Easy One-Pot Tortilla Soup

I try really hard (well, most of the time) not to let the weekends get the best of my eating habits.  Sometimes though, I need to feel like I’m eating an indulgent food that I’d order at a restaurant on a Saturday night out with friends. That is, if I don’t get the enchiladas, but that’s something for a different post.  I hope you and yours love this tortilla soup as much as I do….it’s so good, and doesn’t wreck your entire diet!  Only 1 WW Freestyle Point per cup!  ~Tracy

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Ingredients:

½ T. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

½ c. red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

½ c. green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

2 cans (4.5 oz.) chopped and peeled green chilies

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1/2 tsp. salt

3 c. chopped white meat chicken (I use shredded rotisserie chicken breast)

32 oz. fat free chicken broth

2/3 c. mild red enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso)

½ c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 limes, quartered

4 avocados, peeled and chopped (optional but highly recommended)

tortilla strips (optional)

Instructions:

In large (3 quart) stock pot, sauté onion, peppers, chiles, and garlic until the onion begins to become translucent.  Add cumin, cayenne, and salt and stir to blend.  Stir in chicken, enchilada sauce, and broth.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  

Right before serving, stir a small amount of hot broth from the soup into the Greek yogurt to temper yogurt.  Stir yogurt mixture into soup.  

Serve each bowl topped with ¼ of an avocado, peeled and chopped into small chunks.  Squeeze a lime wedge over the top of soup / avocado and serve.  If desired, top with crunchy tortilla strips (don’t forget to include the avocado and tortilla strips in your WW points if you add those).

Weight Watchers Info.:  Makes 8, 1 cup servings.  Each cup is 1 Weight Watchers SmartPoint on the Freestyle program, not including optional garnishes. 

 

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Buffalo Ranch Chicken Chili

This recipe was inspired by my husband. When I created my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili, he suggested that Buffalo style might be another tasty variation. He was right! Even if you don’t love Buffalo wings, I am confident you will love this chili. It’s packed with flavor & has just the right amount of kick! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

4 oz. reduced fat or Greek cream cheese, softened

1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Cheddar Soup

32 oz. unsalted chicken stock

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – individually frozen

½ c. finely chopped carrots

½ c. finely chopped celery

3 cans (15.8 oz. each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 package (about 8 tsp.) Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix

1/3 c. Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce

Optional garnishes: real bacon bits, green onions, extra buffalo sauce

Instructions:

In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together softened cream cheese and condensed cheddar soup until well combined.

Whisk in chicken stock, dry ranch dressing mix, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and wing sauce. Stir in celery and carrots.

Add frozen chicken breasts (you can use thawed chicken if you prefer; just keep in mind it will cook faster).

Add beans but do not stir them in — leave them on top.

Cook 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. When 1 hours of cook time is left, remove the chicken breasts, shred, and return to pot to finish cooking.

Garnish with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce, bacon bits, and green onions, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each 10 oz. serving (about 1 ¼ cups) is 2 SmartPoints on the FreeStyle plan. Serves 10. Optional garnishes should be calculated separately.

Busy Day Crockpot Potato Soup

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It’s county fair season!  My 2 kiddos entered their rabbits this year.  This was their first year to enter so I prepared them, as any momma who has two kids competing against each other would.  You know the dialog… “You may not win anything”… “If your sister wins something and you don’t, I want you to be happy for her – no whining”… that kind of thing.  Well, all that was for naught because they both won prizes!  My daughter’s rabbit, Blueberry, won Best of Show and Champion Fur Rabbit – 2 trophies!  My son’s rabbit, Ninja (love that he named a rabbit ‘Ninja’ – funny boy!), won Reserve Champion Fur Rabbit.

 

The funny thing is, I have no idea what qualifies as a champion rabbit.  We just thought it would be fun to let the kids enter, and we lucked out, apparently, by getting good quality show rabbits.  Who knew?!

The kids were so proud of their trophies and have shown them to everybody they know, of course.  My daughter must have felt sorry for her brother though, since he only got one, so later she made him this:

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It says “1st Most Improved Brother.”  Ha!  I couldn’t help but chuckle at her handmade consolation prize.  Such a sweet sister!

On this busy fair day, while the kids were readying their rabbits, I threw together our favorite potato soup in the crockpot.  I love potato soup but I used to hate making it simply because it’s time consuming to peel and chop the potatoes and onion, cook bacon for the toppings (gotta have bacon – see my handy tip below!), etc.  I also struggled for a long time to come up with a good potato soup recipe.  I don’t like it brothy (not a word but it works here).  I like a creamy, rich, thick potato soup.  This recipe is all that without all the usual work because it uses frozen hash brown potatoes!  It’s quick and easy to get in the crockpot on a day you are feeling not-so-motivated to make supper (or in a hurry, like today) but need some good comfort food.  With 5 minutes of work, this was prepped and cooking away.  A few hours later, we came home to supper… ready, warm, and waiting.  It was exactly what we were craving!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.   ~Erin

Ingredients:

4 oz. Greek cream cheese, softened (This can be found next to the other cream cheeses in the grocery store.  I get it at Walmart.)*

1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request condensed cheddar cheese soup

1 (32 oz.) box fat-free chicken broth

½ c. fat-free half & half

½ a medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1 (32 ounce) bag frozen “Southern style” diced hash brown potatoes (not shredded!)

Salt & pepper

Optional toppings:  shredded cheese, bacon bits, chopped green onions

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Instructions:

Whisk softened cream cheese and cheddar soup together in your crockpot.  (Or if you are lazy like me you can use your crockpot to soften the cream cheese as it warms up.)

Whisk while adding chicken broth and half & half until smooth.

Stir in the onion and 2/3 of the bag of frozen hash browns; reserve remainder for the last 30 min of cook-time.

Salt and pepper lightly.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the remaining 1/3 of the hash browns when 30 minutes cook time is left.

Top with shredded cheese, bacon bits, and green onions if desired.

Tip:  Use prepackaged real bacon bits and toss them in a small skillet for 30 seconds or so to crisp them up.  You could also put them on a paper towel lined plate and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to crisp them.  They are never crispy enough straight from the package for my liking.

Weight Watchers info.:  This makes 8 one-cup servings at 5 SmartPoints per cup, not including optional toppings.  I like to add ½ cup fat-free shredded cheddar for 1 SmartPoint, 1 Tablespoon real bacon bits for 1 Smartpoint, and chopped green onions.

*If you can’t find Greek cream cheese, you can substitute reduced fat cream cheese but it will increase the Weight Watchers SmartPoints to 6 per cup.

Tamale Soup

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Tamale soup is a no-fail recipe.  My, can it feed a crowd! It’s one of our most requested soups with tons of great flavor.  We like to spice it up by adding some ground red pepper, but it’s not needed if you can’t take the heat.  For those who follow Weight Watchers as a couple of us do, it’s a mere 4 SmartPoints on the Freestyle plan (6 SmartPoints on old plan) per 8 oz. serving.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef (93% lean)

1 c. chopped onion

1 c. chopped green pepper

1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes (sometimes we use part Ro-Tel)

2 cans pinto beans – undrained

1 14 oz. can cream style corn

1 14 oz. can beef broth

2 15 oz. cans beef tamales in chili sauce (we use Hormel)

1 can white hominy, drained

grated cheese for topping

cilantro (optional for garnish, if desired)

Instructions:

Remove paper from individual tamales, chop into 1 in. bite size pieces, and set aside; reserve sauce.

Cook beef together with onions and bell pepper until beef is fully cooked.  Drain away any excess fat and transfer to a large soup pot.

Add tomatoes, hominy, beans, corn, and broth.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in tamale pieces and ½ c. of reserved sauce.  Heat through.

Serve topped with your favorite cheese such as a Colby Jack mix.

If desired, garnish with cilantro.

Weight Watchers info.:   4 Smart Points per 8 oz. serving, not counting optional cheese for garnish; this soup was 6 SmartPoints under old plan.