What’s for Dinner Wednesday: The dinner that kept on giving

18 Sep
Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Chicken Tacos in the crock pot was one of our favorite meals last week!

Just the other day I talked in my post about how I love meals that I can cook enough of to last more than one day or night.

Well, last Thursday’s dinner, a crock pot meal of Chicken Tacos was amazing in every department: It was fast and easy, delicious, everyone loved it, and I got four people’s lunches plus another whole dinner out of it.

“That’s amazing!” You must be saying.

“I wonder how she did that!!” You’re probably wondering.

Well here’s how it all went down:

As you know, we’ve been in need of some heavy duty crock pot cooking with the advent of the new school year. I figured that if I can do crock pot recipes four nights a week, we will be in good shape with our dinners. My friend Gina sent me this link with more than a dozen recipes for crock pot cooking. I talked about it last week in my What’s for Dinner Wednesday post as well.

So far we’re up to six crock pot meals and we’re pretty much six for six. Everyone’s liked everything.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

I made due with what I had to make the fresh Pico de Gallo and it was amazing.

Last Thursday I tried the Chicken Taco recipe, which you can find here. It called for Pico de Gallo, which I didn’t have but I had two large tomatoes and a regular onion so I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com to make my own, fresh batch, and I threw it on there.

Amazing.

We served it with a choice of hard or soft taco shells and we had toppings of nonfat refried beans, nonfat sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Those toppings are an important detail.

The reason they matter is that forever, Elizabeth has been asking for a seven layer dip type of recipe that she saw in her lunchbox cookbook, as her lunch. I had actually seen something similar, called Burrito in a Jar on Skinnyms.com and I thought she’d like that. I kept saying that the next time we had tacos I’d do the dip for her lunch the next day.

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

The lunches following the Chicken Taco dinner were a big hit the next day!

Additionally, Alex had been asking for a Taco Salad ever since we had it at our annual Labor Day cookout. Someone brings it every year, and Alex declared it to be so fabulous that she wanted it for lunch asap. I had been giving her the same answer; next taco meal, she’d have Taco Salad for lunch.

Well, the leftovers for this meal provided all the fixings for both the dip and the salad. I prepped everything for everyone’s lunches as I cleaned up from dinner, basically using the leftover toppings from the tacos to make the dips and salad. I put some multigrain tortilla chips into ziploc bags and four lunches went into the fridge, all made for the next morning, when dinner was cleaned up. Done and done.

You’d think that there was no place else to go with this meal, that we’d used it and used it again, so it was done, but it wasn’t! I actually had not yet used the leftover chicken and Pico de Gallo that had cooked for the hot portion of the tacos. I’d only used the leftover toppings. So I saved them, on the advice of my friend Gina, who said that I should consider making Tortilla Soup with the leftovers, on another night. Coincidentally, my other friend, Paula, just happened to post a recipe for Tortilla Soup on her soup blog, My Soup For You, the very next day. Gotta love friends like that! They work together and don’t even know it. One’s in Florida, one’s in Maryland, and I’m here! But we all got my dinner for Monday night, prepped and planned!!

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

Tortilla soup preparation was fast and easy and it simmered in the crock pot all day long on Monday.

To make my own Tortilla soup, I used Paula’s recipe as a guide. I threw in the leftover chicken and pico, with a 32 oz. container of chicken broth plus two cups of water with two boullion cubes dissolved in it (I had run out of the containers of broth, but would’ve just used two if I had them.)

In addition, I threw in a can of black beans (rinsed), about a half bag of frozen corn, and at the last minute I decided to saute half a green and half a red pepper and throw that in near the end of the cooking time.

I served the soup with nonfat sour cream, nonfat shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips that you could crush up and put into the soup if you wanted to.

It was amazing. I loved it, Liz loved it, Don loved it. Alex and Caroline did not love it. But they are the pickiest of the five of us, so I wasn’t surprised at all that it wasn’t up their alley.

I’d totally make it again.

And the best part…..there was leftover soup.

For my lunch for my lunch the next day.

This was by far the furthest I have ever stretched a meal of ours. It was inexpensive to make too. Nothing in it cost very much and every part of it was delicious.

If you’re looking to stretch your budget and your meals, I highly recommend you try this out!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

I got two dinners and two lunches out of one crock pot meal!

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