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Dinner Diva | Changing seasons

Being the foodie that I am, I have this tendency to gauge the seasons by what I’m cooking. And each year as the season changes, I’m ready for the change. Like right now – as much as I love grilling outside, I’m ready to come inside and cook. I?m ready for cooler weather, the luxury of a fireplace ablaze and something thick and rich cooking in my crockpot for supper later. Do you do that, too?

For those of us who are reveling in the almost fall weather – or wishing we were – here’s a recipe for one of my very favorite crockpot recipes from the just released second edtion of Saving Dinner (Ballantine) that will smell delicious cooking all day long and will gratify tummy and soul to the lucky recipients of this delightful meal.


Crockpot Tuscan Chicken
Serves 6
– 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 1 (15-oz.) can cannelini beans, drained
– 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (your favorite, jarred variety)
– 1 jar roasted peppers, diced

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 2 medium carrots, chopped

– 1 stalk celery, chopped
– 2 clove garlic, pressed

– 1 cup water|

– 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
– 12 ounces spaghetti
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a crockpot, layer onion, garlic, carrot and celery on the bottom. Add the chicken on top, roasted peppers, beans, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Add spaghetti sauce and water. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and serve chicken on top.

Per Serving: 473 Calories; 6g Fat; 39g Protein; 65g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 408mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 1/2 Grain (Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a big spinach salad and a little grated Romano cheese over the top of the pasta and chicken if you like.


For more help putting dinner on your table, check out Leanne’s website,, or her Saving Dinner book series (Ballantine) and her New York Times bestselling book Body Clutter (Fireside). Copyright 2009 Leanne Ely. Used by permission in this publication.

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