The morning is half over and my whole family is still wearing pajamas. Yay for snow days! But since it’s dreadful and cold outside, I need something hot and satisfying to fill our bellies. I decided that we should head south of the border tonight and enjoy some Mexican fare, so today I am sharing my recipe for chicken tortilla soup. This recipe is simple and easy (and note– it freezes well, too!) and you can definitely vary the spiciness of the dish, depending how much heat your mouth can withstand.
I am sharing my basic recipe for this soup, but feel free to add any of the following to the pot for additional spice. I would recommend only picking one or two of these things as each one packs a punch:
1/2 t. cayenne pepper OR
1 chopped jalapeno pepper OR
1 t. Tabasco sauce
You can also decorate your chicken tortilla soup in a variety of ways. Try sprinkling some fresh, chopped cilantro on top, or a few slices of avocado. If the spice is more than you anticipated, cut it with Read more
Filed under: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, vegetarian
Ok fans, let me put it this way…. my dad dubbed this “ass-kickin’ applesauce” and he’s a respectable man. It’s spicy and tangy and might tingle your tongue a little (especially if you use the full 1/2 t. of cayenne pepper); but this dish is also flavorful in ways that normal applesauce or apple butter just does not compare.
Here are my top three FAVORITE ways to enjoy this spicy applesauce:
Thanksgiving– leftover turkey sandwich on wheat bread– use this applesauce instead of mayonnaise to rock your taste buds to a happy holiday tune.
Chanukah– one potato latke+ one tablespoon cold sour cream + one scoop spicy applesauce= a celebration in your mouth.
Dessert– serve this spicy applesauce warm on top of a scoop of french vanilla ice cream for a hot and sweet treat.
I definitely recommend Read more
I opened up my weekly CSA delivery and was so excited to see the ripe, fragrant produce. One thing in particular caught my attention– OKRA. The first thing I thought of was some hot, spicy gumbo. I think half of what I unpacked is going to end up in the gumbo— okra, tomatoes, basil, corn, green pepper… now if only I stopped at a farm for some chicken and then headed to the coast for some shrimp, but I guess I’ll have to buy those at the grocery store.
Gumbo is a perfect recipe for the crock pot because it needs to simmer for a long time to fuse all those flavors together. Cut your veggies into small pieces so you can have a bit of each morsel in your mouth! This soup would also freeze really well, so make the gumbo for dinner this week and then enjoy all these fresh treats again later this fall when they aren’t so available.
This soup can also be made vegetarian if you leave out the chicken, sausage and shrimp. I’d amp up the amount of veggies though and maybe get a little more okra, so that this tastes more robust and unique than just vegetarian vegetable soup. You can also use Morningstar Farms chicken strips (fake meat) if you’d like to add some protein. Enjoy!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 lb. okra, sliced
1 c. of corn (cut off of fresh ears)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
3-4 ripe, sweet tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. chili powder
1 T. parsley
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Tabasco sauce
2 c. water
3 pork sausages, cooked and sliced
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2 c. cooked white rice
Combine all vegetables in crock pot. Add liquid ingredients. Sprinkle with all seasonings. Place chicken pieces on top of mixture next. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add shrimp, sausage and cooked white rice and cook for an additional 1 hour on low.
Did you catch the title?? Does it sound like a contradiction to say “vegetarian” and then “chicken” in the same meal?! It is not. Thanks to modern day culinary creativity, I can make chicken chili for friends that don’t want to eat meat. This is a pretty easy recipe, but I like that it is a crowd pleaser and still meets certain dietary limitations.
Give this chicken chili a try next time you host a friend that is vegetarian or keeps kosher– they will be so happy that you honored their wishes and still served tasty dishes. (yes, that rhyme was intentional.) And don’t think this meal is for light weights— you can serve this at your next party or sporting event and even the men will be raving about your soup– it’s spicy, it’s filling and everyone will enjoy!
4 c. vegetarian chicken broth
2 cans great northern beans (do not drain)
1 4 oz can diced green chiles (do not drain)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 c. frozen corn Read more
I’m pretty sure everyone has a grandmother-aged person in their life that makes the “perfect brisket”. It’s moist, juicy, flavorful and pulls apart perfectly. We’ve tried and tried to repeat the old world secrets, but somehow our ovens continue to dry out the meat or make it tough to chew. Look no further– grandma might not have used a slow cooker, but these recipes are very easy and have amazing results.
Here’s a great little nugget for you: my mom always cut off the last inch of the brisket before cooking it. I figured it was because of how she trimmed off the fat, skimming the top of the cut of meat and then cutting off the chunk at the end. I asked her about it and she said that it was how her grandmother did it. So I asked my grandmother why her mom cooked the meat in that particular way and she said, “because her pan was too small, the meat never seemed to fit right so she cut off the end so the brisket would lay flat.” It’s funny how traditions begin.
If you are looking for a pulled beef sandwich to serve at a spring BBQ, fork apart the meat when it is done, then top it with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve it on a braided roll. Oh– was it mean to say BRAIDED ROLL to those of you celebrating Passover? My bad.
EASY difficulty brisket
1 3 lb. beef brisket
1 bottle italian dressing Read more
There used to be this great Greek restaurant that I frequented that served lentil soup in a styrofoam cup. It was always hot and fresh and the lentils were soft without being mushy. I would frame my entire meal around saving room and money for the soup. This recipe mirrors the flavors and warmth of the soup but without a disposable cup. Unlike my vegetarian vegetable soup which is savory and chunky, this lentil soup is hearty and robust with even more amazing health benefits. Lentils are high in protein, iron, amino acids and when you add in the lycopine in the tomatoes and then all the vitamins, folic acid and antioxidants in the spinach… this soup is like a power boost for your whole system. Oh yeah, and Read more
I love these days that are halfway between winter and spring. I’m pretty sure by mid-afternoon I’m going to be suffocating in whatever I decided to wear because I was in fear of getting cold when I got dressed in the morning. Yeah, I think it’s one of those days. Any day that starts with a gray sky is perfect for a crockpot soup. It means dinner will be fresh and filling, but you didn’t have to turn the oven on in the late afternoon and warm up the whole house to 350 degrees.
You can definitely add variety to this soup depending on Read more