Tag Archives: Crushed red pepper

Chili Mac Casserole

I know, I know, I have become a little relaxed in the blogging department lately and I truly apologize and I know that I explained it in my last post, but I am truly sorry for being non-sociable. I have been working to get my Degree in Health Information Management and I decided to take some time off and enjoy the fall/winter semester with getting my business venture off the ground as well. I am going to be back in full swing within a couple of weeks and hope to have some really great new recipes to share with everyone! Now, I have decided that this has to be one of my better casseroles but I’ll let you decide. However, we are not “casserole lovers”, but this one needed some TLC in the recipe. In addition to the ingredients shown, we added my Taco and Chili seasoning (Rubs, Marinades, and Sauces) and a little bit of red pepper flakes (we love the “kick”). It turned out great! This is great for a weeknight meal. Hope you enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings (8×8 glass baking dish / 2 qt.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

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1 cup uncooked wagon wheel pasta, or size equivalent such as cavatappi, rotini, etc.

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 can (15 oz) chili with beans

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup crushed tortilla chip scoops

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1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheese, divided

1/4 cup instant rice (optional)

1 Tbsp Taco and Chili Seasoning (my recipe – rubs, marinades, and sauces)

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

red pepper flakes to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, cook the beef, onion, salt, pepper, and bell pepper over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain…..

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Add the diced tomatoes…..

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Stir in the canned chili…..

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Add tortilla chips…..

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Add 1/2 cup cheese….

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Add 1/4 cup rice…..

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Add the chili powder and my Taco & Chili Seasoning….

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Drain pasta and add to the meat and chili mixture….

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Transfer to a 2 qt. (8×8) baking dish and add remaining cheese…..

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Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned…..

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Beef and Broccoli with Peppers

Have I stated how much I love my slow cooker?? Well, I LOVE MY SLOW COOKER! Hopefully you could “hear” me 🙂 I love the slow process of cooking, just goes to prove that “patience is a virtue”, especially when we prepare meals for the ones we love. I found a recipe that I changed, of course, and this recipe has been tried so many times by other cooks and websites, that I finally thought I would have a go at it and give it a try. I love Beef and Broccoli and I decided that if I try a little bit of Capsicum (bell peppers) in my recipe at the end, it would have even better flavor…so that’s what I did. I sure hope you enjoy! I sure as heck know that we sure did! 😉

Makes: 4-6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

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1 cup water

1 beef bouillon cube

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp sesame seed oil

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 pounds beef stew meat

7-8 mini sweet peppers (bell peppers), sliced thinly (or equivalent to 2 regular-sized, sliced bell peppers)

2 Tbsp cornstarch

16-24 oz. broccoli florets (frozen)


Place liner in slow cooker, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Turn slow cooker on LOW and place the beef stew meat in the slow cooker along with the soy sauce….

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Brown sugar…..

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Sesame seed oil…..

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Ground Ginger, Crushed red pepper flakes, water, and beef boullion cube…..

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Toss (mix well) to coat. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours….

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After the 7-8 hours of cooking time, remove about 3 Tbsp of sauce from the slow cooker and combine with the 2 Tbsp of cornstarch to make a slurry…..

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Pour and stir the slurry into the beef mixture in the slow cooker and let thicken before adding remaining ingredients……

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Add broccoli (as much as you want and you don’t have to thaw broccoli)

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Slices of bell peppers….

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Stir to combine again and continue to cook on LOW for 15-20 minutes to thicken the sauce…. (this also cooks the broccoli to a desired tenderness and the same for the bell peppers)…..

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During this time you can (follow the product instructions) make your rice. We used brown rice. This dish has great flavor without excessive amounts of MSG….

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Please enjoy!

Chili & Taco Seasoning

I came across a serious problem last night while making chili. I had the beef cooked, the tomatoes and the tomato sauce added and when I went to my spice cabinet, I noticed the chili seasoning was missing! I usually make up my own chili by adding some spices and go on about my business, but I had decided that since it was such a long day, that I would just add the packet to my chili and let it simmer. Boy was I wrong! I “googled” a chili seasoning recipe and voila, I found a few of them, mixed up my own and it was a little spicy, but definitely tasty! You can adjust it to your liking but this is how we like it! Hope you enjoy it!

Makes: 2/3 cup

Use: 1-2 Tbsp seasoning per 1 pound of ground beef (adjust to your liking)

Here’s what you’ll need:

chili and taco seasoning

 4 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp paprika

2 Tbsp ground cumin

3 tsp sea salt

3 tsp black pepper


In a small bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, ground cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Lasagna Soup

I love soup! I love soup! I love…..I know, I’ve made myself clear that I LOVE SOUP! I also love lasagna and why not find a recipe that compliments both? I found 2 recipes of this soup and sort of made my own rendition. It is full of aroma and it will definitely change your thought process of the way comfort food is presented. The way that Josh and I served up this soup was to scoop a spoonful of a ricotta mixture into the bowl and then ladle the soup on top! It was fantastic! I found the idea for this recipe from www.tasteofhome.com and on Pinterest. Please enjoy and as always….feedback is welcome! Enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 tsp olive oil

1 1/2 pounds italian sausage (or ground beef, depends on preference)

1 1/2 c chopped red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 (14 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

6 c. chicken stock

8 oz. fusilli pasta or cavatappi pasta

1/2 c. finely chopped basil leaves (optional) or 2 tsp dried basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and brown for about 7-10 minutes…

Add red onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes…

Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute…

Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate into sausage mixture…

Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomato paste turns to a reddish-brown color…

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine…

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, let simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for too long. Pasta will get mushy and soak up all the broth.

While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the ricotta mixture (as follows):

Here’s what you’ll need:

8 oz ricotta cheese

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of black pepper

1/4 c mozzarella cheese


In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended…

To serve this glorious soup, dollop a spoonful of ricotta mixture in the bottom of your bowl…

Ladle the hot soup on top of the ricotta mixture, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian Blend) and a sprinkle of parsley…

Voila! Lasagna Soup served over a ricotta cheese mixture!

Thai-Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

OK, OK, OK…I’m NOT a fan of peanut butter at all, but I love this soup! I have had pumpkin soup before but not like this. I made this soup last year and we both loved it. I made it again this past spring and I was reminded how much I liked it…if you’re looking for a different kind of soup to tantalize all your tastebuds…this it definitely it! The best part?…it’s done in the slow cooker.

Makes: 4-6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Tbsp EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 large white onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1/2 – 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced

2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced

1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin

1/2 cup mango nectar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2 – 4 cups hot cooked rice (I prefer Jasmine or Basmati)

3 green onions, minced


1.) Cook basmati or jasmine rice according to directions and set aside until needed.

2.) Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes…

Add onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until mixture is fragrant. Remove from heat.

3.) Place chicken mixture in the slow cooker…

Add celery, carrot, pumpkin, mango nectar, lime juice, peanut butter, broth, and 2 cups water; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.

4.) Stir in vinegar and half of chopped cilantro. Mix cream and cornstarch together in small mixing bowl…

Stir mixture into soup. If soup was cooked on LOW setting, turn slow cooker to HIGH. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until soup thickens. To serve, put rice in soup bowls. Ladle soup around rice.

5.) Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, green onions, and pass lime wedges over soup for squeezing. (I used remaining cilantro instead of green onions).

Three Pepper Pasta Sauce

I found this recipe in my Crock-Pot cookbook, thank you family members! I love this cookbook, I just try to make my own recipes rather than do exactly what they have typed. I’m more of an experimentalist with the food rather than anything else. I will admit, this sauce is very good and very chunky. I put a little in my food processor at a time and it still had great texture. It just depends on your preferences. Please enjoy!

Makes: 4-6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup chopped onion

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or ground black pepper

English: Three bellpeppers (Capsicum annuum) f...

English: Three bellpeppers (Capsicum annuum) from three different cultivars. Français : Trois poivrons (Capsicum annuum) de trois variétés différentes. Nederlands: Drie paprika’s (Capsicum annuum) in drie verschillende varianten. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Spray non-stick cooking spray or place a slow cooker liner in your crock pot, then combine bell peppers, tomatoes with juice, garlic, onion, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or on HIGH for 3-4 hours or until vegetables are tender.

This sauce is great served over pasta with parmesan cheese with great garlic bread on the side.

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