Customizable Recipe For Your New Year’s Resolution

tortilla soup with taquitos

It’s that time of year again.   Maybe you overindulged a bit over the holidays, even if you didn’t ,  you still might be looking to lighten up your menus and reduce your calorie / carb / gluten / meat or ????  intake.  Your family may be with you in that resolution, or maybe they aren’t fans of your new “Fitness Pal“.  Whatever the circumstance, I have a great solution that you can make ahead, enjoy all week, and customize to please everyone.  

I originally posted this recipe in January of 2014, but I wanted to revisit it because it is a really great recipe that is highly customizable, and I wanted to highlight that benefit. 

The Plan:

Make the basic soup recipe below, but customize it by adding items from the ingredient list below to meet your family’s dietary preferences and needs.  Then serve the soup with lots of optional toppings on the side.  The non-dieters can go crazy with the cheese and crumbled tortilla chips and make the dish as rich as their hearts desire.

Low Carb:
chicken or turkey
lean ground beef or bison

Meat Free:
beans (pinto, black, ect.)

Low Calorie:
More veggies 
A half portion of any of the Low Carb and Meat Free ingredients

Optional Toppings:
diced avocado
diced red onion
shredded cheddar or jack cheese
pico de gallo
crumbled tortilla chips
sour cream or mexican crema
jalepeno slices
lime wedges

condiments for tortilla soup


This soup is great on its own, or with a side of black bean or black bean and cheese taquitos.  To make the taquitos, preheat oven to 375 degrees and, heat a stack of small corn tortillas (as many as you want to make) in a plastic container or bag in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make them soft and pliable.  Spread a couple of tablespoons of black bean dip on one side of a tortilla, top with a sprinkle with cheese (optional) and roll into a cigar shape.  Place taquitos seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable oil.  Spray the taquitos with a bit more vegetable oil, then bake them for about 15 min until they are heated through and beginning to brown.

I like to make a big batch of these and freeze them. To freeze, place baking sheet in the freezer until the tamales are frozen, then transfer taquitos to plastic freezer bags for storage. Reheat for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.  

Serve taquitos with guacamole, salsa or tortilla soup for dipping.   

frozen taquitos


Tortilla Soup

This soup is a healthy and delicious lunch, dinner or starter course any time of year.
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 1/2 green pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow orange or red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalepeno serrano, or fresno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 TBSP of cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of ancho chile
  • 2 tsp chile de arbol optional
  • 1 20 oz can of diced tomatoes fire roasted tomatoes are great in this
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 zucchini finely diced
  • 3/4 cup corn fresh or frozen or hominy
  • 2 TBSP cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 lime juiced

Optional Protiens*

  • 10-12 oz cooked beans black, pinto, garbanzo, etc. or 2 oz per serving
  • 10-12 oz cooked and shredded chicken or turkey or 1-3 oz per serving
  • 10-12 oz cooked and chopped shrimp or 1-3 oz per serving
  • 10-12 oz cooked lean ground beef or bison or 1- 2 oz per serving

Optional Toppings

  • crumbled tortilla chips
  • minced red onion
  • diced avocado
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • fried tortilla strips
  • diced fresh tomato
  • sour cream
  • shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • pickled jalepenos
  • lime wedges


  • Heat oil to medium high heat in large soup pot.
  • Add onion, bell peppers, and jalepeno (if using) and sautee for ~5 minutes until vegetables are softened.
  • Add garlic, tomato paste, cumin, oregano and ancho and sautee for another 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes (including juice) and broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, then add zuchinni, hominy, and black beans and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  • Serve with optional toppings of your choice.


*To make this soup customizable to multiple diets, I have provided protein measurements for individual servings and for the entire batch, depending on your preference.

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