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Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tis the season for a warm soup! One of the reasons I love autumn is because it’s a great excuse to make SOUP! I am totally a soup person. I hated breakfast foods when I was a teen, so I would eat Campbell’s select chicken noodle for breakfast. And ya, I was hungry like 1 hour later. Haha.
This soup is gluten free and very hearty. I served this Sunday and most my friends made soup or chili too. We all had that look on our face like we barely ate but were sooo full! I ate mine with my Organic non-GMO white corn chips and they had their Juanita’s. They asked why I brought my own….umm…everything about Juanita’s chips are tainted! To each his own. :-p
This soup got the crowd approval, so it’s edible. I hope you try it, it can be made in the crockpot too. If you use canned beans then you don’t have to cook as long, 20-30 minutes to simmer is fine. I wish I had more chicken to work with but there were only 2 rotisserie chickens left; small or smaller. 😦 I had run all over town Saturday to get my stuff I between errands and avoiding car wrecks on the freeway. No greater joy then hitting every red light it town! :-p
I hope you try it out. Enjoy!

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Tortilla Soup

• 1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
• 6 cups Chicken stock
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 ribs celery, chopped
• 3 carrot, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed
• 2 tsp. cumin
• 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 T. tomato paste
• salt to taste (about 3/4 – 1 tsp)
• 1/2-1 tsp pepper
• 1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and shredded
• Cilantro, chopped for topping
• Cheese for topping (I use almond cheese)
• Tortilla chips

How To:
Cover and soak beans overnight, or bring to boil and then turn off stove and soak for 1 hour. Drain. (Or cheat if in a time crunch and use 2-3 15oz cans rinsed and drained)
Add chicken stock, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to boil and simmer gently about 1 hour.
Stir in tomato paste, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
Simmer another 30-45 minutes, till beans are cooked through. Add chicken.
Remove bay leaves.
Serve topped with cilantro and cheese and tortilla chips.

*Note* I usually add more veggies than called for because I like a nice chunky soup to dip my chips in. 🙂

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Summer Cold Remedy

Well this week I decided to repeat my soup from last week except I made minor tweaks of adding ginger, lots more garlic (I could smell it when I returned home from my errands) and black eyed peas. It smelled wonderful!!

As the title states, I feel like I’m getting sick…and at the worst possible timing. I thank my co-worker who shared this nasty bug with me. I’ve just been achy all day and felt like my head was going to explode this morning…and my “neglected” bird (he just thinks he’s neglected if I go to the other room without him) was NOT HELPING my headache. I think he knows when to pull on that cord…and you would think he would back off after the first time getting in trouble…maybe that’s where the “bird brain” comes into play…

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Anyway I loaded up on the vitamin C at New Seasons Market. Got some strawberries, Valencia oranges, pink lady apples, and some lemons. I forgot some fresh ginger!! >< DOH!
One other treat I had found instead of cough drops were these organic lemon and honey drops. No artificial anything. I also snagged a pomegranate flavor too. Both taste very yummy, not too sweet to twinge your fillings, but just right!

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Ok, my recipes for this week are not the typicals… They are cold remedies. One is sweet and the other spicy, but it only burns for a few minutes. 😉

First the sweet:
Elderberry Tea
• 2 tsp Sambucus Elderberry Extract
• 1/2 organic fresh squeezed lemon
• 1 tsp RAW honey (local preferred)
• warm purified water

Start warming your water to an almost boil.
Add elderberry extract, honey, lemon juice to a mug of choice, then add the warm water. You could even use a pinch of sea salt to help with the inflammation! But it’s important to not boil the water because it will take away from all the natural antibiotics in the honey and the anti-viral in the elderberry extract.
Drink this about 2-3 times a day depending on if you are preventing or actually feel the sickness coming on.

Now for the spicy:
Cough Remedy
¼ teaspoon Cayenne
¼ teaspoon Ginger (I used powdered)
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (an organic one, like Bragg’s, is preferred.)
2 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon raw local Honey

Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. (Warning: warming sensation down your throat!)
Note: this doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.

If you make this in small batches as the recipe is written, there is no need to refrigerate.
If you prefer, you may refrigerate this. It keeps as long as you need it. I like to make small batches (it is so easy to mix up.) and use it up in a just a few days.

So pick your poison, but I’m gonna beat this as natural as possible. Oh one more potion I’m going to try, (I haven’t tried it yet because I haven’t been sick in a long time). It’s the dōTerra OnGuard essential oil blend and I’m hoping will be the magic key. I just have to get a hold of my rep so I can skip the shipping time. I think they ship pretty fast, but I need this like pronto and don’t want to pay the expedited shipping if you know what I mean.

** hopefully the link for the dōTerra site works, the website was doing maintenance at the time I copied the link. The link I was trying to grab gives a small discount if you make an account, which I think on a single oil covers shipping, but for multiple oils is a better bargain.

 

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Spicy veggie chili!!

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Today I opted to make chili because I had quite a bit of Roma tomatoes that were about to go bad if not used.
I am sooo picky when it comes to chili…or food in general, that I have to look over a bunch of recipes, and try to recreate something based on what’s in the kitchen.
I have had a can of chipotle peppers in my cupboard for a while now and can’t remember why I bought them…maybe hummus that I love so much?
So anyway…I rarely get canned beans because dried are so much cheaper! (Although I do get remarks at the checkout like “wow! You like beans!”) When you are poor you have to live the Dave Ramsey way – Beans & Rice & Rice & Beans. Although I really don’t like rice. (But I’m finding I love it with stir fry).
So enough chatter and on with the recipe!! I modified this from a version I found on All Recipes called “The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World”… Hard to pass up that title. 😉
I made mine crockpot style.

Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion chopped
5 small stalks celery diced
2 carrots diced (you can use 2 bell peppers, but I didn’t have any)
2 chipotle peppers (I started with 3 and its super hot! If your sensitive to heat use 1, or jalapaños)
5 garlic cloves chopped
9 Roma tomatoes
8 oz dry garbanzo beans (or 15 oz can rinsed & drained – same for all beans)
8 oz dry large red kidney beans
8 oz dry black beans
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 tsp salt (use 1/2 if using canned beans)
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbs dried oregano
1/8 cup chili powder (I know you prob don’t have a measuring cup that small, eye ball it)
2 bay leaves
Water (depends how much your beans soak up or if you like thick or soupier chili).

Directions:
Soak all beans over night, or do quick method to get them started. I had pre cooked garbanzo beans in pressure cooker for 10 min because they take the longest and this makes them aldenté to start. I tried pre cooking my kidney beans in pressure cooker separate and that is epic failure! (Don’t blow up your kitchen like I tried to mine…) :-/
Just pre soak over night red & black beans and they should be ok in crock pot…

disclaimer, I am not liable or held responsible for anyone who uses their pressure cooker wrong and obtains 3rd degree burns. Please read your instruction manual on how to operate pressure cooker.

In sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, & garlic until onion is translucent (whatever that means…)
In blender add 6 (quartered) tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and half amount of pre cooked garbanzo beans and blend until puréed.
In crock pot add the other half pre cooked garbanzo beans, tomato purée sauce, pre soaked & rinsed black & red kidney beans, sautéed veggies, spices, frozen corn, & bay leaves. Dice the remaining 3 tomatoes and add to crock pot. Add water to cover.
Cook in crock pot for 2-3 hours until beans are tender. Keep checking and stirring. Adding more water as needed.
Remove bay leaves at end and serve with (dairy free) sour cream & cheese on top. Or whatever suits your fancy.
I liked that this recipe was fairly easy to make and flavorful!
Makes a whole bunch! So be ready to serve 10-12 or freeze the remainder for lunches. 🙂
For the rest of chipotle peppers I put in freezer safe container and froze for another future use. Don’t waste those precious peppers!! 🙂
Enjoy!
Great for after ice skating parties too! 😉

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