Chicken Enchiladas

I am a huge fan of Mexican food.  Well I should probably say Tex-Mex since I have never been to Mexico and doubt the accuracy of our replications, but I love them anyway.  Growing up in Texas, we of course ate it a lot and just the smell of it feels like home.  When my dad makes chicken enchiladas, he usually makes them with a cream sauce that is delicious, but for times when you want less calories it is nice to have a delicious AND healthy option, which is definitely this one from Eating for Life.

Though my dad himself would probably lot like these because they feature cilantro, but I myself could eat them once a week and be happy.  Sometimes I can’t believe that my dad doesn’t like cilantro, but when he described the experience on his mission that made him hate it, I can’t fault him for it since I had my own that bred a strong hatred of mushrooms.

But if you love a good salsa verde and love cilantro like I do (and all you other Cafe Rio lovers out there), you’ll love these!!  Feel free to leave out the cheese for less calories or lactose intolerance like I did for Aaron’s half.  He says it tastes just as good, but I like those calories myself!

Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

4 portions chicken breast (about 1 lb)
4 green onions, sliced
2T fresh cilantro chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
3 cans (10 oz. each) green enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1 can (2 oz) ripe olives, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Shred chicken by pulling apart with 2 forks; set aside.

3. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add green onion, cilantro and jalapeno; sauté for 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken and 1 can of enchilada sauce. Cook stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4. Pour the 2 remaining cans of enchilada sauce in a medium bowl and microwave until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip each tortilla in the heated sauce and fill with about 1/8 of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.

5. Pour remaining heated sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

6. Divide lettuce onto four plates and place a portion of enchiladas on top. Top with a spoonful of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, tomatoes and olives. Serve and enjoy.

NUTRITION: Calories 434 / Fat 13 g / Carbs 40 / Protein 39 g / Fiber 6 g

Healthy Pizza????

I am not going to lie.  I LOVE PIZZA.  Seriously.  I see it, I want it.  I smell it, I want it.  Tell me I am not alone in this…I am salivating just thinking about it.  Papa John’s is definitely my favorite, though I’m not sure if it’s for their pizza or for the garlic dipping butter they give you just to make it extra nutritious.  Anyone remember those delicious Trixy Sticks from Pizza Pipeline in Provo…the cinnamon and sugar ones that you dipped in the cream cheese frosting?????

Yet I know it is not good for me.  It is a greasy pile of grease and if I’m going for longevity, I have to practice moderation or alteration.  So I make my own at home. with whole wheat thin crust, lots of veggies, and minimal cheese.  Though it is definitely not faster or more convenient (or as delicious), I don’t feel sick to my stomach after my indulgence and I still get to satisfy those cravings.  What are your favorite ways to healthify your pet indulgences?

Until last night, that is.  For inexplicable reasons, I tried a different recipe for my crust.  And oh my goodness, I could not get enough of it.  The recipe is so simple and I thought I must share it with you.   It comes from Cooking Light. I just adapted it to add some whole-grain goodness.

And then I got to thinking…was the secret to my amazing crust the newness of the recipe or the newness of the white whole wheat flour that I had just purchased??  Have you guys heard of this?  It has all the same nutrition as whole wheat flour, but it is made from white wheat instead of red wheat, giving it a milder flavor and lighter texture.  I am not kidding you that it was not heavy at all like the regular crust I make.  Has anyone tried it in baked goods?  I can’t wait to sneak it into some cookies after my dessert fast ends to see if you can tell.

 

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground yellow cornmeal

Preparation

Dissolve the honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake according to recipe directions (I did 10 minutes at 450 degrees).

NUTRITION (for the full 12 inch dough): Calories 367 / Fat 11 g / Carbs 215g / Protein 38 g / Fiber 21 g

Eat Your Veggies

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.   I could give you my excuses, but I doubt you care so let’s just get on with it.  As mentioned in my last post, my husband has been trying to figure out his food allergies.  As part of that we talked about doing a 28-day detox and elimination diet.  For many reasons (of course none of them being that we are afraid of the green smoothie fast), we decided to postpone that, but not until after I had bought 3 Costco-sized clamshells of leafy greens.

So though it is still winter, I may be posting a lot of recipes heavy on the green veggies over the next little while as I attempt to eat them all before they spoil.  If you don’t get excited about vegetables, I apologize, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there who could stand to eat more!

This recipe, from Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2, reminded me of my favorite salad at the Cheesecake Factory, so it was the first thing I made from the book that my sweet brother got me for Christmas.

What are your favorite salad recipes?

BBQ Chicken Chop Chop Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup Spicy Clean BBQ Sauce***
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 oz chicken breasts
  • 2 ears corn, husked (I just used frozen corn, since again, it’s winter!)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 baby zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 head romaine, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, garlic, mustard, lime juice, vinegar and black pepper.  Whisk in olive oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Lightly season chicken breasts, corn, peppers, and zucchini with seat salt and black pepper.  Cook chicken and vieggies on grill, turning once, until marks appear and veggies are slightly softened but not cooked through, about 2 minutes each side.  Continue cooking chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes each side.  Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. In a very large bowl, add romaine, black beans, and onion.  Cut cork from cops and add to bown. Cut peppers, zucchini and chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to bowl.  Pour reserved BBG dressing over top and toss to combine.  Add avocado and cilantro, and very gently toss to combine.

NUTRITION: Calories 367 / Fat 11 g / Carbs 36g / Protein 30 g / Fiber 11 g

***Clean BBQ Sauce

(feel free to use premade BBQ sauce if pressed for time, but be sure to check the label because those things are usually full of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, and Preservatives)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 TBSP deli mustard
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP unsulfured blackstrap molasses
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Add rest of ingredients, stir to combine, and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
  2. Pour into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Can be stored in a sealed container in fridge for up to two weeks.

Great Green Chili

As promised, I am back with more soup to keep you warm and happy on these January nights.  It comes from Eating for Life, the companion cookbook to Bill Phillips’ Body for Life, which was the first regimented program I ever tried to consciously eat healthier.  For those who don’t really love cooking, I would definitely recommend it as the recipes in it are quite simple.  This one is a favorite.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 packages Knorr Roasted Chicken Gravy Mix
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 jalapenoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) white hominy, drained

I won’t tell you the instructions in the cookbook because that’s not what I do…I’ll give you my lazy instructions.   Dump all but the last two ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning and put on low for 8 hours.  If you forget, you can also do it at lunch and just cook it on high.  No worries.  Then an hour before you want to eat throw in the cilantro and the hominy so the flavor of the cilantro pops and the hominy is not soggy. 

If you love hominy as much as I do, please put in two cans instead of one.  If you aren’t a fan at all, like my sister, you can subsitute corn very easily.  Also if you have a gluten intolerance or you just like a thinner, broth-type soup you can also leave out the gravy altogether.  They suggest serving with warm flour tortillas, but I always prefer some yummy cornbread.  Up to you.

Makes 8 1.5-cup servings.

NUTRITION: Calories: 167/Fat 3.5 g/Protein 11.6 g/Carbohydrate: 21.6 g/Fiber 3.5 g

Quick Chicken Corn Chowder

Yes, it is winter here in the Northwest.  That being the case, it is damp.  And by damp I mean soggy to the n-th degree.  It is by personal standards cold, though those in places like the Midwest or Alaska might disagree with me, but hey I am a Texan at heart so I have every right to complain about cold whenever it gets below sixty.

Anyway I am sure all can agree that few things bring warmth to the soul during whatever your decold and the yuck like a nice bowl of soup.  Wasn’t there a ridiculously long book series attesting to that fact?  So it is quite possible that I will be making quite a few posts about soup in the hopes that I can regain my inner chi until the sun returns.

Today’s soup is one from Cooking Light, one of my favorite places to look for healthier recipes.  They aren’t kidding when they say quick, especially if you already have some leftover chicken that you are looking to put to good use.

Quick Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

Preparation

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and jalapeño; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 5 minutes).

Makes 6 1-cup Servings

NUTRITION: Calories: 257/Fat: 8.1g/Protein: 19.1g/Carbohydrate: 28.6g/Fiber: 1.9g