So what happens when you trust your older sister with the LA Fitness schedule? You go for Zumba but end up with BOOT CAMP. Ohhhh my goodness. It was an hour of T25. I mean, yeah, amazing workout, but completely unexpected and it really pushed me. I don’t know if it was luck, pure competitive spirit, or a guardian angel, but I made it through the entire hour! And then something in me snapped and I said, “Lets stay for some of 7pm Zumba too!” Batshit crazy…
I got home feeling pretty broken that night. That meant 2 hours of working out on Monday! I could barely eat my delicious Avo-Cab-O Salad with grilled chicken at Red Robins, my arms were so tired. However, it was pretty nice to know I could still workout like that. My experience with T25 the other day left me wondering how badly I had let myself go.
Yesterday, I was forced to take the day off from working out due to situation and time. My husband’s co-worker has spent the last two nights at our house because they are working on a job site far up north and he lives 2 hours away. I’m pretty comfortable being me in my own home, but something about waking up a near-stranger at 5am to the sounds of me stomping and jiggling around and Shaun T cheering me on felt like a good excuse to let my body recover. The plan was to get home and workout before the guys got home, but I ended up getting off work late and having to run to the grocery store.
The hardest part of having a house guest when you are eating really healthy is that you feel compelled to provide them with a good meal. I think I do a decent job making healthy food taste good, but most 21 year old guys don’t cleanse after a day of manual labor with zero grain and zero sugar intake. Even though my meal plan called for lettuce wrapped chicken guacamole burgers, I felt bad at the very last minute and changed it up. It had been pouring down rain and it was cold and gross all day. I know that Ryan loves it when I make soup and chili on days like that. So I decided on chicken tortilla-less soup instead. Not the cleans-iest thing I make but delicious and spicy. Even before I started eating healthy, I never put tortillas in this soup because it really doesn’t need it. It is incredibly flavorful and I know the jalopeno peppers that spice this soup up are really good for my sluggish metabolism.
Now here is where I had a slip up. Wrapped up in my good hostess guilt, I bought a small loaf of cheddar bread for the guys. I think that right when I picked it up, I knew I would be sampling a little of it. I have decided to be okay with my decision to eat a small slice. I could beat myself up over it but 1) that is dumb and 2) I have to start living realistically. My only regret is not recognizing that this would be really hard to resist from the get-go. I could have bought whole wheat…
This soup is made all in one big pot meaning less mess. However, cutting up jalopenos usually means my hands are burning all night or I get some in my eye. I wear latex gloves when chopping jalopenos now 🙂 My mother-in-law discovered this recipe and I make it so regularly that I usually have a little leftover in the fridge by the time I am ready to make more. This soup is best if you let it simmer for at least an hour after you let the soup come to boil. I let the soup reduce down to almost half when I have the time so the flavor is bold.
Chicken Tortilla-less Soup
(Perfect for about 4 people and enough leftover for lunch the next day)
- EVOO or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4-6 jalapenos, deseeded and diced
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 60 oz of chicken broth
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 cans of Rotel (I use the Safeway brand)
- 1 large chicken breast, uncooked or a rotisserie chicken
- 1/4 cup lime juice (bottled or fresh for taste)
- Avocado and shredded cheese optional
- Heat up a little oil in a large pot that will hold all your soup.
- Evenly dice all your onion and jalapenos and saute in oil until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add tomato paste to vegetables and stir until coated. Add chicken broth, rinsed black beans and Rotel to soup.
- Cut your chicken breast into a few manageable pieces. Wait until your soup is boiling and add the chicken breast in until it is cooked all the way through. This will depend on how thick your chicken breast is. (If you are using rotisserie chicken, you can skip this step and just shred the chicken into the soup)
- Remove the cooked chicken carefully and shred it using 2 forks or just chop it up. Put the chicken back into the soup. Add about 1/4 cup of lime juice.
- Let soup simmer from 30 minutes to 2 hours so it thickens up naturally from reducing down.
Garnish with avocado slices and if you are eating cheese, a little melty cheese on this soup is pretty delicious. As you can see, I chose not to and it was still super tasty. The avocado makes it so creamy that I almost want it to be flagged as mandatory. What I love about this soup is that there is no salt or seasoning packet necessary. The flavor comes from the ingredients simmering away.
My goal for this summer is to make my own canned tomatoes and jalopenos so that I can make this soup using my own preserved goods. I love to can and am planning to trade some pears from our bountiful pear tree in late summer with friends who grow tomatoes and jalapenos. I am not one of those clean eaters that think eating out of a can is necessarily a bad thing though. I just like to can… I can can.
Also, Day 2 of Hip Hop Abs. Got a tiny bit sweaty. Wish it made me more out of breath. From here on out, I am going to supplement with a kettlebell workout. 10 minutes of swinging that monster usually knocks the wind right out of me. I was going to do one today but during a couch break, my dog came over and laid down right on top of me. Oh Teddy Bear, he always knows when I need a cuddle break.