I've never been into spicy foods; it used to be so bad that I would eat EXTRA mild salsa and complain that it made my tongue numb. But within the past few weeks I've gotten better. It might have to do with the fact that my boyfriend puts Sriracha sauce on basically everything. Sriracha is originally from Thailand and is typically used for seafood. Although, in Vietnamese food it's used in Pho or spring rolls. Sriracha has a very tangy flavour at first, packing the punch with the spice in the aftertaste.
I stumbled across a website called Life Made Delicious and then came across a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe by them. Given my certain condition and preference for not eating meat, I tweaked the recipe just a little bit. Obviously, I added Sriracha to the mix, because the original just didn't have enough kick to it. I also added a 13-bean mix to the soup to change things up—it's a cheap way to add in protein and iron. You can buy Red Mill just about anywhere, and it won't make your wallet sob. I conveniently use Red Mill White Rice Flour for baking as well. Again, it's cheap and it lasts for a while. Here's the original Life Made Delicious recipe if you'd like to try it, or instead of my altered version: Chicken Tortilla Soup.
I called my version Texas Tofu Tortilla Soup since it has a hearty and thick consistency. Call me crazy, but it just has this certain air about it that makes me think a mother in Texas would make it for dinner.
Mexican Tofu Tortilla Soup
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cube of chicken broth (I personally enjoy the brand Aurora because they are certified gluten-free. It's about $1.25 for a box of six cubes).
- 1 cup of thick and chunky salsa (The website calls for Old El Paso salsa, but I find that for 350 mL, $4.99 is a lot to spend. I settled for the President's Choice Home Brand Medium salsa, which did the trick).
- 2 cups of diced tofu (Tofu is a cheaper alternative to any meat. Plus, if you store it in cheese cloth or paper towel, it will last a few more days).
- 1 medium avocado, cut lengthwise and then cut the pieces in half (Tip: I prefer avocados over butter, and they make a lovely substitute for it on toast).
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (I squeezed two of the lime wedges into the soup and saved two to garnish the soup with).
- Shredded cheese of your choice
- Tortilla chips to add to the soup and to scoop the soup up with (I bought the original Tostitos, but the multi-grain chips are also an option).
In a pot or sauce pan, combine the water, chicken broth cube, salsa, and tofu— bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiled, lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the avocado and the lime juice. Cook on low for another three minutes—be careful not to mash or break the avocado slices. When ready to serve, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
I wanted to share with you what sparked my interest in vegetarianism. My mother brought home this book for me when we first learned how dangerously anemic I was. I struggled for years—I continue to have off days—to keep my iron levels steady. This book provided me with the basic knowledge of how to eat without meat.