Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pozole Style - Mexican Chicken Soup

For years, I'd heard lots of people talk of "pozole" but had no idea what it even was, except for that people loved it. I imagined something like mole (¡nada que ver! - not even close!) Then I started teaching amongst a high Mexican population and anytime traditions or favorite food came up in our discussions, pozole, always came up with lots of enthusiasm. Finally, at a Christmas Dinner with friends, I was introduced to it and learned that it's soup with very few cooked ingredients (meat - generally pork and hominy corn) and lots of broth and then topped with fresh ingredients and a spicy kick. I'm a huge fan contrasting textures and tempuratures with food so this has been on my favorite's list since. A lot of the time this soup is prepared with pork, which is very tasty, but I try to make a healthier and simpler version. I don't have a specific recipe to follow, but it's practically impossible to mess this stuff up. If you go authentic, you make your own broth, but my version can be whipped up in no time.

First prepare 2 chicken breasts (I like the crock pot for simplicity) and shred. Then saute diced onion and celery in a stock pot with a little oil until onions are clear. Add chicken, broth, hominy, chick peas, and oregano and let simmer. Remember I don't have a recipe so just use the rule of thumb that you toss quite a bit of salad on top and you'll want plenty of broth so add more broth or less cans of hominy and chick peas if necessary.

Soup Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
1/2 diced onion
2 stalks sliced celery
2-3 quarts chicken broth
2-3 15 oz cans hominy
1-2 15 oz. can chick peas (sometimes I add these...you don't usually find these in traditional pozole)
1-2 Tbsp oregano

While the soup simmers for a bit, prepare the following with which to top the soup.

Finely sliced cabbage
Diced onion
Diced avocado
Diced or sliced radishes (not pictured)
Chopped cilantro
Jalapeño chiles in adobo sauce
Lime wedges (not pictured)

Serve with plenty of broth in a deep bowl. Add toppings generously with a dalop (or more) of jalapeños in adobo on top and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Break tostadas on top for an extra crunch. Repeat and enjoy until satisfied!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale is one of the most nutritious foods available to us and I usually toss a leaf or two into my green smoothies (which is probably the best way to get all of the good nutrients out of it since it is blended and raw), but I thought this would be a fun and different way to prepare it and my girls agreed. They are always asking for these now.

You'll need:
1 bunch of Kale
1 tsp coconut oil
sea salt

Wash leaves and dry. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt. Place in single layers on cookie sheet(s).
Bake at 300F for 20-30 minutes or until crispy and no moisture is left in the leaves. Watch closely toward the end of the baking time so as not to burn them. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Butternut Squash with Garlic and Agave

Labor Day. The end of summer and the official beginning of all things fall. Even though it still feels like summer, school begins, harvests are waxing and there's all kinds of wonderful produce to use this time of year. This is another I came across on Pinterest and made the same day. It's simple, delicious, and perfect for a late weekend lunch.  The original recipe came from doorsixteen.
You'll need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Cut squash in half and remove seeds. 
Peel and dice into 1 inch cubes.
Drizzle with oil, agave, salt, and pepper. Peel garlic cloves and add to cubed squash. Toss to coat.
Bake @400°F for 50-55 minutes (turning half way through cooking) or until squash is tender. I served it with Kale Chips and it was delicious.
*Recipe for Kale Chips coming soon.