Happy Winter everyone! These cold, snowy days have me craving all the comfort foods (or maybe it’s the pregnancy!). That in combination with not wanting to stand over the stove for more than 30 minutes has really made me hone in on quick and simple recipes like this one. Only one pan to wash (win!), no meat to cook (win!), and it is loaded with cheese (major win!). Plus my 18 month old ate about half of it (sort of win!).
My due date is in 6 weeks which is very very surreal to me. I feel like in some ways I have been pregnant for 125 years, and other times I feel like there’s no way it is already winding down. I knew that my second pregnancy would be different than my first, but I wasn’t expecting all of the new emotions you feel with round two. I go from super excited to grow to a family of 4 to a little bit sad thinking that I won’t be able to give all my attention to Rory anymore. I know he will adjust, as all first children do, but is it weird that I feel guilty for making him share everything including his parents?! I’m sure once the baby is here all will be right with the world, and my funny thoughts about having this second child will subside but for now, I’m over here feeling like I’m a string of happy-sad-happy-sad-happy-crying-laughing emojis. Ugh, hormones man.
Anyway, please enjoy this hearty, lazy meal and don’t feel guilty for making your significant other wash the dishes! (one dish! – and maybe a cutting board)
One Pot 30 Minute Taco Mac & Cheese
Everything gets thrown into one pot and is ready to serve 30 minutes later! Weeknight winner for sure.
Mince onion and place in a large stock pot or dutch oven with 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in 2 Tbsp of the taco seasoning and the green pepper. Saute for additional 2-3 minutes.
Add in tomatoes, beans, broth, pasta, and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once pasta is done, add in the final 2 Tbsp of taco seasoning, 1 Tbsp chili powder, and the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and serve.
You can add chicken or ground beef to the first step if you would like additional protein.
Omit the chili powder if you are feeding sensitive palates (I dished some up for my son before I added the chili powder).
We like to top it with sour cream, but feel free to add any additional taco toppings you would like!
I haven’t written since October…OCTOBER! Holy man, I didn’t realize it had been that long, but a lot has changed around here since then, and for 3 of those months I was not very good friends with food. The biggest life change we have going on is…dun dun da DA…we’re having a baby! Scheduled arrival is the end of June, but I’ve been told that your first babe has a mind of his or her own when it comes to arrival and frequently likes to stay snuggled inside for a little longer than expected. For all of you previously or currently pregnant mamas out there who have dealt with
morning ALL DAY sickness, I can totally sympathize now. How the heck did you maintain a job with that happening?? I’m definitely grateful that I was still on the job hunt during that period. Needless to say, cooking was the last thing on my mind until about the end of November when I actually felt like a semi normal person again.
Another life change is that I finally entered the working world again a few months ago. My first Colorado gig, and so far so good. However, being in my third trimester and working full time leaves me little desire to stand over a stove for more than 30 minutes in the evenings which brings us to the star of this show, er, post: chicken tortilla soup. Yeah, yeah I know there are a million recipes out here for it, but it is so versatile, I thought I’d throw in my two cents (and some tips to make it super simple). I know it’s getting out of the “soup weather” season thankfully, but in my defense it did snow 5 inches here the other day (let’s omit the forecast of 71 degrees for tomorrow!).
Rotisserie chicken. There you go. The best time saver for this recipe. If you take anything away from this post, it should be to buy a $4.99 rotisserie chicken from Costco on the weekend – hello 2-3 meals at least! Throw in some veggies you have waiting in the fridge, a can of black beans, salsa, and some chicken broth and you are ready to roll. The best thing about this recipe is that you don’t really have to follow a recipe! I do appreciate you taking the time to read MY recipe though to get you started.
30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
A little chopping and dicing beforehand will save you even more time. If you're a Sunday prep-ster you could have this on the table in about 20 minutes!
Dice peppers and onion. Add corn and veggies to soup pot with olive oil over medium heat. Saute until slightly tender.
Add chicken, salsa, and black beans to the pot. Stir and add spices and garlic.
Cook ingredients for 1-2 minutes and then add chicken broth (I used the full 6 cups for volume's sake).
Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally (to smell the amazing aroma!)
Done! Dish up into bowls and add your desired toppings. I used sour cream, shredded cheese, green onion, and tortilla chips for creaminess, crunch, and a little extra flavor.
Add or subtract veggies as desired, just remember that they all add flavor!
If you don't use a rotisserie chicken, you can cook up a couple chicken breasts and shred them.
For milder palates, take out the jalapenos and chili powder.