Monday, January 31, 2011

Bean Dip for a Crowd

We're getting pretty excited around our house ... a certain football game is being played this Sunday. Of course I'm talking about the Super Bowl, but not just any Super Bowl. This Super Bowl happens to have the Green Bay Packers -- Best. Team. Ever. -- playing in it!

Needless to say, I'm planning some yummy eats for the big game. This bean dip would be good for any party, but especially the Super Bowl. Seriously, is it really a Super Bowl party unless some type of nachos are involved? Just keep the main dip safe for you to eat by serving it with lots of toppings on the side -- including cheese for those who can eat it.

And, by the way, you can safely indulge in some cheese during this game. Those cheesehead hats are completely MSPI-friendly! Go Pack Go!

Bean Dip for a Crowd
Source: "Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Best-Loved Recipes"

1-1/2 cups dried black beans
1-1/2 cups dried pinto beans
5 cups water
1 package MSPI-friendly taco seasoning mix
2 tbsp. dried minced onion
3 MSPI-friendly chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
2 bay leaves
1 16-oz. jar thick and chunky salsa
2 tbsp. lime juice
MSPI-friendly nacho toppings
Tortilla chips

Place beans in a large bowl; cover with water. Soak 6 to 8 hours or overnight. (To quick-soak beans, place beans in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let soak, covered, 1 hour.) Drain beans; discard water.

Combine soaked beans, 5 cups water, taco seasoning, onion, bouillon cubes, parsley and bay leaves in slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 9 to 10 hours or until beans are tender. Add additional water, 1/2 cup at a time, if needed.

Remove and discard bay leaves. Ladle half of hot bean mixture into food processor. Add salsa and lime juice. Cover and process until smooth. Return pureed dip to slow cooker; stir to combine.

Serve with MSPI-friendly nacho toppings and tortilla chips.

Tips: Can't find MSPI-friendly bouillon? Substitute 5 cups MSPI-friendly chicken stock for the water and bouillon. And if you want to make this vegetarian, use a vegetarian bouillon or stock. Also, this recipe obviously makes a ton of bean dip. Go ahead and make a full recipe and stick the leftovers in the freezer in individual servings. That way you can indulge when you need a little snack. Just thaw and reheat in the microwave.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sweet Smoky Chicken Legs

There are 10 inches of snow laying on the ground outside my front door, but I want barbecue chicken. What's a girl to do? Make this recipe!

If the flavors of the sweet and smoky sauce don't appeal to you, use one cup of your favorite MSPI-friendly barbecue sauce. If your barbecue sauce is too thick for easy use, just thin it out with a splash of water.

This is such an easy recipe and economical, too, because chicken legs are a very inexpensive cut. Serve the chicken with mashed potatoes. Comfort food at its best!

Sweet Smoky Chicken Legs
Source: Taste of Home

2 medium onions, sliced
3 lbs. chicken legs, skin removed
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. MSPI-friendly liquid smoke

Place onions in greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; arrange chicken in a single layer over onions. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over all, completely coating chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 170°, basting several times.

Tip: Can't find MSPI-friendly liquid smoke? Try substituting a teaspoon of MSPI-friendly Worcestershire sauce. The sauce won't have the smoky flavor, but it'll still taste mighty good.