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Kelley Grant is a contributor on Work it Mom, and owner of The Grant Life

We’ve all made resolutions for the new year but now it’s more important to think about how we can stick to them throughout the coming year. One of the most common resolutions is to get healthy and lose weight. It’s a great resolution to have but you need to have a plan in place in order to succeed. One of the easiest ways I have found to stick to a healthy diet is to put myself on a meal plan. It’s so simple and yet makes such a huge difference in the end. Which is why I’m going to share an easy recipe that is both healthy and meal plan worthy.

I absolutely love crockpot meals because they are easy and quick.  This pesto chicken is no exception.  A little prep work up front and you have a delicious meal waiting for you at the end of the day.  To make your own you will need:

  • Chicken loin or 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1 can of chicken broth plus one can of water
  • Potatoes or other veggies, if desired

Take your fresh chicken and cover it in the pesto.  Put it in a ziplock baggie and freeze it.  When you are ready to cook it add the frozen (pesto covered) chicken to the crockpot along with your veggies and chicken broth.  Use your chicken broth can and add an additional can of water.  Set it on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Scoop it all out of the crockpot and enjoy!

Another great perk of crockpot cooking is that the smell fills the entire house.  Sometimes I worry during the middle of the day about dinner, and then the smell wafts in and I remember I have a delicious meal in the crockpot.  Plus, any fat on the chicken tends to melt off in the crockpot making it and even healthier choice!  Easy, health and delicious.  This crockpot pesto chicken has it all!

Easy Meatloaf Muffins

Categories: dinner, easy recipe

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Meatloaf recipes have been passed down through generations as a family staple. They have evolved over the years…for instance we love this Smoked Gouda Turkey Meatloaf recipe. But how about a quick and portable meatloaf? For the busy mom this is basically a slam dunk.

Meatloaf muffins are a easy and quick meal that takes little preparation and cooking time.  In fact, these meaty muffins can serve your whole family without much bother in the kitchen.

For a dozen of these meaty muffins you’ll need:

  • 2 pound of ground sirloin (can use ground turkey a healthy substitute)
  • 1 onion diced into small chunks
  • 2 celery stalks cut into small pieces
  • 1 red or green pepper cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg beaten with a slash of cream or whole milk
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • A pinch of salt & pepper, and a dash of olive oil
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs

Place the beef into a large bowl and fold in the other ingredients.  Then scoop the mixture onto a well-greased muffin tin that has about 12 1/2 inch muffin spaces.  Bake the mixture at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a small amount of extra tomato sauce on top. Freeze these puppies for the perfect lunch to pack for your kids throughout the week.

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