If you took a quick glance at my most recent posts, you might think I’m all about sweets and chicken. While I’m not going to confirm or deny that may be true, I do make other recipes as well. You might even say somewhat healthy ones every once in a while too. So for my vegetarian friends out there, I have not forsaken you. (Yes, I’m looking at you Sue T.!)
This soup recipe can be altered to whichever vegetables you have or that are in season. It is called vegetable soup afterall. I used what I had on hand. The flavor of the soup was reminiscent of a chicken tortilla soup without the chicken or tortillas. And be forewarned, this recipe makes a lot of servings (6-8) for you to share on a cold winter’s day.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 bell peppers, diced (I used 1/2 each of an orange, red and yellow bell peppers)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen or 1 can of corn)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can (4 ounce) diced green chile peppers
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1-2 zucchinis, sliced
- avocado slices
- lime wedges or lime juice
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- shredded cheese
- tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
- Add bell peppers, carrots and onions to pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally.
- Add in minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add in tomatoes, corn, black beans, diced green chiles and vegetable stock.
- Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add in zucchini.
- Re-cover and simmer for another 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
- Serve immediately with optional toppings.
Okay. I admit it. I am a picky eater. You will not find green bell peppers or yellow onions in my fajitas. I love every type of bell peppers except green. I will always substitute whenever a recipe calls for green bell peppers. As for red onions, they just happen to be my favorite type of onion. I always have them on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I like yellow onions too. But I ALWAYS have red onions. So feel free to substitute your favorite colors of the rainbow for this dish. You can even omit the chicken and use sliced portabella mushrooms and add other vegetables to make a fantastic vegetarian fajita.
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons Mexican seasoning (chili powder, crushed red peppers, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and paprika)
- 1 lime, juiced
- tortillas and your favorite fajita sides for serving
- lime wedges for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Place onions, peppers and chicken in 9×13 baking pan or dish.
- Drizzle and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle Mexican seasoning over dish. Top with lime juice. Toss to coat.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Serve with tortillas and your favorite fajita sides. Add lime wedge to each plate for garnish and extra lime juice if wanted.
Makes 3-4 servings.
It’s another gray and cloudy day here. So I decided to make some zucchini and corn chowder to warm up my belly. I also needed something to blog this week, so two birds, one stone kind of deal. For my vegetarian friends out there, substitute vegetable broth and omit the bacon pieces.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups corn kernels
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for garnish
- Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. About 6-8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Melt butter in the same stockpot and add onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. Cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in dried thyme, basil, and rosemary cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
- Whisk in flour until lightly browned. About 1 minute.
- Add in chicken stock, milk bay leaf, zucchini and corn.
- Cook stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
- Remove the bay leaf. If the chowder is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk to thin out.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with bacon pieces, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves.
Here in Northern California, our September weather has been exceptionally warm. We were in the low 90’s the last few weeks. But today we were only in the 70’s. And being the typical weather spoiled Californian, it felt cold to me. I wanted soup. Actually, it gave me an excuse to try out my new vegetable spiralizer and make zucchini noodle soup. Or “zoodles” as the foodies call them. For my vegetarian friends, like Sue T., omit the chicken breasts and substitute with vegetable stock.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- handful of baby carrots (about 6-8) sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley, reserve some for garnish
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodle shapes and cut into desired length
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple, add onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir for 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Add minced garlic to vegetables. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic become fragrant.
- Next add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning and most of the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
- Add chicken breasts. Once liquid begins to boil, lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Remove chicken and carefully shred into bite sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Cut into smaller noodle lengths, unless you want extra long noodles.
- Turn heat back up to medium high. Add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to soup. Stir and let zoodles cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with reserved parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Taco Tuesday? It’s taco any day in my house. And when I have all the ingredients in my refrigerator, then I like to go all out and make it taco fiesta night. I like using warmed flour tortillas, but my son likes the corn tortillas. So I always have both types on hand. This recipe makes enough for 12 well packed tacos. Which tortilla type do you like to use to make your tacos?
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 cup your favorite salsa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 red or white onion, diced
- 1 cup cilantro, diced
- 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1/2 lime
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- Mexican Crema to garnish (you can substitute with sour cream)
- Cotija cheese to garnish
- 12 flour or corn fajita sized (or smaller) tortillas
- In a covered skillet or pot, add chicken breasts, salsa and water. Turn heat on high until liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until chicken breasts become tender and shred easily. Shred chicken using two forks and set aside in a bowl.
- In another bowl, make a pico de gallo, by adding diced onions, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapenos. Then squeeze half of a lime into the pico de gallo and mix well.
- Add shredded cabbage and lettuce together in yet another bowl.
- Place Mexican blend cheese in a final bowl.
- Warm up tortillas. For the flour ones, I just wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds. For the corn tortillas, I heat up over my stove gas burners about 10 seconds per side and flip a few rotations until they bubble up a little and get char marks.
- Build your tacos. Lay down the tortilla. Add shredded chicken. Then add pico de gallo. Then some cabbage and lettuce mix. Then the Mexican blend cheese. Then drizzle some crema. And finally grate some Cotija cheese over the entire taco. Serve with refried beans and Mexican rice. Muy delicioso!
Sometimes, not often mind you, I want to eat a great big salad for dinner. Not your little foo foo salad. I mean something that is so delicious and satisfying that you won’t be hungry 4 hours later type of salad. I like to use whatever fruits, nuts and vegetables I have on hand. And of course, I always have an extra cooked chicken breast in my refrigerator that I can add as well. Feel free to make as much or as little as you like. And also feel free to add or substitute more/less ingredients to suit your tastes. I know this is just salad and not much of a recipe, but sometimes you just need to see how simple everyday items you have on hand can make a delicious meal.
- romaine lettuce cut into ribbons
- grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- red grapes, sliced in half
- toasted almond slices
- dried cranberries
- strawberries, sliced into quarters
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- your favorite salad dressing
- Cut romaine lettuce into ribbons and add to bowl.
- Add grape tomatoes.
- Add grapes.
- Add almond slices for extra crunchiness.
- Add dried cranberries for extra sweetness.
- Wait, I found some strawberries. Add those in too.
- Add some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Add sliced chicken breast pieces. (I know Sue, you will skip this part.)
- Mix up your ingredients so you get a little bite of everything. And serve with your favorite salad dressing. (And maybe some extra shredded cheese…)
I wasn’t quite sure what to call this recipe. It’s essentially a stir fry, but because I like to make a thin gravy that the chicken braises in does that make it braised? Oh well. It tastes good and that’s what matters the most. And this recipe is perfect for those evenings you really don’t want to make anything too complicated. One pot meal, about 30 minutes from start to finish. Can’t beat that.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (can be found in your grocery’s international food aisle)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 bag (16 ounce) frozen stir fry vegetables (or use fresh if you have on hand)
- Add olive oil to large skillet over medium high heat.
- When oil begins to ripple, add chicken breast pieces to skillet. Stir occasionally and cook for 4-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add minced garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add Hoisin sauce and chicken broth.
- Meanwhile add cornstarch and water into a small bowl and stir until combined to make a slurry.
- Once liquid in skillet comes to a boil add the cornstarch and water slurry to the skillet. Stir to combine. Lower heat to simmer. Cover skillet.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Raise heat back to medium high and add frozen stir fry vegetables. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are heated through.
- Serve over rice and don’t forget to add some of the gravy you just made too.