Carnita and Chimichurri Stew (aka spicy comfort food)

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Carnitas and Chimichurri Stew

Carnitas and Chimichurri Stew

Hello Monday and no cooking for a couple of days! I love when I can make something that everyone likes AND gets better and better each day. The already rich taste of this stew continues to mature from one day to the next. I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

Usually I am not much for convenience foods. Don’t get me wrong, I Iove the convenience, I just usually don’t care for the flavor of many or the price. I do find, however, that thanks to Trader Joe’s my convenience food ‘ban’ is slowly being lifted. The stew above was based on one of the samples they were giving out one day. The chicken broth was my addition and as time goes on I will probably continue to tweak it. I just can’t seem to help myself!

The base for this stew is Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup. In truth, it is not a favorite of mine if eaten by itself. I find it a bit too sweet. However, add some chicken broth, some flavored rice, and shredded pork carnitas and wow, instant comfort food. Prep time is about 5 minutes and the price for all of the ingredients is not too bad! I keep the makings handy for a quick, warm-your-bones winter meal.

Carnita and Chimichurri Stew
Spicy, thick, and just the right amount of richness!

Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup, 32 ounce carton in the soup aisle
Trader Joe’s Chimichurri Rice, 16 ounce freezer package
Trader Joes Traditional Carnitas- 12 ounce package in the refrigerated section
1- 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
salt to taste

Pour soup in large saucepan, and package of rice, and the package of carnitas (shredded). Add one to one and a half cups of chicken broth to desired consistency. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and enjoy! You can add a dollop of sour cream if you want, but I prefer it as is! It is also wonderful with TJ’s Tuscan Pane to dip into it.

You could also substitute pre-cooked shredded chicken meat instead of the pork.

My “Go To” easy comfort food

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Dump Soup

We all have our favorite foods to help cure the ails of cold and damp weather. This is one of my family’s favorites. I especially love how quick it comes together and how easy it is to modify to suit your tastes or what you have on hand. With soup weather quickly closing in on us, I thought it was a good time to share the recipe with you.

It originated from a recipe I found years ago but can no longer recall where or what it was called. I have changed and added to it many times and generally make it with whatever I have on hand. I have made it both with ground turkey and ground beef for ease of preparation, but if you are vegetarian it would still be great without meat I believe. I have added diced potatoes, cooked pasta, rice, and sliced cook carrots if I have them on hand, just to name a few of the add-ins I have tried. I have substituted other canned soups, types of beans, and used frozen or canned corn. No matter what I do it has been a winner, and like so many other comfort foods it is even better on the second day.

Pantry Pleasing Crockpot Comfort Soup (converts easily to vegetarian)
1 pound lean hamburger or ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I like to use fresh but have also substituted chopped garlic in a jar)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (I generally don’t add pepper if I use Rotel tomatoes, but I add 1 tsp salt.)
2 cans minestrone soup (I usually have Progresso on hand)
1/2 can corn or equivalent amount of frozen, (I have made it with both drained and undrained)
1 can Rotel original tomatoes with peppers
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans beans, not drained (basically whatever I have on hand, pinto, black, small white, Ranch-style, etc. but I use two different beans for variety. Personally I like the addition of a can of Ranch Style beans as one of the beans)
1 cup water

If you are adding meat, cook it breaking into small pieces and drain the fat. Set aside. Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add the meat, onion and garlic and remaining ingredients to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Be sure you have a wonderful loaf of french bread on hand to sop up the last drops. Enjoy!