Southwest Chicken & Lime Soup

Winter colds have made their way into our home.  Even though my teenagers and hubby are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, I still feel so sorry for them and want to baby everyone as much as possible.  One of my favorite “treatments” for a nasty cold is homemade chicken soup.  Although I don’t think it’s been proven, I truly believe there are medicinal properties to be found in a hot bowl of soup.

If nothing else, a bowl of piping hot soup is so comforting.

Since our taste buds seem to lose their power when colds take over I opted out of traditional chicken noodle soup (which is one of our favorites), and decided to get a little creative with a spicy southwestern flavored chicken soup for our supper last night.

It was warm, comforting, and spicy; everything I had hoped for.

And a real hit with the fam.

Southwest Chicken & Lime Soup

 Ingredients:

6 chicken breast, stewed and diced

1 medium red onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

1 large tomato, diced

2 avocado

limes

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt

cilantro

jalapeños (optional)

2 cartons unsalted chicken stock

Don't you just love lots of color mixed in your meals?

Don’t you just love lots of color mixed in your meals?

Directions:

**Heat the chicken stock in a large stockpot on medium-high heat on the stove top.  Add onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, & dried spices followed by the diced chicken.  Simmer about 20 minutes.

**Dice the avocado and add to the simmering soup, followed the by the juice of one lime (cut into quarters and squeeze) then toss in the juiced pieces.

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**Simmer another 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls.  Garnish with a lime slice, cilantro and jalapeño (if you want it even more spicy).

Comfort Food

And ENJOY!

Cozy comfort food to soothe a winter cold

Cozy comfort food to soothe a winter cold

I love this recipe for so many reasons; easy, fast (especially if you menu plan & cook your chicken ahead of time), healthy and clean.  Nothing processed in this bowl!

Do you have a favorite soup when colds hit your homes?

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Healthy Italian

Of all the international flavors out family enjoys, Italian is probably our most favorite.  I love the flavor of fresh herbs in a tomato based sauce (generally with Italian sausage added) mixed with pasta and a sprinkling of cheese.

Mmmmm!

Generally it doesn’t matter how it’s prepared, I love pasta!  But, pasta is not something I eat a lot of these days.  While low in calories, it is very high in carbs, carbs that process as a sugar.  Not something I am wanting in my diet as I am down to my last 30 pounds to lose.

Recently I was scrolling through a favorite read by NASCAR driver wife, Samantha Busch, and found her own healthy Italian recipe.

Suddenly I was craving Italian and had to try it out!  With just a few minor changes we enjoyed a delicious, flavorful Italian dinner ready in under an hour.

Made with spaghetti squash and topped with a rich marinara and fresh summer squash this was an Italian dish that was perfect in all ways!

Healthy Italian

Ingredients:

Large Spaghetti Squash

zucchini

Yellow Squash

Baby Spinach leaves

Fresh Basil (I used purple Basil from my garden)

Garlic cloves, minced

1 Can of no-salt added diced tomatoes with garlic, basil & oregano

2 (8 ounce) cans no-salt added tomato sauce

Vidalia onion 

2 Chicken Breast Cutlets

Italian Seasoning

Olive Oil

Directions:

Cut your spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 about 45 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, Take your cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and add to a saucepan on the stove.  Chop half of the Vidalia onion and add to the tomatoes with a little Italian seasoning.  Simmer on medium about 15 minutes to allow flavors to mesh.

Take an immersion blender and puree the tomato mixture into a smooth sauce.

pureeing the marinara sauce

pureeing the marinara sauce

You’ll need two skillets.  In the first, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add your chicken breast cutlets seasoned with Italian seasoning.  Cook on medium heat about 12 minutes, turning once.

chicken cutlets seasoned with Italian seasoning

chicken cutlets seasoned with Italian seasoning

In the second skillet, Slice your squash & zucchini and add to a non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a clove of minced garlic.  Saute until squash is tender, but crisp.  Add a cup of spinach leaves and cover with a lid about 3 minutes to wilt.  Remove from heat.

Love fresh summer cooking!

Love fresh summer cooking!

Take your spaghetti squash out of the oven and scrap this insides out, making “noodles” for your marinara sauce.  Cover with the sauce and fresh veggies.  Add a little fresh basil to the top and serve with a protein of your choice.

Italian done healthy

Italian done healthy

There is so much flavor in this simple dish you never even miss the pasta!

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I hope you’ll try this flavorful alternate to traditional Italian style spaghetti.

Have a great weekend!

I’m linking up with Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday today!

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Jalapeno Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Chicken

With Memorial Day weekend right upon us I thought that I would share this quick and easy appetizer perfect for any hungry guest while waiting for BBQ on Monday.
I found this recipe in an old edition of Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living, years ago, then copied it into a recipe book.  It originally contained cream cheese & a couple of other ingredients that we no longer indulge on, so I changed it up to keep it  healthy and “clean” to fit our on-going lifestyle here.
The kiddos weren’t home when I tried these, but Audley was…..
He didn’t want to share, so I am guessing they were success!
Ingredients:
Four chicken breasts, pounded with a mallet and flattened
1 package Nitrate-free bacon (I used Maverick Ranch brand)
1/4 cup Organic Honey (Shop your local farmers market for local)
3 Tablespoons Annie’s Organic Mustard
3 Jalapenos, sliced into four pieces each
Basil, chiffonaded
freshlyground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Flatten your chicken breast to 1/2 inch thickeness, and slice into two or three long strips.  Wrap a jalapeno slice into each strip.
In a small bowl, mix the honey, mustard and basil together.  Brush over each jalapeno wrapped chicken piece.
Wrap each piece in bacon and secure with a toothpick for baking.  Season with black pepper & bake, uncovered 25 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through.
**If you are serving a large crowd, you will want to double this recipe.
Place on a platter and serve to your hungry guests!
Bon Appetit!
 

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Supper on the table in thirty minutes?  
This has become my mantra for meals each night as I strive to keep my cooking time to under 45 minutes as I’m usually trying to get supper on between evening clients each day.
Believe it or not, it is possible, with just minimal menu planning & food prep on the weekend to have me ready for the week.
With spring trying to settle in and the temptation of warmer weather I am looking for meals that fit the season.  Lettuce wraps are a perfect meal when the weather is nice. Fresh seasonal ingredients make them even more of a delicious delight!
Last week I prepared these fabulous buffalo chicken inspired lettuce wraps.  Light, healthy and fast they were a huge hit with my kiddos.
Ingredients:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper (just to taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 head of Boston lettuce
1 avocado, thinly sliced
grape tomatoes, sliced into halves
chopped green onion
fresh cilantro, chopped
Preparing The Dish:
*Removed excess fat from your chicken breast and slice the chicken into thin strips.  Add to a bowl, then toss with the chipotle chili, onion and garlic powders, and black pepper.
*In a large pan, heat your olive or coconut oil, then add a layer of the chicken.  Sauté’, on medium heat until the chicken is done, turning once while cooking.
*While your chicken is cooking, separate the lettuce leaves into whole pieces. This will serve as you wrap for the chicken.
*When the chicken is cooked through, place on a paper towel to drain excess oil from the chicken.
*Arrange the chicken, lettuce, avocado slices, grape tomatoes halves, green onion and cilantro on a platter for easy fixing at the table.
Or, if time allows, go ahead and assemble the lettuce wraps for easy grabbing.
You have to love the fresh flavors mixed with spice and crunch!  Just perfect for a pretty spring evening supper.
Thirty minutes to supper!
What’s on your plate tonight?