Friday, August 21, 2009

Lifestyle Changes

When you get a scare and the doctor tells you, you need to lower your cholesterol or go on medication, you bet I'm listening. I already take heart burn and thyroid meds, so the thought of taking more did not appeal to me. After my doctor's appointment the other day, I immediately started changing my way of eating. The first night we had stir fry chicken just made healthier, with a lot more veges and brown rice. So since I had leftover stir fry I thought about making Tortilla Soup the next night for supper.

Here's the recipe for a healthier version. I can promise you before it would have been fried fried and more fried, but not this time.

Tortilla Soup Recipe:
Cut corn tortillas into strips and put on a baking dish (or you can deep fry them). Bake tortilla strips until they are crisp, about 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Ovens will vary so watch them so they don't burn. Once crisp, sprinkle with sea salt.

1 whole onion, chopped into small pieces1 rib celery (or more if you like, cut into small chunks)
1 large can or carton of chicken broth1 large can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (only use this brand because the other ones can be bitter)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
spices (garlic powder, pepper flakes*, salt, pepper, onion powder) *You can omit the pepper flakes if don't want it too spicy. I never measure anything I just add to taste.
olive oil
cooked chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
Low fat cheese
Small Key Limes, cut into quarters

Saute the onion and celery until soft in a large pot in olive oil (about 2 teaspoons.) Add garlic and cook for a few minutes (at this point you add a bag of frozen veges or beans if you want it more vegetarian). Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the enchilada sauce and broth and fill both cans of water and pour into pot. Cook until bubbly.

Serve in a dish with chunks of avocado and "low fat" cheese and tortilla strips. Sprinkle lime juice over the tortilla strips.

Enjoy, it was so good I didn't even miss the fried tortilla chips.


  1. I'll Pass, thanks for the invite though!!
    I got to schedule the dreaded MD appointment, he may also suggest the same for me....

  2. Just tell me and I'll love you forever (which I already do, btw!) does yours taste anything like El Chico's? Theirs is absolutely the best tortilla soup I have ever had and I can't find the recipe. They must keep that recipe at Ft. Know with the bullion 'cause its golden!
    I know, eating healthy is such a pain. Good to see you taking such good care of yourself! I bet Senor GAV is less than thrilled!

  3. Oh Theresa...this is so wonderful that you're doing this for yourself and your family, I'm about to start this myself....I just want to feel better! xxoo, Dawn (ps thank you for sharing the recipe)

  4. THAT looks delicious! Don't listen to Trash! I love her BUT she is so wrong! Healthy eating is not a pain. Seasoning is the key plus you'll feel SO much better. You'll drop pounds too. Now if I could only get you to the gym....

  5. I love tortilla soup & your recipe sounds really good. The best thing I've found is Sam's broasted chicken. It has the greatest flavor but I use it in all my chicken recipes and the g'kids love it. I get one a week. I'm anxious to see how my cholestral is on Aug. 28. Sure have been eating my vegies -- especially zuchinni). Good luck. Jan

  6. Good for you for following the doctor's orders. That recipe looks great! ~Mindy

  7. Theresa that recipe looks and sounds delicious. Welcome to my way of life. Your husband will get used to it, and you will be so glad you made the effot.

  8. You know, I haven't eaten meat for years, although I do eat fish with veggies on the side. Just a few simple changes can make such a difference in your life. I think its been like over 15 years since I've eaten meat, and there are great soy products on the market to replace meat. My favorite is Morningstar's Crumbles. Comes in the frozen food department and is like ground beef, but made from soy! Add it to chili or anything else you use ground beef in and I swear, you won't know the difference. Glad you are taking such good care of yourself!

  9. Tortilla soup is what do ou have for a 55 year old woman who has just been told this week that she has severe advanced arthritis in her left knee. Yup, doc wants to know how I could be running around on a knee that is rubbing bone to bone with broken fragments. Strong women in my family I guess, but now I have to make some huge lifestye changes or I'll be tooling around in a scooter within a year.

  10. That sounds and LOOKS fantastic! The hardest part of making any sort of lifestyle change is simply getting started~and you've got that part licked!

  11. Good for you! You got started. As I have a recently triggered rare metabolic disorder, my doctor sent me to a Dietitian who has literally saved my life. I highly recommend using a good dietitian. He/she can get tests run that doctors don't include in their battery of labs. Good luck!

  12. Perfect timing as I took out my carrots to snack on while I blogged a bit! I might make that soup tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Yummy in my tummy! I order tortilla soup every chance I get and two of my favorite meals to cook are tortilla soup and fajitas.
    I am so glad to have a new recipe.
    My husband and I have been on Weight Watchers for a month. We have dropped pounds and we have actually enjoyed coming up with new healthy ways to cook! Good luck on your new lifestyle change!

  14. excellent recipe- will try -need to lower chol. my self- and yummy photo!

  15. Your soup looks really yummy, never had that kind before. Sounds like you are doing great with eating healthier....

    Have a great weekend.


  16. My husband's cardiologist regommended Dr. Dean Ornish's book and we were able to lower his cholestrol by half...try it as the meds make him sick..take care

  17. love recipes and love this one - thank you for sharing - i like soups just about anytime of the year - troy -


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