Free Meal Plan: Chicken Tortilla Soup

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The 2010 Olympic torch is passing through our town this week! As Vancouver begins gearing up to welcome the world, there is no shortage of International flavors in this week’s menu. Get ready for some drool inducing dishes that might have you literally licking the plate!


Merlot Braised Beef

Tender chunks of beef with pieces of carrots, mushrooms,  and all bathed in a delicious sauce, this is amazing ladled over hot garlic mashed potatoes. Make sure you use a wine that you would drink, and it will be outstanding!

Merlot Braised Beef

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Steamed Peas


Scrambled eggs have always been my go-to dinner on the weekends. These just aren’t any scrambled eggs; instead they are more like a scrambled omlette. With some buttery toast and crispy hashbrowns, they are an easy weeknight dinner that will leave everyone satisfied.

Karen’s Deluxe Scrambled Eggs





What a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year! This dish isn’t authentically Chinese, but it nods in that direction enough to get your kids in the mood. Put a bowl of oranges on the table for good luck and don’t forget the fortune cookies!

Chicken Peanut Noodles

Egg Rolls with Plum Sauce

Steamed Bok Choy


salmon kebabs

Tender chunks of salmon are delicious in a ginger lime marinade, along with rice and salad. You can whip these babies up on your BBQ or under the broiler in your oven, if you wish.

Ginger Lime Salmon Kebabs

Steamed Rice

Tossed Salad


Tortilla Soup

On our first trip to America’s Southwest, every restaurant we visited had tortilla soup on the menu. I had never heard of it and at first, I didn’t want to try it. Eventually in Arizona I tried a bowl at the Black Bear Diner, and it was so yummy that ever since I’ve tried to find a good recipe.

Inspired a bit by Wolfgang Puck and Emeril, I put together my own version-just for you! Try serving it with Tortilla Chips, raw veggies, and ranch dip.

Karen’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced

1/2 chipolte pepper canned in abodo sauce, minced

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 whole boneless skinless chicken breast (2 halves)

1 lb fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 tsp cumin

5-6 cups of chicken stock

14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime

salt and peper to taste


Cheddar cheese

chopped avocado

fresh chopped cilantro

tortilla chips (also just good on the side)

Sear the chicken in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat, and then remove from the pan. Set aside. Turn down the heat and toss the garlic, onion, chipolte pepper, and jalapeno into the pot, stirring well so that they don’t brown. Saute until they are soft and translucent.

Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and cumin. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 10 minutes while the tomatoes break down and absorb all the flavors. Add the chicken corn, and chicken broth, stirring well.

Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer on low until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center (about 10-15 minutes) Remove the chicken, set aside, and shred.

With a hand held blender, process the broth until it’s the texture you like. I like my soup to be a bit chunky still, but that’s why I love the hand held wand so much-it lets you do that! Add the shredded chicken, beans, and cilantro back into the pot. Zest the lime right into the pot and then cut it in 1/2 and squeeze the juice in as well. Stir and heat through. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if you feel it needs more.

Serve topped with cheese, chunks of avocado and some tortilla chips.

Makes 6 servings.

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