Add this to the list of things I would have thought impossible before now: Gina Homolka ever topping her first cookbook. And yet here we are, just two years after The Skinnytaste Cookbook’s release, and bookstore employees everywhere are making shelf space for an impossibly perfect second: Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes.
This is the book to thank for the slow cooker chicken taco chili recipe you see here, but more on that in a second. I’m not done gushing just yet. So, I cracked open the spine on this baby a week ago, just after I’d gotten home from a few weeks of back-to-back trips. Visually, this book is a stunner. Every page is artful, colorful and bright but still authentic and and lived-in. It’s the kind of cookbook that makes you start lists—and rifle through your house for post-its. “I can’t dog-ear these pages, Daniel!!” (What I had to cry-tell him when I couldn’t find any.)
To put it simply, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow is the perfect cookbook for the modern world. It completely eliminates the excuse we all have: not enough time to cook—and particularly not to cook healthy meals. All 140 recipes can be prepared easily and quickly, either on the stove-top, in the oven, or in the slow cooker. Get it? Fast and slow? Smart.
The first recipe to hit my kitchen:
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili
It’s warm, rich, and lively with flavors like cumin, chili powder, sweet paprika, and a hint of oregano. And that’s not thanks to a taco seasoning packet; Gina provides a quick recipe for homemade taco seasoning that makes use of ingredients you have in your spice cabinet. I love that. I’ve been known to buy the packets a time or twenty, and this seasoning has all the flavor and none of the iffy ingredients.
The chili is thick—the only way to make chili if you ask me. It’s packed with shredded chicken (thank you slow cooker), sweet corn, creamy black and kidney beans, chunky tomatoes, spicy green chiles, and fresh cilantro.
Set all of it in your slow cooker—no pre-cooking necessary—and let it simmer away all day long, then ladle it into a bowl, grate sharp cheddar on top, and you’ve pretty much nailed chili.
Friends, I encourage you to get this cookbook—out today! Every recipe is light, delicious, and QUICK. I couldn’t have imagined Gina making a cookbook as good as her first, but she did. She’s an inspiration to us all, and an amazing friend. This is a cookbook that I will have forever.