SLOW-COOKER BLACK-BEAN AND LIME CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Tortilla soup in all its various get ups is among my favorites, and this recipe is right up there with others that have found their way into a bowl with my name on it. In this instance, it’s the lime that stands out. In fact, next time I think I’ll add a wedge to the bowl rim for those who want to give it more punch. Sorry, no leftovers…

4 cups chicken broth

juice of one lime

2 tbsp taco seasoning

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp dried cilantro (or 1 tbsp fresh minced)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1-1/2 cups diced onion

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1-15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1-15 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained

1/2 cup instant white rice

1-1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, diced

Recommended toppings: sour cream, grated Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado, broken tortilla chips

1) Turn slow cooker on low heat and add all ingredients (excepting toppings, of course); stir to combine, cover, and cook 6-8 hours

2) To serve, ladle into bowls and, to make it extra special, pile on those toppings

Now wasn’t that easy?

Serves: 6-8

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BANANA-BLUEBERRY-LIME RICOTTA CREPES

Really, these crepes (AKA “blintzes”) should be dessert, but we made them into dinner (notice the ricotta cheese and…um…eggs). What made them special? Everything. However, I believe the lime juice and zest sets them apart. Put those thumbs up!

Banana-Blueberry-Lime Crepes

CREPES (about 12):

2 eggs

2 cups milk

1 tbsp granulated white sugar

pinch of salt

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

8 tbsp butter, melted (plus a little more for cooking crepes)

FILLING:

1-15 oz container reduced fat ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/4 cup powdered sugar

zest of 1 lime

SAUCE:

2 tbsp butter

12 oz frozen blueberries

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

juice of 1 lime

2 ripe but firm bananas, sliced thick on the diagonal

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees; lightly grease 9×11 baking pan

2) In medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, and salt; gradually whisk in flour; pour in melted butter and whisk until well combined and lumps disappear

3) In non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt a little butter; using a 1/4 cup scoop, pour crepe batter into skillet, tilting skillet to form 6-7″ diameter crepes; cook approximately 30 seconds each side until lightly golden; transfer to plate and continue until all batter is used (should make about 12 crepes); set aside

4) In medium-sized bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, sugar, and lime zest; divide ricotta filling between crepes, spooning down center of each crepe; roll up crepes and place seam-side down in baking pan; bake in oven 20 minutes

5) Meanwhile, to medium-sized saucepan add butter, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lime juice; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low

6) Remove crepes from oven, pour blueberry sauce over top, and scatter with banana pieces; serve

Servings: 4