Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tortilla Soup

I decided to break out the good ol' trusty cookbook.

Okay, it is not old at all, it's like, 1 month old.

I wanted to try another recipe... and it's getting colder and colder outside. So I thought it was time to make a soup dinner. Now, I have never been a fan of soup... because I am ridiculous when it comes to vegetables. The only vegetables I like... are canned green beans, and corn.

I know, I am a weirdo. But, I found a tortilla soup recipe, so I though, let's try this baby out.

Basically, you make the broth first, then let boneless skinless chicken breasts cook through thouroughly in that. You pull the chicken out and cut it up into pieces, also cutting avocado and tomatoes into bite sized pieces.

Then, you divide the chicken, avocado, and tomatoes into individual bowls and add the broth on top of that. Last, on top you add your tortilla chips. And bam, you are finished.

The soup wasn't bad... my dad loved it and thought it was delicious. I liked the broth, and the chicken... the broth just had that perfect amount of heat, though I think it needed salt. Also, we did not use the cilantro leaves. But the veggies just didn't agree with my tastebuds, because again, I am a picky weirdo. But I don't mind just cooking for other people. I will just eat me some canned green beans and be completely satisfied! :)

Tortilla Soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced (I just used a medium sized onion)
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
tortilla chips, broken into large pieces... or just use tortilla strips, whatever you'd like or have on hand
3 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 ripe avocados, pitted and cut into half inch pieces
1/2 cup whole fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (we just used a regular pan on the stove) over medium heat until shimmering. Add in the onion, chili powder, garlic, and jalapeño into the pan and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the broth and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and cook partially covered til chicken is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

When cooked, remove the chicken and set aside to let cool, letting the broth simmer for another 10 minutes. Cut your chicken, avocados, and tomatoes into bite sized pieces.

Remove the broth from the heat and incorporate your lime juice. Then, just divide the tortillas, chicken, avocados, and tomatoes between your bowls, pour the broth over it, and add your extra tortillas and cilantro leaves on top of it if desired.


Chicken with Bourbon Mustard Sauce and Oven Roasted Potatoes

Gotta love that alcohol! Just had some bourbon sitting around from the wild party I had the other night, you know how I do...

Okay no I didnt, I don't even drink. The bourbon is actually sitting around from Thanksgiving.

I was sitting around, trying to figure out a use for it, because no one in the house is going to drink it. We had some chicken strips chillin' in the freezer downstairs... so, why not bourbon chicken?! And let me tell you, this recipe was SO GOOD. And with that, I just made some herb roasted potatoes... because those suckers go with anything you want to make for dinner. You just cannot go wrong with herb roasted potatoes.

Now, the chicken recipe called for boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded thin. But, I just use what chicken I had which was boneless skinless chicken tenders... and they turned out perfectly fine. I just had to saute them for a little longer than the recipe says.

As for the potatoes, I did everything according to recipe, except I used Russet potatoes, and also when they came out of the oven, they looked a little dry to me. So I took a couple tablespoons of butter, melted it in a bowl, then just lightly brushed it over the potatoes. Definitely helped a lot, and made them even better.

Now stop blabbing, Jessy. Get to the recipes!

Chicken with Bourbon Mustard Sauce

Recipe com

1/4 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. bourbon
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil

Combine mustard, bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire, salt and scallions in a non-metal dish. Place chicken in mixture, turning to coat. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour. Reserve marinade.

Heat butter and oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Remove chicken. Pour off fat. Add marinade. Stir and heat to boiling. Serve over chicken. Serves 4-6.

Herb-Roasted Potatoes

Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic powder (Goya brand is gluten-free, others may be also so check the label!)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 to 3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch cubes (do not peel!)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients except potatoes in large bowl or ziploc bag. Stir (or shake the bag) to blend well. Add the cut potatoes to the seasoning mixture and toss to coat. Transfer the potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet, spreading out in a single layer. Bake until the potatoes are browned and tender, about 40 minutes, flipping the potatoes with a spatula halfway through cooking.

Taken from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Crispy Parmesan Ranch Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice

So, I have been trying my darnedest to get back into losing weight. I had been doing so good... but once you get off track, if you have ever tried to lose weight, you know how hard it is to pick up the healthy habits again. But, I AM going to do it. So I made a few little goals for myself. And I know they are going to be hard, but I want to do them.

The first goal, I have to cut back on the CHOCOLATE. If you know me at all... you know I am a complete chocoholic. If they had a rehab for chocoholism... I would qualify. It can be pathetic lol. So that is a huge obstacle for me. But I am also a believer in if you cut something you love out of your life completely... you will not stick to it. It just will not happen, that is why I hate diets. Cutting so many things out that you are used to, just makes you crave those things more. So I believe in simply reducing the amount and portion control. Don't drive yourself crazy over cutting out every little bad thing. IT. JUST. WON'T. WORK.

Second goal... for a whole month, NO FAST FOOD. No eating out. And if we do go out to eat, no fried food. I want to see if I can do this at LEAST for a month, if not more... because I am also a fan of the food a la fried.

And third... I want to treat myself sometimes for doing so good. And I love buying clothes and jewelry. So I figured every 15 pounds, I would allow myself to buy maybe a new shirt, or a new necklace, or heck, something for the kitchen! haha. Have something to look forward to besides the fact that I am going to feel much better about myself in the end. :)

So enough of my rambling, if you want to know more about how the process is going for me, let me know. I can make seperate posts related to how things are going, what all I am doing, etcetera. :)

This chicken... was absolutely delicious! I got the recipe from How Sweet Eatsblog and I just altered it a little bit by adding some cajun seasoning. I'm sorry, but I love my little spice and bite in my food.

Along with that, I decided to make some rice, which I got from the amazing blogAnnie's Eats. Now, this was my first time making rice... definitely needed to cook longer haha. But my dad really loved it with the chicken. Me... not so much. I think it was the cilantro putting me off. But it can't always be what I like. Enjoy the recipes, hope you try them out! <3

(The chicken recipe was for strips, but I just used whole boneless skinless chicken breasts.)

Parmesan Ranch Crispy Chicken Fingers

Recipe from How Sweet Eats

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1 packet ranch seasoning mix
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
ADDITIONAL: Cajun seasoning

Combine buttermilk and 1/2 packet of ranch mix in a baking dish. Add chicken tenders to buttermilk. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine panko, parmesan, remaining ranch seasoning and flour in a large bowl. Coat chicken pieces in panko mix, then lay on a wire rack sitting on a baking sheet. Continue with remaining chicken pieces. Spray each piece with cooking spray or olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip, coat with cooking spray, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Recipe from Annie's Eats

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine the rice, 2 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, 16-18 minutes. (Cooking time can vary depending on the brand of rice. Check the package directions.)

While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.