Thursday, November 18, 2010

A "Whole" Lot Of Good Stuff!

Hello and Happy Thursday! Yes, my days are straight today and I am fully aware that today is Thursday :-) My post today is two (maybe three) fold. I have the intent of sharing a few recipes with you, but I also wanted to talk to you about the importance of eating whole foods (hopefully on a daily basis). One part of that is trying to eat veggies that are not necessarily cooked to death - literally! Now, I don't get as much raw veggies in my diet as I would like to, but I do try. I think that action means a lot more than just thoughts when it comes to your health. Sometimes it is the little actions that can lead to big changes. I love the 80/20 rule. Balance can be everything!

I want to introduce you to my Vita-Mix! She is a beauty! I saved up for her for almost a year and I am so glad that I did. It is one of the best purchases (I bought mine at Costco) I have ever made. The thing that I love about my Vita-Mix is that with ease I can make any veggie into liquid. The Vita-Mix also cooks soups without really having to "cook" out the vitamins. It just uses the speed of the motor and it generates heat that slowly cooks. I use my Vita-Mix for ice cold smoothies that are packed with organic spinach that liquefies to perfection, Or I can just as easily use it to make delicious soups. No need for an extra pan, just throw all of my whole veggies in with whatever I want and it will chop, puree, and cook all at once! I am telling you this is one of my favorite appliances ever - I can't see myself without one now. If you do not have a Vita-Mix (you gotta get one) you can still make these recipes you can use a regular blender or hand blender and can just heat the soup through in a pan on light heat. The Vita-Mix will literally make the veggies into a smooth silky consistency though and unless you have a really good blender or immersion blender the soup may come out a little chunky and with a different consistency - should still taste good and will still be good for you though - so no worries!

OK, so now I will just get back to the recipes! For the tortilla soup I made some tortilla chips by slicing corn tortillas and baking in the oven. This makes a great topping for the soup and also a great side to eat the salsa with. If you don't want to make your own tortilla chips you can buy organic tortilla chips or baked tortillas available at the grocery store. I just love to bake my own. The soup is taken from good to really good by adding a few tortilla chips, a dollop of low fat sour cream and a few slices of avocado. You can also have a few chips and salsa on the side. Filling lunch or dinner!

For the tortilla chips:
Preheat your oven to 375.
Cut as many tortillas as you would like. This is how I like to slice mine. Usually 4-5 tortillas at a time.

Next you will want to lay your tortillas out evenly and not on top of each other. Lightly spray the top of the tortillas with olive oil Pam. Stick in the oven for 8-10(cooking times will vary depending on your oven) minutes and turn over, spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake the other side. Make sure that they are crisp all the way through before pulling out.
Lightly salt as soon as you pull them out of the oven. That's it! They are ready.

Now we will talk Salsa!

I have several different salsa recipes. I used this one today.

What you need to make this salsa is:
1 14.5 oz. can of Stewed tomatoes Mexican style
1 Lime
1 Jalapeno - sliced down the middle and seeds removed
1/2 white onion
1/2 red onion *OR you can use just one whole onion of either kind*
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 handful of cilantro
1 14 oz. can of diced green chili
A dash of extra salt to add after you combine all the ingredients

Add everything in to a food processor - including the juice of one lemon or lime - and whirl for about 45 seconds or until everything is combined. Add a dash of salt and cover and put in the fridge for about 1 hour to allow all the flavors to come together.

And last but not least we will talk about the tortilla soup. This is my go to soup recipe. This is a great basic healthy recipe. You can add anything to it: chicken, olives, corn, jalapenos, or whatever else you want. I usually add chicken to mine, but I didn't have any on hand. Lets just say I need to go grocery shopping :-)

Here is what you need for the Tortilla soup recipe:
1 half red bell pepper
1 stalk of celery
2 small or 1 medium carrot
1/2cup of black beans, or refried black or regular refried beans.
4 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons diced green chili's ( I used some from the can of green chili's I use for the salsa - that way there is no waste)
dash of cumin
1/2 tsp. Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 garlic clove
A little less than 1/2 onion
1 Roma tomato
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
In the vita-mix you can literally add everything whole and let the mix do the rest!

If you do not have a Vita-Mix just add everything into your blender - in 2 batches if you need to -just be sure you split your broth into 2 so for each batch you have enough to blend. Transfer to a pan and heat through!

Top with a few crushed tortilla chips, low-fat sour cream and avocado!

No comments:

Post a Comment