Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Taco Soup with Chicken

Taco Soup with Chicken

Traditional flavor in a quick dish = easy Taco Tuesday

Tacos. What’s not to like? Well, they can be messy to eat, OK. But we have a fix for that.

Taco Soup gives you all the flavor with none of the greasy lap blobs. It’s an easy one-pot dish that’s perfect for weeknight dinner. But it’s still jazzy enough for weekends.

Of course, this dish is a natural for your Cinco de Mayo celebration next week. And May 5th just happens to fall on a Tuesday this year.

We think that’s a sign.


Taco Soup with Chicken

Recipe: Taco Soup with Chicken

We’re making this Taco Soup with leftover Slow-Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken. But you could also shred some supermarket rotisserie chicken and use that (see Notes).

You can’t have tacos without tortillas, of course (preferably corn tortillas). We cut ours into strips, crisp them in the microwave, then stir them into the soup right before serving. This is an easy method that produces good results. The more traditional method is to shallow fry them in oil, which arguably makes for crisper tortilla strips with slightly better flavor (but it’s much messier).

Preparation and cooking time for this dish is 30 to 40 minutes.

This recipe yields 4 main-course servings.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 cup when chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ~½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (see Notes for substitutions)
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ~1 cup shredded chicken (or more to taste)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can beans (pinto, kidney, or black beans work best in this dish)
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 to 2 handfuls of frozen corn
  • shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeño slices for garnish (optional; see Notes)
Procedure
  1. Peel the onion, cut it in half through the poles, then cut it into dice of about ½ inch. Set aside.
  2. Peel the garlic and mince it finely or cut into thin slices. Set aside.
  3. Wash and dry the jalapeño pepper. Cut off the stem end, then cut the pepper in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and the white membrane (the oil in these carries much of the jalapeño heat). Mince the pepper finely (reserving a few rounds for garnish if you wish). Set aside. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the spicy jalapeño oil from your skin.
  4. Place a 4-quart cooking pot over medium stovetop heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil and let it heat (about 15 seconds; it’ll shimmer). Add the chopped onion and season to taste with salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and jalapeño pepper. Cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add the spices (chile powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano). Stir the spices into the oil for about 15 seconds. Add the shredded chicken, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes. Drain and rinse the canned beans, then add them to the cooking pot. Cook for about 15 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into strips and microwave them until they’re crispy (about two minutes, depending on your microwave).
  7. About 5 minutes before serving, add the corn to the soup pot. When the corn is cooked, taste the soup. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  8. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Add the crispy tortilla strips to the bowls. Garnish each bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and a jalapeño slice, if you wish. Serve.
Taco Soup with Chicken

Notes
  • Exact measurements are not critical for this recipe. So feel free to adjust quantities to your own taste.
  • You could substitute cotija or Monterey Jack cheese for cheddar if you wish. 
  • Want other garnish ideas? Try chopped cilantro. Or a dollop of sour cream. Or skip the tortilla strips and use crumbled corn chips instead.
  • Don’t have leftover Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken on hand? You can use any leftover shredded chicken. Or even supermarket rotisserie chicken. In that case, we suggest doubling the amount of chile powder in the recipe. And maybe adding a few extra pinches of the other spices.
  • You could use beef in this dish instead of chicken. Just season some ground beef with taco flavors (check out our recipe for Beef Tacos for seasoning suggestions). 
  • We use ancho chile powder in this dish because it has good flavor and isn’t too spicy hot (we always put a bottle of hot sauce on the table for those who want to add more heat). 
  • Want to substitute another dried chile powder? Our choice would be either medium-hot Hatch chile powder or chipotle chile powder. 
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we recommend. But always season to your taste, not ours.
Taco Soup with Chicken

Every Day Is Tuesday When You’re Locked Down

“Delicioso!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This soup is a nice twist on the trad taco.”

“And a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo,” I said. “Especially since social distancing means we can’t go out to celebrate this year.”

“At least we don’t have to distance ourselves from our favorite Mexican food,” said Mrs K R.

“And we’ll be too busy eating to taco ‘bout coronavirus,” I said.

“Don’t start with the puns,” said Mrs K R. “Or I may order you to self-isolate.”

Right. Stick a mask on it.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Slow-Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
Quick and Easy Tacos
Shredded-Beef Soft Tacos
Mexican Charro Beans
Velveeta Tex-Mex Dip
Taco Salad
Carnitas in Adobo Saucae
Tex-Mex Shredded-Beef Enchiladas
Homemade Corn Tortillas
Or check out the index for more

88 comments:

  1. Exactly! What's not to like!! The soup looks phenomenal, John.
    Stay safe and healthy!

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    1. Hi Angie, this soup has such fun flavor! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I'm making this. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi R, you'll like. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Mexican flavors are definitely a bonus in these sad plague times! Last night I made "Texas Red" which is beef chili made with beef cubes not ground beef. It's the never-never-has-beans-don't-even-think-of-beans kind of chili. Taco soup would definitely be good too.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, we make Texas-style chili sometimes, too. Good stuff! Although I do like beans in my chili (and we even lived in Texas for a spell!). Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Cinco de Mayo already! The way things are tightening up in the US (particularly California) I wouldn't be surprised if they made us put masks on our chickens before eating them!Tortilla Soup really is a one-pot dish and yours looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Fran, it's a weird time, isn't it? This soup help us cope! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. did you say taco soup!!!! I am amazed. This is something I have never tried before.

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    1. Hi Priya, bet you'd like this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. One can never have too many soup recipes. Yours look delicious.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, it's a rainy, coolish day today -- soup weather! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Great soup to make! It looks delicious! We just had tacos last night with ground beef, didn't even occur to me it was Taco Tuesday. Thanks for the recipe! Take care

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    1. Hi Pam, Taco Tuesday can be any day of the week at our house. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Yum! This is perfect for Cinco de Mayo as well as any day! I love the flavors in this soup.

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    1. Hi Pat, good, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love taco soup and it looks like it may rain today. This might be what's for dinner!

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    1. Hi Pam, raining here too. Soup! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. This soup is loaded with so much flavor I think I'd have the whole pot to myself! Haha :)Yummy

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    1. Hi Balvinder, pretty easy to eat a whole pot of this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I've seen others make taco soup before but never have myself. Today sounds like the perfect day for it. It's back to being chilly again and soup just sounds good!

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    1. Hi Vicki, it's good stuff. And it's definitely soup weather today! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Yes, tacos are messy, but oh so good! What a great solution to the mess. This soup looks so very hearty and delicious and would love a bowl, but we are having near record breaking highs here in ABQ and haven't gotten the cooler set up yet, so a bowl of hot soup is going to have to wait. Great soup John!

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    1. Hi MJ, you'll just have to make due with regular tacos. What a tragedy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. At least with social distancing nobody will be slurping this soup out from under you! GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, maybe the only benefit of social distancing! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. What a fantastic soup... and delicious way to get more veggies into your day!

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    1. Hi Heidi, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. If you and Mrs. Riff ever stopped doing your cute puns in the end, we would be so sad. We look forward to a good chuckle each time. You guys are too cute! Delicious taco soup and perfect for this rainy day.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, we're too addicted to bad puns and terrible jokes to stop. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. *huge smile* Well I have found the US equivalent to Jamie Oliver's 'Keep cooking and Carry on' which, at this time, must be the most watched cookery show around the world . . . with his 'if you do not have this then use that or that or that . . . '! I believe he got that one going with Jools filming within days of the lock-down ! As have said, Mexican cooking has only recently become more widely used Down Under but corn tortillas are no hassle to get . . . best . . .

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    1. Hi Eha, :-) Jamie Oliver is fun -- SO much enthusiasm when he cooks. Glad to hear corn tortillas are pretty easy for you to get -- they're so good, and fun to use in all sorts of dishes. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. I loooove Jamie so much and his new show during pandemia! The soup looks incredibly good☺

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    3. Hi Natalia, haven't actually seen his new show -- need to check that out! And yes, this soup is wonderful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    4. John, actually this series is not one iota 'fun' - as many of his series for health, children, the unemployed etc it has a very serious social 'need' . . . it is technically the simplest of anything he has done - but for the common good. . . . I would not have mentioned otherwise.

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    5. Hi Eha, haven't seen this most recent series, so I can't comment on it. My "fun" remark was the shows of his that I've seen in the past were "fun" -- which they were. That said, I haven't watched TV in several years, and haven't watched a cooking program in at least 10 (other than clips on the web), so I'm obviously out of touch with what's going on these days.

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  17. John, this soup would be a big hit at our house! Love the taco flavors! Great tip on crisping the tortillas in the microwave!

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    1. Hi Kelly, isn't this good? We love anything taco-related! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Taco Soup? I'm taco'ing about it! Can't wait to try it!

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    1. Hi Abbe, you'll love it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Yes, Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo are a perfect fit this year! Thanks for the reminder. I will mark my calenar.

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    1. Hi Debra, fun coincidence this year, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Oh yes, the taco in all its delicious forms is a winner around our house -- and even though it is warmer these days, soup's still on the menu!

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    1. Hi Judy, we actually have soup every month of the year, although much less often in the warmer months. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. For some reason, my new iPad is not allowing me to comment... grrrr... anyway, this is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, John. Unlike many of the thinner and more anemic versions I see here in Tucson, yours is so full of goodness — amazing flavors, and lots of chicken and veggies!

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    1. Hi David, I think Blogger sometimes doesn't play nice with comments -- don't know what the problem is (and as far as I know it isn't a setting on my end), but I do know comments go missing sometimes. :-( Anyway, there's also a tortilla soup which is usually quite thin. We prefer this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    2. I’m with you on the thicker version — it feels much more like a meal. As for the comments issue, I think it could be my iPad. But whatever the case, aLways know I am still out here reading and cooking up your recipes!

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    3. Hi David, I've been reading about missing comments on Blogger. It might be something with privacy settings on the Safari browser. Specifically, cross-site tracking. Although my impression is when people disable that, some are then able to comment and others aren't. May try moving away from embedded comments (which I prefer) to the pop-up commenting -- some suggest that works better with Safari. If indeed the problem is with Safari -- that's such a popular browser you'd think Google would figure out how to handle it! Anyway, I'm glad you're persistent with your comments!

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  22. Crisp tortillas in soup is just the best, and I love that there are beans in the soup too! Sounds so good.

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    1. Hi Lisa, we like beans in tacos, so why not in taco soup? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This sounds like such a great soup and one that will get gobbled up quickly in our house. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hi Dahn, we're experts at gobbling. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. This is fun and delicious a perfect Mexican celebration in a bowl. Who wants to go out when you can eat like this at home. Stay home, stay safe.

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    1. Hi Merryn, we're definitely staying home! And eating like this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Oh John, you taco soup sounds and looks so tasty with all the spices in it...and I love the idea of crisping the corn tortilla and adding just before serving...the combination of the soupy, creamy beans and crispy tortilla just sound irresistible...
    Thanks for the recipe...have a wonderful weekend and stay safe!

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    1. Hi Juliana, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. This looks so hearty and so full of fresh flavour, I love ancho chillies so I know I'd love this.

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    1. Hi Caroline, loads of flavor in this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. This is a genius idea! I love taking a recipe and reinventing it.

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    1. Hi Laura, we like reinventing recipes, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Such a wonderful, zesty comfort dish -- and especially nice to throw together at home now that going out to a restaurant even for take-out is such an ordeal. Be well and safe. ;)

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    1. Hi Carolyn, we're doing some take-out at restaurants, but mainly delivery. Not the same though, so something like this is really welcome. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. It is perfect for 5 de Mayo too!

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    1. Hi Denise, of our our favorite food days! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I am a total sucker for Mexican! This soup looks amazing!

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    1. Hi Katerina, Mexican is SO tasty, isn't it? Love it! Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Josiah, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I loved your idea to use fire-roasted diced tomatoes in your taco soup recipe. That is so funny that Cinco de Mayo is falling on a "Taco Tuesday" this year! It would certainly be the perfect day to try out this fun recipe!

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    1. Hi Heidi, fire-roasted tomatoes has a lot of nice, deep flavor. Perfect in this dish! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. John, I have always enjoyed the exchanges between you and Mrs. KR! This soup is equally as satisfying!

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    1. Hi Brooks, we have fun with those endings. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I so need this now, specially that is getting colder here down under. Such a nice recipe

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  35. Hi Raymund, it's unusually cold here today, so soup is really welcome! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Since it is Cinco de Mayo today, this looks especially delicious! I've been trying to figure out what to make for dinner all day for our quarantine family May 5th. This might just be it! Lovely! :-) ~Valentina

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  37. Hi Valentina, bet your family would love this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. John, this soup sounds super delicious and with all of the Tuesday taco flavors in a nourishing and delicious soup. It might be sort of odd but I just made a big roasted turkey breast so this would be delicious in your soup. A little something different than the usual chicken and rice soup. Love your puns with Mrs. Riff. Hope you are doing well. Take Care

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  39. Hi Bobbi, turkey breast sounds delish! And it'd be terrific in this soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. so many wonderful flavours here KR. Yum. sounds right up my alley - or laneway or favela or callejon...

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  41. Hi Sherry, we love this sort of dish! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. What a delicious soup! I love the suggestion that every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday during lockdown!

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  43. Hi Jeff, I think the Taco Tuesday thing is a rule. Not that we're very good at following rules! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. I always love a good soup recipe. This taco soup sounds wonderful!

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  45. Hi Dawn, it's been a chilly spring, so we've been making more soup than usual. This is a good one! Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Tacos soup is such a fabulous idea!

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    1. Hi Sam, isn't it a neat dish? Thanks for the comment.

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  47. I love trying different cuisines and your Taco Tuesday soup sounds all flavours. Such an interesting soup that I can actually eat all day, hearty and healthy too. Thanks

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    1. Hi Hasin, isn't this fun? A nice twist on Taco Tuesday. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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