Savory Recipes and Savoring Christ
One of our family favorite recipes is our holiday bread. We call it pull-apart bread, and it's just frozen bread dough thawed slightly, sliced, dipped in butter, and then baked according to package instructions. My mom makes five or six loaves for every holiday, and it’s a favorite for young and old. (I think my three sons primarily eat pull-apart bread at every holiday meal, and I'm fine with that—at least they stop playing long enough to eat something!) I remember the first time I helped my mom bake the prized bread. Such simple steps transforming into the yummiest bread you can imagine felt like a miracle.
We have a tendency to fixate on miracles instead of desiring the One who works the miracles. Even when Jesus walked the earth, the people who followed him often got distracted by his miracles. Take the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand in John 6. After that miracle, the crowds would not stop following Jesus, even tracking him down across the sea. They wanted more of his great miracles! But Jesus knew they were missing the point. Instead of giving them more physical bread, he offered them something greater: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst'" (John 6:35).
While we've compiled some favorite savory recipes from the Well-Watered Women team for you to try this holiday season, we don't want to forget that our soul-hunger is only satisfied with Jesus. Take a moment today to read or listen to John 6 to understand the context of the Bread of Life, offered to us in Christ. Then savor him as you prepare these favorite savory dishes from our team.
Savoring the Bread of Life,
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Savory Recipes: Taco Soup
This soup was born out of boredom with my old chili recipe, and an abundance of random ingredients that needed to be eaten! It's amazing what you can come up with when you throw a few extra things into a pot and let it simmer. My family and I thoroughly enjoy this soup on a cold evening, and even more with fresh-baked bread for dipping. It feeds many, warms your belly, and tastes even better the next day! –Bonnie
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion (any kind, but I love red onion), roughly chopped
1/2–1 bell pepper, minced
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can black beans—do not drain
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, or any tomato + green chile equivalent (purée, or leave as-is)—do not drain
1 cup chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sauté onions and peppers in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat with a little olive oil or butter, until softened.
- Add in corn, kidney beans, black beans, and rotel. Bring to simmer, and lower heat to medium. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cook the ground beef in a separate pan according to the taco seasoning packet.
- Add cooked taco meat to soup pot, then add chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Add chicken broth as needed to thin it out and more spices to taste.
- Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
Savory Recipes: Skillet Sausage and Gnocchi
This recipe from a friend is a staple in my house. It’s quick and delicious and everyone loves it. Plus, it looks a little Christmasy because of the red tomatoes and green kale! It’s a pinch to throw together on a busy weeknight. -Lindsay
1 lb Jimmy Dean sausage (regular flavor)
1 lb uncooked gnocchi
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 bag (or several handfuls) fresh kale or baby spinach
2–3 cloves freshly minced garlic
Grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Boil water in a large pot for the gnocchi. While the water heats, brown the sausage in a large skillet or dutch oven, breaking it up as it cooks. When the pink is nearly gone, stir in the minced garlic and lower the heat. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain the grease and keep the heat low. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in the boiling water according to package directions (usually it only takes a few minutes). Before you drain it, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the gnocchi and set it aside. Add the tomatoes and greens to the sausage skillet, stirring to combine, and adding the reserved pasta water in small amounts to help wilt the greens (you may not need to use it all). Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the greens are wilted and the tomatoes have softened, add the gnocchi and stir well. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and crusty garlic bread.
Savory Recipes: Spinach Enchiladas
My family is from Texas originally, so we do Christmas a little differently. We love enchiladas and tamales for Christmas! This is one of my aunt Missy’s personal recipes for her spinach enchiladas. Don’t be intimidated by this from-scratch recipe! It’s so fun and easy to make.
One of my favorite memories growing up was all the cooking and baking my aunt did because she does just about everything from scratch and it’s so delicious! This recipe is a great family activity because it has many parts that can be done by several people. Everyone’s contributions can be brought together for the final product! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. -Hannah
4 cups flour (sifted)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup melted shortening/vegetable oil
1-1½ cups hot water
Method: Mix together all dry ingredients, adding hot water a little at a time until the mixture isn’t sticky. Once mixed, over and let sit for approximately 15 minutes. Remove and separate into one-inch balls and roll (using a rolling pin) into desired thickness. NOTE: Can use a little extra flour as needed to keep from sticking to the rolling pin. Cook tortillas on a non-greased cast iron skillet.
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
1lb ground turkey breast
Method: Thaw and squeeze all excess water from spinach. Cook ground turkey and drain excess fat. Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate.
5 green chili peppers
1½ cups chopped white onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups peeled tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Method: Mix all sauce ingredients together into a large pot, slowly simmering until mixture has cooked down. Then remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, place mixture into food processor and blend to desired texture. Return to the pot and cook on low heat for approximately three hours, stirring occasionally.
Final method: Place a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 nonstick pan. Roll filling inside of tortillas and line the bottom of the pan with them. (Will need to coat each layer with olive oil and place sauce on top of each layer as well.) Cover with mozzarella cheese and start another layer of tortillas if desired. Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.