My 4 year old surprised me the other day. Not to say that he doesn’t surprise me every day in some way, but there have been very little surprises or branching out lately in the food and eating department. But I just keep on keeping on, following Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in feeding and knowing that he will come around eventually.
He had not eaten pesto, or anything on his noodles but butter in probably a year. SO when I made fresh pesto the other night tossed with pasta, leftover chicken, and green beans, I also put out plain noodles, chicken, and green beans. When my son sat down at the table for dinner he said, “What’s in the pot??” When I told him, he exclaimed, “I like pesto!!” I almost fell over but didn’t let on for a minute as he proceeded to gobble it down and have seconds. I was jumping for joy inside, but remained calm and cool so as not to encourage him either way.
I was hoping that we had entered into a more adventurous stage of eating finally, so I had high hopes for last night’s chicken enchilada soup. He likes chicken, rice, chips, cheese, and avocado, so I thought this one might be a real hit. Well it certainly was for the rest of the family, but no such luck with our little friend. He ate chips, cheese, and avocado for dinner. Oh well, maybe next time, or the next, or the 10th or 20th time, because there will be a 20th time. It’s that good.
Also, I don’t know about you, but I roast a lot of chicken around here and am always looking for new ways to use up the leftover chicken meat. I mean I love chicken noodle soup and all, but it gets boring. And I always have extra rice hanging around too.
I was inspired by a recipe I saw online and she made these amazing looking crispy tortilla strips from scratch for topping the soup, which I was all set to do, until I discovered MOLD on my tortillas!!! So we had to settle for good old corn chips as topping until next time, and you can get the recipe for those from the link below. I changed it up a bit, so here’s my version:
CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP
(gluten free, dairy free option)
By Dana Youkilis
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin
2 Tbsp fine ground yellow corn meal or masa harina
1 quart chicken stock
1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken meat
1 ½ cups cooked rice
3 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
Sea salt to taste
For garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, corn chips or homemade crispy tortilla strips (get the recipe from All Things Health), anything else that floats your boat
In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and onions until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the carrot and bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes more. Add the chili powder, cumin, corn meal and ¼ cup of stock and continue stirring until the stock is mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and let the soup simmer about 20 minutes. Add the chicken and rice and cook until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Season to taste with sea salt, add the cream and remove soup from heat. Garnish with your choice of toppings.
Nutrition Facts (per serving not including toppings): Calories 251; Total Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 3g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 504mg; Total Carbohydrate 30g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 8g; Protein 14g