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Big Cooking – Creamy Chipotle Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup – Part 4

I got the idea to make this soup from the Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos. The tacos were so good I wanted a little more of the same flavor profile. There was a little shredded chicken leftover from the tacos, and I had 1 1/2 chicken breasts left from the initial Big Cooking. The butternut squash adds a hearty autumnal flavor and the chipotle peppers add heat. This soup will definitely warm you up.

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Warning: If you do not like spicy heat you can leave out the chipotle peppers. However, you will be missing out on some great flavors.

  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (minus 2, used for tacos)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved
  • avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1 1/2 c roasted cherry tomatoes (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 2 cans heavy coconut cream
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 c green beans, cooked, diced (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 3 c cooked chicken breast, shredded (these were part of the big cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast butternut squash on a sheet pan for about 60 minutes or until squash can easily be pierced by a fork. Set aside to cool. Cube squash.

In a large dutch oven warm avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion and seasoning. cook until onions are softened and translucent. Add chipotle peppers and cherry tomatoes. Break up peppers and tomatoes with spoon. Add butternut squash. Stir until well combined.

Blend ingredients with chicken stock. It should make a thick paste. You can blend either by immersion blender, food processor or blender. All will work well for this step. Return blended mixture to dutch oven.

Add coconut cream, maple syrup, lime zest and juice. Stir well. You can add more chicken stock if you find it is too thick. Add green beans and shredded chicken. Stir until well combined. Cook until soup is completely heated through. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I recommend serving biscuits with this soup.

2nd Note: I was able to freeze some of the soup for another time. Use this when you forget to defrost something. You can reheat it in a dutch oven on the stove.


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Shrimp Chowder – Round 5

This is the last of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. The carrots and cauliflower is what I will be using today.

Because I used my All-purpose Seasoning on the vegetables I have a little more versatility for this next dish. You will never know this was first made to go with something that had a Smokey Southwestern flavor profile. The vegetables are completely transformed into a sating Shrimp Chowder.

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  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Remaining cauliflower and carrots (roasted in round 1), chopped
  • 2 Apples (honey crisp, fuji) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, fresh, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 2 limes, 1 tested and juiced, 1 for garnish
  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined

Over medium heat add avocado oil, onion, celery, apples, garlic and ginger to a large dutch oven. Season with sea salt. Cook until veggies or translucent and softened. Add cauliflower and carrots. Stir until well combined.

Add lime zest and juice; stir. Add chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add coconut cream, stirring until well combined.

Meanwhile, as the chowder is cooking chop shrimp in halves or thirds. By doing this you will have shrimp in every bite.

Over medium heat add shrimp to an avocado oiled cast iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding shrimp. Cooking the shrimp will only 2-3 minutes. You do not want to over cook the shrimp. They will finish in the chowder.

Add cooked shrimp to chowder. Stir until well combined. Garnish with a lime wedge to squeeze into chowder. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Soup – Round 3

Today is Round 3 of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. I transformed this Round 1 meal into a soup. Not only did I have enough for our lunch, but I was able to freeze what is leftover for a quick meal another time.

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This soup is veggie packed, which is always good. Since most of the ingredients were already cooked, this soup is a chop, into the pot, simmer to heat through and eat. You can either make this in a large dutch oven on the stove top or you can throw everything in a slow cooker and come home from work with a delicious meal ready. Whatever is the best for you and your family. I made mine on the stove top.

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1/2 of the remaining carrots from Round 1, diced
  • 1/2  of one pork tenderloin ( I made two in Round 1), chopped
  • 2 limes, 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges for garnish
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • 4 c vegetable broth

In a large dutch oven heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and the red pepper. Sprinkle veggies with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook until softened. Add carrots, pork tenderloin and salsa. Stir well, and cook for a couple of minutes to meld the flavors. Add lime zest, lime juice, vegetable broth and simmer about 30 – 45 minutes to let flavors combine thoroughly. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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No Bean Chicken Chili

This is a veggie packed chicken chili. Anytime I can pack in a load of veggies into a dish I’m a happy girl. This is a fairly quick meal. Double the recipe and you could freeze some for a just in case meal.

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  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 16 oz. ground chicken
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 25.46 diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kombu, thumb size
  • 1 c roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour

In a large dutch oven over medium heat sauce orange pepper, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and seasoning. Sautee until veggies start to become tender. Add ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes, kombu and butternut squash. Stir all ingredients occasionally. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add tapioca flour; stir well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: You could add some jalapeño if you desire a little heat. You could also garnish with some cheese, greek yogurt, or sour cream.

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Black Bean Stew

This recipe is for my vegan friends. It has been a while since I made this dish. It is veggie packed, gluten free and delicious. This can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker. It smells so good either way you make it. This would be good with a slice of my focaccia bread.


  • 1 c onions, diced
  • 1 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c red peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1-inch Kombu, thumb size
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 c. spinach, cut into strips
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • cashew cream, garnish, optional

In a large dutch oven over medium heat add the onions, carrots, celery, red peppers and garlic. Cook until veggies have softened. Add beans, vegetable broth, kombu, tomatoes and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Just before serving add cilantro and top with a dollop of cashew cream.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.


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Southwestern Shredded Pork Soup

I made this soup with the leftovers of the Pork Shoulder and Veggies from the other night. Instead of having the same thing from the other night I transformed this into a thick and hearty soup with a little kick. The kick is optional. There is a little prep-work, but it is totally worth the effort. You can either make this in a large dutch oven or a slow cooker. Either way you decide, it is delicious.


  • Pork Shoulder and Veggie leftovers (see website)
  • 3 c chicken stock divided 1c/2c
  • 17.64 oz. tomato sauce (Pomi)
  • 26.46 oz. chopped tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 tbsp siracha (optional)
  • 1 lime, zested, save juice from half the lime
  • greek yogurt, optional garnish
  • cilantro, chopped, optional garnish

Separate pork shoulder from veggies. In a blender of food processor blend together veggies and 1 c chicken stock. This will make a thick creamy base for the soup. The blended potatoes and carrots is what gives the soup its creamy thick texture.

Transfer veggie mixture to either a dutch oven or slow cooker. Add 2 c of chicken stock , tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, southwestern seasoning, siracha, lime zest and lime juice.

Shredded pork and add to soup mixture. Stir. If cooking soup in dutch oven, cook over low heat, If using the slow cooker use the low setting. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Creamy Southwestern Chicken Soup

I was inspired to make this soup  because it actually got cold down here in Florida. Well, if you think 30 – 40 degrees is chilly. That is a bit chilly for down here. I made this in the slow cooker. The house smelled so good. Serve this with a side salad and a biscuit and you are set.


  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 onion, medium, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c each of red, yellow, orange peppers, diced
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked, chopped
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 5 dashes of fish sauce
  • 4 c chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 c cashew cream
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot
  • Feta, garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro, garnish

Place chicken breast in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season generously with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Layer onions, garlic, peppers and bacon. Season again with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fish sauce, chicken broth,  and cashew cream. Stir.  Spoon out 1 cup of liquid; add arrowroot and stir to make a slurry. Return slurry to slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve. Eat. Enjoy



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Chicken Sausage and Veggie “Pasta” Creamy Soup

I had mentioned that you could make a soup out of the leftovers/planovers of the Chicken Sausage and Veggie Pasta, and with just a couple of tweaks you will have a creamy soup that does not taste like something from the night before. It is that easy.  I had about half of my pasta dish leftover so these are the measurements I used to make a big pot of creamy soup.


  • Leftover/Planover Chicken Sausage and Veggie Pasta
  • 3 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c cashew cream
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 7 oz. creamed coconut
  • 3-5 dashes of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot

This is close to a dump it in the pot and let it go kind of recipe. It is that easy. In a large dutch oven mix in all the ingredients with the exception of the arrowroot. Stir well. Transfer 1/2 c of the liquid into a mason jar; add arrowroot and shake until a slurry is formed. Return slurry to dutch oven, and cook over medium until hot and ready to serve. Eat. Enjoy.





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Meat Sauce

I had forgotten how good this smells when this is on the stove for a low simmer. Low and slow is what makes this so good. It lets the flavors meld and develop. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so use what you need today and freeze the remainder for another night.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Mediterranean Seasoning
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 32.5 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 29 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • basil, garnish

In a large dutch oven over medium heat cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Sprinkle seasoning (about 1/2 – 1 tsp each time) over onion mixture. Add the ground beef and brown; when the ground beef is browned sprinkle more seasoning and stir. Let cook for about 2 minutes to develop the added seasoning.

Add the tomato paste and cook with the meat mixture. Work the paste into the ground beef, melding the flavors. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce; stir well. Add more seasoning, maple sugar and the bay leaves. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Serve over some vegetable noodles. Butternut squash noodles pair very nicely with the meat sauce. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.



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Beef Stew

I had been thinking about making beef stew for a few weeks. The trick to making this especially delicious is actually roasting it in the oven. The ingredient list may seem long; however, if you are cooking paleo you will probably have most of these in your pantry.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. beef sirloin tips, cubed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb. baby carrots, 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 c celery
  • 1 1b. parsnips, peeled, cubed into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose seasoning, divided
  • 5-8 oz. white wine
  • 4 cups beef broth, 3 c/1 c
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot
  • parsley, garnish (optional)

In large ziplock bag add tapioca flour, 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning, and beef. Close bag, and shake so that the beef is well coated. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add beef to garlic and brown meat. Stir occasionally. When meat is browned add onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent.

Stir in tomato paste so that it is well incorporated with ingredients in the dutch oven. Add white wine, scraping the cooked bits off the bottom of the dutch oven. This is where lots of flavor will come out. Stir in 3 cups of beef broth. Cover dutch oven and transfer to oven.

Roast in oven for one hour stirring  occasionally; then test tenderness of vegetables. When they are almost to the tenderness you desire make a slurry with the remaining beef broth and the arrowroot. Pour slurry into stew and stir. Cook for another half hour.

Remove form oven, stir well and serve. Eat. Enjoy.