Category Archives: make ahead

Left-Over-Chicken Black Bean Soup

black bean soupThe Hubs hates “chicken on the bone,” as we call it at our house. Hates it. His dad doesn’t like it, so he never really had it growing up. Unfortunately, it is much cheaper than buying boneless chicken breasts, so with our ever-tightening budget, I figured out that if I make a bunch of chicken on the bone, he will eat it in other things (once it’s been de-boned, of course!).

I made this soup the other night and it will definitely be one I make again and again. It was fast, easy and delicious. I was actually excited to eat the leftovers the next day for lunch (and that’s saying a lot because I detest leftovers).

Black bean soup chickenIngredients (Please keep in mind I didn’t measure anything, I just eye-balled it):

  • 8 oz shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbl sp cilantro
  • 2 cans prepared black beans (I used the Aldi, “Dakota Brand”)
  • 1 can Mexican Tomatoes (i.e. Rot-Tel — I actually used the Hy-Vee generic brand)
  • 1 box chicken broth (I used the Aldi GF Broth)
  • the juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbl sp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red  pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Black bean soup saute veggiesPreparations:

Saute chopped celery, onion and crushed red pepper in olive oil until caramelized. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer until soup is hot and to your desired thickness. Serve with Fritos Corn Chips sprinkled on top for a nice added crunch.black bean soup with Fritos

Make-Ahead Chicken


A time saving and money-stretching trick I started employing at my house recently is cooking hamburger and chicken ahead of time so when I am in a rush, I can just pull it out and it is already made. This is not quite as easy as pulling out a freeze-ahead homemade meal, but to be frank, there just are not a lot of freeze-ahead meals that are gluten and top 8 free (rice noodles just don’t hold up the same way!).

The first time I did this, it was a huge hit with my husband (who really doesn’t like chicken-on-the-bone). I am able to get several meals out of it, and it is perfect for casseroles, Chinese food, enchiladas and goulashes, and you can save the bones for an allergy friendly, inexpensive chicken broth.

In the photos shown here, I cooked 10-12 lbs of chicken (I bought it when it was on sale for $.99/lb), removed the skin and visible fat from the chicken, drizzled it with canola oil, and seasoned it with garlic, salt and pepper (seasonings that will go with just about any meal). I baked it in a 350° oven for around an hour to an hour and a half. This is a great method, too, because you don’t have to rely on the expensive chicken in a bag that often has solutions that may bother an allergy sufferer.

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