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!

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered in roasted jalapeno and garlic bacon guacamole and topped with cotija cheese. These hot dogs take typical grilling to the next level with their spicy, bold flavors and perfectly contrasting textures.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

It’s not like you need a reason to make fancy, delicious, to-die-for guacamole. In fact hunger is reason enough for me, and a fork is a totally acceptable vehicle. However, a spicy sausage may be an even more delicious vehicle.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

For a while I was on the fence about hot dogs. Somewhere along the line they became one of those gross foods in my mind that you don’t eat past the age of 7. Ummm, that was a big mistake because for years I missed out on the amazingness that is hot dogs and sausages.

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

I also believe that all things are better with guacamole. Even the most delicious things can become instantly more delicious when you add guacamole. Juicy burger? Add guac! Simple grilled chicken? Totally different when smothered with avocado-y goodness. A spoon the size of your face? I think you know the answer. ;)

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs: Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered with roasted jalapeno & garlic bacon guacamole + cotija cheese

My friends from Fork in the Road happened to send me some of their products to try, and after absolutely loving them at BTP, I knew I was in for a treat! I ended up using the hot links which are perfect for this flavor combination, but you can  use any hot dog or sausage you like!

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 hotdog/sausage

Spicy Bacon Guacamole Dogs

Spicy grilled hot dogs smothered in roasted jalapeno and garlic bacon guacamole and topped with cotija cheese. These hot dogs take typical grilling to the next level with their spicy, bold flavors and perfectly contrasting textures.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Grill hotdogs/sausages to desired doneness, about 5 minutes. Toast buns if desired. Place hotdogs/sausages in buns or on a plate, smother with guacamole, and top with a generous pinch of cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes

Buns are totally optional. They look prettier, but I ate these bunless and they were absolutely delicious!

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was supplied with free sausages from Fork in the Road, but was not in any other way compensated for this post. Recipe and opinions are my own.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

All the delicious flavor of pad Thai in fun, healthy and delicious meatballs! These Thai turkey meatballs are so good, they stand alone without pasta, and are even more fantastic dipped in the creamy peanut sauce.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

I have so much to tell you! I just got back from the most incredible weekend at Blend (incredible hosted by Lindsay, Janetha & Lauren)! I’ve been dying to go after reading about the last two years, and I was pee-my-pants-excited to meet some of my favorite people from the internet. That makes me sound like a total nerd, but it’s cool. I am a total nerd.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

I shared a room with Nicole & Katie (because…duh) and I was so stoked that Ashley ended up in our room too. It was the perfect energy and we stayed up both nights chatting and laughing until I literally fell asleep mid sentence. I wish that was every night. Although, Steve might be a little annoyed.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

I was so excited to finally meet Lindsay and Brittany. I feel like I’ve known them for years, and they are two of the kindest, most supportive people I have ever met. In fact, for a long time I felt like I was blogging to no one, and I don’t even remember who found who, but I can say that both of them have given me a huge sense of community, and it was even better to get to play in real life!

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

Gahhhh, I feel like I could go on for YEARS about every cool person I met, but how about we get talk about some meatballs, and I’ll make you a lovely little list at the end of new blogs you absolutely must check out because the humans behind them are incredible. Sound good?

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

Okay, so….these meatballs. They are seriously so so easy. And they involve mixing with your hands, which is always my favorite.  Whisk together a little peanut sauce, then mixing and rolling your meatballs will only take you a matter of minutes. While they cook, you catch up on Netflix…or if you’re a better person than me, you get ahead on cleaning. I’m not sure I can say I’ve ever gotten ahead on cleaning…

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce: Healthy, delicious & gluten-free

I use the “cooling rack inside the baking sheet” method (very technical term) + a little olive oil to ensure even cooking and a perfectly textured meatball. Ya know, when it has the browned outside, but still super tender and juicy on the inside? The.best. Not to mention, these meatballs are super healthy–lean, packed with protein, and with some veggies inside for good measure! It will only take a few of them to fill you up, and the sweet and spicy peanut sauce makes you feel like you’re going to town on your favorite Thai take out. Literally the best of every world, and a dinner you will want to make over and over again!

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: approximately 20 meatballs

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

All the delicious flavor of pad Thai in fun, healthy and delicious meatballs! These Thai turkey meatballs are so good, they stand alone without pasta, and are even more fantastic dipped in the creamy peanut sauce.

Ingredients

    For the meatballs:
  • 20 ounces lean ground turkey (I suggest 93-96%)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (use gf if necessary)*
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bean sprouts
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • For the peanut sauce:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or gf soy sauce, or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (or Sriracha)
  • water, as needed for thinning
  • Optional for serving:
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime
  • Sriracha

Instructions

  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, honey and chili. Add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce has reached desired consistency.
  2. To make the meatballs, preheat oven to 400. Place a cooling rack inside of a large baking sheet** and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl until incorporated. Roll into approximately 2 inch (about 1 ounce) balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil if desired***.
  3. Bake until browned and cooked throughout, about 25 minutes. Serve with prepared peanut sauce**** a squeeze of fresh lime, a pinch of cilantro and a drizzle of Sriracha if desired. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Store peanut sauce separately.

Notes

*If you only have slow cooking oats on hand, simple throw them in the food processor for about 30 seconds, or even chop by hand. **Using the cooling rack inside the baking sheet helps the meatballs to bake evenly on the bottom and for any extra fat to cook off. It is not 100% necessary, but recommended. ***The extra olive oil helps the meatballs brown and get a a nice outer texture. This is also optional, but recommended. ****If peanut sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

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And because I love them, please check out some of my amazing friends that I hung out with this weekend. Tons of health tips, motivation & inspiration!

Lindsay | Janetha | Lauren | Nicole | Katie | Ashley | Lindsay | Brittany | Ashley | Mollie | Alex | Candice | Erika | Laura | Nicole | Janae and sooooo many more.

Thai Chicken Tacos

The bold flavors of chicken pad Thai in a simple, easy, healthy and gluten-free weeknight meal that comes together in minutes.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Have I ever told you about the taco shop? I mean, I guess I should call it by it’s name now that taco shops are becoming a thing, and there’s a bunch of them popping up all over the place, but I still always call it the taco shop.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Anyway, they have tons of creative tacos and everything is served a la carte, so you can get a couple different tacos, all the same, tacos with Mexican street corn (OMG…), or even try out their many varieties of salsa. It is basically a dream come true for this Mexican-food-aholic.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

I actually can’t believe I have never posted tacos on here before. I mean, I guess it’s because I never actually make them. I make this all the time, and this needs to happen again because it was freaking awesome, but never just regular tacos, and ummm, that needs to change because I think this dinner took me all of 10 minutes, and it was awesome.

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

In addition to Mexican food, I am also obsessed with Thai food. Okay, I’m actually obsessed with peanut sauce. I mean, there are many Thai dishes that I absolutely love, but it always comes back to that peanut sauce for me. Peanut butter + spicy + just slightly sweet? How can that be bad??

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Well, actually one time I made the mistake of using someone else’s pad Thai recipe that I found on the internet. It was loaded with soy sauce, and even using the lower salt soy sauce, the peanut sauce just tasted like a mouthful of salt. And I LOVE salt. One day in the middle of a long run I came back home to refill my water and ground some sea salt onto a plate and ate it. By itself. Perhaps I should add that to things I should be embarrassed to admit on the internet…

Thai Chicken Tacos -- A healthy, bold and flavorful weeknight meal that comes together in minutes!

Anyway, my peanut sauce does not taste like pure salt. It’s the spicy, peanutty, slightly sweet goodness I mentioned before. And for these tacos, all you do is throw some shredded chicken and chopped veggies onto some corn tortillas, drizzle your new favorite peanut sauce on top, and then if you want to get fancy (or if you just want the best possible flavor combo) squeeze on some lime, throw in some of my favorite food (cilantro), add some crushed peanuts, and a drizzle of sriracha. You’ll find yourself looking at a dinner that seems so complicated and wondering how you made it happen in just a few minutes. Then when you taste it, you’ll want to recreate it every night forever (and ever).

Thai Chicken Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

Serving Size: 2 tacos

Thai Chicken Tacos

The bold flavors of chicken pad Thai in a simple, easy, healthy and gluten-free weeknight meal that comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

    For the peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sriracha + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Water, as needed
  • For the tacos:
  • 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 (8 oz) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
  • Handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp crushed peanuts

Instructions

  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, coconut aminos, lime juice, sriracha and honey with 2 tbsp water until well combined. Continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce has reached desired consistency.
  2. To assemble tacos add chicken, red pepper, scallions, cilantro and peanuts to each warmed tortilla. Top with peanut sauce and drizzle with sriracha if desired. Serve immediately.
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Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Thick and creamy roasted cauliflower is the perfect, comforting, vegetarian fall dinner. Ridiculously easy, and so rich you’d never guess it was packed with veggies!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

I never thought I liked cauliflower. I mean I didn’t hate it, and it’s not like eggplant which I avoid at all cost (ew, weird, gross veggie–stay far, far away!), but I certainly didn’t go out of my way to seek it out. Then I had this ridiculously good fried cauliflower at Pita Jungle. Oooooomg, it’s like the stuff dreams are made of. But then I tried that cauliflower pizza crust that the entire internet seems to be in love with? Gag worthy. Seriously, just…no.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

I was ready to give up on it again, but then I made this soup. I was craving broccoli cheese soup, and for some reason this seemed like a good alternative? Anyway, I was about to break up with cauliflower forever after that pizza crust, but (s)he? is back on my bff list because this soup? It’s totally dreamy–rich and creamy with not a single ounce of cream. It’s healthy, filling, and totally satisfying.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

This is a simple, no fuss recipe that’s basically fool proof. Heat, stir, blend, serve, and voila! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the leftovers. Even THICKER, and the flavor develops more as the soup sits. This is a HUGE batch, so you will have delicious leftovers to keep your warm all week long. And I pinky promise–the veggie haters in your life will never know it’s cauliflower. I fooled a lot of people in my family with this one. ;)

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Thick and creamy roasted cauliflower is the perfect, comforting, vegetarian fall dinner. Ridiculously easy, and so rich you'd never guess it was packed with veggies!

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 extra large onion, finely chopped
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp honey dijon mustard
  • 3-4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I use Chalulah)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated fontina cheese (or cheese of choice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Add cauliflower and garlic to a very large baking dish. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake until browned and softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and shallot, and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until tender and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add broth and potatoes. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add cooked cauliflower and garlic scraping baking dish well into the pot. Add mustard and hot sauce.
  5. Puree using an immersion blender, high quality stand blender (will likely need to do in batches), or food processor (will also likely require multiple batches. Return to heat and stir in cheese. Add extra salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week

Notes

You could also make this in your crockpot--just add cooked cauliflower and garlic in addition to all remaining ingredients (except the cheese) to your crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Blend, then stir in cheese.

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