Crockpot Taco Chili

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you’ll be fighting over the leftovers…if there are any!

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

So…I have to go back to work today. And I’m totally whiney about it, which makes me feel like a total tool because in what other job do you get a week off for fall break when you’re a grown up? But ugghhhh, I just don’t wanna. And things are about to get so busy. Two shows in October and one at the beginning of November. Although, once that’s all over, it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the semester.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

As life gets busier, cooking dinner every night becomes more challenging, and my love for my crockpot grows into more of a deep dependence, can’t-live-without-ya kinda thing. In fact, if I could make every single meal in the crockpot for the rest of my life, I probably wouldn’t be even a little bit sad. I mostly only like cooking because I like eating, and I really like eating.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

Especially this chili. I really, really, really like eating this taco chili. Like, I was fighting Steve over the leftovers. I almost always make enough food to have leftovers for 2-3 lunch / dinners, and sometimes I make entirely too much and end up trying to guilt Steve into finishing it because I just am soooooo sick of it by the 4th time I’ve eaten it. But not this chili. I was hoarding, calling dibs, hiding it in the back of the fridge, and pulling out every trick I had up my sleeve to keep it allllll to myself.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This is the second part of my series with McCormick. You may remember from my Crockpot Taco Dip that McCormick now has an entire line of seasonings that are certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Their gluten-free line includes Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning, Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Brown Gravy and Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy. The best part is, ya know how normally as soon as something is labeled gluten-free the price magically shoots up? Not here! They’re the same price as all of their other seasonings, and they contain no MSG or artificial colors /flavors. I stocked up on the taco seasoning! It’s something I use all the time anyway, and I was so in love with the way these recipes turned out. It’s going to become a staple in my kitchen.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This chili is bold and flavorful, rich and creamy, healthy and loaded with fresh veggies. It’s the kind of weeknight dinner you never get tired of, and something you will feel excited to come home to!

Crockpot Taco Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Crockpot Taco Chili

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you'll be fighting over the leftovers...if there are any!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (93% or higher)
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans black beans, not drained
  • 1 x 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I prefer red or orange)
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature in 1" cubes
  • 1 packet McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • For topping:
  • freshly shredded cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sautee garlic and onion until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add cooked beef mixture, tomatoes, beans, corn, bell peppers, cream cheese, and taco seasoning to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring once in between if possible. Once chili is finished, stir together to ensure cream cheese melts fully and combines. Serve topped with shredded cheese, cilantro and Greek yogurt if desired. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
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Other gluten-free seasoning options include Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and Gluten-Free Brown Gravy. For more from McCormick,  you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale: NO prep time, healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free

Can we talk for a second about trying to make curry soup look pretty? I mean, it’s YELLOW and the sweet potatoes I used were yellow. Side note: I totally prefer the lighter colored sweet potatoes, you? The first time I used them I thought they were mislabeled because for most of my life I knew nothing about vegetables. Anyway, I love them, and I think they are sweeter and softer than the orange ones.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Oh, and ummm cooked kale? The ugliest. If this soup weren’t so freaking delicious, I would have said F it, called it quits, and just pouted while sadly eating straight from the crockpot. Seriously, it’s super fun to live with a food blogger who gets super grouchy when things don’t go her way. The other night I had a melt down because I took like 5 zillion pictures of steam coming off my mac & cheese only to realize the wine glass I had set in the background was still empty. Life is hard sometimes.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Anyway, this soup was totally worth it, pretty or not. With the bold curry flavor, the creamy coconut milk and my very favorite food (sweet potatoes, in case you’re new here), you really can’t go wrong. The chicken cooks up perfectly in the crockpot with extra work involved, and the kale adds a little nutrient + flavor bonus. I love kale. I’m such a cliche.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

This soup is perfect for the busy fall months when you want something delicious and warm waiting for you when you come home–it makes weeknight dinners a breeze, and it tastes way more indulgent than it actually is, so it’s a win-win!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 big handfuls kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry paste
  • pinch ground ginger
  • sliced green onions and Sriracha for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Microwave for 2 minutes, (peel if desired, I didn't) then slice into 1" cubes.
  2. Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Stir all ingredients together and serve. Top with green onions and Sriracha if desired. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Buffalo Hot Dogs

Spicy and flavorful, buffalo sauce meets hot dogs for the perfect easy grill or tailgating recipe that will satisfy all the men in your life while still maintaining secretly healthy ingredients!

Buffalo Hot Dogs

Ummm, is it really Monday again already? Last week I had Monday AND Tuesday off because Arizona apparently can’t handle rain and the entire Phoenix metro area was basically flooded. Well, it was flooded on Monday. I have no idea why we didn’t have school on Tuesday, but I’m not complaining. I do have to say that it made going back to work on Wednesday, like, ridiculously hard, and now I can’t believe I have to work a real 5 day week. My life is so hard.

Buffalo Hot Dogs

I have been the worst about meal planning. When I’m good, I’m so good, and I’m making new recipes multiple times per week, and saving money, and eating great dinners! But then I get busy, and the next thing I know, Steve and I are riding our bikes at 7:3o pm in the dark, and we’re both starving and have no idea what we’re going to eat for dinner.

Buffalo Hot Dogs

That night, I remembered when we were about 3 miles from home that we still had hot dogs in the freezer, and it was pretty much the happiest moment of my life. I freaking love hot dogs. It’s silly, but I do. They’re so easy, and so delicious, and the possibilities are endless!

Buffalo Hot Dogs

I’m also a freak for buffalo sauce, so the combination? It rocked my world. Also, I’m one of those weird people that eats my hot dog with no bun because I really do just enjoy the taste of it. It don’t be needin’ no breads. But photos, photos need bread. My hot dog on a plate is, uhhh, less than pretty. So you’re welcome for the bread. It’s hangin’ out just for show. ;)

Buffalo Hot Dogs

This meal comes together in about 3 seconds. Okay, more like 10 minutes, but that might as well be 3 seconds when it comes to a delicious dinner! Just a few minutes to grill the hot dogs, mix together the sauce, and chop some celery and you are done! That’s how I like my dinner. Ready before I have a chance to back out on cooking and head to Chipotle.

Buffalo Hot Dogs

Also, about a million bold flavors is a necessity. I think I’m the opposite of a super taster. Like, I need to taste ALL OF THE THINGS in order to be happy. So if you’re anything like me, these will make you happy too!

Buffalo Hot Dogs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 hot dogs

Serving Size: 1 hot dog

Buffalo Hot Dogs

Spicy and flavorful, buffalo chicken meets hot dogs for the perfect easy grill or tailgating recipe that will satisfy all the men in your life while still maintaining secretly healthy ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 4 hot dogs (preferably all beef or turkey)*
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons buffalo sauce (preferably Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ranch seasoning
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • freshly crumbled blue cheese
  • hot dog buns, if desired

Instructions

  1. Grill hot dogs over medium heat until warmed throughout, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, buffalo sauce and ranch seasoning. Drizzle cooked hot dogs with prepared Greek yogurt buffalo sauce. Top with chopped celery and blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes

*I try to look for a lower in fat turkey or beef dog that is nitrate free. I especially love Fork in the Road (disclosure: they have sent me products in the past, but I loved them even before that!). Also, not all hot dogs are gluten-free. If you eat gluten-free, be sure to check the labels.

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Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

Perfectly grilled pork chops smothered with a sweet and simple balsamic blackberry sauce. This dinner looks so impressive, you’d never guess how easy it is! Healthy, paleo, and Whole 30 friendly!

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

I’m so conflicted. I want to eat pumpkin and apples, and wake up in the morning to a crisp breeze, and see leaves change color! Okay, so I live in Phoenix and the leaves are never going to change color, but a girl can dream.

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry SauceGrilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

Okay, so I’m conflicted because I really really want all of those things. And today it was 108*. I got into my car after work and my car said 117! Yikes. Also, I feel like it’s still technically summer, and I still want to soak up grilling season and fresh berries.

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

Also, this dish was the bomb. Yes, I just said the bomb. I’m stuck in 1999 or something. I tried to make something similar a few months ago, but I pounded out the pork chops really thin, and rolled them up, and then baked them. They looked like…crepes gone wrong… They still tasted delicious, but I couldn’t get over the fact that they looked like breakfast.

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

The good news? This way is so much easier! Seriously, my husband grilled up the pork while I made the sauce and we had dinner in under 30 minutes. It looks so fancy, but it couldn’t be more simple — win, win.

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 pork chop

Grilled Pork Chops with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce

Perfectly grilled pork chops smothered with a sweet and simple balsamic blackberry sauce. This dinner looks so impressive, you'd never guess how easy it is! Healthy, paleo, and Whole 30 friendly!

Ingredients

  • 4 pork loin chops
  • salt and pepper
  • For the Balsamic Blackberry Sauce:
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6 ounces blackberries, preferably organic

Instructions

  1. To make the sauce, bring vinegar to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Add blackberries and use a spoon to mash them into the balsamic vinegar. Cook for 10-15 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Grill until desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side. Top each pork chop with a generous helping of balsamic blackberry sauce.
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French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions. 

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Once upon a time, I’m pretty sure I thought caramelized onions actually had caramel in them. I mean, they’re sooo sweet and delicious. I just figured they at least had buckets of sugar to get them to that point!

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

Turns out, onions are kind of magical, and you probably already know that if you let em cook on low heat for a ridiculous amount of time, they transform into the sweetest and most tender veggie you will ever eat.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

It does take a while, but it is soooo easy. Once I get them going, I generally prep everything else I have to do for dinner and then, if dinner is super easy, sometimes I just watch Netflix and go back to the kitchen to stir them around every now and then. They are totally low maintenance.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

As much as I love onions, ya know what really makes French onion soup for me? That thick layer of bubbly cheese on top. Bubbling cheese is like the stuff dreams are made of. Put it on top of that thick slice of bread they put on top, and your meal is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Bread. Cheese. Onions. Done.

French Onion Burgers with tons of caramelized onions and melty gruyere

But I have to say, it’s all even better when sitting on top of a super juicy beef burger that has even more onions hiding inside! It’s so good, you totally don’t even need the bun. In fact, I won’t eat a burger unless it’s good enough to eat bunless. It’s kind of a rule in my house because 99% of the time I toss the bun after it serves its purpose of looking cute on camera, and eat my delicious burger nekked. ;)

French Onion Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3-4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

French Onion Burgers

Satisfy your craving for French onion soup in the summer time with these big, juicy beef burgers stuffed with caramelized onions, then topped with melty gruyere and even more caramelized onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (94-96%)
  • pinch thyme (fresh or dried)
  • pinch paprika
  • 2-4 ounces sliced or shredded gruyere cheese
  • whole grain buns for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, cook onions and garlic in olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine ground beef, 1/4 of the caramelized onions, thyme, paprika, and an extra pinch of black pepper. Form into 3-4 even patties (depending on how big you like your burgers).
  3. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Top immediately with gruyere and allow to melt slightly then top with a generous portion of caramelized onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

For even cooking in your burgers, gently press your thumb into the center of each patty before cooking.

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