We love all foods that are Mexican in our house. Tacos. Fajitas. Enchiladas. All of it. Sometimes it gets a little monotonous eating the same foods though–and that’s why I like to come up with what I refer to as recipe redos. If you are tired of making the go to dishes, like tacos and burritos, you’ll love giving this dish a try. I not only love Mexican food but am obsessed with soup. I literally could eat soup every day and not get tired of it. Matt on the other hand, refuses to eat soup in scorching weather, so it has been awhile since I’ve made any. Now that the weather is cooling down a bit, it was my free pass to make one of our favorites. This recipe for Chicken Fajita soup is definitely one of my favorite recipe redos. This recipe is also very vegetarian friendly–omit the chicken and add another can of black beans, and you have yourself a high protein meal with a lot of veggies. I like to serve my soup over crushed tortilla chips and cheese as opposed to sprinkling them on top. I like that the chips get soft and they actually help to thicken the soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do–it’s the best on cold Fall evenings–plus it can definitely feed a crowd and it’s a one pot meal. Bonus.
- 1 box (32 oz) of chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 red peppers–sliced to uniform thickness
- 1 large red or sweet onion–sliced to uniform thickness
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can condensed chicken soup
- 1 can black beans-rinsed and drained
- 2-3 cloves of cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 can enchilada sauce–mine was the medium heat level
- 1 lb of chicken breast–precooked, I cooked mine in the slow cooker earlier in the day
- 1/4-1/2 cup pickled jalapeños chopped–or less if they are fresh/based on your heat preference
- 1/2-3/4 cup of frozen corn (optional)
- Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, & avocado for garnish
- A squeeze of lime juice over each bowl served (optional)
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Matt and I were craving Thai food but we didn’t want to chance missing the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. I have never tried cooking Thai but with Whole Foods only a half mile away, I knew that we would be able to get the necessary ingredients in a hurry. I am so happy I gave this recipe a shot–as squeamish as I was to try fish sauce (knowingly! I always try to pretend it’s not in my food when we dine at Authentic Thai places ha!), I am really glad I decided not to omit it. I substituted Whole Grain rice noodles in place of regular noodles to make it healthier. I also added Tofu to the recipe because it’s totally my favorite part of Chicken Pad Thai when we dine out. I lightly dusted the Tofu chunks in flour, corn starch, and salt + pepper. I put a few tablespoons of canola oil in a shallow pan and lightly fried the pieces. They were really crispy and delicious–plus they added an extra punch of protein to the dish.
This recipe is also very vegetarian friendly too–just substitute the chicken for Tofu. I also know they sell Vegan friendly fish sauce at speciality markets.
I’ve owned this cookbook for a couple of years and this is the first time I’ve cooked from it–I look forward to trying a few more recipes in the future. I hope you enjoy it!
Recipe adapted from Keo’s Thai Cuisine
Makes 4-6 servings
- 8oz package of rice noodles–I used Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodles made with 100% whole grain
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil–I used canola oil
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
- 3/4-1 lb chicken breast
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 pound bean sprouts
- 1 ounce chives–cut into 2 inch lengths
- For the sauce:
- 1 tbs ketchup
- 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tbs fish sauce Read the rest of this entry
Matt and I went out to a Greek restaurant in Philly last Saturday called Opa. It is newly renovated with a pretty cool scene. The specialty cocktails were pretty tasty but my favorite thing about the meal were the zucchini chips served with a tzatziki dipping sauce. Their version was fried but I knew I would be able to come up with something just as tasty without all the calories. I decided to try baking my zucchini and they came out really delicious. I will say that they are quite time consuming because it takes awhile for the veggies to crisp…but they are definitely worth the wait. In place of the tzatziki I made my dipping sauce with Greek yogurt and a few other flavors.
I tried two cooking methods: placing the zucchini right on the baking sheet and placing the zucchini on a baking rack. I will say that I think that just placing them on the baking sheet worked better. Maybe if I were to set the oven to a higher temperature the baking rack would come in handy to make sure heat was able to surround all sides of them before they burn. Perhaps next time I’ll test my theory and update you all with any new results.
Anyhow, I think they are definitely worth a try! They should be eaten the same day they are baked–or else they lose their crispiness and will need to be thrown back into the oven. It’s really no problem to finish them though. I used 2 large zucchinis and it yielded about 1 cup of chips. It’s not a bad way to get one of you daily servings of veggies.
Necessary equipment: mandolin will make this much easier, but you can slice by hand
- Cooking Spray
- Flavoring or your choice: I used Salt for one batch and garlic salt & cayenne for the other Read the rest of this entry
Sometimes it is really hard to convince yourself to eat breakfast in the morning but you have to because it really is the most important meal of the day. Your body uses food–primarily carbohydrates (this is your body’s favorite food to fuel source)–as it’s go to source for energy. It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet to not only keep your metabolism going but to also keep your brain functioning on early mornings. I know some people skip meals in order to reduce their calorie intake because they think that this will help them burn stored fat–well, unfortunately the body doesn’t quite work that way.
Skipping meals is actually bad for your metabolism. The body gets tricked into preservation mode when you don’t eat enough calories/a balanced diet. What does preservation mode mean? It means that your body is actually tricked into storing fat/won’t give up fat because it thinks that there are impending bad times ahead–you can thank evolution for this phenomena. When food used to be scare, our bodies would store and hold onto as much fat as possible–think of it as your bodies very own rainy day fund.
This is what really happens in the body.
- Body breaks down carbohydrates –> energy
- Once carbohydrate stores are depleted–>body looks for other sources to break down for fuel in the body…
- HEALTHY BODIES (diets rich in protein/complex carbs)–> body will breakdown stored fat –> energy
- NOT SO HEALTHY BODIES (i.e. not enough calorie intake/not a balanced diet): body goes into preservation mode –> body skips fat break down–> body breaks down protein for fuel
What this all means? If you don’t ingest enough protein and carbs, your body will actually start munching on its own muscles for fuel. Not good!
Extreme athletes that push themselves to extreme limits will use protein as a source of energy after all other stores are depleted–but they also know how to replenish protein quickly so it doesn’t do damage to their bodies. The average person–who say is walking to work–shouldn’t be using protein as a source of energy at all. That’s why it is important to eat a diet that has both protein and healthy carbs. One of my favorite college professors always used to tell us “Carbohydrate ingestion–spares protein breakdown”–as you can tell she was anti the extreme low carb diets. So what she was saying is that if you eat enough complex carbohydrates–your body will never go into that preservation mode & burn your muscle tissue. What it is really all about is feeding your body the right kind of carbs–complex carbs, in place of insulin spiking simple carbs. My strawberry peanut butter wraps offer a great source of protein and complex carbs with a side of antioxidants & vitamin C from the strawberries. It is a great on the go snack/breakfast–just wrap it in aluminum foil and eat it burrito style on the go. Couldn’t be more simple or tasty.
- Multigrain tortillas
- Peanut or Almond Butter
- Sliced strawberries
- Raw Agave syrup for drizzling
I had never been a huge fan a mangos but after dining at Cuba Libre in Old City (fantastic food!) and sampling their Avocado-Mango Salsa I quickly realized that I was missing out! The next time I hit Produce Junction (located in PA & NJ…a land of amazingness! think whole sale fruit & veggies…CHEAP!) I grabbed a few. They weren’t ripe initially and since I was craving them ASAP, I popped them into a paper bag with an apple for two days. Heard of this before? All I remember from my years of chemistry is that apples produce a gas that acts as an accelerant to help ripen other fruits! Thank you chemistry for the practical lesson for once! Anyhow, I created a few yummy things to share!
Matt & I are obsessed with guacamole so I knew after we sampled the salsa at Cube Libre I would have to figure out how to recreate it. Please forgive me! I forgot to take a picture! Next time for sure…that is if I can abstain from stuffing my face! ha!
- 1 ripe mango
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup red onion (a little or a lot…you call the shots)
- jalapeños (optional)
- juice of 1 lime
- small pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper
- Dice the mango–a great how to located here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_a_mango
- Follow the same rules with the avocado–I love dicing them in similar sizes because it really helps the ingredients to mesh & do their delicious things!
- Add the 1/4 cup of diced red onion to the mix–if you aren’t a huge fan of red onions, give them a rinse with cold water! it realllly helps to take the bite out of the onion and mellow them out (seriously, try it!)
- Dice the jalapeños…as few or as many as you like depending on your preference
- Give the lime a roll on the counter or pop it in the microwave to “really get the juices flowing”–name that chef!
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Mash it around with a fork to help really bring the ingredients together
Refrigerate until chilled and serve with tortilla chips–homemade or store bought. As you can tell it’s definitely just a recipe you can throw together. It’s super refreshing and perfect for summer.
Not to mention the great health benefits of avocado and mangos! Seriously good food for your body. It’s a win win snack! Tasty and great for you.