Two of my favorite things - a book review and an easy, delicious recipe. We'll start with the food. After all, who can enjoy a good book when hungry? Have to get our priorities right.
Easy Crockpot Chicken & White Bean Chili/Soup
This recipe is so great. It's really just chop, open, toss into the pot and let the crockpot do it's thang. It's kind of in between a chili and a soup. The ingredients all remind me of chili, but the consistency comes out a little more like a very hearty soup. I am not the most talented cook in the world. So if I am able to complete a recipe and it turn out well, then you know it's a fail-proof winner.
- 1 package chicken breast, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 large can Cannellini beans
- 1 can Great Northern beans
- 1 can black eyed peas
- 1 can Rotel
- 1 can Diced Green Chilis (optional - if you want extra spice)
- 3c chicken broth
- 1T minced garlic
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Now the step by step...
1) Dice chicken breasts into around 1" pieces.
2) Chop the zucchini and onion into even peices.
3) Toss the chicken and veggies into the crockpot.
4) Add all the beans, Rotel, chilies, and seasonings.
5) Pour in chicken broth and stir mixture to evenly distribute all ingredients.
6) Pop on the lid and let cook for 8 hours on low.
7) Have a hefty bowl of the warm, slightly spicy, healthy concoction.
That's it!!! Super simple, yet very delicious. And very healthy too. I did use low sodium broth and for the beans you can rinse them to get off some of the extra salt or use a lower sodium brand as well. This is a very satisfying meal. Other benefit = it makes a TON, so you have plenty to freeze and have on hand for when in a pinch with dinner. Frozen packaged meal? No, thanks! I got my soup!
Next stop on this post = my belated book review! I actually finished this book over the weekend, because I could not put it down. What book is it?? This one!
I know, I just got done reading a book from another popular movie (Dear John), but this one finally became available at the library and I had to read it. This was definitely one of the best books I have read in a long time. I loved how different it was. Now, I adore chick lit and light hearted reads, but I also really like books that have a deeper plot and more to mull over. The Time Traveler's Wife delivered on that very well.
The story is about a man who has a genetic disorder which leaves him being thrown into different times without warning. He time travels against his will, and usually to places in his own past. For example, much of the beginning of the book describes instances where he time traveled to his present day wife, but when she was a young girl and teenager. Later, after they finally met in the present, the plot shifts more to the difficulties of loving someone with this "genetic disorder" and all the troubles they encounter trying to build their life together. The narration goes back and forth between Henry, the time traveler, and Clare, his wife and love.
What I most enjoyed about this book is the fact that while it is a beautiful love story full of emotion and relatable characters, there is a LOT of intriguing things to consider in the bigger picture of our own life and worlds as we know them. Henry will often be sent into times he does not enjoy from his past, but with no ability to change them. He just has to watch what has happened, knowing what is coming, but with nothing he can do about it. Clare, from a young age has had visits from Henry and has grown up knowing that he would one day be her husband. She often times will make comments about Henry being her destiny and she has known nothing else but to love him.
All of this led me to ponder the ideas of predestination. How much of our lives are tied up in things that have already happened somewhere else that we have no clue about? Does fate play a role in our lives? Are there parts of our "destinies' that we don't really have control over? It was actually fun to read such a wonderful story, but have it bring so much more thought out of it. I highly recommend this novel. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't speak for it. But this book is something special, that's for sure.
I'll end this now with some links to all of the giveaways going on around here....and one last request for votes for M. The poll is back up and it should be open until later tonight. This is the last time I'll ask, but please click here and vote for #24
Lauren at Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful is having a Chobani giveaway
Lara at Thinspired is having an Attune Bar giveaway
And check out my giveaway of Gnu Bars if you haven't already!