1. Colorado White Chili (adapted from Don’t Panic, Dinner’s In the Freezer).

** To make this dish veg friendly, use vegetable stock and remove chicken from the ingredient list.

  • 1 T. cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine or use 2 green onions, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 4.5 oz can of diced green chilies (mild or hot)
  • 1 T . cumin (powdered works best)
  • 1/2 t. ground red pepper
  • 2 t. of oregano
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1 15.5 oz can great white northern beans (do not drain)
  • 1. 15.5 oz sweet corn or frozen (here in Nebraska, we just shave it off the cobb)
  • 1  15.5 oz can of black beans (this can be added or not added to it, we love our black beans)
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken  chopped or two cans of canned chicken
  • 5 cups of chicken broth

Serve with shredded Monterrey jack cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. To make it more kid friendly, skip the chili and onion, substitute a mild can of Rotel! (Cheese is optional).


In a large pan combine oil, onion, garlic, and chilies. Saute until tender. Stir in the spices, beans, corn, chicken and chicken broth. Cook and stir until heated through. Adjust seasonings to your family’s tastebuds, then allow it to cool before storing the soup in a freezer bag or freezer container.This recipe serves 6 to 8 hungry people! If you would like to create another batch, simply double or triple the amount of each ingredient and dish out into your freezer containers!

2. Sloppy Joes (My kids’ favorite).

Serves about 6.


  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano
    2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 tbsp. molasses
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 whole grain hamburger buns
  • Shredded red cabbage or lettuce, pickled jalapeno and scallions, for serving, optional

Pulse the mushrooms in batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1 tablespoon beer and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper and chipotle powder and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining beer, the ketchup, tomato paste and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook while stirring until the sauce is the consistency that you like, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the mixture onto each bun. Serve with toppings if desired.

 3.  French Lentil Soup

  • 3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes  and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

You can either serve the soup as it is or follow the instructions below for the French version. 

Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.

 4. Classic Minestrone

  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup small shell pasta or macaroni
  • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini or navy beans, drained
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving, optional


  1. 1. Combine carrots, celery, onion and garlic in slow cooker. Pour in broth and stir in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and Italian seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. 2. Thirty minutes before serving, stir in pasta and beans. Cover and then increase heat to high and cook until pasta is tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan, if desired.

5. Crock Pot Vegetarian Lasagna


  • 1 container soft (silken) tofu
  • 1 container firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 10-ounce box lasagna noodles


In a food processor or blender, combine the silken tofu, firm or extra-firm tofu, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt and process until smooth. Add the spinach to this mixture.Place about a cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the crock pot or slow cooker. Then place 1/3 of the noodles on top of the sauce, and 1/3 of the tofu and spinach mixture on top of the noodles. Repeat these layers, being sure to end with sauce on top.Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until noodles are soft. 

6. Vegetarian Lentil Spaghetti 

  •  1/4 cup Lentils (your choice, we mix ours).
  • 1 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts marinated (use the glassed jarred artichokes, MUCH better flavor). 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 pound thin spaghetti (we like the Ezekiel brand). 
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp seaseme seeds
  1. Place the lentils, tomatoes and artichokes (with the liquid from the cans), 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and the water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Return pasta to pot and cover to keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook green onions for about 3 minutes. Add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and sesame seeds and cook until the seeds are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Add the lentil mixture to the pot of pasta and toss to distribute evenly. Add the green onion mixture and toss lightly again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



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