Craving Mexican Food/Drink Again…

I love eating authentic mexican food.  I usually follow Rick Bayliss’ recipes from his PBS series and/or one of his many cookbooks.  My favorite all-time place for delicious Mexican Food is his Topolombampo restaurant and/or Frontera Grill.  At least once a year I head to Chicago for my real Mexican food/margarita fix–within walking distance to the hotel –of course.

My daughter, on the other hand, loves Taco Soup.  A recipe very far from anything you will find at a true authentic Mexican Restaurant.  But, this one is very kid friendly and can be made healthy.  Trader Joe’s company offers in the recipe healthy, vegetarian and slow cooker options.   I use fresh tomatoes in lieu of canned and opt for fresh jalapeno a sprinke of cumin and fresh cilantro instead of the taco seasoning mix. 

 “Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour / Serves: 6-8

This soup combines the flavors and textures we all love about tacos, into a hearty soup – and it’s easier to handle than messy tacos! I love crowd-pleasing one-pot meals like this, where everyone can customize their own toppings. I think the one topping that is mandatory is tortilla chips!


  • 1 (approx 1.3 lb) pkg boneless chicken breasts or thighs, or 1 pkg Chicken-less Strips (vegan/vegetarian option)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (optional; omit for a thicker stew)
  • Your choice of toppings (tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped onions, jalapenos or chiles)


1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Add remaining ingredients and heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour.
3. Remove chicken, shred, and return to pot. Stir and heat through before serving.

Note: see below for slow-cooker instructions.

Additional Notes

Slow cooker method: Place all ingredients into a crockpot and cook for 5-6 hours on low setting. Remove chicken, shred, and return to crockpot. Stir and heat through before serving.


Cooking with Trader Joes Cookbook: Dinner’s Done!”

See the complete recipe and notes here:

New Year Wishes and additions for 2011-healthy family cooking, healthy kids, healthy school lunches…

For 2011 I will make time to blog about healthy family cooking.  It is difficult sometimes to take time away from my awesome family to share, but I really care to share.

Here is looking at a wonderful end of a wonderful fabulous year and on to another wonderful fabulous one.  Well wishes and safety to all of you.

Food revolution–is it our battle?

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC was an interesting reality tv show.  The reality was not confined within the walls of one family or one couple. It was a reality show about how one town’s consumption of processed food and poor eating habits was impacting the health of  many of the town’s residents.  The shows primary focus was on school food, but showed families and individual’s eating habits too.  The reality of it is that the problem is not with one small town, but it is an epidemic all over America. It is our battle. 

If you have watched the series, you may have realized that Jamie does really care about people and is incredibly moved by what children eat.  His meme is that this generation of children is the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.   This should be very disturbing to all Americans.  This celebrity stranger cares more about these people and their children, than they care for themselves. 

I share in Jamie’s passion for food and family.  I missed the episode on last Friday, but watched it this morning at   I actually started crying while watching.  This man, a chef and complete stranger to most of the individuals on the show, cares more about some of these children than their parents care for them.  Instead of allowing the children to eat his wholesomely planned lunches, parents were sending their young children to school with potato chips, pop, pop tarts and candy for lunch.  Other children stated they had pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch, and chicken nuggest and fries for dinner.  The obesity was evident and related to lifestyle and eating habits.  UGH! 

The parents just don’t get it–you are what you eat.  Your children are obese, because you allow them to eat poorly too.  In this immediate gratification world, parents would rather throw convenience food at the kids, because that is what they like and that is what is cheap and came out of the freezer.  Parents spend more time searching for that flat screen tv, the new pair of shoes for mommy, which vacation to take, which accent pillows to buy, or which manicure to get than they do thinking about their family’s food choices. Can’t they see they are making decisions detrimental to their children’s well-being.   Pediatricians equate continued poor food choices and obesity to child abuse.  What do you think?

The food choices should not be a battle  — just a way of life.