Tortilla Soup

Years ago, after many tweaks, I ended up with the following recipe that continues to be a favorite with friends and family.


1 can (49.5 ounces) chicken broth

1 can (15.25 ounces) whole corn kernels, drained

3 cans (10 ounces) chillis and tomatoes diced, mild, drained

1 can (10 ounces) chillis and tomatoes diced, extra hot, drained (Optional, if you want a lot of spice)

1 can (28 ounces) diced, peeled tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 package mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 medium avocado, sliced (Optional)

1 bag Tostitos brand tortilla chips, lime flavor

1 package (8 ounces) Spanish (or Mexican Rice)

3/4 cup water

1 taco seasoning packet


1. Cook rice as directed on package.

2. In a pot, boil chicken for 40 minutes then drain.

3.  Shred chicken and place in a pan with water and seasoning packet.  On Medium heat, stir until well blended.

4. In a large pot, over medium heat, combine chicken broth, chillis & tomatoes, tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro and cumin. Use a hand mixer to purée.

5. To the large pot, add corn, rice and chicken.

6. Cover and simmer on medium low for about 30-45 minutes.

7. Serve in a bowl then add cheese, tortilla chips and avocado slices.


Healthy Chicken Tenders


This “modified” recipe by Rocco DiSpirito has become one of my family’s favorites, served with a side of honey mustard dressing for dipping.


3 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Salt (to season chicken broth)

4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (I use skinless, boneless chicken tenders)

2 quarts grape seed oil

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups low-fat buttermilk


1.  Heat the chicken broth in a medium pot over high heat, seasoning generously with salt.  Add the chicken to the pan and bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the liquid, pat them dry and set aside.

2.  While the chicken is cooking, pour the grape seed oil into a pan with high sides and bring it to 400 degrees F over high heat. In a shallow dish, combine the flour with the paprika, celery salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and cayenne pepper.  Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

3.  Combine the warm chicken with the buttermilk in a large bowl, coating them completely.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour.  Then dip the chicken in the buttermilk and dredge them in the seasoned flour once more, to double-coat the chicken.  Shake off any excess flour.

4.  Fry the chicken, two pieces at a time, in the hot oil until deep golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Drain and serve immediately.