My dinners that I make when I cook for myself usually are simple and quick: steamed veggies, steamed rice, and a black bean burger (that all came from the handy dandy frozen food section). Well, as my stomach grumbled while I was at work, I started imagining something a little more tasty. Then at that moment I received a message from my boyfriend who asked if I was interested in dinner and a movie (In Time)...which means that I got excited to make a meal FOR someone and watch a bonus movie at the end of it all.
Chopping, prepping, simmering, and taking in the aromas of cooking has always been a stress reliever for me. I needed that yesterday. I will spare you details of the "pet messes" that I came home to on my bed which definitely did not put me in a tranquil frame of mine before cooking.
Once I turned on my Pandora to Florence + the Machine radio, I started tapping my toes, swaying my hips, and chopping away to make a Tortilla Soup and Grilled Chicken Quesadillas. The recipes used are from a blog that I have been reading daily for cooking inspiration about eating REAL food = no processed junk, no sugars, organic when possible, and meat in moderation. Since it was a bit on the cooler yet comfortable side outside, I opted to grill some of the food which always makes the end result taste that much better. I highly recommend this tasty, healthy, and versatile recipe that is delicious for leftovers as well.
TORTILLA SOUP (modified for ingredients in my 'fridge)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
- 3 organic celery stalks, chopped
- 1 – 2 hot peppers (optional - I did not use)
- 1 teaspoon coriander or cumin
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 8-oz can organic black beans (liquid drained and rinsed)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz can organic stewed tomatoes
- 1 8-oz can organic tomato sauce
- 2 – 3 cups organic, low sodium chicken stock depending on how “soupy” you like it
- Optional (but recommended) garnishes: avocado, scallions, lime juice, tortilla chips
- Rinse and dice the bell peppers, celery, any other veggies you add. I used minced garlic in a jar.
- Heat a large stock pot with the olive oil on medium high heat. Add bell peppers, celery, garlic in pot.
- Let the veggies eat through for about 5 minutes. Add spices.
- Add rinsed black beans. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock.
- Boil all ingredients, then turn heat down to low/simmer and cover for about 10 minutes or longer to let all the flavors mix and mingle.
- Ready to eat? Add to a bowl, and add the green trifecta of garnishes: diced avocado, chopped scallions, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Serves 8 - 10 (smaller bowls HA!)
|My uber small kitchen...If I can do it, so can you!|
|Bell peppers - Red are my favorite & they have more vitamin C than an orange. Believe it.|
|Drain and rinse black beans; reduces the sodium.|
|Muir Glen is found in most grocery stores for tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and salsas.|
|I buy this in bulk and the store brand is less expensive than other organic brands.|
|Diced, simmering veggies in the stock pot|
|Mixing and mingling of flavors|
|Green Trifecta for garnishes with Latin dishes: Avocado, Scallions, and Lime Juice|
|Tortilla soup garnished and ready to be in my belly!|
GRILLED CHICKEN QUESADILLA
- 1 lb organic chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 2 Tbsp+ Jamaican Jerk seasoning
- 2 Tbsp+ Olive Oil & Vinegar salad dressing (Newman's Own is best)
- 1 cup+ (1/2 a bag) shredded Mexican cheese
- 4 small tortillas (wheat preferred, but I only had white)
- 4 scallion bunches, chopped
- Marinate chicken breasts first off! Place in a deep dish and season each side and then drizzle dressing on both sides. Coat and let it hang out for about 15 - 30 minutes, the longer the tastier.
- Place all 4 tortillas on an oven proof/heat resistant plate/tray. Lay out the tortillas flat and sprinkle as much or as little cheese on all 4 tortillas.
- Heat grill, grill pan, oven, or saute pan (medium high heat or 375 degrees) -- whichever you prefer to cook your chicken. I grilled!
- Add chicken to grill and cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side. Do not over flip your chicken.
- While chicken is cooking, microwave or place tortillas in oven to melt cheese.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove from heat onto cutting surface, let it SIT for a few minutes to get the juices to settle.
- Thinly slice the chicken breasts and add to one side of cheesy tortillas. Add a little extra sprinkle of cheese if you want and other toppings. I only added scallions and folded other side of tortilla.
- Enjoy with your soup and dip away!
Serves 4; recipe easily doubled.
|Marinated chicken breasts with Jamaican jerk seasoning & Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing|
|Juicy and healthy grilled chicken (cooked 4-6 minutes each side)|
|Super easy assembly of melted cheese on tortillas and sliced chicken|
|4 simple and delicious ingredients: Chicken, Cheese, Tortillas, Scallions|
|Our Latin dinner: Tortilla Soup & Grilled Chicken Quesadillas (and Malbec!)|
And the movie was really great as well, two thumbs up!