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Posts Tagged ‘cilantro’

This soup recipe is a favourite around here.  My friend Crystal introduced me to this recipe at our food party last year.  And I will be forever grateful.

I love it because it is a healthy, yummy, recipe that can be made on a week-night in less than 30 minutes, freezes well, and is also a great way to incorporate leftover roast chicken (see the variation)

Hubby loves it because it tastes good.  And it’s got meat in it.  A definite plus for the husband of a former vegetarian. 

 Oh…and it looks pretty too!  Nothing like whipping up a quick meal that looks like it would be at home in an upscale restaurant.   (At least I think it would…..I can’t remember the last time I was actually IN an upscale restaurant…..)

Spicy Tomato Chicken Soup

  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 – 3 chicken breasts cut in very small pieces
  • Toppings: feta, avocado, pita chips, cilantro (all, some, or none, your choice!)

Saute the onions in the oil for about 2 minutes, then stir in garlic.  Add the tomatoes and the paste and use a potato masher or side of your wooden spoon to crush the tomatoes. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the herbs, spices, stock and chicken.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on the toppings of your choice.

To make Pita Chips:  Cut the pita into slices or triangles and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 350 for 7 – 10 minutes, or until crispy. 

Variations:

  • Instead of using chicken breast add leftover roast chicken (both light and dark meat work fine) and cook until the chicken is heated through. 
  • I have used canned diced tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes in a pinch (the whole tomatoes or better, but this is still good)
  • For a more hearty soup you can add cooked rice (I have not personally tried this variation yet but I trust Crystal’s reccomendations!)

What are your favourite quick-but-healthy week-night meals?

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I am sitting here eating guacamole for breakfast.  Untraditional, I know, but  it was sitting in the fridge, calling my name, and I do love my guacamole.

Especially this recipe.

Before this recipe I thought all guacamole was smooth, pureed-looking stuff made with dried spices and made creamier with the addition of sour-cream and yogurt.

And then I went to a work-related party that changed my perceptions of guacamole forever.

One of my coworkers had made a guacamole that was filled with chunks of fresh tomatoes and avocados, seasoned with cilantro, lime ,and a hint of garlic.   It received rave reviews from everyone and was quickly devoured.

We all asked for the recipe.

It is so easy and so good, that this is now the only way that I make guacamole.   And now I am sharing it with you (don’t you feel lucky?)

Here is what you need to begin:

An avocado (ripe, but not too soft), a lime, fresh cilantro, half a large tomato or a whole small one, and a clove of garlic.

Begin by cutting your avocado in half and removing the pit.

Then slice your avocado lengthwise and widthwise to create a checkerboard-type pattern.  Be careful not to cut through the skin!

Turn your avocado over a bowl and push through the skin (almost as if you were turning it inside-out) to pop out your chopped avocado.

Repeat with the other half.

Use your knife in the bowl to further chop some of the larger pieces.  (you could also scoop your avocado out of its skin and chop as you would anything else, but this way is much neater and faster.)

You will now have lot of yummy avocado chunks in your bowl.  

 Next, take your garlic clove and peel off the skin.  An easy way to do this is to lay your clove on your cutting board and place the side of your knife over top.   Hit the knife with the heel of your hand.  (If you hit too hard you’ll crush the garlic, but that’s not really a problem since you will be chopping it all up anyway so go ahead and work out some of your frustrations – satisfying, isn’t it?)

Now the skin will easily slip off.  Chop the garlic finely and place in the bowl with the avacado.

Mmmm…don’t you just love the smell of freshly-chopped garlic?

Now dice your tomato and throw that into the bowl too.

Do the same with the cilantro.  You can also use scissors and snip it in, but I prefer to chop. 

Now it’s time to fork a lime!  If you have a reamer, you could use that too, but I like using a fork (mostly because it’s fun to say…..what are you doing right now?  Oh…I’m forking a lime!)

Cut your lime in half and hold a half over the bowl.  Insert the fork and twist it back and forth to release all of the juice.

If you really like lime, you can use the whole thing, but it can make your guacamole a little watery so you might want to try half and then see what you think.

Season with salt and pepper.  If you like, you can even use a dash of Worcestershire sauce (I don’t do this, but the original recipe calls for it.)

Mix it all together and you’re ready to eat!

If you want to store this in the fridge for a while before eating, then mix everything together and add the lime juice last and then don’t mix it in.  This will stop the top pieces of avocado from going brown.  Give it a stir when you take it out of the fridge and you’ll be ready to go. 

I used a whole lime in mine two days ago and it was still a beautiful green when I pulled it out of the fridge for breakfast this morning.

If you like things spicy you could try adding some cayenne or chilli flakes, or maybe even a few drops of hot sauce?

And guacamole is not just a breakfast food! (shocking, I know)  I serve it with quesadillas, fajitas, nachos, burritos, or just by itself with tortilla chips or baked pita triangles. 

Enjoy!

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