My Kitchen Smells Delightful

Saturday evening when I headed to the gym, I made a plan to stop and Whole Paycheck and then Safeway to pick ingredients I needed for 3 of my favorite ‘warm the soul’ meals: Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup, Vegan Chili and Cuban Black Beans.

After hitting the bike hard, doing 12 miles in 31 minutes with a five minute cool down and lots of stretching, I  toweled off an headed to Whole Paycheck.  While I  was planning on just grabbing beans from the bulk bins, I started looking at what they had on sale, and realized I could get all the ingredients I needed for 3 separate dishes, each of 6-8 servings, for under $40.  So, I gave in and bought it all at my favorite food store in the world (Trader Joe’s is close behind…). Here are the goods:

I think that is pretty impressive for the location of purchase if I do say so myself.

After gloating my way back to the car, I  hurried home to start the cooking fiasco.  First on the line up?  Well, since it was late (8pm already) and I was starving, I opted for the Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup!  Its really an easy, simple, non-messy recipe that I got from my mother — and its delicious, and adaptable to the level of spiciness you desire.

Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup (Makes 6 servings)

  • 1-15oz can corn (drained)
  • 1 qt low sodium chicken broth (you can use regular, I  just would much rather add my own salt to taste :))
  • 1-15oz can black beans (drained)
  • 1-14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-4oz can green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin (I love cumin, so I  usually add more)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups cooked chicken, cut up (you can cook the chicken however you want — I chose to pan fry mine in a bit of olive oil and then dice it up)
  • minced garlic to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • taco seasoning or chili powder (I added quite a bit of chili powder, but I love spicy:))

Simmer all ingredients until heated through.  Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheese (optional — I did add shredded soy cheese and it really adds some flavor).  Your kitchen will smell incredible and your belly well satisfied.

In my mother’s opinion its better the second or third day — I’ll have to let you know if I agree.  Though, momma always does know best 😉  Although, I’m going to freeze half the recipe so that once the quarter starts, I have a few meals on hand when I don’t have time to cook.  Beats the monotonous routine of PB&J every day!

I paired my chicken tortilla soup with a California Cab Sav — my first California wine since arriving on the west coast.  Verdict?  I think I’m going to like living close to wine country.  Cheap, good wine.

I’m going to have more tonight, saving 2/3 cup for my next cooking extravaganza tonight — Cuban Black Beans

And with that I’m off to finish cooking the black beans for my recipe, do some math studying and go out for a run later (its supposed to be cloudy/cool all day!).

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