This time last fall I was in Asheville, NC attending the 500-hour Teacher Training Immersion at Asheville Yoga Center. I was also missing my yoga classes. See before last school year I was out there teaching my tush off the Kidding Around Yoga way (8 classes/week), as well as 3-4 adult classes most weeks. Fall has always been my favorite time of year and seems to be when I come most alive, feel the most creative, the most hopeful. I love the colors of fall, the smells: leaves, pumpkin flavored-anything, spiced cider, soups, breads, and anything warm. I am one of those people that will get angry if the weather is warm after a certain time (I live in WV where we have seasonal changes) because if it’s October by golly I should be wearing pants and at least long sleeves! And socks, I LOVE my cozy socks. Give me a crackling fire, a Great Dane, a good book, and you have a scene from a Hallmark movie. Basically, I LOVE fall (I made that clear, right?).

With fall comes the excuse to cook from my favorite food group: SOUPS. I have ONLY made two soups so far this season and my son has already said, “Mom, we can’t just eat soup every day! All you are fixing for dinner is SOUP! Ugh.” He has no idea what he’s in for this fall with his new baby sister here, me trying to make a living as a work-at-home mom (that should be the punchline to a joke), and him in Taekwondo three days a week. Momma’s breaking out the crockpot—a lot. I do come up with a lot of my own recipes, but this one I found from www.chelseasmessyapron.com  on Pinterest and changed it up a little. My mom is a vegetarian and some days my son plays one on TV, so to be safe I made this veg-friendly. I’ll give tips for both carnivores and herbivores alike.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Quinoa Soup

  • 1.5 lbs. of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
    *Can omit this or even just prepare them in a skillet with a little seasoning, cut up and add for the meat eaters.
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 clove of garlic (I used 2, but I like garlic!)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (1 lb. or 3.5 cups) cut up
  • 1 packet of Chili Seasoning mix
  • Salt and pepper (sorry, I do not measure, but if I guessed I’d say at least 1-2 tsp of each)
  • Large dash of paprika (maybe ¼ tsp)
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Serves 6-8.

I found this recipe to be quite bland before adding the salt, pepper, and paprika. I would say a little cumin or additional chili seasoning would make it nice and warm. So after it cooked I added some ingredients. Next time I will make it even different I am sure.

My family decided this would be great with some corn bread! Too easy, especially if you haven’t slaved over a hot stove all day (or with kids playing and screaming in the background).

I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy fall dinner. I’d serve it as a main dish, as a side dish with some black bean burgers from the freezer or chicken breasts marinated in a nice Tequila Lime marinade and a salad with avocado and tortilla strips on top. Lots of options to repurpose this throughout the week!

With a meal like this, you’ve got energy and time left over to play with those kiddos. Maybe even do a little yoga!

P.S. This took me 2 feed/wake/nap cycles with my newborn to write. This face keeps me busy, hence the Crock-Pot meals.

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