My Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup

It’s the perfect time of year for soup making so I’m thrilled to share my favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. This recipe is so easy! For preparation, all you need to do is chop the onion, a rotisserie chicken, a tomato, cilantro and an adobo pepper. Then, mix, stir and serve. I love serving this soup with fresh avocado, tortilla chips and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. I often also dollop each bowl with a tablespoon of light sour cream or nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Serve with a salad for a healthy, light, gluten-free and low-calorie dinner!

Tips:

•If you have not purchased chipotle in adobo sauce before, you can find the cans in the international foods section where Mexican foods are. Chipotles are very spicy so start with just one chopped and add as needed for taste.

•If you have leftover grilled, roasted or baked chicken, feel free to use this instead of a rotisserie chicken.

•Double the recipe so you’ll have leftovers.

•Prepare the soup ahead of time leaving out the cilantro and lime juice. When reheating, add these ingredients right before heating and serving.

Mini Granny Smith Carmel Apples

Cheers to October for cooler weather, colorful leaves and fall recipes. Instead of indulging on an entire caramel apple, these Mini Granny Smith Caramel Apples are sure to please all of your family and friends. They are so easy to make!

Start by using a melon baller to scoop out mini apples; pat try with a paper towel. Insert a 4-inch wooden bamboo skewer in the top of each apple. Dip in caramel and top with nuts or your favorite toppings. That’s the entire recipe. These are fun to make, and cleanup is a snap. Have a fabulous October everyone!

Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars

Are you looking for a fabulous gluten-free bar for a snack, a Halloween treat, pre or post workout, quick breakfast or dessert to put in your kids’ lunch or lunchbox?  These Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Bars are my new go-to snack recipe. These bars are super simple to make. All you need is 10 minutes of preparation time and sometime in the refrigerator.

I can’t take all of the credit for this recipe. My sister, Julie, told me about a variation of this recipe from Sallys Baking Addiction. She adds, raisins, cranberries and mini chocolate chips to her bars and uses cashews instead of pecans. Sally offers a ton of great tips on the recipe so make sure to check out her site.

Some tips I specifically love include from Sally is her “freezing Instructions” on these bars. She says to layer the cut bars between sheets of parchment in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

She also gives a great trip on about the ground flax. She says that if you don’t have ground flax, to replace with the same amount of whole oats. If you use this, you do not need to pulse them with the nuts and 1/2 cup of oats.

Regarding peanut butter, Sally says to use your favorite peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, natural or processed, or another nut butter you love. I used all-natural peanut butter (with the oil in the top), and it worked great!

Pumpkin Granola

Anything pumpkin is a favorite fall treat, so I created this delicious and wholesome Pumpkin Granola to get my pumpkin fix. This recipe is simple in that it requires just 35 minutes.

Because it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, this granola makes the perfect breakfast or snack. I love mine Greek Yogurt, with a little almond milk or just on its own as a snack.

This recipe makes a great fall gift for a fun token of your love, for birthdays and other special occasions. Enjoy this favorite fall recipe and have a terrific weekend!

Trail Mix Cookies

Happy Labor Day! I shared this photo on my instagram a few days ago, and so many people have requested this recipe. Enjoy them for Labor Day, weekday snacks or to sneak in your kids’ lunchboxes. They’re always a huge hit!

Tips:

•If using larger dried fruit, chose them into smaller pieces before adding to the dough.

•Be sure not to overtake these cookies, as they will continue to cook when you remove them from the oven. remove them with they are lightly browned.

•Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Lunchbox Sushi

Are you trying to get creative when it comes to school lunch? I have a fun idea: this recipe for Lunchbox Sushi. This sandwich recipe is very easy, healthy, fresh and kids love it. If your children like sushi or are interested in wrap sandwiches, try this recipe.

In honor of the popular demand for sandwiches and back to school, I am thrilled to share this recipe. If you’re looking for more sandwich recipes, I plenty in my first cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”.

Lunchbox Sushi

Prep: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups cooked sushi short-grain rice, cooled
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 teaspoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 (10-inch) white or whole wheat tortillas
6 sheets nori
11/2 pounds cooked and peeled shrimp, chopped
1 cup chopped avocado
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

Preparation
1. In a small bowl, combine wasbabi and 1 teaspoon water. Add 2 tablespoons sauce and mixing well.
2. In a medium bowl, combine rie, wasabi mixture, green onions, mayonnaise and red pepper flakes.
3. Line each tortilla with nori. Arrange rice mixture equally in center of each wrap. Add shrimp, avocado and cucumber. Fold both ends over filling. Roll up and serve with soy sauce.
This recipe is from my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” 2011 by Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission and photo credit by Colin Erricson.

Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf

If you don’t like meatloaf, I can change your mind with this Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf recipe. My sister, Julie, first told me about this recipe several years ago. We have been perfecting it over time. This recipe is not your typical meatloaf. Using fresh mushrooms, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes adds amazing flavors. It is the best!

Start by combing the ground turkey, fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, eggs, gluten-free Panko, fresh mushrooms, onion, garlic and salt and pepper all in a large mixing bowl. Place the mixture in a lightly greased loaf pan and bake it in the oven.

I like to make this ahead and prep all of the ingredients on the weekend and put it in loaf pan. Then, I bake it on the day I’m serving it. Serve this main dish recipe with a potato side dish and green beans. This recipe turned me into a meatloaf fan when I can promise you I was not one. It is always a winner!

Watermelon Fennel Salad

What are you making this weekend for the July 4th holiday? This Watermelon Fennel Salad is on my list.  I love this recipe because it is so versatile for lunch or dinner. Serve it with pork, chicken, seafood or steak. It is especially good with grilled salmon. I call this a Superfood Salad.

If you have not experimented with fennel, it has a very fresh, aromatic anise flavor. It can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted, or added to soups and pasta sauces. I love it for its flavor, but it also is very low in calories and has man health benefits. It is filled with nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Watermelon also has many health benefits, so I like to put it in “Superfood” category. Watermelon is high in Vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is great to boost your immune system. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin B and much more.

Try this healthy fresh salad this weekend or anytime this summer and let me know how you like it. You can eat it and feel good you are gaining so many healthy and vitamins!

Three Ingredient Blueberry-Banana Ice

This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true. Simple is sometimes better. Recipes with only three ingredients can be as fabulous and flavorful as if it had more. Who needs all of the fuss?

To prepare this recipe, purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Place these ingredients in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey. It’s that easy. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime. It’s healthy, great for your immune system and all natural. It   truly hits the spot.

Very Berry Blueberry Juice Recipe

Trying to avoid or fight off a cold? Boost your immune system with this Very Berry Blueberry Juice recipe. Blueberries contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, anthocyanin, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. So combining them with strawberries, kiwi and mint, you are helping to enhance your body’s immune system to ward off illnesses such as colds and the flu.

This juice recipe is the perfect way to start off your morning or even to give the kids for an afternoon snack. Juicing is a great way to add fruit and vegetables to your diet. Especially those, you or your kids wouldn’t normally eat during the day. Juicing also is a great energy booster and great for your skin too. My 3 kids are hooked!

Note: I used my Omega Juicer for this.