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Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Working Mom's Cooking Guide: Weekend Cooking

Aside from take-and-bake pizza, I try to cook as little as possible on the weekends. However, here are two of my favorite weekend recipes, especially for the winter. They're still very easy but will make people think you've been slaving in the kitchen.

The Great Vegetarian Chili
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-4.5 ounce can of chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1-14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2-1/2 tsp. chili powder (to start--you will probably want to add more to taste)
  • 3 cans of kidney beans (I usually use one can of chili beans, one can of light red kidney beans and one can of dark red chili bans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans low-sodium tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice

Throw everything in your crockpot and cook it all day! Can add additional chili powder or tobasco to spice it up. Serve with crackers and corn bread. Great when you're having guests but would rather visit than cook.

Split Pea Soup
  • 1 16-oz package dried split peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 3 carrots, pealed and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 stalks celery plus leaves, chopped (I leave this out)
  • 3 –4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (I use Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1-1/2 quarts hot water
  • I also added a bit of thyme and some cayenne pepper later in the day (just sprinkle and taste it until it seems right)

Layer ingredients in crockpot. Pour in water, so don’t stir. Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Remove bay leaf. I cook this on low and don’t stir it for the first 6 hours or so. Then I stir and season to taste.


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