Posted in What's for Dinner

Smoky Pork and Beans Chili

I don’t always know in the morning what I’ll be in the mood for at the end of the day. Sometimes, I just opt for throwing some meat along with a little broth and salt and pepper into the crockpot and wait for inspiration to come. That is how this recipe came about. I started a small roast cooking and then did some investigation into my options. Originally, I thought maybe green chili pork, but it got pushed aside for this recipe. It’s still pork and chilis but taken up a notch with the smoky flavor of chipotles.

This isn’t quite as easy as coming home to a fully cooked crockpot meal, but with fifteen minutes of prep and thirty minutes of simmer time, you can have something pretty yummy on the table. Just add some cornbread, tortilla chips, or crusty garlic bread for a hearty and satisfying dinner.

Smoky Pork and Beans Chili

• 1 ½ pounds pork roast
• ½ cup chicken broth
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 1 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce
• 1 ½ dried oregano
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, rinsed
• 1 15-ounce can corn
• 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Sliced green onions or chopped cilantro for serving
1. Place roast and broth in the crockpot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat shreds easily. The pressure cooker will also work here.
2. On medium heat add oil to soup pot; heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chipotle, and oregano. Cook the mixture, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in beans, tomatoes, and the shredded pork; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
6. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion greens or cilantro and serve. Enjoy!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
Luciano Pavarotti

Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points per 1 1/2 cups.

Posted in Warm the Soul


Partys_Minestrone pic

More soup is on the menu at my house. This is recipe is one of the first soups I learned how to make. It’s simple and comforting. Serve with some crusty bread for dipping. I have omitted the pasta in this recipe, but it can certainly be added in if you like. Just add about ¼ to ½ cup broken spaghetti or small pasta in the last 10 minutes. You could also add Italian sausage or another meat of your choice. Just a half pound will do. Make it your own.


4 servings of about 1 1/2 cups


• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
• 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage or grated zucchini
• 1 15.5-ounce fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 1 15.5-ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft.
3. Add basil and salt. Cook 2 minutes more.
4. Stir in broth, cabbage or zucchini, beans, and tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
5. Enjoy!
Weight Watchers, this is a great addition to your Freestyle menu. Zero SmartPoints as is. With pasta, it becomes a 1sp about 1 ½ cups of soup.


“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.” — Laurie Colwin




Posted in soup, Warm the Soul, Yumminess

Soup’s On! Creamy White Chicken Chili

Creamy White Chicken Chili

The weather has turned on us here in my part of Southern California. The nighttime temperatures have dipped below freezing and in response I have been making soup. Tonight, it was a White Chicken Chili. Oh man, was it delish. Hope you enjoy it, too. And by the way, this will work very well in your crock pot, too.

Creamy White Chicken Chili


• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 15.5-ounce cans white beans
• 1 15.5-ounce corn
• 24 ounces chicken broth
• 2 4-ounce cans green chilies (mild, medium, or hot)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 4 ounces cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
• ¼ cup half-and-half (I used fat-free)

1. Place all ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half in soup pot.
2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until flavors mingle and chicken in done.
3. Remove chicken from pot and shred. Return to pot.
4. Add the cream cheese and half-and-half.
5. Heat on low until cream cheese melt and incorporates into soup, about 15 minutes.
6. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Note: If using the crock pot just dump in all the ingredients except cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken, return to pot. Turn on high. Add cream cheese and half-and-half. Cook until cheese melts and is incorporated into soup, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

If you’re doing Weight Watchers like I am, the new Freestyle program makes this recipe 3 SmartPoints for 1 1/2 cups of soup. It’s so delicious and satisfying. I have now lost 17.2 pounds eating well.

Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.
Louis P. De Gouy