Chicken Tortilla Soup

While browsing through my local library branch a few weeks ago, I ran across a copy of Grow Younger, Live Longer by Deepak Chopra and David Simon. On most days, I wouldn't have given the book a second glance--I'm firmly committed to expiring, in good health, in my 90s. However, Rose Cole, a health coach that I've been Twitter-stalking of late, recently contributed to Audacious Aging with the good doctor; since I love what Rose has to say, I thought that I would give the book a shot.

The age-reversal methods in Grow Younger, Live Longer are heavily based in Ayurveda, a Hindu system of traditional medicine currently classified as an alternative medicine. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine consider diet to be the most effective way to fight aging and aim for a balance of tastes--not food groups--to promote good health. Dr. Chopra devotes a chapter to an Ayurvedic diet ("Nurturing Your Body Through Healthy Food") and includes recipes from a variety of cuisines in one of the appendices. In this grouping, I found his version of Tortilla Soup and decided to try it.

I adapted the recipe for my own use, as I had some chicken on hand that I needed to use before it spoiled. The result was a light, flavorful chicken soup that was perfect for the post-Sandy grayness permeating our world.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (as adapted from Deepak Chopra's Grow Younger, Live Longer)

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cubed
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1 c corn, frozen
  • 1/4 c roasted red pepper, cubed
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut into one-inch strips
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped and loosely packed
Directions
  1. In a medium soup pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add chicken and onion; cook until the chicken is no longer pink and the onion is tender.
  2. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and chili powder to pot. Stir to coat chicken.
  3. Add carrots and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 c vegetable stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add corn, roasted red bell pepper, and remaining vegetable stock. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter. Fry the tortilla strips until crispy and set aside.
  6. Remove soup from heat and stir in cilantro. Place 1/4 c of avocado in the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle soup on top. Serve hot, garnished with additional cilantro or a Mexican cheese blend, if desired.
Serves 4.

We opted not to garnish the soup, which turned out to have plenty of cilantro in it. For our purposes, I might have dialed down the crushed red pepper flakes a tad, but overall, the soup is warm, fiery, and filling.

Honey Ginger Ice Milk

Aloha! I know that it's been a while since we've posted on Broke da Mout' ... I have no excuse. Life just gets busy. For example, I recently joined a halau (hula school), which has completely eaten up my Monday nights. I'm thrilled to be exploring my Hawaiian roots again, as well as getting an amazing, joyful hour and a half of exercise!

Hurricane Sandy is rapidly approaching the East Coast, and we should probably be worried about using the frozen food in the refrigerator before it goes bad. Instead, I decided to add to the contents of my freezer by making Honey Ginger Ice Milk. I recently started drinking ginger tea in addition to my morning coffee (I'm trying to cut back, but I still can't get over my love of a good cuppa), and I thought, Why not create a delicious dessert recipe around this invigorating root?

Well, why not?

Honey Ginger Ice Milk

Ingredients

  • 6 cups 2% milk (organic if you can swing it), divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey (go for a locally-sourced honey to add the anti-allergy health benefits)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix 4 cups milk, vanilla, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add honey and stir. (Don't worry about dissolving the honey.)
  2. Melt butter in a 2 cup, microwavable measuring cup. Add enough milk to the cup to make 2 cups of liquid and add to the bowl. Stir.
  3. Stir in ginger .
  4. If using an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions. If not, pour mixture into a glass bowl and freeze. Stir every 20 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat for about 4 hours, or until thoroughly frozen.
Ice milk isn't as creamy as ice cream, so expect some lumps and iciness in the mixture. This is a good, light (well, lighter) substitute for ice cream or frozen yogurt, and has the added benefits of protecting against allergies. The addition of ginger may also help protect against migraine headaches and stomach discomfort! 

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili is one of my favorite meals. It keeps well in both the fridge and the freezer, it's good on cold and warm days, and is full of flavor without being too high in calories.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb 94% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 15.5-oz cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 15.5-oz cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
Directions
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the turkey and onion until the turkey is browned and the onion is tender; drain fat. Add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf. Combine well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Remove cover and stir. Simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes. Serve with desired toppings, such as shredded cheddar, sour cream, crackers, or jalepenos.
Makes 10-12 servings.
Luau Leaves