I LOVE Tex-Mex. And I love to eat healthy. Oh, and I have to eat gluten free because I have Celiac Disease. Which kind of poses a problem because the three don't tend to co-exist very peacefully.
BUT - my favorite place to get Mexican food (okay, Latin food in this case), is a restaurant in the Dallas area called Gloria's. Best queso ever. But it's not GF. In fact, of all the Tex-Mex places I frequent, they have the smallest amount of GF offerings. BOO!
I also happen to love their chicken soup, so I decided to see if I could replicate it at my house. And lemme just say, I think I did a pretty dang good job. The boys and the hubs agreed. So without further ado, here's a GF/dairy free/grain free version.
***I always try to use free-range or pastured organic meats and organic veggies.
- I started by making a crock pot chicken. I use this recipe (sort of...I just eyeball my spices for the rub and use whatever I have on hand, but if you're new to it, just follow the recipe). Cooking a whole chicken at a time is not only healthier, but it kills like 8 birds (no pun intended) with one stone because you have plenty of meat left over to make other meals with, and you can make broth with the skin and bones and use them in tons of other recipes. The link above also includes a recipe for broth. Homemade chicken/bone broth is SO beneficial for healing from sickness, pregnancy/birth, and a host of other things your body may be recovering from. The store-bought kind really just doesn't compare, especially if you add in some good stuff like apple cider vinegar, cilantro, parsley, and turmeric for additional minerals and ions.
- In the meantime, I took about 6 cups - up to 8 cups is fine - of my chicken broth (mentioned above) and brought it to a boil.
- Dice up a rib or two of celery, 1 small crooked neck yellow squash, 2 vine ripened tomatoes, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 yellow onion and throw them in the boiling broth. I also threw in 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrots, peas, and green beans were in my mix).
- Add 1 tsp sea salt (make sure it's Himalayan or something comparable - if not, you may need to add a little more than 1 tsp), 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp cumin. I tend to guess at measurements, so if you like more of one particular flavor, feel free to throw in a little more of it!
- Lastly, ream 1 lime and add all that juice to the pot.
- Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Once it's ready, chop up some of the chicken from the crock pot and add it in. Then serve!
- Chop up 1 avocado, and a handful of cilantro for garnish. Or 6 avocados if you're like me. :) And if you really want to werk your kitchen like a bosslady, you can make your own tortilla strips, like I did. They were DIVINE!
- 5 corn tortillas
- 1 heavy frying pan. Do not use a non-stick pan! I went for cast iron, but a dutch oven would work fine too.
- This part is really technical, so pay attention. 1 glob of coconut oil, one hunk of grass-fed butter (such as Kerrygold), 4 glugs of avocado oil, and 4 glugs of olive oil. Got that? Clear as mud? Seriously, the exact quantities don't matter here - the goal is to have enough to pool up in the bottom of the pan. I was trying to achieve a good mixture of fats that are safe to heat to a high temperature, which is how I ended up with this combo.
- Heat the oil on MEDIUM. If it starts smoking, it's too hot, and you need to turn it down, STAT, or you'll risk it catching fire!
- Slice up the tortillas, and in about 4 batches, put them in the oil. Cook on one side for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook the other side for 3 minutes. You want them to be golden brown. I did this while the soup was simmering.
- Remove from the pan, add a little sprinkling of salt, and drain on a paper towel before serving. It helps mop up any oil sitting on top of the strips.
All in all it took me about an hour to make this little ditty. Well worth it! I'd love to hear your comments about how to make it better or your thoughts if you make it!