Tomorrow, March 2nd, begins PWC’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge!!!! Yay! We have a wonderful group of people from around the world who have joined the Challenge! I’m so excited to have found kindred spirits who are willing to work just as hard as me towards such a worthy goal of improving our lifestyle.
For those of you who haven’t heard of PWC’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, please visit the hyperlink. Until then, here’s a brief recap:
The Challenge will last 4 weeks beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 2, 2015. All are welcome to participate.
Daily progress and accountability will be measured by a point system. A perfect day will consist of 100 points. You won’t be expected to get a perfect score of 100 points each day (most of us rarely do), but the goal to do so is motivating and acts as an incentive to earn as many points as possible.
To make it easier for participants to support, motivate, get to know, and communicate with one another, Challengers have been divided into four fabulous teams named Earth, Wind, Fire and Rain. Accountability is the name of the game, meaning participants will enter their daily points on a web-based master spreadsheet that will calculate scores in real time.
Participants, particularly those on the same teams, will regularly communicate with one another for support and encouragement. Communication among fellow Challengers is one of the best parts of the Challenge!
The scorekeeping will be based on an honor system—integrity is essential. A perfect day includes the accumulation of points in the following categories:
10 points: Water
10 points: Communication
20 points: Sleep
20 points: Physical Activity
40 points: Eating Habits
100 points total, daily
Please refer to the post, Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, to see how participants are to earn and lose (due to penalties) points in each category. Opportunities to earn bonus points will be announced weekly on the blog!
If you’re interested in joining, there’s still some time! To let me know, please leave a comment below with your email address, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who have already contacted me to join, you should have received several emails from me already. If you haven’t, please contact me asap!
Finally, for those of you who have joined and are already set to begin the Challenge tomorrow, you have less than 24 hours to eat a “forbidden on the Challenge” treat!! If you have an urge to have any white sugar/white flour products, get it out of your system now! It’s less than 12 hours to Challenge time!!!!!
This white corn tortilla soup is so simple to make yet full of fabulous flavor! It’s also quite versatile. You can choose from a variety of toppings to garnish, and you can cook it with or without black beans. We like it with a few toppings as they give added flavor and texture. Also, like many soups, leftovers of this soup are even better the next day!
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 five-inch (or two 7-inch) corn tortillas, plus more for garnish cut into 1-inch squares
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, diced
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1½ white corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 1½ pounds fresh tomatoes in season)
2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
¼ ground white pepper
¼-½ chili powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1½ cups cooked black beans (optional)
corn tortillas, cut in strips and baked*, for garnish (optional)
blue corn tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)
fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
avocados, for garnish (optional)
lime wedges, to serve
In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté tortilla squares in oil until golden and slightly crisp. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and jalapenos. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add half of the corn kernels (the other half will be added at the end) and tomato paste and stir. Add tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, broth and water. Bring the soup to a low boil. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender or high speed blender, blend soup into the consistency of a coarse purée. Return soup to the pot and add the black beans, if using, and reserved corn kernels. Bring the soup to a low boil again. If you like, you can adjust the consistency, adding more water or broth if you find it too thick. Taste and adjust for salt. Serve and garnish with tortilla chips, scallions, cilantro and/or avocados. Sprinkle with freshly ground white pepper and serve with a splash of fresh lime juice! So yummy!
* for baked tortilla garnish, preheat oven to 350F. Cut tortilla into small strips. Place on a parchment lined baking pan and bake until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
Notes: The photos above show the soup served with various toppings and one bowl contains the soup mixed with black beans.