French fry A la Mode

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes

Background on French Fry A la Mode

If you know me by now, you know that I love coming up with all kinds of fun food concoctions. And the other day was no exception to the rule.

Before I give you the recipe, I want to talk about some of the benefits of creating a weeknight routine.

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Food Photo by Katina Horton

Routines help to center, direct, and structure/stabilize/ground us. They also give us predictability for our minds and our bodies. Weeknight routines give us grounding and investment for a good night’s sleep. When we make time and space for the things that we are gifted/good at, and love to do, we are caring for our souls.

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This past week, I decided to be even more intentional in adding some things back to my weeknight routine. One of these things is walking. The benefits of walking are endless. The fresh air, automatic feel good hormones that run through your body, the blood flow, lowering of blood pressure, etc. Walking makes me feel good and keeps my mind creative and flowing with ideas. It also helps me with my writing and allows me to really appreciate nature and how great God is.

Other things that I do for my weeknight routine are listening to podcasts/preaching, dancing, reading books, showering, and drinking tea.

As an exercise tonight, think of all the things that you love to do and are gifted at. Circle all the important things that you wouldn’t want to do without. Make these things a part of your weeknight routine and see how much of a difference that they make in your overall well-being.

Here is the French Fry A La Mode for the Family Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of french fries
  • 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers
  • 1 container of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag of cheese

Directions

  • Bake a bag of french fries.
  • While the fries are baking, fry 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers.
  • Grab bowls and add a couple of servings of fries into each bowl.
  • Cut up the veggie burgers and evenly spread them on top of the fries in each bowl.
  • Add shredded cheese and barbecue sauce on top.

Enjoy!

God bless you!

Katina

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Summertime Salad

summertime salad, family, food, healthy eating, recipes, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living

Background Story on Summertime Salad

My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.

After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.

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Summertime Salad Photo by Katina Horton

Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.

Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium beets
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of minced onions
  • dressing of your choice
  • 3 medium green bell peppers
  • 6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 tub of mixed green salad
  • 6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices

Directions

  • Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
  • When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
  • Cut the beets into wedges.
  • Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
  • Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
  • Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Background Story on “Seasoned Chicken Breast”

I am reading about six books at one time. This is almost always the norm as of the last couple of years. One of the books that I am reading is entitled, “I Thought It Was Just Me (But IT Isn’t) by Brene Brown. I just recently started this book. This particular read hones in on shame and perfectionism, how they work together, and how we can employ shame resilience.

Although I am only at the beginning part of the book, what stuck out to me is the correlation between shame and performance. We have all been guilty of using shame to get the end result of performance. This happens everywhere, including work, home, and in our churches. However, using shame to get this result only damages both side. It damages the shamer and it damages the one being shamed.

No one is left feeling good about themselves. Why is that? Shame reaches into areas of our lives that stirs all kind of unwanted emotions. In order for people to change, we have to have a motivator for ourselves, not from the pressure of other people via shaming or any other form of pressure. Change will not last in this manner. Consequences are not always enough to produce change. Understanding what our behavior does to others will.

Now, on to the recipe. This recipe that I made two weeks ago is a quick recipe for seasoned chicken breasts that can be made in no time and then placed on buns to make a chicken breast sandwich restaurant-style. Hope you enjoy!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Activity: Making Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Parsley- 3 teaspoons
  • Onion powder-2 teaspoons
  • Curry-3 tablespoons
  • Chili powder -2 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin-2 teaspoons
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

Directions:

  • Rinse off three large chicken breasts.
  • Cut them up into chunks, season them on one side, and place them in a skillet of oil.
  • Turn them over after 13 minutes and season the other side.
  • Eat them paired with sides, alone, or in between two pieces of specialty bread.

Simple Split Pea Soup

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Simple Split Pea Soup Book Exploration

A couple of days ago, I starting reading the book entitled, “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. I have only read a little bit so far. However, there is a story that Brene tells in the beginning that deals with a shame reel after she has given a presentation. I am very familiar with that reel myself.

We all have a series of events that happens when shame knocks at our door. When it comes to mine, it is usually trauma-induced. When a traumatic memory comes up, it may or may not be foreknown that this memory was traumatic for me. Not only does shame play itself out, but anxiety comes in.

I feel embarrassed, start self-protecting, anxiety sets in, and then I start wondering if I should be vulnerable and discuss this issue with my therapist. My shame reel plays by replaying how I will tell my therapist, what I will say, how she will react, and what she will say. This will keep playing until I am vulnerable and get the issue out. Shame is reduced at this point.

I think of it like God chipping away at a brick wall of my shame with a hammer when I allow vulnerability to take over.

Katina Horton

“Simple Split Pea Soup” Recipe

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Now, on to the recipe. I wanted to make something quick, and with adequate protein, and so, Easter weekend I made what I call, ” “Simple Split Pea Soup” .

This recipe only requires a few ingredients. The longest length of time is spent on the split peas boiling. Other than that, everything else is straightforward. As you are learning by now, I love using the combination of spinach and fire-roasted salsa tomatoes to add into a lot of my concoctions.

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:

1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 can of cut-leaf spinach

1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes

1 16 oz bag of split peas

3 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter

1 container of vegan broth

onion powder- 3 tablespoons

curry powder- 3 tablespoons

parsley – 3 tablespoons

cumin – 3 tablespoons

chili powder – 3 tablespoons

turmeric- 3 tablespoons

1/2 cup of quinoa

Directions

  • Boil the bag of split peas for 1 hour 45 minutes after quickly rinsing them off.
  • Boil the quinoa for 18 minutes.
  • While the split peas are boiling, saute the spinach and tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of oil or butter.
  • Add the saute mix and quinoa to the peas after 1 hour and 10 minutes, along with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Add the broth after 1 hour and 20 minutes, along with all the seasonings.
  • Let the soup boil for another 25 minutes and enjoy.
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Other Recipe Posts

Vegetarian Bean Party

Black Bean Mishmash


Episode 27: Simply Grace

recipes, healthy eating, poetry, poems, healing, brokenness, PTSD, trauma, abuse, katina horton, author, poet, healing our brokenness, episode 27

Episode 27: Simply Grace
Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...

 
 
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In case you missed our last episode, “The Sin of Cynicism-Part 2”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, Episode 27, is entitled Simply Grace. I hope that you enjoy this special poetry reading.

  • Simply Grace Podcast Outline:
  • Introduction
  • Dissection of Topics and Reading of Poetry
  • Closing Remarks
  • Show Transcript
recipes, healthy eating, poetry, poems, healing, brokenness, PTSD, trauma, abuse, katina horton, author, poet, healing our brokenness, episode 27

Welcome to the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Episode 27: Simply Grace.  The intro and ending song that you hear on the podcast is entitled “Valley of Grace” and is song by Timothy Horton.  Today is a special episode.  Why is that?  I will be ready poetry from a book that I published back in February entitled, “Simply Grace”.  It is available on Amazon.  Simply Grace is a compilation of simple, healthy recipes that are mostly non-meat, along with poetry that tackles tough issues that we face every day.  However, these issues are seasoned with grace.  I deal with truth, so that the truth brings healing.  We are set free by true.  I also deal with raw emotions.

The first poem, entitled “The Quench” deals with Approval Addiction/Perfectionism/People Pleasing:

Reading of the poem

The next poem, entitled “The Source of Self-Worth” dissects our need for self-worth, and not just the need, but the struggle to get it from things, rather than the main source.

Reading of the poem

The next poem, entitled” Coat of Favor” deals with the Life of Joseph, his trials, and his redemption.

Reading of the Poem

Have you ever taken matters into your own hands, instead of waiting on God?  The next poem deals with just that.  It is entitled, “Oh, The Pain of Waiting”.

Reading of the Poem

For those of us who have been through abuse, we must relearn what love is.  That is what” Abide My Love, Dance with Me” is all about: God’s love poured out on me to reshape my thoughts on abuse.  Secondly, it describes how I danced with my Heavenly Father during a period of trials and financial despair, and how God “showed me his back” as his showed Moses, so to speak, by allowing me to feel his presence for several hours.

Reading of the Poem

The last poem, “I am the Vine, And So Is It Time?” deals with a combination of things:  the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross, John 15, and the Clematis vine that I attempted to tie to the trellis last spring as I was getting bit by mosquitos.  The first time that I attempted this adventure, there were too many mosquitos out.   The second and final time I was finally able to do it.  However, just within the few days of break in between, the clematis vine had completely wrapped itself around one of the heucheras.  It was a wonderful way to see the scriptures in action.

Reading of the Poem

Thank you for listening to Episode 27: Simply Grace, and if you are enjoying the Healing Our Brokenness Podcast, please recommend a friend, share on social media, and/or subscribe to hear us on Youtube, Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also listen to us on the blog.

God bless!! Until Next time!

Simple Stuffing

dressing, stuffing, Christmas Eve, Remember God, carrots, celery, zucchini, broth, food, food photography, blogger, recipes, healthy recipes, healthy eating

Background on Simple Stuffing

For the last five days, I have been reading Remember God by Annie F. Downs. It is good. I believe that it is a combination of things that pulls the reader in: the style of writing, the rawness of emotions, and then the fact that it is written in story form. I can’t believe that I am already on page 130 after just a few days.

There are several things that resonated with me while reading this book. I am going to discuss two: I was deep into the story of her Job experience, where everything seemed to go wrong right before Thanksgiving. Why? Because that is exactly what happened to me this year. You can find that whole story here by listening to the podcast: Dancing in the Rain.

The second thing is when she talked about the sweet spot of her life at that time. I heard one particular message on the sweet spot about three years ago, and it still resonates now. Basically, our sweet spot is the spot where we push past our comfort zone into the pain and hard work, but right where God can use this pain and tension for his glory.

I made the recipe below for a Christmas Eve get-together that I had with some dear friends who are just like family to me. Have a blessed week!

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Activity: Making Simple Stuffing

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – two tablespoons
  • basil – two tablespoons
  • onion powder – two tablespoons
  • garlic powder – two tablespoons
  • minced garlic – two tablespoons
  • two zucchinis
  • two carrots
  • one onion
  • one piece of a celery stalk
  • two boxes of cornbread stuffing
  • 6 slices of honey wheat bread
  • 2 cups of broth

Directions:

  • Boil two cups of water with butter.
  • Saute the carrots, zucchini, and onions.
  • While the vegetables are sauteing, cut up six slices of bread into cubes.
  • Season with basil, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add the two boxes of cornbread stuffing mix and cubed bread cubes to the water.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables, celery, garlic, seasonings, and broth.
  • Throw it into a casserole pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Simple Spaghetti Casserole

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Background on Simple Spaghetti Casserole

simple, spaghetti, casserole, vegan, vegetarian, pasta, healthy eating, food, food photography, blog, blogger, recipes, healthy, brunch, Christmas, party

This morning was the Christmas party celebration for my Moms’ Ministry small group.  We had a ton of food and a ton of fun.  This year has definitely been an eye opener from God to me, in realizing that yes, gifts are nice.  They are wonderful.  However, the best gifts in life do not come wrapped with a pretty bow.  Because of God’s love toward us, we are indeed able to share this gift of love. 

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There is something about friendship, fellowship, food, and laughs that makes you appreciate all the wonderful blessings that life has to offer.  I think the craziest part of the morning was when we played charades, which featured words that centered around winter and Christmas time.  The highlights of this game was when I tried acting out Christmas stockings, and did a goofy swirl with my body.  Then, we had the other team recreating the nativity scene.  What fun!

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Last night, it dawned on me that I had signed up to bring cookies and a cold pasta dish to this celebration.  What I decided to do was to make spaghetti to eat, and then this morning, my wheels started turning, and that spaghetti transformed into my “Simple Spaghetti Casserole”.  You can find the last simple recipe that I made here.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

God bless!

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti Casserole

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Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of French cut green beans
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 can of pasta sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1/2 cup of vegan or non-vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder

Directions:

  • Boil one box of spaghetti in five cups of water.
  • Pour the olive oil into the water so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Saute the corn and french green beans with butter and chili powder.
  • Rinse the spaghetti when done, then add the pasta sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add all of the rest of the seasonings except for the cheese and parsley.
  • Cook for 10 ten minutes, and then dump into a large casserole pan, at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, completely covering with the shredded cheese and the parsley on top.
  • Enjoy!

 

Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

beans, pinto beans, legumes, squash, healthy eating, dinner, soup, kidney beans, blogger, food, food photography, eating, family

Background on the Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

I had a busy weekend.  However, it was a good kind of busy.  I got a chance to enjoy my mom and niece who were visiting.  I did plenty of cooking.  However, I also had a lot of down time.  Yesterday, I ended up watching a Hallmark movie that had a really good story line.

The main character’s sister, Alice, had died suddenly from heart issues.  Alice’s death prompted Lois to go back to her hometown first for the funeral, and then secondly, to take care of the affairs of her estate.  Instead of taking care of these things, and then going right back to her high-powered attorney job, she decided to stay for a while.

This visit was more than what she had bargained for.  All the memories from her sister’s car accident came to the forefront.  She also had to deal with the fact that she had become estranged from her sister over the years.  Alice’s friends knew more about her life than Lois did.

It took her awhile to reconcile the fact that the car accident that Alice was involved in was indeed not her fault, nor Peter’s.  Lois kept thinking that if she hadn’t been out with Peter, her boyfriend, then her sister wouldn’t have ended up disabled.

Towards the end of the movie, Lois discovered that Alice had birthed a child during her college years.  She was finally able to meet her niece and the adoptive parents, and find true forgiveness for herself and Peter.

In life, we are a lot like Lois, we think that “if only” we would have done or not done something, then things wouldn’t have turned out as they did.  It is part of the bargaining stage of grief.  However, Satan also uses it as a foothold to keep us stuck in life.  He wants us to pride ourselves into thinking that we are in control of all of life’s details.  The truth of the matter is that we are not.  God is.  We will not know all the reasons that he decides for things to be the way they are.

I love making bean concoctions.  The last one that I made can be found here.  Below is a recipe that I made a little over a week ago.

 

Activity:  Making Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

beans, pinto beans, legumes, squash, healthy eating, dinner, soup, kidney beans, blogger, food, food photography, eating, family

 

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  35 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – 2 tablespoons
  • chili powder – 3 tablespoons
  • onion powder – 2 tablespoons
  • turmeric – 2 tablespoons
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

  • Boil one cup of brown rice.
  • Cut up two zucchinis into chunks.
  • While the brown rice is boiling, saute the zucchini.
  • Heat up the beans in a large pot, along with three cups of water.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
  • Heat up the mixture for about 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

 

Katina

Simple Spaghetti

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Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead for a couple of weeks now.  If I was just reading that one book, I would be done by now.  However, I am reading about six books at the same time.  What I love is that the Holy Spirit has intertwined several themes across the board with all of these books:  vulnerability, shame, joy, gratitude, dealing with the unexpected, hustling for self-worth, and filling our thirst.

There are several things that stuck out with me so far in this book.  I would like to quote three of them:

Quote #1

“Embodying and practicing gratitude changes everything.  It is not a personal construct, it’s a human construct-a unifying part of our existence-and it’s the antidote to foreboding joy, plain and simple.  It’s allowing yourself the pleasure of accomplishment, or love, or joy-of really feeling it, of basking in it-by conjuring up gratitude for the moment and for the opportunity”. (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

This reminds of last night.  I got together with a group of friends.  I allowed myself to not dismiss the reality that my life has been filled with lots of drama and trauma within the last six months.  However, my heart was full.  It was so, so full.  I thanked God for my friends, the food, the fellowship, time to decompress, and the laughs from the movie.  I thanked him for all his goodness in spite of what my real life problems were.

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Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

“Something as simple as starting or ending meetings with a gratitude check, when everyone shares one thing they’re grateful for, can build trust and connection, serve as container-building, and give your group permission to lean into joy.” (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

The second quote was a Holy Spirit moment because just a week ago, I had an accident.  I allowed myself to sink in anger about all the inconveniences, but then quickly gave myself a gratitude check.  That post can be found here.  The funny thing about it is that I titled the post “Gratitude Check” prior to reading page 83 of Dare to Lead.  God knows how to bring all things together.

Quote #3

The last quote is from page 97, which was another Holy Spirit moment.  It reminded me of my IT job from years ago, where I sought to prove that I could sit at the table with others who made a certain salary, instead of being discriminated against.  I didn’t realize that the only table that I needed to have recognition at is the table of Christ.  The “Heavenly Places” blog post can be found here.

“When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle.  The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong or not needed, to prove that we deserve a seat at the table.” (Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, page 97)

A few days ago, I decided to try my hands at a simple spaghetti recipe.  There were very few ingredients.  It turned out pretty good.  The only problem was that I put too many red pepper flakes.  I would take a bite to eat, then feel flames at the back of my throat.  This cycle repeated itself until the bowl was empty.  Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato soup (low-sodium)
  • basil or spinach leaves (for garnish and eating)

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Valley of Grace Cutting Board-Shopify Store

Directions: 

  • Boil six cups of water with olive oil or butter so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
  • Dump the pasta sauce and tomato soup into the pot.
  • Add one can of water to the pot.
  • Dump all the seasonings into the pot.
  • Serve in bowls or on plates.
  • Garnish with basil or spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

 

God bless,

Katina

Simple Chicken Soup

chicken, soup, chicken soup, healthy eating, dinner recipes, blog, food, blogger, author, food photography, healthy food

chicken, soup, chicken soup, healthy eating, dinner recipes, blog, food, blogger, author, food photography, healthy food

Background on the Chicken Soup

This was a busy week.  We are getting closer and closer to the holidays coming upon us.  In my Tuesday morning MOM’s group, we are studying the book entitled, “Pierced and Embraced” by Kelli Worrall.  This past week, we dissected the chapter entitled:  Forgiven and Set Free:  The Woman Caught in Adultery.

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This chapter hones in on the sin of judging and condemnation.  If you haven’t already, you can check out the poem “If We’re Judging” here, and the podcast, “Broken People Judging Broken People here.  One of the most fascinating things in scripture about this story is the question of what was Jesus writing in the sand when the scribes were trying to trip him up on the law and how he was going to handle the situation of the woman caught in adultery.  The other question that lingers is “Where was the Man?”  Well, I guess that is food for thought.

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On that note, a few nights ago, I decided to make what I call simple chicken soup.  It turned out pretty good, and it requires very few ingredients.  Here is the recipe, and have a blessed weekend!

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Activity:  Making Simple Chicken Soup

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 3 hours

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 boxes of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons of cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 small whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 cans of corn
  • 1 1/2 cans of french cut green beans

Directions:

  • Set the slow cooker for 3 hours on high.
  • After rinsing off, place a small whole chicken into a slow cooker of of 1 1/2 boxes of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of chili powder, cumin, and italian seasoning to the chicken.
  • Rinse off excess water from the cans of corn and green beans, and then saute them in a skillet.
  • Dump the vegetables into the slow cooker after 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • After 2 hours 45 minutes, carefully cut of the chicken into pieces while in the slow cooker.
  • Enjoy!