Tortilla Soup

I am breaking the 30 minute stove-to-table “rule” with this recipe but it is truly yummy and healthy.

For the soup:


7 c. chicken broth

1 med. yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

½ bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

¼ c tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 tsp dried garlic powder

1 T. each dried cilantro and oregano

salt and white ground pepper to taste

1 zucchini diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced [Chronic in the Kitchen time saving substitution:   use a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes instead]

2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded [Chronic in the Kitchen time saving substitution:  2 barbequed chicken breasts from your local deli, skinned and shredded]


for presentation:

Baked Tortilla Chips

1 ½ c. shredded Jack cheese (use low fat if watching fat)

8 – 10 slices avocado, optional


In large pot combine chicken broth through to oregano.  Add salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil; simmer 25 minutes covered.  Add zucchini, tomatoes and shredded chicken breast pieces and continue to simmer about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.   To serve, place tortilla chips, crushed a bit smaller if necessary, into individual bowls, cover with shredded cheese and ladle in soup.  Top with sliced of avocado.   8 – 10 servings

Pears with Yogurt and Honey

Pears are at their peak now. Here’s a simple breakfast [or dessert] recipe incorporating them.
1 pear, chopped
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 T. ground flax seed
1 – 2 T. liquid honey

Combine in a small bowl. Enjoy. Serves one. Optional ingredients include chopped walnuts or other nuts. Serve with a piece of whole grain toast for breakfast.

Breakfast Bean Cookies

– Reprinted with permission

Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, beans are a great way to sneak nutrition into cookies – pureed, you don’t even know they’re there! These are substantial, not too sweet, have an amazingly tender texture, and keep longer than other low fat cookies. I call them breakfast cookies because they make a perfect mobile mini-meal.

2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, not instant)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 – 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup butter or non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2-4 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse flour. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Put the beans into the food processor and pulse until roughly pureed. Add butter and process until well blended. Add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Pour the bean mixture into the oat mixture and stir by hand until almost combined; add the chocolate chips, raisins, nuts and flaxseed and stir just until blended. Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and flatten each one a little with your hand. (I find this works best if I dampen my hands first.) Bake for 14-16 minutes, until pale golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Per cookie: 165 calories, 4.9 g total fat (2.3 g saturated fat, 1.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat), 27.3 g carbohydrate, 14.5 mg cholesterol, ), 3.4 g protein, 2.4 g fiber. 26% calories from fat.

Variation: Chocolate Lentil Cookies: use lentils in place of the white kidney beans, and replace 1/3 cup of the flour with cocoa, to disguise their colour.

Unstuffed Pepper Soup

We have this often. Beats stuffing peppers and it tastes very similar. We like this soup even in the summer.

Tip: Buy pre-sliced peppers to save prep time.

1 lb. ground beef. browned and drained
3 peppers, assorted colors, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
½ c. onion, chopped
1 container beef stock
1 sm. (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
¼ c. uncooked, long-grain white rice
½ can tomato paste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. ground pepper

Sauté vegetables for 5 min. Add to beef in saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 min., until rice is tender.

Thai Inspired Beef with Peppers and Onions

This is done in the slow cooker
2 lbs. beef stew
1 red pepper
1 onion
2 tomatoes

1 1/2 c. light coconut milk
1 c. chili sauce
1/4 c. natural peanut butter
juice of 1 lime
1 T. dried cilantro
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp garlic
dash of dried red chili pepper
1 T. brown sugar

Cut onion, peppers and tomatoes into chunks. Place in slow cooker. Add stewing beef. Combine sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe dish. Stir to combine and microwave for about a minute. Pour over beef-vegetable mixture. Cook in the slow cooker on low 8 hours. Serve with rice. makes lots.