Spicey, quick and healthy recipes are so perfect for the fast pace of October schedules. With the days getting shorter and shorter and more and more soccer, football, plays, concerts and the like to go to in addition to our work schedules--tasty recipes that can be put together in 20 minutes or less with an average of 5 ingredients just fit the bill.
Chiles are so perfect for creating a flavor balance in other-wise rather blah dishes. And chiles satisfy our palates in addition to being so very healthful. In my "Quick and Easy" Southwestern cookbook just recently re-published, all of these 20 minute recipes have nutritional analysis...and all recipes are developed to be very healthful. None have huge amounts of calories or over the top fat grams, etc.
Eating the hottest chiles you can endure just two-thirds of the time, will greatly enhance your health and act as a preventive against serious disease such as cancer and heart disease. They are also great for regaining or keeping the waist-line of your dreams and are anti-aging. So jump in--try eating more chlle and we are here to help you with the purest of all chiles--no additives whatsoever and are always very fresh. Remember to keep your chiles in the freezer or the refrigerator along with cumin and other green leafy herbs for greatest flavor, nutrition and keeping quality.
To give loads of ideas for quick, easy and healthy recipes, I am placing my original "Quick and Easy" hardbound book on half price at $12.50....the new edited and republished paper back book is on sale at $15.50 for the rest of the week or until October 26 at midnight. I will be happy to autograph them as you like--just think what a great present either would be and they are so easy to ship to friends and family.
Our hot, mild, caribe, chipotle and pequin chiles are on sale this week along with our cumin for 25% off. And don't forget our November 9-11 weekend full participation cooking class at half off or $525.00 for the three fun sessions.
Here's a couple of favorite quick and easy soup recipes--
Recipes reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Quick and Easy Cookbook
Most any time, but especially in the cold months, spicy, full tasting stews, chowders and soups really hit the mark for lunch or simple dinners. Generally soups take lots of time to develop the flavor. Not so here.
The Chicken Tortilla Chowder is so wonderful; one of my assistants, Wendy, would make pots full of it when she wanted to control her weight and eat it nightly for dinner. A bit boring for me, but she found it a good way to lose quick pounds.
The Chile Sparked Sweet Potato Soup is pretty enough for a picture and great tasting enough for company, when served with a crisp greens salad and crusty bread such as rosemary olive bread.
The Chipotle Teased Black Bean Pumpkin Soup is great, spicy fun and very quick to whip up.
Each of these soups can be made from ingredients you generally have on hand—each of them averages only 6 ingredients right from your shelves or pantry. Each can be made in batches and frozen for even greater convenience.
||CHICKEN TORTILLA CHOWDER
The hearty, full flavor and creamy consistency of this chicken soup tastes like work, but this dish is actually fast and easy to make. Cutting the chicken breast is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. This is a versatile dish that you can vary in many ways. Instead of chicken breasts, you could use leftover roast chicken or turkey, firm-fleshed fish or shellfish with fish stock, roast beef, or ground chuck with beef stock.
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1, 14 ½ oz. can chicken broth, preferably low sodium, with water added to make 2 cups
2 white or yellow corn tortillas, broken up
1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 scallions, thinly sliced (some reserved for garnish)
1 ½ tablespoons minced pickled jalapenos with juice
Crushed red caribe chiles
1. Place the chicken broth and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the tortillas and chicken. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Add the scallions and jalapenos with juice. Stir to combine well. Simmer for approximately another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the reserved scallion and, if desired, the cilantro, chiles, and lime to squeeze on the chowder.
||CHILE-SPARKED SWEET POTATO SOUP
This hearty soup is wonderful for lunch, served with just a crunch of baked tortilla shoestrings. Serve the soup with a sandwich for a light dinner. To make the shoestrings, see Tortilla Toasts.
Yield: 4 servings
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” dice
4 scallions, thinly sliced (1 tablespoon sliced tops reserved for garnish)
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 Tablespoon ground pure hot red chile, or to taste
Few grates of fresh nutmeg
Baked tortilla shoestrings for garnish (optional)
1. Place the potatoes, scallions, and 1 cup water in a 2-quart glass or microwaveable plastic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on full power for 10 minutes. Or, to cook conventionally, place the ingredients in a heavy, medium saucepan, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender.
2. Transfer potato mixture to a food processor. Add the milk and 2 teaspoons of the chile and process until pureed. Stir in the nutmeg. Return to the 2-quart container and microwave for about 2 minutes, or until hot. Serve garnished with resrved chile and scallion.
||CHIPOTLE-TEASED BLACK BEAN PUMPKIN SOUP
The smoky heat of the chipotles adds a spark to the hearty goodness of black beans. Pumpkin or any winter squash is a wonderful complement to black beans. I make spicy black bean soup and butternut squash soup and puree each separately. To serve, I pour them simultaneously into each bowl. This one soup captures these twin flavors quickly and easily.
Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings
1 15-ounce can black beans, undrained
1 14 1/2 –ounce can chicken broth, preferably low sodium
1 cup onion, chopped (1 large onion)
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 dried chipotle chile, reconstituted and minced
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Optional garnishes: 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 lime cut into wedges
1. In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, combine the beans, broth, onion, chile, and pumpkin; bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion softens.
2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and whirl until thick and smooth. Return to the pan and add 1 teaspoon of the cumin; taste to determine if you desire the remaining cumin or salt.
3. Serve in bowls. If desired, garnish with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprig of cilantro.