Barley, Lentil & Spinach Soup

This is a thick soup which delivers a rich and hearty flavor.  If you want it to be “soupier” you will need to add more broth.  It is “fast friendly” , vegan and very enjoyable!


  • 7 1/2 cups Vegetable broth
  • 4 tbs garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach


  1. Do not soak the barley or lentils overnight.
  2. Stir the broth, garlic, oregano, carrots, onion, lentils and barley into a 5-quart slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or until the lentils and barley are tender.
  4. Add baby spinach 1 1/2 hours before serving
  5. For a non-vegan option, brown 1-2 links italian sausage and add to slow cooker.

Korean Style Black Beans and Rice (Slow Cooker)

Here is a great Lenten recipe we made for the first time tonight.  It’s flavorful, but not overly spicy, and it is incredibly easy to make.  I increased the portions by 50% and the water by two cups for my large crock pot.  Plenty of left overs for lunch the rest of the week.  If you don’t want to go vegan, you can stir fry some chicken or shrimp in Szechuan sauce and add it on top of the beans when you serve it.


  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
  • 2 green onions
  • White rice cooked on side


  1. Wash the beans thoroughly, then place them in the slow cooker insert along with the water.  I did not soak the beans in advance, but I did prepare this the night before and put it in the fridge before cooking in the morning.  Even with this, the beans held up well.
  2. Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and pour over the beans, stirring in thoroughly.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.
  4. Prepare 3-4 cups of white rice, add to crock pot 15 minutes before serving and stir in well.
  5. Dice green onions and use as garnish when serving.

Santa Fe Chicken – Crock Pot Style

This is a great quick meal, that I picked up from an anonymous co-worker.


  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can Rotel Hot Tomatoes
  • 1 can kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Spray crock pot with olive oil spray
  2. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot
  3. Add tomatoes, black beans and corn
  4. Dice scallions and add
  5. Add salt and pepper
  6. Cook on low 8-10 hours

Serve this over rice.  You can also wrap the rice and chicken in a tortilla for soft tacos.

Baked Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce

I created this recipe tonight and served it up.  It was extremely well received and the kids agreed it was worth making again.  This is extremely filling!  One big plus is that this can be prepared very quickly and requires no monitoring while it bakes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Serves 4-6


8 medium boneless pork center loin chops (1/2-3/4″ thick)
1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)
Italian seasoning
1 can Goya Pigeon Peas, drained
1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 slices mozarella or swiss cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese


  1. In a 9×13 baking pan, pour tomato sauce into bottom of pan and shake italian seasoning over surface.
  2. Place pork chops on sauce.
  3. Sprinkle peas evenly across pan.
  4. Place cheese over pork chops.
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese evenly over cheese.
  6. Bake for 1 hour at 330 degrees.

Serve over spaghetti.  It will be a little saucy so spoon some sauce over the chops and onto the pasta!