Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

It’s not cold in ATL today but in my Texas hometown, they are welcoming lots of snow. Snow and cold weather makes me want soup. Here’s a little Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup I made a few weeks ago. You probably have most items on hand already. This soup was different from my go-to Tortilla Soup because of the yummy rice and black beans. Everyone needs options! Enjoy and stay warm! -Amanda

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Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

3 T olive oil, divided
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 small white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 + 1/2 t chile powder
1 t dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
15 oz canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup uncooked long or medium-grain brown rice, rinsed well in a wire strainer with cold water
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup salsa
Optional Toppings:
sliced avocados
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

In a large soup pan, heat 1 T of oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, stirring often so all sides get browned. Remove and set aside.
Add 2 T of oil to a soup pot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion, pepper, garlic, and olives together for 5 minutes. Add a little pepper and stir often. Mix in the chile powder, oregano, thyme, black beans, and rice, cook 3 minutes. Stir the chicken back into the pot and add the broth and salsa. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Stir often. Add seasonings to taste. (OR add to crock pot and keep on low until ready to dinner.)
Serve with toppings like, cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, and tortilla chips if desired.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken and Rice recipes have been around kitchens for years.  This is a tasty spin on a good winter classic.  Enjoy and you can thank me later for the spare time you had whipping up this dish!

Chicken and Rice Casserole

 1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice (use the original with all 23 herbs, trust me!)

4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 c mayo

1/4 c sour cream

1 can slice water chestnuts

1 small jar of pimentos

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

Cook the rice according to the directions on box.  Then spray 9 x 13 inch dish with cooking spray.  When rice is cooked, mix the rest of the ingredients in greased dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Could it be any easier!

Sante Fe Chicken

It does not get much easier!  Sante Fe Chicken is a little dish I have been making for years.  It is requested by family and friends.  If they only knew how easy it was.  I’m letting the secret out.

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Sante Fe Chicken

2 T oil
4 chicken breast, boneless, cut in small cubes
1 t paprika
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped (or red)
1 can Rotel
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup instant rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in electric skillet or large skillet.

Sprinkle chicken with paprika, salt, & pepper.

Cook chicken in oil for approximately 4-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add bell pepper, onion, & garlic.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add Rotel and water.  Bring to a boil.

Stir in rice.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Turn off heat and cover tightly with lid.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Serve with chips, salsa, sour cream, and chips.