Chicken Tortilla Soup

Everything fell out of line this week.  My boyfriend is out of town, and since he comes over for dinner during the week, I was left to my own defenses.  Since I had class every night after work, I fixed a pot of chicken tortilla soup that I could heat up once I got back home.  The Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.   Although the recipe was vegetarian, I added cooked, shredded chicken to the recipe for protein.  I also omitted the chili powder for Penzey’s Spices Arizona Dreaming Blend and Chipotle Tabasco Sauce for heat.  It was super easy.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Adapted from Everyday Food)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 T. Olive Oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. Arizona Dreaming seasoning

1 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. Chipotle Tabasco Sauce

1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice

2-15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can. reduced sodium chicken broth

1 pkg. frozen corn kernels

Coarse salt and ground black pepper

1 C. Crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving

1 tbsp. lime juice, plus lime wedges  for serving

Avocado slices for serving

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.  Cook garlic, Arizona Dreaming, chipotle tabasco and cumin until fragrant.  It will only take a minute, then add the tomatoes with sauce, beans, broth, corn, and 1 C. water.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Add tortilla chips, and cook until softened.  Remove from heat, and add lime juice, season with salt and pepper.  Serve with crushed chips, sharp cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and lime wedges.

This should serve 4 people.

Bulgogi Made Easy

I have been trying to eat healthier lately.  In fact, one of my Lenten goals was to focus on being healthier, in terms of my mind, body, and spirit.  However, there are times when you crave comfort foods to soothe your soul during difficult situations.   Last Sunday, I was scouring through my Google reader and came across a great recipe for a healthier version of Bulgogi.  Bulgogi is a food that I would often eat during my college years with friends, and I was excited to see a healthier remake of the recipe on Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!   This turned out to be great, and while Gretchen made it more healthier by serving with brown rice, I opted for Portuguese rolls instead.  I also served the Bulgogi sandwiches with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

I also added diced red bell peppers to the saute pan with the onion that the recipe required.  After they were softened, I added the marinated beef.  The marinade for the shaved beef consisted of:  Tamari Sauce, Sesame Oil, Sugar, Minced Garlic, a pinch of ground ginger, and some freshly ground black pepper.

The dish was a success, and my boyfriend asked me to make it again for him.

Suggested Drink Pairings:

Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Dortmunder Gold

Shiner Bock

Rappahannock Cellars (Va.) Noblesse Rouge

Chrysalis (Va.) Vineyards Rubiana

Busy…and running out of options

Last week, I had an extremely busy week at work, and with yoga class after work, I did not have much time to spend in the kitchen.  When this happens, I am normally at a loss of inspiration until I decided to take a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and make baked chicken fingers.  I paired this with kale chips, and it was pretty remarkable by the healthiness of the meal.  In a pinch, try the Kale Chips I featured in an early post.

Baked Chicken Fingers

1 1/2 c. Panko Bread Crumbs

1 tbsp. Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning  (The one I used was from Penzey’s)

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco Sauce

2 eggs

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 tbsp. grated parmesan reggiano cheese

Salt and Pepper for the chicken breasts

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, chipotle tabasco sauce together.  In a 8 x 8 baking dish, combine the panko, spices, and grated cheese.  Dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, then take each strip and transfer to the panko mixture.  Make sure that the panko mixture coats the chicken strip.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken temperature reaches 180 degrees and when cut shows no pink.

Since this dinner was made for two people, it can be easily doubled for a family of four.