While I’m sitting here hoping the winter weather is gone for good, I’m also making sure I stay prepared.  Yesterday, I pulled out my good friend, the crockpot.  Still maintaining the dairy-free/paleo mind set, I browsed through a few recipes to figure out one for my own {a.k.a. what’s going to be my easiest and cheapest option based on what I already have at home}.  This recipe is great because it’s flexible.  Notice how I didn’t put any “meat” in the title?  While I used chicken for this recipe, you can also sub ground beef or turkey.  In terms of what makes soup “soupy”, I also noticed that there was essentially a 2:1 ratio between any tomato-based ingredient {salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato paste} and water or chicken broth/stock.  You’ll get more of an idea of what I mean when you see the ingredients.

Aaaaaaand because I already knew that it tasted good, I based most of the ingredients off of my Paleo Stuffed Pepper Recipe !!!

Ingredients:: {4-6 Servings}

1 lb of frozen chicken {***I add the chicken in frozen and it’s easily shreddable once you’re ready to eat.  You can also sub this with 1 lb of ground turkey or ground beef, just make sure you brown the ground meat in a skillet first***}
3 Bell Peppers, diced and sliced {any color you want!}
1 onion {red or yellow will work}
1 jalapeno, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced {I’m a garlic freak, I like to add 3}
2 cups of salsa {I used the original salsa from Trader Joe’s…remember, here you can also used diced tomatoes, etc…have fun with it!}
1 cup of water {**check the 2:1 ratio here as well, remember you can sub any of the options I listed above, just keep the ratio}
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of oregano {dried and crushed}
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes

Plus diced avocado for topping.  This can get slightly spicy depending on what you decide to use, the avocado does a great job cooling it off {a little}.

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients above in a crockpot {minus the avocado} on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  Viola!

Now, like I said, you can get pretty creative with this.  Just imagine using a fruity salsa instead!  Some kind of peachy, pineappley, mango-ey {not sure about the spelling here}, instead of a basic tomato based salsa.  As I’m typing this, I’m already coming up with a new crockpot idea…and I’m getting hungry.  That’s what cooking is all about, aside from being healthy, it’s also all about having fun and being creative!

This is also a very freezable recipe, so it’s perfect all around!

What are some of your favorite crockpot recipes?  What are some of your favorite salsas?

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