For the past few months, time seems to have flown by at an incredible rate. It seems as though I barely have enough time to complete the “must-finish” tasks each day. Work, family, lawn work, the garden, dishes, the shed that still remains half-painted…and let’s not forget feeding the family with reasonably healthy meals, all the while minding the budget. And of course, I must devote my time to the blog. It holds me accountable. It forces me to improve myself, in the kitchen, with the camera, and in my writing. I have to admit, I am addicted. I think this is a good thing.
But I do strive to keep a balance. Okay, so I sometimes slip. (full disclosure: ate Taco Smell Bell last week for dinner one night, and visited the snack machine at the office on more than one occasion, in order to complete meals for myself. As if M&Ms and Rice Krispies Treats count as part of a meal.) But I do keep trying. This week, I was determined to create healthy dinners that took minimal time in the kitchen, freeing me up to tend to other duties.
One of my no-brainer sources for inspiration in this area? Cooking Light magazine. Did you know that you can now find a huge number of Cooking Light recipes online? MyRecipes.com offers recipes from Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Coastal Living, and more. Even though I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine, this website allows me to be lazy and just search for what I want, instead of flipping through the growing piles of magazines at my house searching for “dinner inspiration.” This soup was one recipe I came across, and thought it would be a perfect solution for dinner. (Yes, I realize that it is yet another chipotle recipe. I just can’t stay away!) The meal came together in no time, and was inexpensive. (Especially since chicken breasts were on sale at Sprouts for $1.88/lb, score!)
I did make a few slight modifications. I added a bit of onion for flavor, and I increased the cumin, because I love the earthy depth it adds. I also used regular tortilla chips, as I had them on hand. It was a great weeknight dinner, full of smoky flavor and just the right amount of heat. Of course, we tend to like things pretty spicy in our house, so if you’re a bit nervous about adding all of the chipotle chile powder, I suggest starting with half, and add more at the end if you feel the soup needs more kick.
The next time I make this, I think I would prefer the chicken to be shredded, rather than cubed. You could even use a rotisserie chicken (or leftover chicken) instead of sauteing the breasts, if you prefer. We also served it with a bit of shredded cheese and sour cream in addition to the cilantro and limes. Overall, this was a delicious and easy dish – and it left me with plenty of time to catch American Idol. (Because yes, American Idol is a priority as well!)
1 T canola oil
¼ c onion, chopped
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 ½ t minced garlic
1 t chipotle chile powder
2 t ground cumin
1 c water
¼ t salt
1 14 ounce low-sodium chicken broth (if you need it to be gluten-free, check the label!)
1 14.5 ounce can whole or stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 c crushed tortilla chips
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and chicken breasts, sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté another minute. Add chile powder and cumin, stir well. Add water, salt, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Top with tortilla chips and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.