Chicken Avocado Enchiladas

Yesterday was project day and we tried to incorporate a girls’ dinner too. Mrs. Kelly and I worked on building a bed frame from a Pinterest project that we found, but that can really work up a girl’s appetite! My dad claims that I’m hopeless because I’ll use any excuse to try a new recipe. Fact is, he’s right! These enchiladas have a wonderfully creamy avocado cilantro sauce, and it goes great with chips too. The leftover ingredients we just put together in a bowl and will probably mix in with some rice later this week.

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If you want to see more about the project, go to our new blog, Crafty Little Army Wives. If you want to try making these super easy enchiladas, just follow the recipe below. By the way, thanks to Gimme Some Oven, the blog that we got the recipe from!

Ingredients:

Enchilada Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced (we used Serrano Peppers instead)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 8-10 (6-inch) flour tortillas (Wheat tortillas were good)
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese
Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime

Method:

To Make The Enchiladas:

Prepare the “Avocado Cream Sauce” as listed below. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent. Remove from heat.

To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.

Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce. You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

To Make Avocado Cream Sauce:

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended. (Be very careful blending hot liquids — the heat will expand! So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.) Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

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Stuffed Portobello Rice Bowl

IMAG0573Ok, so the title of this thing already sounds a little weird. I get it. Trust me on this, though, it was pretty darn good.

When I was in the store the other day buying about a million different kinds of veggies, these huge, beautiful portobellos were screaming at me to stuff and devour them. Of course I listened. How can you not listen when food speaks to you?? On my hour-long commute home today, I was pondering what exactly I was going to do for dinner, which turned in to how can I use stuff in my fridge and combine it together to make deliciousness? Per normal, I called on what I know. Here is how the train of thought went (make sure to hop off before it derails!)

My mom makes this stellar Spanish Squash (she calls it), and it’s zucchini and yellow squash with cheese, tomatoes corn, onions and some other stuff that she has told me and I’ve forgotten. Well wait now, I have all that. I can do that. And then put it in a mushroom. But I really want rice. I can put the mushroom on top. Is that too much starch? No. It’s veggies and cheese. Not starch. This is totally doable. What can I add to break up the vegetarian streak? Bacon. Genius! Wait, I need something not hot to bring it all together… Avocado? That could work… or be horrible. No way, it’s avocado, it’s going to work. Maybe a cream? Like a caesar dressing? I have lemon. But anchovies are not coming in to this picture. Too much salt…just a cream… (This is where I stop because it went on like this for the entire ride home).

So once I got home and tried not to kill my four-legged furry kiddos for being bad (you don’t want to know the details), I set to cooking. Got the squash, onion, garlic, and tomato chopped up; drained a can of corn, and cleaned out the moustache of the mushroom. I put those on a foil-lined baking sheet. Everything else hopped in a pan with some butter. And don’t be judging me for butter. I used a whole 2.5-3 tablespoons for the whole recipe, and aside from the good fat of the avocado, everything else is light and healthy! I forgot to mention here that my bacon wasn’t as fresh as I thought it was so it didn’t get added. But it will. Next time. Because that could only add to the awesomeness that is a portobello rice bowl.

Anyway. So everything cooks together. And then I add in spinach, and cheese. And then stuff the mushroom and put more cheese. While it bakes, I mix light sour cream, cilantro and avocado together with lemon juice to make an AMAZING cream which by the way with more lemon juice works great as a salad dressing. Ding! Microwave where the rice goes is done. Take that out, put it in the bowl and leave room for a mushroom cap. Bring those out of the oven. Yep, they’re done. Add to rice. Top with cream. YUM. Promptly devour in 10 minutes flat and sit in my food coma of happiness. I guess I should give you the recipe, huh?

Let me just put a disclaimer on this that when I made it tonight I made a double recipe of the squash mixture because I’ll eat it over the rice in the coming days.

Ingredients:

For the squash mixture:

  • 1 zucchini and 1 yellow crooked-neck squash, chopped somewhat small so it cooks quicker
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 can whole-kernel corn
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Butter/Margarine (whatever you prefer)
  • Shredded cheese (I used the mexican blend) to your liking
  • About a handful of spinach leaves, fresh (Can be omitted if you prefer)

For the Mushrooms

  • 2-3 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned of their mustache, and wiped of dirt

For the Cream

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 c. light sour cream
  • Cilantro (to taste, either fresh or dried)
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice

Rice – prepared per directions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep all your ingredients for the squash mixture and your mushroom caps. Put the cleaned mushrooms on to a foil-lined pan, upside down. Add just a small little bit of olive oil and 1/2 a pinch of salt. Too much will dry out the mushrooms.
  2. Add in to a pre-heated on medium heat high-sided pan or a pot the onion, garlic and one tablespoon of butter, along with just a touch of salt and pepper. The salt draws out the moisture in the onion to make them sweat. Stir occasionally until it starts to smell good, don’t let the garlic burn and your onions should be turning transparent.
  3. Add in the squash and another tablespoon of butter. Mix around and cover. Stir occasionally and cook for roughly 10 minutes. At this point, it should be letting out a lot of liquid. Add in your other tablespoon of butter to help speed up the process and draw out liquid. Your desired “done-ness” for the squash is soft, not crunchy – judge your time accordingly.
  4. Add in the tomato and the corn. Stir and cook about another 3 minutes. Then add in the spinach and cheese. At this point, there should be a lot of liquid in the bottom of your pot or pan, it should smell awesome and the squash should be soft. The benefit of cutting it smaller is that it doesn’t take as long to cook. Add in cumin and just a smidge more salt and pepper. Work the spinach and cheese around until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted, as well as the spices distributed. Remove from heat.
  5. Add a spoonful or two of the squash mixture to the mushroom caps. They should be heaping. Top with cheese, put in the oven for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese is melted on top.
  6. While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare your cream. In a small bowl, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and combine it with the other ingredients. Using a fork, mash it all together and mix it well until it’s a creamy consistency and very slightly lumpy. If you prefer, add just a pinch of salt to bring out more of the avocado flavor.
  7. Serve the mushrooms with a dollop of the avocado cream. If you’re like me, serve over prepared rice – to really make it a rice bowl. Mix it all together when you’re eating it.

 

Yummy Spinach “Burgers”

Let me just start by saying, I have a stupid amount of veggies in my fridge. So tonight I found Imagesomething to do with them! I found this recipe on Pinterest for these spinach burgers that sounded really super easy, and they were. The original recipe came from a blog called “The Domestic Mama and the Village Cook.” These are put together the same way you would put together a from-scratch meat burger. And the taste is so versatile that it can be paired with just about anything. I actually had two, one with feta and pita bread, and one with regular bread and pickles. Both were fantastic. I think next time I might put some whole-grain mustard on the bread, the tangy vinegar taste would really add to the flavor here.

And speaking of pita, I found some at my local Kroger that is awesome, it was one sale 2 for $3. It’s already cut in half, so you can just pull it out and stuff it. I’ve had three pieces already in two days! It tastes spectacular with hummus too.

So, the recipe… you’ll need:

1 box of chopped, frozen spinach that has been defrosted and drained well

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup cheese

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 egg whites and 1 whole egg

Directions:

1. Mix everything together in a bowl. A spoonula works well.

2. Heat a pan over medium heat and coat with some cooking spray. Add in the spinach patties that you create from your mixture. Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes and flip. Let them cook another 3-4 minutes. They will be lightly browned and a little crispy on each side.

3. Serve warm with your choice of bread and toppings.

See, easy. I think next time I would consider mushrooms, maybe some fresh red onion on top, and like I said, some mustard.

Super Simple Tortilla Soup

tortilla soup (2)It was super cold yesterday, and got even colder last night. And it stayed cold, so I am working remotely from home today. Last night, instead of trying to eat something chilly or time consuming, I decided to make soup. Comforting and warm. My super awesome FRG Leader had made this recipe for us ladies one night, and I stole her recipe because it was so easy. What’s really nice is that I will have leftovers for at least a week – the recipe could feed ten people! A little bit spicy, full of protein, and then topped with sour cream, avocado and cheese – it made me happy. Oh yeah, and the most expensive part is probably the cheese, maybe the chicken.

Ingredients:

1 can each: Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes (15 oz), cream corn, black beans (Drained) and pinto beans (Drained)

1 packet each: powdered ranch seasoning, taco seasoning (also added a packet of fajita seasoning because it has different flavors)

3 tbsp chicken bouillon

6 cups of water

Shredded chicken – the recipe called for 4 lbs of chicken breast, boiled and shredded, I used a mixture of breast and legs from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store

Directions:

1. Prepare your chicken, either boil it and then drain and set to cool, or shred your rotisserie chicken. You can also do this after the soup starts cooking.

2. Add in all your ingredients in to a large pot, except for the chicken. Set it to a medium high heat, cover and boil, stirring occasionally. Once it is boiling, turn to a medium heat, and let boil for 20 minutes.

3. At the end of the 20 minutes, add in your chicken and let cook for a few more minutes to warm up the chicken.

4. Serve with cheese, avocado and sour cream, and maybe some cilantro and tortillas or tortilla chips.

Here Fishy, Fishy

IMAG0547Fish tacos. Among most people, there seems to be a love hate relationship with this delight. For me, it depends on the ingredients, how the fish is cooked and the overall combination of flavors. I prefer a crisp, crunchy, clean flavor. And I managed to achieve that with my most recent creation. I looked in my freezer as I was leaving my house at the horribly awful hour of 5 a.m. and decided I should use the fish that has been in there for quite a long time. And for some reason, though I am usually of the mantra “fish are friends, not food,” fish sounded good.

Most of the way home, I was trying to decide what I was going to do with the filets calling me from the freezer – I’ve found that if I really exhaust all the possible cooking options in my mind, I’m less likely to be lazy and stop somewhere to just pick something up. I didn’t think that this breaded tilapia would be good on tacos, and then I realized using my schnoz that it was actually ¬†flavored breadcrumbs. Ok. Now it had possibilities.

One of the other fish that I have in my freezer is cod, and I was thinking about making a hoisin glazed cod as well. So I kind of combined my two ideas by making a slightly tangy/spicy hoisin sauce for these as well. It was definitely the perfect finishing touch that made for the perfect crispy, crunchy, clean, tangy taco that totally hit the spot.

And you can’t see it here but I also had a delicious half of an acorn squash with this. MMM Veggies. MMM Squash really, I really do enjoy just about all the kinds of squash when it’s cold outside.

Hoisin Tilapia Tacos

Ingredients:

Tortilla – one per taco

Lettuce, chopped or shredded – a fresh made, lightly sauced, cold coleslaw would be good here too

1 Tomato, chopped – I made two tacos and had some left over

Avocado, chopped – I used about half an avocado for my two tacos because I’m an avocado freak

Feta cheese, to taste

Breaded (seasoned) Tilapia – freshly made or frozen. I’m lazy, I did my from a frozen state. I used one filet for my two tacos.

Cooking spray in a small Pyrex casserole dish to cook your fish

For the sauce:

Hoisin, about 2 tbsp

Frank’s Red Hot sauce, about 2 tsp… 10 dashes or so?

1/2 tsp horseradish

Directions:

  1. Prepare your fish how you prefer. I stuck my frozen fish in the greased pyrex casserole in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes. While that’s cooking, make everything else.
  2. For the sauce, mix the three ingredients in a small ramikin and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Prepare toppings, warm the tortillas on a paper plate with a damp paper towel covering them for about 30 seconds in the microwave.
  4. Prepare taco with desired toppings minus the sauce in the warm tortillas. Either put the cheese directly on the tortilla or directly under the fish so that it will melt a little.
  5. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the pan and let sit about two minutes so it stiffens a little bit and gets the nice crispiness. Then cut in half and place on the tacos.
  6. Fold, eat, enjoy. Yum.

On a final note, apparently I’m feeling very hyper today. It’s probably from lack of sleep and coffee. I’ve been talking about a hundred miles an hour and I just reread my post….slowly noticing that I am forcing you my loyal readers to bounce along a very winding train of thought that has no clear final destination. Sorry about that.

Must Love Garlic

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To live in my house, you must love garlic. And in this case, lemon. My adventurous side came out and I decided to exercise my “portion control” by virtually steaming chicken thighs in lemon juice. That is, after it seared in garlic oil. Yum. And then served it with a monstrous salad with minimal dressing. When everything tastes good solo, it barely needs to be a dressed up.

This is so simple:

Chicken thighs

2 Lemons Sliced into thin halves

5-7 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

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Salt, Pepper

Olive oil (about a tablespoon)

Pan with a lid

Put the olive oil in a hot pan (medium heat), warm it up for a second and add the garlic. Let it go until it is fragrant, about 1 minute. And longer and it will burn. Salt and pepper one side of your chicken to taste, then put in the pan seasoned side down and season the other side. Sear for a couple minutes – chicken thighs are typically thin and cook quick. After a couple minutes, flip, add in your lemon slices, and cover. Turn heat to medium-low. Let cook for about five minutes and flip. Cook about another 6-7 minutes covered. your lemon juice should be fragrant and seeping out into the pan to boil. Take the cover off and check. If needed, keep the cover off and cook for one to two minutes more to finish.

Serve with a ginormous salad. Remember protein should only be the size of your fist to be a proper portion! My salad had tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, a pinch of sea salt and about a tablespoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Delicious. And less than thirty minutes.