Crockpot Chili and Tips to Make Easy Crockpot Meals

So many chili recipes…how do you decide??

When I look for something new, usually I look for a) not a ton of ingredients (easy!), b) light on the beans (don’t want to use all of my carb servings!), and c) one step.

Usually, I can change the one step thing if it’s more, which is where I started adjusting this recipe that I liked because d) it already had the container counts worked out…a huge help!

An easy way to make a chili (or another meat including) recipe one step is to change our whatever meat (that usually needs to be browned) for meatless crumbles.  I’ve used these Morningstar Farms crumbles for years in recipes.  They’re frozen and I just dump them right in the crockpot.  So easy…they’re already “browned” 🙂

Another way to switch things up is to use frozen vegetables…already chopped, you can add whatever you like, and they keep forever so you can have them on hand.  I like to have frozen peppers and onions on hand to add vegetables to almost anything.

And…what makes an easy recipe even easier? Easy clean up! Slow Cooker liners to the rescue!  Not only is the clean up easier, but these make it easy to get everything out of the crockpot when it’s done cooking.  Plus, you could put all the ingredients in it at night, pop the bag in the crockpot in the morning, and have dinner at night.

I love my crockpot 🙂

So, for the recipe!  How does this look?? Hearty, filling, delicious!


Crockpot Chili
6 servings

1½ bags (I actually measured out 6 reds) vegetarian crumbles
2 bags of frozen vegetables (I used onions and an onion and pepper mix)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 can tomato paste, no sugar added
2 Tbsp. chili powder
¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed

Add all to crockpot.  Stir.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

For Container users…1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow which fits fairly perfectly for me!

What are some of the things you look for when trying to find a recipe?

From a non-sleeper to a sleepy head

I promise that I won’t spend forever comparing child 1 to child 2, but it is amazing how different they are.

My first screamed for 8 weeks.  Morning, noon, night.  Slept from about 2:30am-5 am and that’s it.

This guy falls asleep at the drop of a hat.  And it’s actually a problem.

He falls asleep while nursing, which isn’t great for either of us.  He never gets full, I never get empty.  So I’m working with a lactation consultant to fix it.  A sample of my time…

1- feed baby, switching sides when he falls asleep and stops swallowing.  He looks to be so content, but will wake up hungry in a few minutes!

2-baby gets a small bottle of breastmilk

3-I pump after trying to get the baby comfy and content…usually sleeping

4-In between time…last round was putting my daughter to bed.

And right after that, back to step 1!  

This should be a short term thing, but right now, it’s dominating our days!  So if you don’t hear a peep out of me for a bit…you know where I am.

Happy Sunday!

Baby boy arrived!

Well, he’s already 11 days old, but I’ve been busy spending all my time with him!

I didn’t even finish comparing my pregnancies before it was time to compare kids! I had him at 39 weeks and 1 day…very different from 41 weeks and 1 day with my daughter.  And when he decided to join us, he was here fast and fierce!

I had some contractions on Wednesday, the 24th, but nothing too notable.  Even at 2am Thursday, contractions were 7 minutes apart.

He was born in less than 2.5 hours!

So now we get to enjoy this little dude, and figure him out.  Compared to our daughter, who screamed the first 8 weeks of life, was never really a newborn, and didn’t sleep (would have cut into her screaming!), this guy is pretty calm and content.  We expect that this means he’ll be a challenge as he gets moving!

Some pictures from these first few days…

our first walk

Nutritional Yeast Dressing

Sounds gross, right?

But stick with me here.  It’s one of the few things that sounds remotely good this pregnancy and I have to share.  I used to make this all the time a few years ago, and kind of fell out of “practice” with it.  But I revisited it a few weeks ago and have been putting it on salads (or a salad…vegetables are hit or miss), ground turkey, carrots, and anything else lately.

So, what is nutritional yeast?  It’s deactivated yeast (so it isn’t going to make your bread rise) and a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce on its own.  It is also rich in vitamin B-12 and contains no animal products

And what does it taste like?  Cheesy basically!  Some ways it can be used…
– Sprinkle it on popcorn.
– Stir it into mashed potatoes.
– Add a little to the cooking water for “cheesy grits” or polenta.
– Sprinkle on any pasta dish.
– And make this dressing!

Nutritional Yeast Dressing

Nutritional Yeast Dressing

3 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 heaping TBSP (or 8g) nutritional yeast

Mix them together for a serving!  And enjoy!

Let me know if you try this and how you like it!

Never Give Up! Join in the fun!!

Do you want to feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin?

I am looking for people who are serious about making a change in their eating, nutrition and fitness. This group is catered to those who need a solution at home and need fellowship and support.

You will participate in a fitness program, and a follow a dialed in eating plan. There will be no guess work.

And…we’ll never give up!

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The Master’s Hammer and Chisel – Total body chisel

Moving along with the Hammer and Chisel workout reviews, it’s Total Body Chisel!

This one states “Full-body resistance moves that exhaust individual muscle groups to help you see dramatic change at lightning speed.”  Those words sound terrific! So how does it actually go?

You do super sets of 3 moves for 10 reps, 3 times.  Each set has a lower body move, an upper body push move and an upper body pull move (see below for each exercise).

I love how this one moves right along…the structure allows you to rest one muscle group while working another, for maximum results in minimum time.

How minimum?  36 minutes!  Not bad for a total body workout!

A video of a few of the moves from this workout:

Length – 36 Minutes
Equipment – Bench or Stability Ball, Weights
Trainer – Autumn Calabrese

– Squat
– Bench Press
– Reverse Grip Row
– Lunge
– Incline Fly
– Lat Pull Over
– Step Down Cross Back
– Incline Curl
– Bench Dips


The Master’s Hammer and Chisel – Total Body Hammer

Another in our Master’s Hammer and Chisel series!  This one has pyramid-style sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps with minimal rest.  This is supposed to increase metabolic burn, even after your workout!

As always, a quick video:

Time: 45 minutes

Equipment: Bench or Stability Ball, Weights, Resistance Band, Chin-Up Bar or Bands with door attachment kit


  • Bench Press
  • Squat
  • Reverse Grip Row
  • Incline Fly
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Wide Pull-Up
  • Military Press
  • Split Squat
  • Post Delt Fly

This one sounds intimidating!  But it was fun.  I love the simple moves, done with a little twist with the pyramid sets.  This is a great one to pull out later if you’re doing something cardio heavy and want to cycle in some weights…hits everything, hits it well.