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    Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

    It’s been a few months since I made some chicken tortilla soup, but as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, all I crave is tea and soup.  Ginger or peppermint tea and soup! While Alex and I don’t always agree on all food choices, we do agree on soup (any soup except peanut butter soup, of course, which I love).  So this was the perfect weekend to make a delicious hearty tortilla soup.

    I love how wholesome and comforting it is, and how incredibly full I get on all the rich vegetables, chicken, broth and tortilla strips.  It’s wonderful. Consider this my inspired version.

    I hope you guys love this tortilla soup as much as I do!  It is light, savory, delicious, comforting, and perfectly spiced.

    If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #louisemillen on instagram!



    15 mins             40 mins                  55 mins

    (Serves:  4-6)


    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 4 roma large tomatoes, diced
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 11/2 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 11/2 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 medium corn on the cob, boiled (cut corn off the cob once cooked)
    • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
    • optional: 2 chicken breast from one rotisserie-baked chicken, cubed or shredded
    • optional: 6-7 cups chicken stock (substitute with vegetable broth if making plain tortilla soup)


    • 1-2 avocados, sliced
    • 6-8 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
    • optional: 1/4 lime (squeeze in soup bowl when ready to eat)
    • optional: queso fresco, crumbled (substitute with shredded cheese)


    • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic and onion.  Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until the onion has developed a slight sea
    • Add cumin and chile powder. Sauté an additional 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken, chicken broth, and cayenne pepper.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn 5 minutes before soup is ready.
    • Taste broth and adjust seasoning as needed, add salt depending on saltiness of broth.
    • While soup simmers, fry tortillas for topping.  In a small skillet, add 1/4 cup oil. Once hot, add the tortilla strips.  Cook until golden brown.
    • To serve, top broth in two bowls (if serving for two), add desired toppings.
    • Soup is best when served fresh, though broth can be stored (separate from toppings) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    Blueberry Banana Bliss Smoothie

    This time of year is always filled with good food, holiday dinners, and social gatherings. It can be tricky to eat healthy with all of the sweet treats around. This blueberry banana smoothie recipe is easy to make, and so much healthier. It will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with the honey, banana and plum, all while giving you the nutrients you need to start your day off right!

    Adding flax seeds to your smoothie is a healthy way to add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet and it will keep you fuller for a longer period of time. The fresh blueberries in this recipe gives added flavor to the smoothie. According to, new research has emerged with evidence that blueberries can improve memory with the consumption of 2 – 2.5 cups each day. Did you know even frozen blueberries do not lose its antioxidants?

    The best part is, your kids will love it, and they won’t even know that it is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium! After all, they do say fruit is nature’s candy!


    Prep time                            Cook time                           Total time

    10 mins                                 5 mins                                   15 mins


    • 1 ½ banana, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 plum, remove seed and cut in half
    •  ½ cup blueberries
    • ½ cup strawberries (or blackberries)
    • 1 teaspoon flax seeds
    • ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
    •  2 tablespoon Greek yogurt (optional)
    •  2 cups water


    Wash the fruits and cut up the banana and plum.

    Place the banana, plum, blueberries, strawberries, flax seeds, honey, yogurt, and water in the blender.

    Blend on high until smooth. Add ice to glasses and serve immediately.


    Serves: Makes 2-3 medium smoothies

    Cinnamon Persimmon Tea

    So what are your plans this halloween? I fancied being Maleficent this year, but a visit to the chaotic aisles at the department stores left me besieged and a bit out of luck.

    I used to think of the Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty as being scary and dark, but in recent years, I have come to view it as a fascinating piece of art and rather perspicacious in so many ways. My favorite is the movie Maleficent that portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist, depicting her conflicted relationship with the princess Aurora, and the king of a corrupt kingdom.

    Maleficent’s spell in the form of an enchanting cinnamon tea with persimmon and pine nuts is the perfect warm treat for reigning in another year of Halloween fun. This recipe is simple to make, absolutely delicious, and a naturally refreshing alternative when you need something a little fancier than water, but still want to keep it nutritious. Persimmons are a delicious and exotic fruit with a wealth of health benefits packed inside them.

    You can dress your tea in ghoulish cups or keep it simple and use a regular cup. It’s possible the lighter cups could be more in line with Aurora…..yes? Thanks for keeping up with this tale of imagination.

    If you like this recipe, please leave a comment below or tag a photo #louise.millen on instagram. Stay safe this Halloween and make tea your brew of choice!


    Prep Time        Cook Time        Total Time 

     5 mins                                10 mins                             15 mins


    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 4 cups water
    • 1 medium persimmon
    • 2-3 tablespoon pine nuts
    • optional: sweeten with sugar or honey

    (Serves:  3-4 cups)


    • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once hot, turn off and let it sit for 5 minutes.
    • Wash the persimmon and cut it in 4-6 large slices.
    • To serve, pour tea into cup and top with pine nuts and a slice of persimmon. The persimmon is usually the last thing I have after finishing my tea.  It is warm, slightly crisp, and tasty.