October 06, 2014

Lazy Sunday: Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage Soup and Corn Muffins

The past week has been very busy at our house... celebrating our son's third birthday (for four days), having my mom in town from Florida, and of course working, cleaning, cooking and maintaining the usual activities of life.

Today was the first lazy day that we've had in about a week and a half, and I intended to take full advantage. (Especially since tomorrow we are back to being busy and cramming before we head off on a two week vacation on Thursday morning!) Phew.

Using my crock pot today was really a no-brainer; using my crockpot made dinner easy, and low maintenance. After making lunch, it only took me about 10 minutes to get all of the ingredients for the soup into the crockpot, and turn it on. Then, I got to walk away and enjoy the beautiful fall afternoon with my son. Around dinnertime, it took me only twenty minutes to bake the corn muffins and dish up dinner. Not bad at all!! I loaded up our cozy dinner and brought it downstairs so we could relax on the couch, and watch a good movie as a family during our relaxed dinner.

This soup is simple, light and delicious; definitely comfort food material without being too heavy. Perfect for a lazy Sunday!

Slow Cooker Beef and Cabbage Soup

Makes about 6 servings

1lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
1 16oz. bag coleslaw mix
1 16oz. jar chunky salsa
1 16oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
black pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion and beef until meat is no longer pink, (about five minutes). Drain fat if desired.
Place beef and onion into crock pot, and add all remaining ingredients. Stirring to combine.
Cover and cook on low setting for at least five hours.

Tonight, I used a different recipe for my corn muffins- I had leftover buttermilk in the refrigerator and wanted to find a way to use it. These muffins were delicious! I like my corn muffins to have a little sweetness to them, and these had a perfectly balanced flavor. Soaking the cornmeal in the buttermilk while mixing the other ingredients helped to cut down on the grittiness that sometimes comes with corn muffins; these were tender, light, and moist! They were a perfect companion to the soup- and delicious on their own.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Muffins

Recipe found here, makes 12 muffins

1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
5 1/3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease, or place paper liners in muffin pan.
In medium bowl, combine buttermilk and cornmeal; set aside.
In another bowl, combine other dry ingredients.
In small bowl, whisk together egg and melted butter. Add egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined- do not overmix.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way and bake 15 minutes.

Notes on this recipe: Tonight I used mild salsa in the soup in order to protect myself from pregnancy heartburn, and to please my son's palate. It turned out perfectly for us. You can adjust the heat to your liking by using spicier salsa if preferred. If you want to cut down on pre-made ingredients, you could easily substitute thinly sliced cabbage- the only difference is that coleslaw mix includes thinly sliced carrots. I have used ground turkey in this soup, and it is also delicious. For the muffins: if you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute! Mix one cup of milk (whole, or low fat, whatever you have) with one tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and then use as you would the buttermilk. Be ready to have a chocolate dessert-like item on hand when you're done to complete the meal!! Tonight, I went with hot chocolate.

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