Spice up your supper with flavorful and healthy Mexican meal. Quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, nachos -- any of these south-of-the-border dinners will hit the spot. We've cut the fat, sodium, and calories so these Mexican recipes fit your healthy eating plan.
6 - cups water
1 - 3 1/2 pound whole roasting chicken, cut in 8 pieces
1 - large yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 - medium carrot, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)
1 - stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
8 - sprigs cilantro
1 1/2 - teaspoons ground cumin
1 - teaspoon chili powder
1/2 - teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
1/2 - teaspoon dried oregano
2 - bay leaves
8 - corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 - 32 ounce box reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 - medium carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 - cups sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
2 - small zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)
1 - cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
1/2 - a jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 - cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
In a 6-quart Dutch oven combine water, chicken, onion, 1/2 cup chopped carrot, the celery, 8 cilantro sprigs, the cumin, chili powder, ancho chile pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Bring to a boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is very tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch of corn oil in a large heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F. Add tortilla strips, about one-fourth at a time, and cook until crispy and light golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from saucepan with a slotted spoon. Drain strips on paper towels. Season with salt.
Using tongs, remove chicken from liquid; cool chicken. Strain remaining liquid, and discard solids. Return to Dutch oven along with chicken broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Remove meat from bones and discard bones. Tear chicken in 1-inch pieces. Add to broth along with the 2 sliced carrots. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas, zucchini, tomato, and jalapeno. Simmer 3 minutes or until tender. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, and cilantro. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
Because hot chile peppers, such as jalapenos, contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.
NUTRITION FACTS (Chicken and Tortilla Soup)
Per serving: 375 kcal , 14 g fat (2 g sat. fat , 7 g polyunsaturated fat , 4 g monounsaturated fat ), 89 mg chol. , 618 mg sodium , 29 g carb. , 6 g fiber , 6 g sugar , 34 g pro.