Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I was just not cut out to be a hoarder. I try – like really try – but in the end, neurosis kicks in and my priorities immediately shift to depleting the mountain of whatever I just bought “because it was such a great deal!” as quickly as humanly possible.

Obtaining things – not hard. But REtaining them? Completely impossible. Except toothpaste. Good Lord, do you know how long 12 tubes last?!

I had nearly 20lbs of hatch chiles in the freezer at one point. Now? Not even close. Why buy 20 lbs in August when I know I can get them canned year-round? Maybe because for a few short weeks, I happily submit to the hype and convince myself that it’s not quite the same making Pepperoni & Hatch Pizza in September with fresh chiles as it is in April with canned chiles… but we’re all adults here and we know it’s close enough that it won’t matter.

{Also, the little Fage Total yogurts were BOGO this week! Guess who has 18 now 15 containers of Greek yogurt in her fridge? And guess who eats like 2 a day?}

{Also, Target has Clif bars 6/$5 this week! Guess who will never have to buy another Clif bar again?}

So Mission:Empty The Freezer of All Signs of Hatch Chiles continues with this week’s favorite dinner to loudly protest and pout about before even taking a single bite: beans, sausage, and rice.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Why’d you type it like that – “beans, sausage, and rice.” You always say “red beans & rice.” Sausage is a given. And you didn’t say “red.” Why are you being so vague? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING OVER THERE?!

Simmah down, na’! Your red beans are actually black and loaded with hatch chiles. The sausage is made out of chicken and stuffed with cheese and hatch chiles. And no, the rice isn’t really rice. It’s quinoa.

Man, you just can’t slip anything by anybody over GChat in this house :)

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

I took a page out of my mom’s playbook (probably called Live Free and Crock Hard) (God, I hope that doesn’t means something gross in Urban Dictionary) (I’m totally not looking – and don’t you dare tell me if you do!) and made a giant vat of beans in the crockpot so I’d have lunchable leftovers for the week in the form of Black & White tacos.

If you’re going stove top method for the beans, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to overnight soak or quick soak (check your pack of dried beans for instructions). If you’re going canned, your house won’t smell awesome all day long… but you also won’t have to run the dishwasher a second time to avoid handwashing the crock.

But seriously, go make this and put a dent in your hatch chile stash. You can’t mess it up, whatever route you take.

Black Beans with Hatch Chiles, Chicken Sausage, and Quinoa

Chicken sausage, quinoa, black beans, and hatch chiles make for a healthier - and spicier - twist on beans & rice.


  • For the beans
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices of thick bacon, diced
  • Salt
  • 6 hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
  • 1 lb sausage, cut into ~1/3-inch rounds*
  • 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa (1/2 cup per person)
  • *I used HEB Hatch Chile & Cheese Chicken Sausage; it wasn't precooked so I just cooked it separately.


  1. Put rinsed and picked-over dried beans in the crockpot with 8 cups of water, bay leaves, onion, garlic, bacon, and a couple of generous pinches of salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Add the chiles and sausage to the crockpot and let stand on low to heat the meat through, ~20 minutes.
  4. Serve a generous scoop of beans & sausage over 1/2 cup of cooked rice or quinoa.


Yields: 6 servings, with leftover beans

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 8 hours


Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

“You always have to make things so complicated. Open a jar, pour it out, and just leave it alone for once.”

That’s only a small portion of the rant my sister emailed me – we get along fabulously ;)

She asked for my “favorite green enchilada sauce.” So I sent it to her. And it’s a good one! The sauce components are lightly charred on the grill and the resulting sauce is smokey and flavorful. Better than anything you’ll ever pour out of a jar and just leave alone.

Sure, it’s January but we live in Texas – it’s almost never too cold to fire up the grill.

But that isn’t what she really wanted. She wanted my “favorite green enchilada sauce that can be made quickly while my 3 kids and 2 dogs and 1 cat tear my house apart after getting back from t-ball and soccer practice but before a 2-hour long bath & bedtime routine how do these kids get so dirty and why won’t they go to sleep already?!”

Those are two different recipes. And like 8 different other problems, none of which I can help her with.

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

She does have a point, though. There are two things I do really well: I can somehow fill the entire dishwasher on soup & sandwich night and I can always turn something slightly time-consuming into something really time-consuming. And that’s why I usually on make enchiladas on the weekend.

So I reworked the “big” recipe so that it could be made on a school night. It uses the crockpot to cook a double-batch of the chicken (eat half, freeze the other!) while she’s doing whatever you do when you have 3 kids and 2 dogs and 1 cat (my guess is it involves a dark closet, a bottle of cheap liquor, and the fetal position), canned salsa verde, and comes together quicker than the totally from-scratch version.

And I made sure to work in a step that says “pour it out and leave it alone.”

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

The slow cooker and canned salsa verde make a big pan of green chicken enchiladas perfect for a school night.


  • For the chicken:
  • ~3 lbs (4 large) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (half for this recipe, freeze the other half or use it for taco night this week)
  • 7 oz can salsa verde
  • For the enchiladas
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz monterrey jack cheese, grated and divided in half
  • 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Total Fage 0%, can use light sour cream)
  • 2 7-oz cans salsa verde
  • 10 small tortillas (I use Mission Low Carb flour)
  • Pico de gallo, for serving (optional)


  1. Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot and pour the salsa over top and leave it alone.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours (5-6 if the chicken is frozen).
  3. Half of the chicken will be shredded for enchiladas, I pack the other half into a freezer bag with some of the cooking liquid if I'm not going to use it right away. Otherwise, you've just made chicken for taco or quesadilla or soup or mac & cheese night later in the week.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425.
  5. Shred half of the chicken and place in a medium bowl.
  6. Add the chopped onion, half of the cheese, sour cream/yogurt, and half a can of salsa verde - stir to mix well.
  7. Spread the remaining half-can of salsa verde over the bottom of a casserole dish.
  8. Fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture, roll, and place seam side down in the dish.
  9. Top with the other can of salsa verde and remaining shredded cheese.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and the cheese and tortillas are nicely browned.
  11. Serve with a scoop of pico de gallo over top. Or not.


Yields: 10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 4 hours 40 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 277.7 | Fat: 10.3g | Fiber 11.1g | Protein 24.2g | Carbs 21g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6


This is the time of year when I’m usually trying to figure out if this is the coldest, longest winter that I can remember in Texas. I know it’s not… and it really was barely 2 months ago that I was whining about the lack of a real fall in Texas. But it’s cold. For Texas. And that sends us running for soup and chili and stew.

One of our favorite meals in rotation right now is this Chicken & Sausage Stew. It’s one of my favorites because 94% of the work is done before noon – an awesome thing since I seem to be impressively unmotivated these days. The two picky-ish eaters in the house usually go back for seconds. Voluntarily. For a dish that has the word “stew” and spinach in it.

That’s probably because it doesn’t fall into that “it tastes like every other stew that comes from the crockpot” category. I really hate that category.

I lightened up the recipe a bit by reducing the flour and using low-fat chicken broth and 95% fat-free smoked turkey sausage. It still makes a nice and hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.

And the 3 days after that.

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

A lighter, hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.


  • 2 lbs chicken (I used a mixture of boneless breasts & thighs)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz light smoked turkey sausage, 1/2-inch rounds cut in half
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 3 cups low-sodium/reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • Parmesan, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and transfer (in batches) to the skillet to sear ~2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooker.
  4. Reduce heat just a bit and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet (add additional olive oil if necessary) and add the onions.
  5. Cook just until beginning to brown, ~5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 more minute.
  7. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Whisk in 1 cup of the broth until smooth and then transfer to the slow cooker.
  10. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, the bay leaves, and the cannellini beans. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4-6 hours on low.
  11. Remove the chicken and shred/cut into small pieces and return to the slow cooker.
  12. Discard the bay leaves and skim off any fat on the surface.
  13. Stir in the spinach and sausage, cover, and let cook another 10 minutes to warm through.
  14. Additional broth can be added to stretch the stew or adjust consistency, if necessary.
  15. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan.


Yields: ~8 servings

Adapted from ATK Slow Cooker Revolution, via Pink Parsley

Estimated time: 6 hours 30 minutes


Pulled Pork

That is a Tangerine-Soy Pulled Pork Sandwich with a Thai Plum-Barbecue Sauce. And this is a Houston Texans Crock-Pot.

Houston Texans Crock-Pot

Correction, that is a 2012 AFC South Division Champs Houston Texans Crock-Pot. Because they now make Crock-Pots with your favorite NFL team logo on them! And because Bulls on Parade, baby!

For those of you who’ve stopped by here a time or two, or have seen me clog your Twitter feed on a non-bye-week Sunday, you know I’m a big Texans fan. So it’s always a bit awkward and confusing when I have to launch into the “I’ve actually been a Colts fan for the last 15 years” story.

But that magical division realignment pitted my new Texans and my old-ish Colts against each other twice a year (and maybe 3!) in one of the happiest football-related things to ever happen to me. I always (try) to root for the home team.

Houston Texans Crock-Pot

With the abundance of winter citrus, we picked up a mountain of 5/$1 tangerines and turned several of those into a fun, seasonal twist on the classic pulled pork to christen the new Crock-Pot. A pork roast is slow cooked with tangerine juice, soy sauce, and spices and then the cooking liquid is reduced with more tangerine juice for a citrusy glaze. It’s sweet meets savory meets easy gameday eats.

The Crock-Pot isn’t just a lifesaver during the week, but it’s perfect for tailgating – pulled pork, chili, queso, and fancy meatballs go from counter-to-tent super easily. You can snag a Crock-Pot with your favorite NFL logo and impress the heck out of your tailgate-mates. Or upload a custom design and create a one-of-a-kind Crock-Pot!

Tangerine Pulled Pork with Thai Plum Barbecue Sauce

Pulled pork gets a seasonal gameday makeover with fresh tangerines.


  • For the roast:
  • 1 large pork shoulder or roast (~7-8 lbs for a crowd)
  • 1/2 cup tangerine juice (3-4 tangerines, 1 rind reserved and sliced thinly)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 cups of cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup tangerine juice
  • 1/2 tangerine rind, sliced thinly
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • For the barbecue sauce:
  • 1/4 cup purchased Thai Plum Sauce
  • 1/2 cup purchased barbecue sauce


  1. Place the roast in the crockpot with the tangerine juice, rind, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper, and garlic.
  2. Cook on low 8-10 hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender.
  3. Transfer 2 cups of cooking liquid (fat skimmed from top) to a medium saucepan and add the orange juice and tangerine rind.
  4. Reduce for ~20 minutes over high heat until down to ~3/4 cup and then remove the rind.
  5. Shred the pork roast and place in a large bowl or serving dish and pour the reduction over top, tossing to coat.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the plum and barbecue sauces together and warm in the microwave.
  7. For sandwiches, pile a generous scoop of pulled pork on top of a split roll and top with a spoonful of barbecue sauce.


Yields: 12-16 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 10 hours 30 minutes

This post was sponsored by Crock-Pot.