Chicken Tortilla Soup

16 02 2014

This is a flavorful Mexican soup, that’s filling and fairly easy to make. Great for game day or a lazy winter Sunday, when you’re looking for a hearty meal to warm you up! 🙂

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3 small-medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large soft tortilla, sliced into strips (use whatever you have, I had sun-dried tomato tortillas…you could also just serve with tortilla chips if you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Half a medium red onion, chopped
  • Half a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz or half a large 28 oz can) diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz frozen corn (about half a small bag)
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro, sliced green onions and reduced-fat cheddar cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil chicken in a pot of water until fork tender. Remove to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes before shredding or cutting into cubes. Set aside until ready to add to the soup.

Spray tortilla strips with a little non-stick spray and bake on a cooking sheet for a few minutes until crisp. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to serve.

In another large pot, heat oil (use whatever you have) and saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add chipotles and break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, let cook for a minute or so to melt into the onion and garlic. Add the chili powder, season with salt to taste and cook another minute.

Add the broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the corn and black beans, continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree some of the soup slightly – just a few clicks of the hand blender. This will help thicken the soup a little. Then, add chicken and warm through, simmering another 5-10 minutes.

While the soup cooks, mix yogurt with the zest of 1 lime and season with salt to taste.

Before serving, remove soup from heat and add the juice of the lime you zested. Taste and season with salt if needed. Stir in the yogurt and mix well to combine and yogurt melts into the soup. Divide among bowls and garnish with cilantro, green onions, cheese and tortilla strips.

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

12 02 2014

I didn’t make it to the grocery store this past weekend, so meal-planning this week is all about using up my pantry/freezer, etc. I just so happen to have a little pineapple leftover from another meal, a can of black beans and some frozen cod.  Sound strange? Believe it or not, it’s delicious….and super simple!

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

Cod With Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa

The following serves 2 (adapted from Everyday With Rachel Ray):

  • 3 slices (1/2 inch thick) pineapple
  • 2 cod filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 oz mild diced green chilies (half of a small can)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange pineapple on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once. Let pineapple cool, then chop.

Season filets with salt and pepper; rub with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Arrange the filets on the same foil-lined baking sheet you used for the pineapple and drizzle with 1 tsp lime juice. Broil until opaque and flaky and slightly browned on top, 10 to 12 minutes.

While the fish bakes, warm a drizzle of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add the chiles, a dusting of cayenne and the beans. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then toss with pineapple, cilantro and remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice and 1 Tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the cod topped with the pineapple-black bean salsa. Serve over brown rice or with an arugula salad (as pictured here) to round out the meal. You could also serve this in tortillas for taco night!

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

8 07 2012

I usually keep all the makings for this appetizer / dip on hand to bring to last-minute gatherings. It’s a great go-to when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to show up empty-handed. The original recipe came from Guy Fieri, but I always improvise based on what I have – that’s why I love versatile dishes like these!

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

The following serves 6-8:

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • Small red bell pepper, diced
  • Juice from 2-4 limes
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch or two of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips for dipping

Cook corn according to the package. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine black beans, diced tomatoes, onion and pepper.

In another bowl make the dressing. I felt like I needed more than what the original recipe called for, so I doubled the dressing. That’s why I list a range of measurements above. Start with the smallest amount of each and double if you feel necessary. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, cayenne and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the corn to the large bowl with the other ingredients and toss with the dressing until everything is well coated. Next, toss in the chopped cilantr0. Store covered, in the fridge until ready to eat. Serve with tortilla chips.

Black Bean, Corn and Bacon Quesadilla

24 08 2011

The quesadilla is so versatile because you can basically put anything in it….veggies, meat, beans, cheese….all of those together or just one! It’s also easy and fast, which is why it tends to be one of my go-to dishes for nights when I don’t already have something planned. Get creative with your own quesadilla creation and enjoy for dinner or an appetizer!

Black Bean, Corn and Bacon Quesadilla

  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed (15.5 oz)
  • 1 cup or so of frozen corn (I like to semi-thaw it and let the hot pan do the rest)
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled and about 1 Tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • Heaping 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Shredded cheese – I used a combo of mexican 4 cheese and sharp cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Oil

Heat oven to 375-400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or use a pizza stone.

Saute onion in about 1 Tbsp reserved bacon grease for a minute or so. Add beans, corn, oregano, cumin and coriander and saute for another minute or so. Stir in lime juice (use half to a whole lime) and saute for another 30 seconds. Turn off heat and season to taste with salt.

Stir the crumbled bacon into the corn and beans. Put one tortilla down on your baking sheet or pizza stone and start to build your quesadilla, starting with a layer of cheese followed by a layer of the corn and beans and finally another layer of cheese. Top with another tortilla wrap. Layering the cheese on the top and bottom will help the 2 wraps stick together. Make as many quesadillas as you have filling for. I used fajita style tortilla wraps and was able to get 3 quesadillas.

Rub or brush a little oil on the top of each one and then bake for about 15-20 minutes, flipping the quesadillas half way through until crisp. Cut each into 4 pieces and serve with salsa and/or sour cream.