A Healthy Competition = A Healthy Meal

12 Comments
posted on April 26, 2013 by  |  posted under Appetizers, Breads, Recipes, Soups

I have a confession…

 I LOVE FOOD.

The good news is my husband and me both love to cook.  This is good for me because all the cooking doesn’t fall on me.  I try to plan 3-4 dinners a week and it’s tradition in our home on Sundays that my husband prepares a delicious Mexican dish.  It is my favorite part of the week (not just because I don’t have to cook) because everything he cooks is amazing.  Our obsession started with Sunday mornings and PBS.  We started watching a famous chef named Rick Bayless.  He is an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine  with a modern interpretation.  His PBS series is called Mexico: One Plate at a Time.  We started cooking all his recipes and they were so good we had to get the real deal.

Fortunately for us we were traveling to San Francisco and we heard he had a restaurant at the bottom floor of Macy’s in Union Square called Frontera.  We tried a lot of items on the menu and my husband loved the Fresco Tortilla soup so much he makes it all the time.  It is always a big hit on holidays and at parties.  We always rate each others meals like they do on Top Chef.  We give each other 1-5 stars.  It’s all in fun (As long as I get more stars then him).

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Chipotle Chicken Tamale and Chicken Taco from Frontera Grill in Union Square in San Francisco.

 

We decided it would be interesting to bring our competition to How Does She.  We both made a healthy dish and decided we would see which one had less calories and tastes better and we also wanted to share some healthy easy dinner options with you.

Brent decided he was going to make Rick Bayless Sopa Azteca (tortilla soup) and I decided I was going to make shrimp kabobs with homemade corn tortillas.

Lets get started.

Sopa Azteca

Tortilla Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe directly from rickbayless.com

INGREDIENTS

1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 quarts chicken broth

1 large epazote sprig, if you have one

4 (about 1 1/4 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (we prefer to use a plump rotisserie chicken from Costco)

1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar

A generous 4 cups (about 6 ounces) roughly broken tortilla chips

1/2 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or creme fraîche for garnish

1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

We prefer to use a little less of the chips and sour cream to decrease calories.

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DIRECTIONS

Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.)

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Heat the oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

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Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).

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Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips between serving bowls. For best results, use tortilla chips bought directly from a Mexican meat market. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with sour cream or Mexican crema.  Pass the lime separately.

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We love to make homemade corn tortillas and dip them in the tortilla soup.

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Shrimp Kabobs

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 dozen large shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 large bell peppers

1 red onion

1/2 pineapple

herb and garlic marinade

 Directions

Peel and devein shrimp (we didn’t have gloves so we used sandwich baggies)

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Place shrimp in a bowl and add herb and garlic marinade.

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Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Alternately thread shrimp and vegetables onto skewers.

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Grill over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until shrimp is pink, turning frequently and basting reserved vegetable marinade.

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If you are using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with shrimp and veggies.  This prevents them from burning on the grill.

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

We recently started making our own homemade tortillas. Our tortillas are still a work in progress, but I can definitely say the worst homemade tortilla is better than the best store bought tortilla. If want to make homemade tortillas, your best friend is a tortilla press–it will save you time and unnecessary aggravation. We prefer this cast-iron version sold on Amazon because the heavy duty cast-iron helps you get a nice thin tortilla–as opposed to the extra thick tortillas we seem to get with the cheaper aluminum version also sold on Amazon.  As for tortilla dough, or “masa”, you can make your own corn using Maseca, or you can buy pre-made dough at your local Mexican meat market.

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Roll corn masa into a ball about the size of a golf ball.

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Place wax paper or a plastic bag on the inside of the tortilla press so the masa doesn’t stick .  Press until flat.  Place the pressed masa into a frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Cook until golden brown.

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I like to put the shrimp kabobs in the homemade corn tortillas.  Or just eat them alone with your favorite sauce.

They are so delicious you won’t be disappointed.

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Which meal do you think is more healthy?

(Tortilla soup has approximately 465 calories per serving. The Shrimp Kabobs have approximately 155 calories per serving. One tortilla is approximately 90 calories.)

What are your favorite healthy meals to cook as a couple or a family?

BON APPETIT!

Ash Sig

Healthy meal ideas

Ashley was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Henderson, Nevada.  She studied in Germany and created a hand knit hat business in 1998–Mutze by Ashley (meaning hat in German).  She is obsessed with her Husband, three daughters, fashion, coconut desserts, and garden gnomes.

Read all of Ashley’s posts

Rick Bayless' Sopa Azteca

Rick Bayless' Sopa Azteca

Ingredients

  • 1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 large epazote sprig, if you have one
  • 4 (about 1 1/4 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (we prefer to use a plump rotisserie chicken from Costco)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
  • A generous 4 cups (about 6 ounces) roughly broken tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or creme fraîche for garnish
  • 1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.)
  2. Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.)
  3. Heat the oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes.
  4. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.
  5. Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).
  8. Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips between serving bowls. For best results, use tortilla chips bought directly from a Mexican meat market. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls.
  9. Garnish with sour cream or Mexican crema. Pass the lime separately.
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For the printable version of the Shrimp Kebab recipe, CLICK HERE

For the printable version of the delicious homemade tortilla recipe, CLICK HERE

12 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. April 26th, 2013 at 9:48 am
    Shelley says:
    I've been wanting to get a tortilla press, and this post just convinced me. Can't wait to try!!!
    • May 2nd, 2013 at 8:30 pm
      Ashley says:
      Tortilla presses are the best. You will love making your own corn tortillas. They taste so much better homemade.
  2. April 26th, 2013 at 10:51 am
    Libby says:
    Holy cow! I'm drooling over here. Those homemade tortillas and shrimp kabobs look delicious. I have to get me one of those tortilla presses ASAP.
  3. April 26th, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Hotpants says:
    I am STARVING after reading your post and looking at the great pics of the food!
  4. April 26th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    Rachel says:
    Dang it - I wish my husband cooked! Then again, dang it - I wish I enjoyed cooking! These both look fabulous. How about you and your husband make them again, and this time I can be the judge of which one is better?
    • May 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 pm
      Ashley says:
      Ok next time I make this meal you can come over for sure! You will love it all. Xo
  5. April 26th, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    mikey says:
    Frontera Fresco is the best!!! If this turns out to be half of what that place is I'll owe you big time. Thanks for the post!
  6. April 26th, 2013 at 4:07 pm
    Audra says:
    I LOVE this post. Can't wait to make the soup and beautiful pictures!!
  7. April 26th, 2013 at 6:45 pm
    Jenny says:
    Mexican food sure has transformed over the years from heavy and greasy to fresh and exciting. I am super excited to try these recipes! Love everything about this!!!
  8. April 27th, 2013 at 6:54 am
    Kristi says:
    I think I have been to that place before on a girl's trip and LOVED IT!! Can't wait to try that soup recipe!! If only I could get my husband to make it for me...
    • May 2nd, 2013 at 8:26 pm
      Ashley says:
      Yes u have been there!! And I think u were with some pretty cool people.
  9. April 27th, 2013 at 7:49 am
    Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets says:
    Thanks for sharing! I have quite the soft spot for Mexican dishes! :)
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