Easy Italian Wedding Soup with Savory Turkey Meatballs

If you really want a people-pleasing recipe ask friends, family and coworkers. I guarantee you’ll come up with a dish you’ll have in your recipe box for years to come.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Recently my coworkers, Maija and Steve, decided to share their favorite crockpot recipes for lunch. They take turns each week preparing family favorites, then bring them in for a well-deserved break in the day.

You know I had to insert myself into their fun lunch gathering, and it didn’t take long for me to find this Italian Wedding Soup to share with you!

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Top Ten Leftover Turkey Recipes

Why eat Thanksgiving leftovers until you can’t stand to look at them anymore!

Leftover turkey, potatoes, and cooked vegetables freeze beautifully. Pull them from the freezer and turn them into a quick meal after holiday shopping, or a healthy dinner for the kids while you whoop it up at your company Christmas party.

Whether you freeze your leftovers, or prefer to use them up as quickly as possible, my top ten tempting meal ideas are a nice change from the typical turkey sandwich . . .

Turkey Gravy Over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Turkey Gravy Over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1. Turkey Gravy over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

If you were going to throw away those small bits and piece of turkey, think again. They add up, and can easily be swapped out for the ground turkey in this recipe.

Sweet Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash With Turkey and Swiss Cheese

Sweet Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash With Turkey and Swiss Cheese

2. Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey, Apples and Swiss Cheese

Apples and squash are the perfect compliment for turkey – especially the dark meat. It has a slightly gamier appeal that stands up well to the sweetness of apples and squash.

Turkey and Mushroom Casserole

Turkey and Mushroom Casserole

3. Turkey and Mushroom Pasta Casserole

Pre-sliced mushrooms, a can of low fat mushroom soup, pasta and cheese come together in this heart-warming dish. If you have leftover green bean casserole, be sure and add it to the mix to get those extra veggies in. Don’t forget to use whole grain or quinoa pasta. Now you have a real meal – whole grains, protein and veggies. Can’t beat that!

Braised Cabbage and Turkey Kielbasa

Braised Cabbage and Turkey Kielbasa

4. Turkey with Braised Cabbage and Chard

If you’re looking for something on the lighter side after all that heavy holiday fare, fresh cabbage and chard, sautéed with garlic and fresh thyme, make this meal a nice low-carb choice for dinner.

Chicken and White Bean Chili

5. Weight Watchers White Bean Turkey Chili Recipe

This list wouldn’t be complete without a chili recipe adapted from Laloosh.com. Toss your chili ingredients into a slow cooker and let them meld their spicy flavors to perfection while you’re away.

6. Slow Cooker Italian Stew with Cannellini Beans and Kale

If chili isn’t your thing, this healthy Italian stew boasts an abundance of vegetables, including leafy kale. This is truly a calorie-light meal. Be sure to serve it with a whole grain roll so you can mop up that garden rich sauce.

7. Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds

Yes, I realize brussels sprouts aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan, this recipe from Allrecipes.com would be fantastic with your leftover turkey tossed into the pan. Keep the turkey bacon, or replace it with turkey breast. Either way, this brussels sprouts recipe is to die for.

Quinoa Fettuccine with Kale, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas

Quinoa Fettuccine with Kale, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas

8. Fettuccine with Italian Sausage and Chickpeas

If you’re a pasta lover, this pasta recipe adapted from Roti & Rice fits the bill for you. Garlic, lemon and fresh basil add punch to chickpeas and kale. Roti & Rice used turkey sausage, but chopped or shredded turkey breast would keep this meal light and allow the fresh basil to shine through.

Curried Chicken Salad

9. Curried Turkey Salad

We need a few salad recipes in this list, don’t we? This isn’t your typical leafy green salad recipe. Warm curry adds a bit of sweet heat to fresh grapes, apples, sweet dried cranberries, and salty pepitas. Serve it as is, or scoop it into crunchy endive leaves for a delicious appetizer.

Roasted Eggplant and Chicken Wrap

Roasted Eggplant and Chicken Wrap

10. Eggplant and Turkey Wrap with Garlicky Hummus

Last, but not least, we need a wrap recipe. Using turkey instead of the original chicken isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination. If you love Mediterranean flavors, then the Greek yogurt, hummus and feta cheese will thrill your taste buds.

That’s the end of my top ten recipes for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  I have more, so feel free to browse through my chicken and turkey recipes. I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, so off to the mall I go. Happy cooking!

Slow Cooker 15 Bean and Ham Hock Soup

15 Beans and Ham Hock Soup

15 Beans and Ham Hock Soup

I’ve learned over the years that when I need to take off a few pounds, beans are definitely on my grocery list.

Whether I toss them into my salad, or served them up as a chili or soup, all that fiber keeps me satisfied for hours.

A 15 bean soup is tops on my list. Hurst sells a package of beans that includes Northern, pinto, large lima, blackeye, garbanzo, baby lima, green split, kidney, cranberry, small white, pink, small red, yellow split, lentil, navy, white kidney, and black beans. Quite the list, don’t you think?

You know me, I don’t use their sodium loaded seasonings, I’d rather season to my taste. Besides, the ham hock simmering away with the beans adds such a wonderful smoky flavor, why would I want to ruin it with a stale seasoning packet.

Do yourself a favor and make plenty to freeze for lunches later in the week. Bean soups freeze beautifully, and you won’t have to worry about what’s on the lunch menu.

Happy cooking!

Filler Up With Fiber – Slow Cooker 15 Bean and Ham Hock Soup

8

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces 15 bean soup mix, soaked overnight and rinsed (I used Hurst's)
  • 64 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ pound ham hock
  • 3 large bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 dash hot sauce
  • 1 cup parsley

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a large slow cooker, excluding hot sauce and parsley. Cook for 8 - 10 hours on low until soup is thick and creamy. Remove ham hock and shred meat. Add meat back to the soup.
  2. Stir in hot sauce to taste and garnish with parsley.
http://motherrimmy.com/filler-up-with-fiber-slow-cooker-15-bean-and-ham-hock-soup/

What’s good for me in this dish?

Beans are an excellent source of antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Beans are also filling and a great source of protein. Folic acid is important for the formation of red blood cells. Potassium is important for our nervous system and promotes a healthy heart rhythm. Fiber is important for digestive health.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 307, Old Weight Watchers Points 6
Total Fat: 2.77g
Cholesterol: 17mg
Sodium: 799mg
Total Carbs: 48.27g
Dietary Fiber: 18.43g
Sugars: 2.61g
Protein: 23.90g

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com. The statement made here are strictly my opinion and are not meant to replace medical advice from your physician. Please see disclaimer for further details.

Slow Cooker 15 Bean and Ham Hock Soup on Foodista

Slow Cooker Leftover Flank Steak Chili – It’s Steak, How Can You Miss?

Seriously. How can you miss by adding leftover steak to your chili?  I say that you can’t. I refuse to waste even a little bit of food if I can possibly help it, so why not add my little bits of steak to some chili beans in a slow cooker.

As much as I love to cook, I love time off too, so an easy chili recipe is one of my go-to ways to use up those veggies and leftover meat.

The steak is lean, the beans are a nutrition powerhouse, and the smoky taste of cumin can’t be beat. Add cheese if you’d like, but I’m a chili purist. I love mine just plain, thank you.

Happy cooking!

Slow Cooker Flank Steak Chili

Slow Cooker Flank Steak Chili

Slow Cooker Leftover Flank Steak Chili

Recipe Serves 4

30 ounces chili beans , rinsed and drained
14 ounces petite diced tomatoes
½ small onion, chopped
½ large bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tablespoon chili seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
6 ounces flank steak, leftover, chopped into bite sized pieces
hot sauce to taste

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 4 – 6 hours on low. Mixture should be reduced by 1/3 and vegetables and beans tender.

What’s good from me in this dish?

Lean beef is high in tryptophan and protein. Chock full of vitamins B12, B6, B3 and B2, beef has cardiovascular benefits, as well as the ability to  prevent colon cancer. Beef also contains iron, selenium and zinc.

Beans are an excellent source of antioxidants, folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Filling and a great source of protein. Folic acid is important for the formation of red blood cells. Potassium is important for our nervous system and promotes a healthy heart rhythm. Fiber is important for digestive health.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 271
Total Fat: 2.81g
Cholesterol: 23mg
Sodium: 1116mg
Total Carbs: 39.59g
Dietary Fiber: 12.93g
Sugars: 8.75g
Protein: 23.79g

Weight Watchers Points 5

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com

Homemade Chili on Foodista

Stick to Your Ribs Slow Cooker Minestrone

Here in Seattle we had an amazing summer. Day after day of warm weather. It was just beautiful. Blue skies and green trees. I’m sad to see the days get shorter, and the weather colder.

Slow Cooker Minestrone

Slow Cooker Minestrone

Still, there are some good things about fall and winter. Soups, stews, and comfort food.  I decided to take out the slow cooker and try and get into the spirit of fall.

As a member of FoodBuzz, I come across a some really terrific recipes, and this one from SimplyLife was just what I was looking for. A colorful, hearty minestrone that sticks to your ribs.

Happy cooking!

Stick to Your Ribs Slow Cooker Minestrone

Ingredients

  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • tomato paste (I use a lot more than most recipes call for since I don't add in tomatoes but love their flavor!)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • oreagano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • basil
  • touch of cayenne pepper
  • corn (I used frozen)
  • about 4 oz. pasta

Instructions

  1. 1. Mix all ingredients in slow cooker except pasta and frozen corn.
  2. 2. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. 3. Stir in pasta and corn. Cover and cook on high setting for 15 to 20 minutes, until pasta is tender. Take out bay leaf. Serve and enjoy!
http://motherrimmy.com/stick-to-your-ribs-slow-cooker-minestrone/

Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 305
Total Fat: 1.38g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 902mg
Total Carbs: 63.29g
Dietary Fiber: 10.11g
Sugars: 12.62g
Protein: 15.35g
Weight Watchers Points 5

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com I am not a licensed nutritionist, nor a medical professional, and do not mean this information as medical or nutrition advice. See your medical professional if you have questions regarding your nutritional needs.

Fall Crockpot Beef and Brussel Sprouts Soup

It’s fall, and I’m not ready for it yet. I love all this warm weather we are having in Seattle! Sunny, blue skies. Seattle at it’s best. Blue skies and green trees. Still, you can feel fall in the air, so it was time to take out the crock pot and make something crock pot like.

Fall Crockpot Beef and Brussel Sprouts Soup

Fall Crockpot Beef and Brussels Sprouts Soup

My cooking challenge of the month limits me to six ingredients. Slow cooking makes that an easier task. The food cooks until it’s tender and savory. Yum!

We are big fans of brussel sprouts in this house. The local farmers market had tiny brussel sprouts that looked perfect for soup. Beef broth, potato and chunks of tender beef made for a hearty beef soup. Great if you have a meat and potatoes guy in your house!

Happy cooking!

Fall Crockpot Beef and Brussel Sprouts Soup

8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pot roast, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large bay leaf
  • 4 cans beef broth
  • 6 medium potato, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups brussels Sprouts, baby sized
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

  1. 1. Brown meat in olive oil with onion.
  2. 2. Add to crock pot with beef broth and bay leaves.
  3. 3. Cook for 2 hours on high until beef is just getting tender.
  4. 4. Add potatoes and brussels sprouts and cook another 2 - 3 hours until vegetables and meat is tender.
http://motherrimmy.com/fall-crockpot-beef-and-brussel-sprouts-soup/

NUTRITION FACTS

Servings: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 402
Total Fat: 25.32g
Cholesterol: 77mg
Sodium: 478mg
Total Carbs: 11.54g
Dietary Fiber: 3.20g
Sugars: 2.56g
Protein: 25.76g

Weight Watchers Points 9

Fall Crockpot Beef and Brussel Sprouts Soup on Foodista

Slow Cooker Country Italian Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

This slow cooker recipe is a terrific contribution from Grandma Karen to this healthy cooking blog.

Grandma says that fennel and basil are an appealing change of pace in this bold-flavored beef stew. Karen added fresh mushrooms, green beans and roasted garlic.

She found this beef stew recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Slow-Cooker Meals of 2008.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Country Italian Beef Stew

6 - 8

Prep time is 25 minutes.Cook time is 8 to 10 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck
  • 8 ounces tiny new potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 medium carrots or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  • 1 14-ounce can beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach leaves, or torn fresh escarole

Instructions

  1. Trim fat from meat and cut meat into 2-inch pieces.Set aside.
  2. In a 4 to 5-quart slow cooker, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and fennel.
  3. Add meat.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine broth, wine, tomato paste, tapioca, rosemary, pepper, and garlic.Pour over mixture in cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low-heat for 8 to 10 hours, or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.Just before serving, stir in basil.
http://motherrimmy.com/country-italian-beef/

Per service: 319 cal., 6g total fat (2g sat. fat.), 89 mg. chol. 596 mg sodium, 23g carb, 4g fiber, 36g pro.

Old Weight Watcher Points 6

Easy Chicken Rarebit

Submitted by Karen Bernsee
This is from Better Homes and Gardens Slow-Cooker Meals 2008
The cheese pasta sauce and the Worcestershire sauce make this dish reminiscent of Welsh rarebit.

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 4 to 5 hours (low) or 2 to 2 1/2 hours (high)

Makes 6 servings

1 3/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 14 – 16 ounce jar cheddar cheese pasta sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 large onion, halved crosswise and thinly sliced

6 pumpernickel or rye buns, split and toasted, or 6 slices pumpernickel or rye bread, toasted and halved diagonally

4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled (optional)

1 tomato, chopped (optional)

Kosher dill pickles (optional)

Cut chicken diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices; set aside. In a 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker, stir together pasta sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add onion and chicken slices. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or on high heat setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. To serve, spoon chicken and sauce mixture over bun halves. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and tomato. Serve with dill pickles, if desired.

Per serving: 340 cal., 12 g total fat (4 sat. fat), 102 mg chol., 823 mg sodium, 21 g carb., 3 g g pro.

Estimated WW Points 8