Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

img_4384You know when you take that first bite and there is an instant party in your mouth that has you in love instantly?  Well, this recipe falls into that category. What is not to love? A kick of spice with warm flavor of cumin over seasoned rice with black beans and minced jalapeno and cheese with a lovely green chili sauce and a squeeze of lime! Hey, I left out the fact there is chicken in that — fall apart chicken because you make it in the crock pot!  Yes, it is love all around!

I found this gem of a recipe at budget bytes it is friendly on the budget and yummy to the taste buds!  Here is my slight adaptation. Originally called Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Verde Bowls… to me the salsa belonged with the verde… but either way it is a keeper!  I used slightly more chicken and upped the spices as a result.

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

adapted from | Serves 6-8 | Prep time 15 minutes.  Cook time 4-8 hours (depending if on high or low)


  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 lbs total)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 (17 oz) jar Goya Brand Salsa Verde


Slice the onion into rings and place in the bottom of the crock-pot (I like to use a liner in mine, because it makes clean up much easier, and the food does not stick to the sides)

Add chopped bell peppers and place the large chicken breast on top of the veggies.  Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Pour the Goya Salsa Verde over the chicken.  Cover the crock-pot with the lid and turn to high for 4 hours (8 on low).

My chicken was actually cooked through at 3 hours and I removed the chicken breasts and cut them into bite sized pieces and put them in a serving dish.  I poured the sauce and peppers and onions over the diced chicken.  Ready to serve!

Additional ingredients:

  • hot cooked rice (I seasoned mine with a tablespoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped)
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained and heated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and mined finely
  • shredded Mexican cheese (like Oaxaca or Queso Fresco)
  • 1 lime, cut in quarters
  • fresh chopped cilantro

Layer your bowl with cooked rice and beans and serve a ladle full of chicken with salsa verde sauce over the top.  Garnish as desired with jalapeno, cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!

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Chipotle and Lime Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp TacosThis recipe is from Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue).  My husband and I have been on a chipotle pepper kick – especially if it also has adobo sauce. I think my husband must have told me these tacos were good about a dozen times tonight.  Since we are trying to limit our calories in an effort to lose weight, this recipe was appealing since 2 tacos has 462 calories and did not feel like we were starving. You most certainly can cook the shrimp by grilling them on skewers – I opted for the cast iron skillet. Photo credit: Hubby – thank you!

Shrimp Tacos

adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue) | Serves 4

For the Shrimp Tacos:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 (6 inch) flour tortillas

For the Chipotle Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup crema, sour cream, or mayo (or combination of two)
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste

For the Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 a small head)
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • salt to taste


Marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator in a marinade made with lime juice, olive oil, and chili powder. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.  In the meantime, make the chipotle sauce: Combine the mayonnaise (Mexican crema, or sour cream) with the minced chipotle peppers, honey, tsp lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate the sauce until serving.

Combine the ingredients for the slaw in a medium bowl.  Toss to coat the cabbage.  Refrigerate until serving.

Skewer the shrimp on wooden skewers and either cook them on the grill or cook in a cast iron skillet for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Lightly sprinkle a few paper towels with water and place on a plate.  Top with 8 tortillas and cover with another damp paper towel.  Microwave the tortillas to soften them for 1 minute.

Assemble the tacos: Place a flour tortilla on your plate.  Spoon 2 to 3 spoons of red cabbage slaw in the center of the tortilla.  Top with 4 shrimp on each taco and spoon a few tablespoons of chipotle sauce over the top of the shrimp.  Enjoy.

2 tacos with sauce and slaw 462 calories according to Cuisine at Home Magazine (June 2010 issue p 9)

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Chicken Fajitas

IMG_0919My family loves to eat Mexican food.  I am fortunate to live in Southern California where we get as excited about avocados being on sale as we are when it rains!  I usually buy the premixed fajita mix at the grocery store, but last time I did so, the chicken was in huge chunks and there were hardly any onions and peppers in the mix.  I set out to find a recipe to make from scratch. I tried one from Taste of Home that had good reviews and was quite happy with the flavors. I like being able to control how much salt goes into the dish.

Note: (To julienne means to cut food into short thin strips) I serve the onions and peppers separately because I have picky eaters that do not care for one or both, but if your family likes everything combine them with the chicken before serving.

Flavorful Chicken Fajita

adapted from Taste of Home Magazine (online) | Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 large sweet onion, but into thin rings and separated
  • 10 flour tortillas (warmed for 1 minute in microwave between damp paper towels)
  • Toppings: Mexican cheese, salsa, slices of avocado


In a large zip-top bag, add the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, lemon juice, seasoned salt, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, paprika (red pepper flakes if using) and the sliced chicken breast strips. Close the top of the bag and massage the ingredients together until they are well combined and refrigerate the chicken for 1 to 4 hours.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Add the onions to the pan and season them with salt and pepper. Sauté the onions until they are softened and lightly caramelized. Remove cooked onions to a oven safe dish and keep warm.  Using the same pan, cook the bell pepper strips until softened. Season them with salt and pepper and set aside to keep warm.

Add remaining vegetable oil to the pan and cook the chicken mixture in batches until it is no longer pink.  Keep the chicken warm as you finish cooking the remaining chicken.

Heat the tortillas between damp paper towels in the microwave for 1 minute.

Serve.  Place a tortilla on each plate and top with chicken, onions, peppers.  Top with cheese, salsa, avocado if desired and fold two sides of the tortilla over the filling.  Enjoy!

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Chorizo and Chicken Stew with Avocado Crema

I downloaded the Williams Sonoma e-book of soups – it features a soup for every day of the year. The soup featured on September 23 sounded interesting to me and here is my adaptation. I used different peppers (Anaheim peppers instead of red bell pepper, but in hindsight I should have roasted the peppers and skinned them rather than chopping them and adding them to the soup). Instead of cooking my own chicken I used a already cooked rotisserie chicken from the local market.

Chorizo and Chicken Stew with Avocado Crema

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup Of the Day Cookbook Sept 23

Serves 6

  • 2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo, cooked and drained
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, roasted and peeled, and chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Avocado Crema

  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant for about one minute longer.  Add the Anaheim chili and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken, chorizo, broth and seasonings and simmer them for 15 minutes.

To make the Avocado Cream: Combine the avocado, sour cream and lime.

To serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a tablespoon of the avocado cream.  Garnish with a lime wedge.

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In my quest to find a new chili recipe I turned to the Food Network website.  I have to admit, I don’t like watching Guy Fieri- from the way he wears his hair, to his over the top loud obnoxious personality -to the way he pronounces his name “Fi-etti!”  I am sorry, is there a “t” in your name? He just isn’t my cup of tea, but if you love him that’s great.. he needs a fan base– and he is on TV and I am not…

But I digress!  I did however try his recipe for “Dragon’s Breath Chili” after I read the reviews.  The name (of the chili) is more intimidating than the taste and I made some changes.  I reduced the peppers and cayenne pepper for one thing, because I wanted my kids to have half a chance of eating it!  This is a good recipe with a bit of spice to grab you, but not overpowering.  I may have to change my opinion of Fi-etti yet (Nah, that’s not going to happen!)  But the guy can cook – I give him that much!  It is more involved than my regular chili recipe that I make.  I changed a few things from the cooking too… I first cooked the peppers and onions- removed them from the pot.  Browned the chuck pieces in batches so they would brown properly (if you follow the directions of the original you won’t get nice browned pieces), then cooked the ground beef and sausage together. Once cooked added the spices and then threw it all in the crock pot to cook.  Here is the link to the original recipe. For best flavor, plan ahead and make this a day in advance.  I would place this in the medium+ heat category.  My kids were able to eat it.

Dragon’s Breath Chili

adapted from Food Network (Guy Fieri)

Serves 10-12


2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 Tbsp jalapeno, minced
2 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 lbs boneless chuck, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 lb ground beef, coarse grind
1 lb bulk Italian sausage

2 tsp dried minced onion
2 tsp granulated garlic
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
12 ounces lager beer
1 cup chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained, but not rinsed
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained but not rinsed

8 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar


Roasting peppers: I don’t think it is completely necessary, but it does add nice flavor.  How? You place the peppers on your gas burner grate above the flame (or over a barbecue) and turn it from time to time after the skin blisters and turns black.  Then while the peppers are still warm, place them in a paper bag and seal the bag to “steam” them. This loosens the skin and makes them easier to peel later.  I did this process the day before I made the chili.

Chop the peppers and onions.  Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and melt the butter and heat 1 Tbsp canola oil.  Saute the onions and peppers (bell, chilis) until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.  Remove the pepper mixture and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp of canola oil.  Season the chuck cubes with salt and pepper and brown them in batches in the stock pot.  Remove the browned pieces (set aside), and brown the next batches. (Julia Child was right, for proper browning, don’t crowd the meat).  After the chuck is browned, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage in the same pot.  Remove any drippings.  Add the seasonings (the long list of them- it is worth it).  Stir into the meat and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce, paste, beer, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Carefully pour the contents of your stock pot into your large crock pot.  Add the peppers and browned chuck beef.  Add the beans and stir everything together.   Turn the crock pot on to LOW setting.    Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, stirring from time to time, or until the chuck beef is tender to the point of falling apart when you try to shred it with a fork.

To serve: top each serving with diced green onions, cheese and crisp bacon, if desired. Serve with cornbread or corn bread pudding.

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Simple Taco Soup

My  high school friend and facebook buddy, Chad posted a recipe last week.  Simple Taco Soup from  I made it and improved on it a little. thought I would share.  It is easy to make.  My son, who is 8 years old kept going back for more – I think in the end he had 4 bowls of the soup!  Changes I made: I added chopped garlic to the meat browning process, used chicken broth (and more of it) instead of water, used roasted peppers and a can of green chilies instead of the tomato/green chili combo, and black beans instead of chili beans.. so basically it was nothing like the original in the end, but it was very good!!  I topped the soup at the table with freshly sliced avocado and Monterey Jack cheese.  Thanks for sharing Chad!


Simple Taco Soup

adapted from

Serves 6-8

2 pounds ground beef
1 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can diced roasted tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
sliced Avocado
Heat a large saucepan over high heat.  Brown the ground beef and season with salt and garlic toward the end of he cooking time.  Drain.  Add remaining ingredients.  Heat through over medium high heat.  Serve.  Top individual servings with cheese, avocado or sour cream if desired, but the soup will be tasty without as well.


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Crock Pot Shredded Beef for Tacos

It has been HOT here.. really HOT (well over 100 F)- and I wanted good food that did not heat up my kitchen.  Out comes my trusty crock pot. I adapted a recipe from the Food Network to make this recipe (link).  Serve with Spanish rice and Guacamole.

Crock – Pot Shredded Beef (for Tacos)

adapted from Brian Boitano (Carne Asada Tacos with Green Salsa)

Carne Asada:

  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 (15 oz) cans whole tomatoes, broken up with juice
  • 1 large Jalapeno pepper, sliced, seeded and white ribs removed
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs sliced beef round roast
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper


Place all the ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on high heat for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Shred the beef with two forks and pour about 1/2 cup of the liquid over it for moisture.  Serve with flour tortillas, cheese, sliced tomatoes, lettuce with Spanish rice and fresh guacamole on the side.

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Meatball Soup

The April 2010 Issue of Cuisine at Home had a series of recipes that caught my eye: Mini-Bacon Meatballs (which are used in this soup- Separate entry to follow with Meatball recipe)  The name of the soup is actually Albondigas Soup, but I won’t do it justice pronouncing it properly, so for this purpose it is Meatball Soup.  My husband at first thought it was an interesting (not always a good thing) soup, but it grew on him as he ate it.  The flavors are really good in this soup.  The only change was that I used Chicken broth instead of beef – only because I grabbed the wrong box of broth and I did not add any water but used chicken broth instead for extra flavor I also increased the liquid from 4 cups to 5-6 because my family is larger than 4 servings.

It is a quick soup to put together once you have your prep work done -30 minutes.  We will make it again.

Albondigas Soup (Meatball Soup)

adapted from Cuisine at Home April 2010 Issue page 49

Serves 4 (7 cups)


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 5-6 cups beef broth (chicken will work in a pinch- can also use 2 cups of water)
  • 2 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (divided use)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups (8 oz package) sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 recipe Mini-bacon Meatballs, thawed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream (optional)


Cook chopped onion in olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until softened.  Add garlic and chili powder and stir and cook for another minute.  Add broth (and water if using) tortillas and 1/2 cup grape tomatoes. Simmer soup for 5 minutes.  Use a blender to blend the soup and return it to the soup pot. (I used my hand immersion blender – it truly is my favorite kitchen tool)  Skim off any tomato skins that float to the top of the soup.

Add remaining grape tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, and meatballs.  Simmer over medium heat for another 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, cilantro and lime juice.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with extra cilantro, and sour cream if desired.


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Black Bean and Sausage Burritos

Here is a recipe for Black Bean and Sausage Burritos that my husband is especially fond of.  I found it initially in a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook Great Cooking for Two and have changed it up a little to personalize it for our family.  It is easy to assemble, but takes a little preparation.

Black Bean and Sausage Burritos

adapted from Great Cooking for 2 Cookbook

Serves 4-5


  • 12 oz Italian Sweet Sausage, skins removed and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Green or Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1  3/4 cups Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded (divided use), or cheddar cheese if desired
  • 4 oz can diced green chilies, drained
  • 8-10 (medium) Flour Tortillas
  • 1 (15 oz) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained (you may need more if you are making 10 burritos)
  • 1/2 cup mild or medium salsa


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Wrap the flour tortillas in foil.

For the filling: n a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage, onion, green or red pepper until the sausage is browned and the onion is tender.  Drain the excess fat.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute or so.  Stir in the ricotta cheese,  3/4 cups of the pepper Jack cheese (or cheddar), and drained green chilies.  Stir until combined and set aside.

When the oven has come to temperature, heat the flour tortillas for 10-15 minutes to soften them.

Use a fork to mash the black beans in a separate bowl.  Stir in the salsa.

Unwrap the heated tortillas and spread about 2 Tbsp of the black beans down the center of each tortilla within 2 inches of the edge. Spoon 1/2 cup of the sausage cheese filling on top of the bean paste.  Sprinkle with about 2-3 Tbsp of cheese over the filling.  Fold the ends of the tortilla over the filling and then the sides.  Either skewer them with toothpicks, or wrap them in foil to secure the burrito.  Place in a baking dish. Bake the burritos at 350 F for 15-25 minutes or until hot.  Remove toothpicks/foil.  Serve with salsa and Spanish Rice.  Serving Size: 2 Burritos.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made Chicken Tortilla Soup in the crock pot for dinner tonight.  As the weather starts to warm up in Southern California, I love grabbing my crock pot to cook the food for me without heating up the kitchen.

I usually cook my own chicken or put a frozen chicken breast or two into the crock pot and cook it all day, but I had several pieces of chicken left from my recent trip to El Pollo Loco so I used that.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves 6

  • 1 cooked chicken, skinned and de-boned and chopped up
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, chopped (14 oz)
  • 1 can tomatoes and chilies (12 oz)
  • 1/2 small can enchilada sauce (16 oz)
  • 1 small bag frozen corn kernels
  • I package McCormick Recipe Inspirations combos for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas (new product- see below)
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz)


  • shredded cheese
  • avocado
  • fried tortilla strips

Directions:  Put all the listed ingredients (except the toppings) in a crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).

Top with cheese, avocado or fried tortilla strips (to make these cut small strips out of a flour tortilla and fry them in hot canola oil.  Remove when they are golden brown and drain on a paper towel.

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