Did you know that February is National Canned Food Month? Canned foods, when compared to their plastic-packaged counterparts, are much more eco-friendly. That is, if you remember to recycle them – the recycling rate of canned goods is more than 2.5 times higher than other types of packaged food. Plus, purchasing canned items is a resourceful choice, as they won't go bad in your pantry and are often much less expensive than buying fresh.

Best of all, canned foods are excellent for recipes in your slow cooker, which uses less energy than a stove. One of my favorite recipes – especially during cold winter weather – is chicken tortilla soup. It uses a variety of canned ingredients and is incredibly simple to make. Want to celebrate canned food month by making it for your family? Check out the recipe below.


1.5 – 2 pounds uncooked chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chilies
1 15.25-ounce can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
1 15.25-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth


1 avocado, peeled and diced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Cilantro, minced
Tortilla chips, broken into medium-size pieces
Red onion, minced


Add all ingredients to your slow cooker, in order. Turn your slow cooker to medium heat, cover, and let cook for 6-8 hours. Remove the lid and stir. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken breasts and place on a plate. Shred chicken with a fork and knife – it should fall apart fairly easily. Add chicken back to the slow cooker and stir. Adjust heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. When you're ready to eat, fill bowls using a ladle and garnish as desired. Enjoy!

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