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In the Kitchen with Suzanne

I've known for a long time that cooking at home is a good way to save money and eat healthy, but it just always seemed so hard. Well, guess what! I've been learning my way around the kitchen -- and I just love when I say I can't do something and then I do it!

When I was growing up, I saw how hard it was for my mom to keep up with everything she had on her plate and cook for us every night and it didn't occur to me that it could be different for me. So I got in the habit of stopping for take-out on the way home from the gym. But over the past couple weeks I've been trying something new -- now I head home, set Wesley up in his highchair, get June working on a project at the table, and I cook! I'm really enjoying having this extra time at home to spend with the kids and I like knowing exactly what's in my food. And I've really surprised myself! Last week I pulled together a quick stir-fry of rice, sautéed spinach with chick peas and feta and even my picky eaters ate it.

One of my new favorite dishes is tortilla soup (I just love putting things in the slow cooker in the morning and having dinner when I get home!) -- here's a picture and the recipe is below. How about you? How do you fit healthy cooking into your schedule? What's your favorite week night recipe?

See you in the kitchen!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (4oz) chopped mild green chiles, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4-in. strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled, diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning
  • Juice of 1 lime

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  1. Place chicken in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine chiles, garlic, onion, tomatoes, 1/2 cup broth and cumin in small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken.
  3. Cover; cook on High 3 hours or on Low 6 hours until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; use 2 forks to shred the meat and return to slow cooker. Adjust seasonings, adding additional broth, if necessary.
  4. Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro to slow cooker. Stir to blend.
  5. Serve in soup bowls, topping each serving with cheese, avocado and a squeeze of lime juice.