Tag Archives: Mexican Food

Comfort with a Kick: Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

Now that Fall is in full swing, I’m craving everything pumpkin.  I’ve already enjoyed more than my share of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks, and last weekend I made my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  You don’t have to look far to find recipes for decadent pumpkin desserts, but they can cause one to “fluff up” pretty quickly if you know what I mean!  I’ve been on the prowl for a lighter, nutrient-dense pumpkin recipe, and something a little unique to pass along to you.  I stumbled across this Pumpkin Tortilla Soup recipe on Pinterest, and I only needed to make a couple of tweaks to make it a bit more nutritious.  I’ve had my eye on it for a couple of weeks, and I was so excited to finally give it a try this weekend.  It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and packed with delicious fall flavor.

Ingredients (Serves 6):

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of finely chopped cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (Depending how much of a kick you want!)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
5 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut oil for frying
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Preparation Instructions:

  • Cut 6 of the tortillas into 1/2-inch squares.

This soup can be prepped in under five minutes!

  • Heat oil (preferably a more stable fat like avocado or coconut oil) in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and chopped tortillas, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.
  • Add the cumin and cayenne and sauté for another minute.
  • Add pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer until you’re ready to serve.

Let the soup simmer awhile so that all the delicious flavors have time to combine!

  • While the soup is simmering, cut the remaining 6 tortillas into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Heat 1/2 inch of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s very hot, but not smoking. Fry tortilla strips in two batches until crisp and light golden (about a minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips onto paper towels to drain.  Season with a little coarse sea salt if you wish.

The recipe I used called for frying in veggie oil, but I used coconut oil as it’s a much more stable fat and won’t lose all of its nutritional value when heated.

  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro.

Colorful, Hearty, Spicy and Delicious!

If you want even more kick like I did, season your bowl with some habanero or Tobasco sauce.

I absolutely loved this twist on a typical tortilla soup, and I’ll definitely be making it again this Fall.  In fact, it’s now in my top ten list of recipes I’ve blogged about the last couple years!  Give it a try and make it your own by switching up the seasonings or adding some dried peppers or chopped jalapeno.  It can stand on its own, or you can serve it with a side salad and chips and salsa.  The options are endless.

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!


Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes

A Splash of Summer: Fruit and Herb Salsa

We’ve had a beautiful spring in Georgia, and summer is now upon us.  Now is the time to load up on all the colorful produce you can get your hands on, and enjoy antioxidant-rich entrées, salads, smoothies and snacks.  Mexican food is my absolute favorite, and I was recently inspired to make my own salsa, but with a summer twist.  It’s packed with flavor from fresh cilantro and mint and sweet strawberries and mango, and the jalapeno and green onion give it a little kick.  Just throw all the ingredients together in a big bowl, serve with your favorite chips and enjoy.  (I’m loving Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean Tortilla Chips lately….they’re gluten free too.)

Look for creative ways to add antioxidants into your diet this summer.

1.5 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 16 oz package of strawberries, diced
1 mango, diced
3/4 of a small purple onion, diced
1 bunch of green onions, chopped (just the white and light green parts)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
1/2 an orange bell pepper, diced
juice of 2 limes
salt to taste

Next time I’m going to try this salsa as a topper for fish tacos!

This take on salsa is a combination of several different recipes I found online (Oh, how I love Pinterest!).  If you’re not a big mango fan, you could swap it for pineapple.  One recipe called for ground ginger and another for green chiles.  I might add a little corn next time.  Feel free to take this dish and make it your own!  It’s sure to be a hit at any summer gathering.

Make this your healthiest summer yet!

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes

A Mexican Fiesta the Whole and Healthy Way

My name is JoAnna and I am addicted to Mexican food.  There, I said it.  They say admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.  I’ve sabotaged some serious weight loss progress in my day with a good old gorge fest on chips, queso, burritos and everything in between.  I can try to resist it, but at the end of the day, Mexican is a cheap option that almost everyone can agree on, and we all need to get our fix now and then!  So I’m thinking, why give up something I adore (not quite as much as sushi, but it’s way up there) when I can just give it a healthy makeover?  So last night, that’s exactly what we did!

Shea and I had my sister Rosie over for dinner since she was all sad and lonely with her hubby out of town.  Our Mexican menu consisted of chicken fajitas/chicken fajita salads with Shea’s homemade fresh pico de gallo and my guacamole.  Moral of the story: you can still enjoy Mexican, simply by taking the focus off using large quantities of cheese, sour cream and other unhealthy fixings and instead loading up with fresh, organic, colorful veggies. We also used organic, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken and whole grain sprouted fajitas.  Here are all the recipes so you can have your own fiesta in the comfort of your very own casa!

Chicken Fajitas/Chicken Fajita Salad

  • Marinate boneless chicken breasts in lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and grill them or saute them on the stove.
  • Saute garlic, red and yellow bell peppers, and onions in a separate skillet.
  • When both the chicken and veggies are fully cooked, combine for serving.
  • Serve into tortillas for fajitas or over lettuce for salad and add Mexican fixings (Salsa, cheese, olives or whatever else you want!)

There were plenty of leftovers for lunch today.


  • Peel and slice fresh avocados.
  • Add fresh cilantro, onions, tomatoes, lime juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mash up to desired consistency (I like mine nice and chunky!) and serve.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I make some mean gauc!

Shea’s Homemade Pico de Gallo

Finely chop and combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 cerano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • juice from 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Goes great with organic tortilla chips or as a topper on fajitas or salads.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a fresh Mexican meal, minus the bad fats, preservatives and guilt!

Pair all this with my all-natural margarita, and you’ve really got yourself a fiesta!

Even though you can’t control exactly what goes into your food when dining out at a Mexican restaurant, you can do your best to follow these same principles, avoiding or at least going easy on the dishes heavy with fried foods, cheese, sour cream and other heavy sauces and loading up on grilled meats, salsa and veggies.  And don’t let the chips be your undoing!

Adios Amigos!


Filed under Recipes