I spent years trying to acquire a taste for olives. I wanted to like them SO badly and be one of the fancy people who asked for blue-cheese stuffed olives in a martini. Over the last few years, it finally happened (woo!) and now I’m *obsessed* with salty, briny olives. In this dish, capers would make a great swap if you’re still on the fence. The pan sauce that comes after browning the chicken marries together the salty olives or capers with sweet dates. The dates plump up and release their sugary sweetness and I could simply eat the sauce with a spoon! A little lemon and parsley make the sauce reminiscent of chicken piccata, but with a sweeter twist. The best part of it all – the whole dish is ready in just 30 minutes! I chose to make pearl couscous on the side, but any grain or pasta would be fantastic paired alongside.
When you’re bundled up in a cabin in the mountains of Vermont with gorgeous fall leaves and great company, it seems like Chicken Pot Pie Soup is exactly what you need for dinner. A few months ago, that is what my friends and I were thinking. We had driven up to Stowe, VT for a girls getaway and couldn’t wait to have dinner by the fire. We ran to the store, stocked up on enough wine and cheese to last us for days, and landed on Chicken Pot Pie Soup for dinner. I may not be eating wine and cheese this month, but the minute I tasted the soup I knew I could make it into a Whole30 favorite.
With a few swaps (like trading milk for coconut cream), this soup became an easy Whole30-compliant recipe that’s perfect for meal prep. I looked forward to eating it everyday for lunch at work and knew you all would love it, too! Slight problem… I developed and photographed this recipe a few weeks ago and JUST THIS MOMENT realized that peas are considered a legume, aka they are not approved for a Whole30. I’m beyond sad because I love the photos of the soup, but you cannot MISS the peas popping out in their bright green color 😂
If you’re making this for Whole30, ignore all the photos (sorry!!) and omit the peas. If you’re not, knock yourself out with the peas. (Ha!) Even add in some frozen corn if you’re going for it. Also, if you want to make this even easier for a weeknight dinner, just buy a rotisserie chicken, shred it up and add it to the soup instead of browning the chicken thighs. Done deal!
This soup taught me a few things. It’s always a good idea to take a road trip with girlfriends to the mountains. Comfort food does not have to be heavy in flour or dairy – you can keep it light and cozy. And for the record: peas ARE a legume 😅 Happy week two of Whole30!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Last week I had the best Chicken Tortilla Soup of my life. I spontaneously ordered soup and a side of guac and chips from the Upper East Side-spot called La Esquina and have been craving the soup ever since. The chicken was super tender and shredded thinly, the broth was full of flavor from tomatoes, onion and chile, and the avocado, queso fresco and tortilla strips. I was determined to recreate it at home.
I did research to find the perfect recipe and experimented last night (as seen on my Instagram Stories). Roasting the tomatoes, onions and garlic first on a skillet so they get charred and soft makes a big difference. It reminds me of when I was making mole sauce in Mexico City and we charred everything first to help develop that deep smoky flavor in the sauce. I love this snapshot below.
If charring and roasting the tomatoes, onion and garlic feels like too much for your day, I totally understand. Here are a few other highly-rated recipes I’ve found.
- The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Food Network Kitchen’s Easy (and healthy!) Tortilla Soup
- Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Tortilla Soup with beans and corn
- The Kitchn’s Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
I adapted the recipe for the one I made from Marcela Valladolid. Here’s what I did below! For the chicken, I cooked it in the tomato mixture, but you have a lot of options here – it would be just as easy to bake the chicken while you’re roasting the tomatoes/onion/garlic. (Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook at 425 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Let rest and shred.) An even easier option would be to just purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred. Done!
- 4 large plum tomatoes
- 1 small white onion, peeled
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 dried chipotle peppers, or one chipotle pepper from a can
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 corn tortillas, torn into large pieces
- 4 thin chicken breast cutlets or 3-4 cups of shredded rotisserie/baked chicken
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Tortilla chips or fry/bake some strips of your corn tortillas above for crunch
- Queso fresco or cheese
- Heat a heavy saute pan (or cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, peeled onion, and unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast, turning frequently, until the garlic is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic when soft, but slightly blackened. Peel the garlic and set aside. Remove the onion and set aside. Continue to cook the tomatoes until charred and blackened, another 5 minutes.
- Put the garlic, chile/chipotle, onion, tomatoes, tortillas and 2 cups chicken broth in a blender. Blend until smooth. (Be very careful! Make sure to leave the top of the lid open a bit to release steam and put a towel on top.)
- Pour into a large saucepan and add the remaining 2 cups chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat. Add shredded chicken simmer for 20 minutes. Season with amounts of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Note: In my Instagram Story, I added the raw chicken cutlets to the sauce mixture and simmered until the chicken was cooked, then I removed the chicken and shredded with two forks, allowing the sauce to continue simmering for a few minutes. I then returned the shredded chicken to the soup and continued simmering on low until I was ready to serve.
- To serve, top soup with sliced avocado, tortilla chips, cheese, fresh lime juice, cilantro, and any other favorite toppings.
I hope you’re feeling inspired to make some Chicken Tortilla Soup this week. Tag me on Instagram @gourmet_gab, so I can see your creations! Happy Meal Prep Sunday, everyone :)
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Ever since the weather cooled down this month, I’ve somehow gotten out of my routine of weekly salads for lunch. Now instead I would rather bring a warm bowl of soup, a quinoa bowl up or really anything that I can heat up since our office is so chilly! It’s time for me to bring some greens back into my life and this salad is exactly how I’m going to do it. The toppings are really what make this combination. Yes there’s chicken and gorgonzola, but the sweet and spicy walnuts, sliced red grapes, farro and balsamic dressing give the salad so much flavor!
I love being able to show you what it looks like to actually make the recipe. Here’s a quick video of me making the easy baked chicken and assembling the chicken and gorgonzola salad for my weekly meal prep!
The salad inspiration originates from one of my favorite spots in Phoenix, Postino. Their version of the salad has crispy, thinly sliced leeks and pears, too. Paired with their famous bruschetta and a glass of wine, it is one of my favorite meals. My family and I have been going to the restaurant at it’s several different locations for years. Even before I could savor a glass of wine I felt so trendy at the restaurant with adults. Now, it’s a perfect spot to grab a drink with girlfriends and support the local food community.
To make my version of the salad, I added juicy, tender chicken from my go-to baked chicken recipe and farro. This grain is kind of a cross between orzo and brown rice. It’s chewy, a little bit nutty and full of nutrients. It adds so much to the salad! I always have a mason jar full of my simple 1-minute balsamic vinaigrette handy, too. I used this as my dressing for the salad and it added a perfect zest to the flavors.
- [b]Salad Toppings[/b]
- 1 bag of mixed greens
- 1/2 cup farro (Quinoa would work too!)
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1/3 cup sweet and spicy walnuts
- [b]Baked Chicken[/b]
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
- [b]Balsamic Vinaigrette
- [/b]3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- [b]Baked Chicken[/b]
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a pan with aluminum foil.
- On a cutting board, trim any unnecessary fat off the chicken breasts. (Don’t forget to wash hands after!)
- Drizzle the first side of each chicken breast with olive oil. Then generously sprinkle each with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and oregano. Rub seasonings around on the chicken breast to distribute.
- Place seasoned side of chicken breast down on the aluminum foil and repeat olive oil/seasoning combination on the other side of chicken.
- Bake chicken breasts at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- [b]Salad Prep[/b]
- While chicken is baking, boil farro per package directions. Let cool.
- Wash and slice grapes in half lengthwise. Chop nuts.
- [b]Make Vinaigrette[/b]
- Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake!
- Once chicken has cooked and cooled, slice into thin pieces. Assemble 3-4 salads depending on desired size. Enjoy within 4 days!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of the salad! I know the recipe looks lengthy, but you could prep the chicken ahead of time and even have the balsamic in your fridge for other salads. Once you chop the extra toppings and assemble everything together, it’s so quick.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and tag me @gourmet_gab on Instagram if you make the recipe! Also, Snap me via my Snapchat GourmetGab. It is so much fun to see the behind-the-scenes of your kitchen too.
Love food. Love self. Love life.