Friday, September 16, 2011

Tortilla Soup the Healthy Way

Hello everyone, fall is upon us and we all know with cooler weather comes the fall allergies, flu and colds.  When you are not feeling well all you want is comfort food without the guilt.  Lets face it we all get sick one time or another and some of us succumb to comfort food during this time.  If you are the few that do not well good for you I wish I could be that strong.  Today I have a recipe for you that is guilt free, loaded with veggies and protein..  What is this food of wonder you ask?  Tortilla soup, traditionally its not that good for you if you use the fried tortilla chips, however mine are a touch more healthier because I am not frying them and I am using whole wheat tortilla wraps that have flax and at 110 calories a wrap its worth it.  


32 oz of low sodium chicken stock or broth or make your own just use about 4 cups 
1 large red onion
1 large bell pepper of any kind
3 carrots peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 stalks of celery diced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 handful of parsley and or cilantro
1 jalapeno diced
2 cups of stewed tomatoes or 1 16 ouce can of tomatoes
1 can of green chilies
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of shredded cheese of your choice I used low fat Mexican blend
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
cooking spray I used extra virgin olive oil spray


In a 2 quart pot add half of the extra virgin olive oil and add in all veggies except for the chilies and tomatoes.  Your going to want to cook them until the onions and peppers soften up.  From here add in your tomatoes and cumin and cook on low. Next in a skillet add the rest of your evoo and dice up your chicken.  Cook the chicken just until its done and then add to your pot.  From here you will want to add the stock.  Bring ingredients to a boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes.  Right before the soup is finished cooking you will want to crisp up your tortilla wraps.  Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Next spray your wraps on both sides and crisp up in the oven.  This only takes a few minutes so keep checking on them so they dont burn.  Now you are ready to plate it up, add desired amount of soup to a bowl, sprinkle with cheese.  Break up your tortillas ( count on one wrap per person.)  Put the broken tortillas on top of your soup.  You have a guilt free bowl of comfort food that is affordable and good for you.  Now let's just hope this does the trick for my husband who is sick.  Live, laugh and love all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stewed Tomatoes from Our Garden

Hi everyone, I hope you all are having a great day.  Today I am showing you how to make homemade stewed tomatoes.  They are better for you and you can control what is in them and what isnt.  It takes about two and half hours to devote to them from start to finish.  The end result is so worth it, they are sweet and flavorful.  No added sodium or sugars unless you add it in yourself.  With the prices of everything at the grocery store these days who wouldnt want to try to make some of these things at home?  Its a great way to have your kids in the kitchen with you too. 
Now I used fresh tomatoes from our garden, as you can see above I have a video of a tour of our garden that my husband did a couple of months back.  We have tomatoes and zucchini growing like crazy along with cucumbers and many other things.  So take a look at the video and then come check out this recipe for stewed tomatoes homegrown!


15-20   Roma and beef steak tomatoes
1-2  tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil , you want just enough to coat the bottom of a large skillet.
4  fresh basil leaves or you can use dry about a teaspoon
1 large onion finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar 
1-2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
2 cups of water


Warm up a large skillet that has extra virgin olive oil in it.  Add your diced onions, celery, basil and minced garlic.  You will want the pan on medium heat.  While the diced veggies are softening, you want to quarter all your tomatoes and add them to the softened veggies.   You will have a lot of things in your skillet and it will look like its over crowded dont worry because the tomatoes will cook down.  FYI do not seed or peel the tomatoes, you will need the juices from the tomatoes to give you that stewed texture and you will need the flavor from the peels to give it a rich concentrated flavor.  As the tomatoes start to soften they will give off their juices, now is a good time to add the cherry tomatoes.  Let them reduce once and add about 2 cups of water to them.  This should be about halfway through the cooking process.  If you become impatient to let the cherry tomatoes pop on their own, go ahead and mash them for a fork so they give off their sweet juices.  When the tomatoes look like they have more sauce than water, add in your balsamic vinegar.  Let the stewed tomatoes cool and then add them to a jar and you can keep them in the fridge or if you are into canning you can do that too.  I am using them for chili for dinner tonight.   This recipe was husband tested and approved lol.  I hope you enjoy this and I hope you find it as valuable as I do.  Live, laugh and love all !

Here is my video of me making these stewed tomatoes !!!