A Day in the Life of a Trucker’s Wife

Cloud formations in OK & KS

You quickly learn about where the best food is, most convenient truck stops, and no-brainer daily activities like how to climb in and out of the big rig when riding along with your trucker husband. I’ve decided to share one recent day’s events in case you’re wondering.

Food is a priority of mine (figured that out already, didn’t you?😉), and I like to start my day with breakfast (especially fried eggs or omelets) and coffee. Unless I want to spend money every morning for cooked eggs, I have to settle on other nutritious food.

On a side note here, many truck stops are becoming more aware of their over-the-road (OTR) drivers’ nutrition needs and are offering packaged boiled eggs for sale in their refrigerated food sections. That is a plus.

It’s not every day of OTR travel with my husband that we have the boiled eggs on hand in our “refrigerator” – an ice chest. We make do, though. Breakfast might be cottage cheese, some fruit, three celery sticks dipped in peanut butter, or something that has protein. Protein bars (my favorites are the Power Crunch energy bars – YUM!) are commodity musts in our truck pantry. On long driving days, these come in handy.

Unfortunately, I don’t get the perfect cup of coffee every morning that I’m traveling. Some days I don’t even get any. But that’s okay because I’m not addicted to it. When I do have exceptional coffee (not necessarily available at even the best truck stops), I thoroughly enjoy it.

We stopped at a convenience store, not truck friendly, one day. We parked on the side of the road by the store to ask about the name of the road. There was road work, and the only sign pointing to where we needed to go did not include the name (or number – the drop-off place was way out in the boonies). I hadn’t had a good cup of coffee in a couple of days, and they had one pot of simple brewed coffee and French Vanilla. We both poured a cup. That coffee turned out to be the BEST yet on the trip. That was the day of the Dodge City, Kansas tornadoes. We needed that coffee.

Weird things can surprise us sometimes. We were almost in Kansas at the time of the tornadoes. My husband travels through Dodge City a lot, but fortunately he didn’t go that day. That evening we stopped at a truck stop with showers. While I waited in a deli booth for my husband, a man sitting nearby said, “Ma’am.” I didn’t realize he was trying to catch my attention until I heard him say again, “Ma’am.”

I turned to see that he was speaking to me. He was and asked me if my phone was a 6S. He said he has one. Well, then the man mentioned that you can get Bible apps and started telling me his opinions on certain topics and what the Bible says about it. I was aware of the apps and actually have one but didn’t disclose that information. He wanted me to turn to a particular verse. I texted my husband. The man asked if I was turning to the scripture, and I said, “No, I’m texting.” At that time, my husband walked up to my table to get me, and we walked to the truck.

Back at the truck, we had the windows open, and a huge bug flew in. That crazy thing hit the top of my head three times. Two things I do not like are bugs and storms. I had to deal with both on this trip.

Speaking of bugs, that same day of tornadoes, the Bible study, and the attack bug, we delivered products to a company where we used their restroom. The guy that let us in warned us and apologized for the condition of the restroom. Well, he wasn’t kidding. My husband walked in ahead of me to check it out when a HUGE water bug or roach ran right in front of me. I danced around, screaming, until my husband smashed it with his shoe.

I like Subway, but eating a sandwich every day can become old. Furthermore, we’re trying to do without bread (I’m trying/he’s doing without). A day or two before the good coffee, however, we shared a very good and filling Subway salad. So on the convenience store coffee day, we ate things like protein bars, fruit, raw almonds, coleslaw, and tuna with crackers. It was a light day of eating. Other days of eating can take place at some of America’s most fabulous food.

It pays off to eat lightly most of the time. One such restaurant is Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q located in Kansas and Nebraska. Fall-off-the-rib-bone, best barbecue I know of in those two states.

The most convenient truck stops are the ones with:

  1. much maneuvering room and parking spaces
  2. paved parking lots without huge potholes
  3. nice showers
  4. truck scales with plenty of room
  5. a restaurant
  6. nice shop
  7. service center
  8. friendly, smiley employees
  9. and, of course, good coffee – with French Vanilla creamer!

Climbing in and out of the truck was easy once I learned the three points (or handles) to hold onto. But, hey, when I was a kid, I loved the monkey bars so I got this. No-brainer things consist of simple activities you do without thinking too much like:

  • remembering to buy ice for the chest
  • keeping one or two caps on hand in case you have a bad hair day
  • stocking the pantry – usually there’s a Walmart with room for trucks if you need to make some purchases
  • stretching and exercising – do at least simple news to keep the blood flowing
  • having plenty of grocery bags for trash
  • tidying the cab’s living area
  • making sure your phone and iPad stay charged up

You learn things about OTR trucker life such as weigh stations, tandems, and the fun part – earning points at Love’s. You earn points there by buying fuel or items in the store. Then you can use the points for ice, food, gifts, showers, etc.

OTR trips has a number of benefits: getting to go with my husband, going to see family and having fun with the grand-kiddos, and photography.

Cloud formations on the day of Dodge City storms looked fascinating, and I took several photos…

Sunsets

Sunset in KS & OK

image image

of them and a slow-mo video clip (see below).

OK & TX On I35

The pictures were taken while I was going down the highway and one at a rest stop.

Nutritious Trucker Road Trip Food

Chicken
Chicken

Rotisserie Chicken

 

What do you prepare for dinner when there is nothing in the refrigerator or, in a big rig, if there is NO refrigerator? You keep an ice chest handy and full of ice with nutritious food inside.

Oranges, apples, nectarines, and bananas are kept on hand, are nutritious, and add a good amount of needed fiber. Cottage cheese is a great protein snack that we like, especially the Cottage Cheese Doubles brand. We stack a few packaged fruit packs in their natural juice, mixed tuna flavored packs, and other items. Jerky is good, but it’s important to get the kinds with low sodium. You really have to search through several at the store to find ones that aren’t loaded with sodium.

A great snack is the Harvest Snaps kind. Several varieties are available at Walmart like the Tomato Basil and Wasabi Ranch. A lady who works at one Walmart told me that she had to get her sugar level down so she could have some type of surgery. She ate the Harvest Snaps when she wanted to snack, and they helped her accomplish her goal. To give you an idea of the nutrition, it has 5 g fat, 120 cal, 0 cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 239 mg potassium, 16 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 1 g sugar, and 5 G protein. Harvest Snaps are only about $1.50 a bag at Walmart, pretty inexpensive for a healthy snack.

Bean and pea snacks

Harvest Snaps

This week’s road trip included a hot rotisserie chicken dinner from Walmart. My husband and I looked all around the deli for the chicken and couldn’t find it. I asked the lady behind the counter if they had any. She said, “We sure do, below, right in front of you. And they’re half price.”

Chicken

Half-price Rotisserie Chicken

 

Little snacks are great every three hours, but it’s nice to eat a cooked dinner occasionally. Our chicken meal was hilarious. That’s all we had. Chicken. Caveman style. Or Colonel Sanders style, finger-lickin’ good. We had forks and a knife and tore that chicken apart.

The best type of nutritious food is what you make at home because you know all the ingredients in it. For example, before this road trip, I picked up a bag of coleslaw with shredded cabbage and carrots. See my slaw recipe below.

This recipe reminds me of how our favorite coleslaw tastes – like Colonel Sandwers’ KFC kind. I put some in two small containers which were placed in our two ice chests. It was convenient and suited our tastebuds quite well as we both love coleslaw.

You could say we had a chicken dinner Colonel Sanders’ style and were smiling as we enjoyed it. That’s how I remember him, too. It was at the Atlanta airport. A stewardess informed my friends and me that the Colonel was on our plane. When we got off the plane and went into the terminal, we asked him if we could take our pictures with him. He said, in a cheerful voice, “Sure!” I have a picture of him (sorry, I don’t have it handy right now to show you) in his white suit, standing with his cane, and holding a white Bible. When I took his picture, he said, “Say chicken.”

Copycat Colonel Sanders Coleslaw

Copycat Colonel Sanders Coleslaw

A Kentucky Fried Chicken Copycat Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups Miracle Whip
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T Bianco Balsamic Vinegar with Honey from Temecula Olive Oil Company
  • 2 T citrus vinegar

Instructions

  1. Stir in the Miracle Whip well until no piece of slaw is dry.
  2. Mix in the sugar well.
  3. Add the vinegars.
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I’m linking to Full Plate Thursday.

OTR Staying Healthy

image

Trucker food

 

Healthy eating is possible for the OTR trucker. Plan ahead, and be wise on your grocery shopping.

This blog post was written on a road trip with an iPad. It worked much better than typing on a laptop going down the road. Taking photos was a challenge. At first they showed up while typing the post but not when I viewed the post. Don’t see the photos yet? If not, check back. They’ll show up soon.

When I go on road trips with my trucker husband, we eat light meals or a snack every three hours. This way you don’t get too full or overeat. Examples of healthy snacks like this are:

  1. celery dipped in peanut butter – This is good snacking. Carrots taste good dipped in peanut butter, too.

    Celery

    Celery and Peanut Butter

  2. Cottage Cheese Doubles – We love these for a mini meal. This brand has a variety of favors: strawberry, raspberry, peach and blueberry.

    Cottage cheese snacks

    Cottage Cheese Doubles

  3. raw almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios – Eat a handful of raw nuts and an apple or orange. That will carry you over ’til the next three-hour meal.

    Almonds

    Raw almonds

  4. an apple, orange, or banana – Natural, raw fruit is good to add with string cheese or slices of Dubliner natural aged cheese imported from Ireland.

    Cheese snacks

    Dubliner Cheese from Ireland

  5. small packaged salad – Have you had those little pre-packaged salads? They’re actually very tasty. My favorites are the Santa Fe, Blue Cheese, and Chef or Cobb varieties.

Exercise when you can on road trips. I’ve seen truckers walking laps around their trucks. If nothing else, make two or three trips back and forth from your truck to the store. TA truck stop parking lots are so big that if you park near the back, you could probably get half a mile or more of walking in.

Use the suggestion listed above, and add your own nutritious meal ideas. Let me know what healthy food ideas you’ve come up with on your OTR road trips.

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Grits, Bacon, and Egg Recipe

breakfast
grits

Grits for Breakfast

This morning I had eggs, bacon, and grits. It’s a Susannah Mushatt Jones type of breakfast. And since she lived to 116, it must be a good way to start out every day.

Do you like grits with butter, salt, and pepper or with sugar? If I’m going to eat a hot cereal, Cream of Wheat and sugar sounds better to me. However, I remember eating rice as cereal (with sugar and milk) when I was little. Then my family moved to the Gulf Coast where people eat rice for just about every meal except breakfast. They serve the rice with gravy. I got used to eating it that way and stopped having rice for breakfast.

My mother seldom cooked rice. She preferred cooking mashing potatoes or cooking them with a roast. She started cooking Irish and sweet potatoes along with carrots and onions with the roast. There usually was plenty for leftovers. Mother’s roast was the best, so good that mine doesn’t ever taste the same. But she had a huge pot to cook it in. The difference between her roast and mine could have been the seasonings, or maybe it was the pot. It could have been a combination of things. Or maybe it was just her touch. Whatever the case, she chose potatoes over rice.

Imagine eating eggs and bacon with mashed potatoes or rice. It doesn’t sound too appealing – unless you use hash brown potatoes. I enjoyed them with the grits. But then, I’m a southern gal.

Here’s the recipe I tried out today. Thinking about trying it? Let me know what you think.

Grits, Eggs, and Bacon Breakfast

Grits, Eggs, and Bacon Breakfast

Grits, Eggs, & Bacon

Ingredients

  • 2 fried eggs
  • 2-3 slices fried bacon
  • 1 serving grits
  • Butter
  • Greek seasoning (no salt kind)

Instructions

  1. Prepare grits according to the box directions (microwave or on the stove).
  2. Fry the bacon, then fry the eggs in the bacon grease..
  3. When the bacon is done, drain the grease by wrapping the bacon in a paper towel.
  4. Pat the eggs with a paper towel to soak up any grease from the bacon.
  5. Put a slice of butter in the hot grits.
  6. Now tear the bacon in bite-size pieces and put into the grits.
  7. Place one fried egg on top of the grits and bacon, and you have a meal.
  8. Sprinkle as much as you like of the Greek no-salt seasoning (or use salt and pepper).
  9. Eat the other egg by itself or put both eggs in the grits.
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World’s Oldest Woman Ate Eggs for Breakfast

Dean's Squash Casserole, Huntington
Veggie Inspired Breakfast

Veggie & Cheese Omelet

 

When I heard that the oldest woman in the world died yesterday, the first thing I wanted to know was what did she eat. It didn’t take long to find out. First I heard it on the radio, then I read in usatoday.com that Susannah Mushatt Jones ate eggs, bacon, and grits.

Did that bit of information sink in yet? E-G-G-S! If you’ve followed my blog at any length, you surely know by now that I love eggs. This morning I ate two eggs and a half of a pan pork sausage. It filled me up for hours. I still am amazed at how eggs are so filling.

Why do you think that food is a popular thing to blog about? Food satisfies, nourishes, and we can’t live without it. Simply put, it just tastes good.

I am convinced that good ol’ southern breakfast like eggs, bacon or sausage, and grits is a healthy way to start the day. That type of breakfast helps to get rid of snacking cravings.

So let’s break down the protein in Susannah’s daily breakfast. Since the report says she ate eggs, I assume she ate more than one. Let’s say she ate two pieces of bacon and one serving of grits. The protein would equal to the following:

  • 2 large eggs – 12 g protein
  • 2 slice bacon – 6 g protein
  • 1 cup grits – 3.4 g protein

That breakfast totals to 21.4 g protein. I don’t know about you, but that excites me. I’ve heard so much about reasons you shouldn’t eat eggs or that it’s best to only eat the whites. If I’m going to eat eggs, I’m not leaving out the yolk. Lately, more people have been expressing their opinions about the benefits of eggs, that they aren’t so bad after all.

I’m planning to continue eating my southern breakfast – including adding the grits. Grits are good, especially with salt, pepper, and butter (the real kind). I’m a southern gal from Texas and happen to have had a grandmother who was born the same year as Susannah Jones, 1899.

My grandmother ate breakfast, and she handed down the old-fashioned tradition to my mother. My grandmother truly was a strong woman. She and my grandfather had ten children. He died at an early age, and she continued to raise the kids.

She wasn’t one to go to the doctor even though her own grandfather was one. But she cooked and ate nutritious food from the garden. Her exercise was gardening. As she grew older, she worked hard in her garden without help.

My grandmother was a praying woman and was a Sunday school teacher for many years. I guess every one of us grandchildren got to go with her to Sunday school. It always made her so happy when we stayed overnight with her on a Saturday night and got up early the next morning to be her guest at church. She made sure we were up early to have breakfast before we would go.

Nutrition and health, like eating a hearty early meal with eggs, can be learned from such people as Susannah. For instance, her secret to living a long life was sleep and bacon. In fact, I think she would have liked this sign I saw in a Texas restaurant:

Bacon

A bacon sign at Dean’s

 

 

A Blogger’s Food Writing Inspiration

Farmers Market Vegetables

Last weekend I attended a mini retreat for writers and bloggers. It was held at a desert ranch, a quiet place to think, take photos, listen to birds, and write.What is your description of a retreat? Quiet place, a chance to do things you don’t usually have time for, or what comes to your mind?

desert sunset

Writers Retreat

The three-day event inspired us to write. We grilled. Ate. Wrote. Three of us were food bloggers. But we didn’t blog. No wifi – no blogging. Instead, we had fun with words, poetry, allowing nature to inspire us. A retreat away from deadlines and computers. I guess you can tell, right? I haven’t blogged in days – a NO-NO for food bloggers. I’ll make it up to you. In fact, I’ll start with the most delectable dessert you’ve ever heard of. Just keep reading.

My fellow retreat writers and I enjoyed the food. We brought enough for ourselves and to share. It was like a three-day picnic.

I think my favorite food during the three-day getaway was the pecan bean bar. If you’ve never tasted a dessert made from beans, you don’t know what you’re missing. It was one of the best sweets I’ve ever had.

The closest recipe I have for the pecan bar is a pinto pecan pie from pattycakespantry.com. There are a few differences like adding coconut, adding more pinto beans, Graham crackers, and frosting. I did NOT want to stop at one piece. It’s the most amazing dessert bar I’ve ever had.

 

Pecan dessert

Pinto Pecan Bars

 

 

We did have other foods, not just desserts. We grilled chicken and steak. That was certainly an experience. The charcoal wouldn’t stay lit. We’d get a big fire going, and it would go out. Not just once. Several times. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y, the fire really started. The flames were so big  that the chicken looked charred. It actually tasted wonderful – well, maybe if you didn’t eat the black charred skin. Ribeye was also on our picnic menu. Good eating.

This week my husband grilled. The meat was so good. He grilled extra for the week. We included beef sausage. I could have eaten the whole thing without any help. It makes me laugh to think of how good his meat turns out compared to my grilling experience at the retreat. I think I’ll continue keeping him as my home grilling chef.

Since I like desserts so much and need to cut back, this month I’m focusing on nutrition and healthy meals and recipes. The hardest thing for me is to stay away from bread and desserts. For instance, at the retreat, we had grilled garlic bread. Oh, my! Why did I only allow myself one? To be honest, I wanted more. The garlic bread came already buttered with the seasoning, and there were two bags within a bag. When I came home, I brought the bag that hadn’t been touched. Can you believe I didn’t keep it? I gave it to my sweet neighbor – she and I both love bread.

Incidentally, when I walked back to my house after giving the bread to my neighbor, I could smell the aroma of neighborhood grilling. It came from my back yard where hubs was grilling finger-licking pork ribs.

 

Full Plate Thursday Blog Party

Aprons at Kitchen Hospitality

kitchen aprons

Comfort in the Kitchen with Aprons

Today is a special day, not because of Cinco de Mayo, but because it is the day my mother was born – May 5. I was inspired to begin the Kitchen Hospitality blog because of her. She was an exceptional lady, and I loved her cooking. She cooked for her family as one of ten children. She and her older sister were given household chores to do, and hers was to prepare the meals. I couldn’t let May 5 go by without honoring her memory on kitchenhospitality.com.

Kitchen Hospitality Products

This week I launched a new product now for sale on the blog – aprons. Mother and her mother wore aprons, and I just think they’re the most practical item to have. Have you ever been cooking in your kitchen and got spots on your nice outfit? So why not use an apron? Not only are they practical. They’re pretty and go right along with comfort cooking and entertaining in the kitchen. Aprons are the first of Kitchen Hospitality’s new product line, but more items are coming soon. The design/manufacturing team is made up of two individuals – my friend, Brittany, and me.

kitchen aprons

Kitchen Hospitality Products Team

Other products coming include some adorable placemats, potholders, and … well, how about I just surprise you? More cute, girly, and retro aprons are on the agenda, and some for the guys. So visit again soon to see what’s new.

You know how authors dedicate their books in honor of someone special? I can’t wait to design a special feature apron and dedicate it in memory of my mother. We’ll be sure to make several of those.

Spudnuts

When was the last time you ate a Spudnut? My grandmother found out about them and showed my mother and the ladies at our church how to make them so they could sell them as a fundraiser. Spudnuts were donuts made with potato flour.

I’ll never forget those early Saturday mornings when Mother would wake me up to go to the church at 4:00 am. She would let me lie down on the bed to sleep in the little apartment (we called it the evangelists’ quarters) that was next to the kitchen. Several ladies would meet us there to make the Spudnuts. Later in the morning, a team would go out and sell the donuts. Incidentally, count on having white splotches all over your clothes if you aren’t wearing an apron when you make donuts.

The Saturday donut fundraiser was one of many that my parents had at the churches he pastored. Mother was an incredible organizer and came up with great ideas. The two of them made a fabulous team – and loving parents.

 

Thank You for Visiting Kitchen Hospitality!

 

Vegetable Omelet Topped with Chili

omelet recipes

Chili Vegetable Omelet

omelet recipes

A Vegetable Omelet with Chili Recipe

Breakfast began today with protein plus. A day that begins with protein makes me feel less hungry. Do you eat eggs and vegetables for breakfast, or do you opt for oatmeal and fruit? Which is best? Opinions vary about whether or not carbohydrates should be included in breakfast.

Friends joke about the eggs that I eat. You can browse this blog and see that I love to eat eggs. But they’re nutritious. It seems that I’m not the only one with this opinion. Ines Subashka, a certified personal trainer at inspiredfitstrong.com favors eating eggs early in the day – seven to eight eggs.

Ines Subashka recommends eating carbohydrates at night before you go to bed. This reminds me of the night comfort food for children – two cookies and milk before bedtime. Saving carbs for the evening snack sounds good. It’s like you are eating nutritious meals all day and saving dessert for last – not that it has to be a serving of cake or pie every night.

Try out this omelet topped with chili. You can use canned or your own Slow Cooker Hobo Chili recipe. I used my slow cooker chili recipe.

Vegetable Omelet Topped with Chili

Vegetable Omelet Topped with Chili

A Vegetable Omelet with Chili Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Sweet Onion
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper
  • Cilantro, to taste
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Chili (canned or homemade)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Queso Fresco Cheese
  • 1 Slice strong cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Chop onion and red bell pepper.
  2. Finely chop the cilantro.
  3. Saute vegetables and herb in coconut oil on a griddle.
  4. When vegetables and herb are soft, add eggs.
  5. Stir mixture and form into a rectangle.
  6. Add cheese on top.
  7. Fold over half of omelet then the other half.
  8. Divide into two servings.
  9. Heat chili in microwave or on the stove, and put it on top of the omelets.
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If you followed my blog posts last month, you know about my 30 days of slow cooker meals (like the Hobo Chili). This month I will focus on nutritious food. April’s slow cooker meals were challenging, but staying nutritious-minded throughout the month of May might not be the easiest thing to do. The reason is because I like sweets and bread. So join me on this nutritious journey and find out how I’m keeping up with the challenge.

I have an aunt and a friend who are both tiny and eat like a bird. No, that’s not true. A bird eats more than they do – at least birds like Muggsy the Macaw that I blogged about awhile back. Muggsy’s owner, Larry, is a professional driver and takes the beautiful and smart bird with him on his trucking journeys. I was quite fascinated with Muggsy’s diet. He even eats a four-egg omelet every day, fresh vegetables, and carbs – a cookie.

What are your own experiences with nutrition?

Top 5 Slow Cooker Recipes

5 Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

slow cooker chocolate cake

Gooey Fudge Brownie Pudding Cake

April’s 30 days of slow cooker recipes challenge is over! I did it!! You know what it’s like when you set a difficult goal for yourself but are determined to see that it happens. Right? That’s what last month was like for me when I chose to blog about slow cooker recipes. Every comment was SO appreciated. If you didn’t comment but read the creative slow cooker recipes, thank you for your visits. I hope that you found some recipes that you will try in your slow cooker to make a day’s cooking easier for you.

The top 5 slow cooker recipes from last month, according to my preference, are:

  1. Queso Chicken Spaghetti – Most families love spaghetti – adults and children. Adding the queso makes this recipe even more receptive to the kiddos.

    Queso Chicken Spaghetti in the Slow Cooker

    Queso Chicken Spaghetti in the Slow Cooker

  2. Rib-eye Steak – If you’ve never tried rib-eye in the slow cooker, you gotta try this one. It’s fabulous! Juicy, tender. Yum.

    rib-eye

    Rib-eye Steaks and Sweet Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

  3. Mex-Italian Meatball Nachos – This was one of those cook-what’s-in-the-pantry-and-freezer experiments. Groceries were low that day at my daughter’s house. Everyone was busy and had no time to go grocery shopping yet. There were meatballs in the freezer, chips, and Velveeta. Aha! I had my slow-cooker meal for the day.

    Meatball recipe

    Slow Cooker Mexi-Italian Meatball Nachos

  4. Summer Chili – My daughter really liked this one. That made it extra special. She froze the leftovers in containers for future lunches. It tasted wonderful.

    chili

    Slow Cooker Summer Chili

  5. German Chocolate Cake – my most favorite cake ever. It was the one my mom used to make me on my birthdays. So I just had to try it in the slow cooker. A cake made in the slow cooker needs to be eaten then, while it’s hot. Usually, they are also good A-la-mode. My friend and I ate this (well, not all of it), hot out of the slow cooker. Oh, my!!! It was so good we had to have a second helping.

    German Chocolate

    German Chocolate Cake Slice

That’s the 5 favorite slow cooker recipes from April. There are others that come very close to being added to this list. Maybe it depends on the mood I’m in and which flavors I like for the day. Try out some of the other recipes, too. By experimenting with slow cooker meals every day last month, I learned a few things (like rib-eye steaks being so tender). I came up with recipes that even surprised me. It was challenging but fun.

Need to step up your blog and let people know about it? Challenge yourself to a blog-every-day project.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

enchilada soup

A Spicy Enchilada Quinoa Soup

I’ve noticed some great slow cooker enchilada recipes lately and have really been wanting to try them out. Rather than go to the supermarket for more ingredients, I decided I’d use what I have on hand. One recipe I saw had quinoa in it, and I just happened to have a box of Nature’s Earthly Choice Easy Quinoa, Garden Vegetable flavor.

This enchilada recipe is a meatless meal. Personally, I think cheese enchiladas are the best. The chicken and beef kinds are good, too. But quinoa enchiladas? I wasn’t too sure how that would taste. Sounds quite nutritious, doesn’t it? Quinoa nutrition offers great benefits and is good topped with vegetables or meat.

Have you ever had spaghetti squash? This particular quinoa recipe would be good as a topping for spaghetti squash. No meat required for it. It reminds me of a spicy spaghetti sauce. I had a bowl of the spicy enchilada soup with crushed crackers on top. Very tasty.

Let’s see what you think about this healthy creation from my kitchen today. Here’s the recipe:

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 box Nature's Earthly Choice Easy Quinoa, Garden Vegetable flavor
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 large can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • cumin
  • Queso Fresco cheese, 1/4 of a 10-ounce package

Instructions

  1. Saute bell pepper and onion seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and cumin in a little olive oil in a skillet or on a griddle.
  2. Put veggies in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Add tomatoes on top of vegetables.
  4. Layer the quinoa next, then the enchilada sauce, the beans, and crumble the cheese evenly on top.
  5. You can pour all ingredients in and stir since this is a soup.
  6. For less liquid, add another can of beans, drained, drain the tomatoes.
  7. Option: add meat of your choice
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The quinoa enchilada soup was good, but it’s only making me want the real enchiladas now. Have you made enchiladas in your slow cooker? It’s a little different making them in a slow cooker than in the oven. But my 30-day slow cooker experiments this month have given me the opportunity to try new recipes that I wouldn’t have even thought of before. For instance, it never had occurred to me that rib-eye steaks could be cooked in a slow cooker. They’re a-m-a-z-i-n-g! They were so tender. In fact, today I had the leftovers for lunch. I cut a small piece of the rib-eye into strips and stir-fried veggies to go with it.

What’s Ahead in May at Kitchen Hospitality

Creating 30 days of slow-cooker recipes has been a huge challenge at times but fun. As you can tell, the rib-eye is among my top recipes of the month. Tomorrow I will be blogging about the best slow cooker recipes. Incidentally, I’m probably not going to be blogging too much in May about cooking in a slow cooker. Occasionally, perhaps. Topics for May will include nutrition, eating healthy, living healthy – and pretty kitchen linens and aprons. More about that later. For now, enjoy your weekend.

Happy Cooking!