Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-freeI’ve got a busy teaching day today (12pm Power @ Burn and 5:25 Row, 6:20, 7:20 & 8:15 Tone @ Btone if anyone wants to come play!) so I’m just popping in quickly on the blog to share this super easy slow cooker butternut squash soup recipe I made the other day.

I freestyled the whole thing, basically just throwing a bunch of random stuff around my kitchen into the crock pot and hoping for the best, and the result was a delicious, filling soup that Joe and I have been eating all week. Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

This would make for a great Thanksgiving dish if you’ve got a vegan or vegetarian at your table! Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash (pitted, peeled and chopped)
  • 2 large apples (peeled, cored and chopped), I used Honeycrisp
  • 1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
  • 4 large carrots (cleaned, stems removed and chopped)
  • 4 large stalks celery (cleaned, ends removed and chopped)
  • 1 box low-sodium vegetable broth (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I usually am super generous with the pepper!)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Squash should be soft and easily squished with a fork.
  2. Transfer to a blender (you'll probably have to do this in two batches) and blend until fully combined. If you have an immersion blender, it'd probably be easier to use that right in the slow cooker.
  3. Serve warm. I like to top mine with croutons and parmesan cheese!
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/11/18/easy-slow-cooker-butternut-squash-soup/

Easy Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup - naturally vegan & gluten-free

Before I get yelled at for classifying this as vegan and gluten-free, yes, I’m aware that the cheese and croutons in the pictures don’t fall into that category. I’m just talking about the soup itself. 🙂 If you meal prep each week, this is an awesome one to add to your plan! It makes a huge batch of soup that you can store in the refrigerator and reheat all week long for a quick lunch, dinner or snack.

What’s your current favorite slow cooker recipe? My oven is broken so I’m in desperate need of slow cooker and stovetop ideas!

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Shredded Mexican Chicken & Corn Quinoa Bowls

Mexican Shredded Chicken (easy to make in the slow cooker!) over quinoa and a corn kale sauteMy oven recently broke, so while awaiting its repair, I’ve been all about stovetop and slow-cooker meals. Oh, and walking to sweetgreen. 😉

This flavorful quinoa bowl recipe is easy to make and even easier to customize. Swap ingredients, eyeball the amounts–seriously it doesn’t matter, it’ll still turn out great. And for my meal preppers out there, if you make the chicken and cook the quinoa during your weekly food prep session, all you have to do is sauté some veggies and you’ve got a ready-to-eat dinner in under 15 minutes. Mexican Shredded Chicken (easy to make in the slow cooker!) over quinoa and a corn kale saute

If you want some ideas for tweaking the recipe, I’ve made it with sautéed shrimp instead of chicken and it was just as delicious. Marinate shrimp in the juice from 1 lime and some taco seasoning and then cook on the stovetop on medium-high, flipping the shrimp after about 2 minutes. Serving with avocado is also a great modification, as is adding some chopped cherry tomatoes to the saute. Have fun with it! Mexican Shredded Chicken (easy to make in the slow cooker!) over quinoa and a corn kale saute

Shredded Mexican Chicken & Corn Quinoa Bowls

Yield: 3-4 servings

Shredded Mexican Chicken & Corn Quinoa Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 earns of corn, shucked and kernels removed
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 head of kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese for topping (optional)
  • 1 cup quinoa (dry)
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you don't want leftovers, just do 2)
  • 1 jar salsa of your choice
  • 1 packet taco seasoning, save 1tbsp for the veggie saute

Instructions

  1. Prepare the chicken in a slow cooker. Full instructions here but it's super easy: put 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts in a slow cooker along with a jar of salsa and packet of taco seasoning on high for 5-6 hours. Shred with a fork afterwards. Save about 1 tbsp of the seasoning to use with the saute.
  2. Cook the quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cup water to a boil, add in the quinoa. Bring it back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until fluffy when stirred with a fork (about 9-12 minutes).
  3. Prepare the ingredients: peel and mince the garlic; shuck the corn and remove the kernels with a knife; peel and chop the onion; remove the kale stems and coarsely chop the leaves; remove the cilantro stems and chop the leaves.
  4. As the quinoa cooks, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. When hot, add in garlic and onions, stirring until onions begin to turn translucent (about 3 mins).
  5. Add in the corn and remaining 1 tbsp of taco seasoning and stir occasionally about 4-5 more minutes.
  6. Add in the kale and most of the cilantro (leave some for garnish), folding it into the corn mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with either a lid or by loosely putting a piece of tin foil on top so that the steam is trapped and helps soften the kale quickly. Once kale is soft and turns vibrant green, remove the saute from heat.
  7. In a bowl, assemble your desired ratios of quinoa, corn saute and chicken. Top with some cheese and the remaining cilantro.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/11/09/shredded-mexican-chicken-corn-quinoa-bowls/

Mexican Shredded Chicken (easy to make in the slow cooker!) over quinoa and a corn kale saute

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Saturday morning I woke up with a scratch in my throat and despite my best efforts to stop it in its tracks (vitamins, gallons of water, tons of sleep, witchcraft, etc.), I’ve got a full-blown head cold now. Womp wommmp. I taught this morning and then promptly went back to bed for an hour nap, and after I hit publish on this post, I’ll honestly probably get back in bed. There’s something about being home sick that makes me crave crappy reality TV shows. Like I’d kill for a Kardashians marathon right now (judge away, people!). I haven’t had cable in a little over a year so I’m completely out of the K loop and all of a sudden having mild FOMO about it. What does Kim’s face look like now? What hilarious Khloe one-liners have I missed? Is Scott OK?!

If you need me, I’ll be finding the answers to these vitally important questions while blowing my nose and coughing. See you bright and early tomorrow, hopefully feeling much better! 🙂

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Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken - so juicy and flavorful! Perfect for meal preppingI mentioned this recipe in passing in another post, but it deserves its own as well in case anyone missed it. In general, I don’t like meat, but even I will find myself standing over the crock pot eating this chicken by the forkful because it’s so juicy and flavorful.

This “recipe” really just involves you dumping three ingredients into a slow cooker and then getting on with your day. It’s a food prepper’s dream! I’ll make a big batch at the start of the week and then have it on hand for taco salads, Mexican-flavored quinoa bowls, spicy breakfast skillets—the list goes on. Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken - so juicy and flavorful! Perfect for meal prepping

Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, depending on how much meat you want (4-6 halves or 2-3 full breasts, to avoid confusion)
  • 1 can salsa of your choice (any salsa you want! I’ve used everything from El Paso to pineapple salsa made fresh on site at Whole Foods)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or 1 ½ - 2 tbsp of your own – here’s my favorite DIY recipe)

Instructions

  1. Place everything in the crock pot and mix it up good so that the chicken is coated in the salsa/spices. I usually pat the chicken breasts down with a paper towel before putting them in the slow cooker because meat slime totally grosses me out.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
  3. Use a fork to shred the chicken (it should do so easily).
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/07/28/stupid-easy-slow-cooker-shredded-mexican-chicken/

Stupid-Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken - so juicy and flavorful! Perfect for meal preppingPin this puppy now and try out the recipe next time you meal prep for the week!

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