Chicken Enchiladas

I mentioned in a previous post I have been doing a bunch of cooking for my friend Darren which gave me a great excuse to try out some new recipes. ¬†Darren was great and agreed to be my tester for a few weeks. Here is another one of the new recipes I tried and I think turned out well. The pictures don’t do it justice. (I apologize as the pictures were taken from the leftovers – which is my food ūüėČ )

Note: this can be made vegetarian by eliminating the chicken and perhaps using tofu.

enchilada

This looks like a ton of food I realize in the picture but it is on a small bread plate not a dinner plate. Once again I would consider this comfort food and on the whole quite healthy.

Ingredients:   Serves 8

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast sliced in thin lengthwise strips (similar to fajitas)

1 onion, chopped

1.5  cups low fat yogurt

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (you can use a low fat cheese here – I used an old cheddar for the extra zing)

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch black pepper

2 cups of pasta sauce

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 cup chopped  pepper (any colour will do)

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 – (10 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas

1  jar salsa  (about 1.5 cups)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar or any cheese you like

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken till cooked. Drain excess moisture.  Add the onion, yogurt, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper. Heat until cheese melts Рabout a minute or two. Stir in pasta sauce, water, chili powder, chopped pepper and garlic.

3. On a plate Рlay one torilla flat and spread a portion of the mixture down the middle of the tortilla. Fold over the ends and place in a baking dish with the seam side facing down. Cover with salsa, the left over sauce from the pan  and the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes.

4. When serving, add a spoonful of yogurt on top and rice on the side (or in my case red and white quinoa with vegetables).  The rice/quinoa helps to absorb any extra juices from the enchiladas.

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Shrimp and Kale on Pasta (Gluten Free)

Many of you that read this blog know that I like to use up whatever is in the fridge when I can. I had recently bought a big batch of kale as it looked so fresh. It had been a while since I had shrimp and pasta so I thought I would mix it up with the kale Рhow could it be bad? I also had some mediterranean black olives which I thought would give a nice saltiness to the dish.

Below is the recipe – it lasted me for three meals which in my book is a good use of leftovers. By the way – it tasted good too!

IMG_1164

Ingredients:

1 package of GOGO Quinoa pasta (I like this type of gluten free pasta) – penne style noodle

10 shrimp (frozen tail on)

1 bunch of kale with the stem and core trimmed off and the leaves chopped

10-15 black olives broken in half to take out the pit (easier to buy pitted)

2 tsp chopped garlic

Olive oil to sauté kale and shrimp

Directions:

Add contents of the pasta to a pot of boiling water.  Boil until softened (takes a bit longer than regular pasta).  When it is finished the water is quite starchy so I tend to rinse the pasta under water for a minute.

Add oil to a pan and put chopped kale till you have filled the pan.  Start to sauté the kale in a covered pan so the steam will help to soften it.  I also added about 1/2 cup of water in small amounts to aid in the steaming and sautéing process.  When the kale is wilted slightly add the chopped garlic and the black olives and mix Рcontinue to steam/sauté until the kale is fairly soft.

When the kale is almost ready – throw in the raw shrimp, mix with the kale and garlic and cook until the shrimp curls and turns pink on both sides.

Add in the pasta and mix everything together.  Heat through and serve with crusty bread and grated parmesan cheese.

Chicks in Charge Retreat

I just love that name!  We just had our annual Chicks in Charge (women running their own businesses) retreat at Sheryls country home.  I always come back exhausted, stuffed with good food, invigorated and enlightened! This year was no exception.  Food always seems to be the key to getting everyone connecting Рwe eat like royalty when we are there starting with Sheryls initial lunch which was once again outstanding.

We had poached salmon, roasted green beans, mushrooms, walnuts and baby potatoes, pesto marinated tiny heirloom tomatoes and a kale and mango salad. That was just lunch!

poahed salmon

Kale salad

roast veg

tomatoes

Snack time (as though we needed more food….) Amy made an incredible flourless, sugarless chocolate cake (sugar was in the chocolate only – it was divine).

cake

Dinner was my turkey chilli (click for link to recipe) with toppings that included guacamole, shredded old cheddar cheese and low fat sour cream along side a great mixed green salad and home baked oatmeal cookies made by Victoria.

Breakfast the next day was a fabulous frittata with peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini (I forgot to take pictures again – forgive me, ¬†we just dove into the meal) made by Nancy. We also had Eloise’s home made granola (click for recipe) and yogurt along with regular and gluten free muffins.

Lunch was leftovers of the day before but the main course was Mariannes fabulous coconut curry chicken – so so good. Below is the recipe. Well worth trying it was devoured by the chicks.

Coconut Curry Chicken

I usually DOUBLE this recipe, and freeze the extra portions.  Can be served hot or cold.

Ingredients                                                                           Substitute

¬ľ cup coconut oil¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Canola oil

¬ľ cup (or less) Dijon mustard

2 tbsps.  regular mustard (e.g., French’s)

¬Ĺ cup coconut nectar¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Honey

¬Ĺ tbsp. or more Curry Powder

1 tsp.  lime juice AND grated rind

1 tsp. salt

Garlic

1-1.5 lbs. boneless chicken thighs (~12)                        Boneless chicken breasts,                                                                                                             sliced

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan.  Pour over chicken.  Cook for 45 mins. at 350 degrees.   Enjoy!

Believe it or not, we also managed to have a great guest speaker (Wendy) and business and life discussions from morning till night and then again the next day.  Now you understand why we leave feeling exhausted, stuffed with good food, invigorated and enlightened!

Till next year!

100 Mile Cassoulet Meal in the Country

I spent the other weekend at my friend Victoria’s place in the country. ¬†It was a wonderful weekend full of art shows and country town drives. ¬†We hit the farmers market on Saturday morning to get ingredients for dinner that night, still not totally sure what we were going to make but wanting to be inspired by the local produce. ¬†We decided on a version of a cassoulet. ¬†I had brought up smoked turkey and smoked chicken sausages from my local butcher shop that were already cooked but just needed a bit of grilling to brown them. ¬†It was so delicious!!!!!

We got two meals for us and then another three meals to freeze out of the recipe which when we worked it out came to about $2.50 Р$3.00 per serving at the most.  Full of great vegetables and flavours.  (As an aside РI added leftover cooked quinoa with vegetables to a serving I brought home and it was great).

Victoria also made a Caprese style salad on skewers for us – it was so good and so unusual. The secret is to soak the cubes of mozzarella cheese in balsamic vinegar for several minutes or longer before putting on the skewer. The cheese along with fresh basil from the garden and small grape tomatoes from the garden made for a wonder “salad”

Caprese salad sticks

Cassoulet 1

Casoulette 2

Ingredients:

1 onion

1 leek

2 medium carrots sliced

2 celery stalks sliced

2 garlic cloves – minced or chopped

1 can white kidney beans

2 bay leaves

1 large red pepper

1 small can diced tomatoes (we used Victorias homemade roasted tomatoes which gave an even smokier flavour)

Pepper to taste

2 large cooked smoked sausages (turkey or chicken) sliced (1/4″ thick max.)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

8-10 large mushroom (large pieces)

Pinch of cumin

1-2 tsp of chilli garlic hot sauce – quantity depends on how spicy you like your food)

Parmesan cheese to top it with

Directions:

Sauté onions and leeks. Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. When you plate it Рadd some grated or shredded parmesan cheese to the top and serve with a baguette to absorb any liquid

Serves 6

Summer dinner with Fern and Ian

Fern is my oldest friend – we have known each other since we were 8 years old (just a few years ago really ūüėČ )

I took a half day off work on a Friday and hung out with Fern in her lovely swimming pool after which we made dinner for her family . It was a lovely day with a perfect ending – good food and good company.

The menu was simple Рfresh salad topped with feta, mixed red and white quinoa with grilled onion, red pepper and a bit of parmesan cheese, grilled marinated salmon and fresh corn on the cob just boiled.  While simple, the food was fresh and delicious.  Cooking with friends is a great way to spend time.

summer dinner at Fern and Ians

red & white quinoa and veg

salad with feta

Sesame Chicken with Quinoa

I saw this on a blog called gimmesomeoven and thought it looked easy and delicious so I tried it out and yup….it is delicious! ¬†And since Quinoa is one of my favourite foods – it is perfect with this chicken. ¬†I try to avoid rice so quinoa is a great substitute. ¬†Also you could use firm tofu instead of chicken if you want to make it vegetarian. Enjoy!

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/sesame-chicken-with-quinoa/

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Leftover Chicken and Quinoa

Once again it is a great feeling to use up things in your fridge without throwing them out. ¬†I had company the other night and BBQ’d vegetables (peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus and sweet potatoes) along with chicken breasts. ¬†My favourite thing to do with leftover roasted veg is to make a batch of quinoa and mix it all up together and have that for lunches and dinners – I actually make extra vegetables when grilling so I can make this meal. Kind of my style of comfort food. ¬†Below is that creation. ¬†There is no real recipe except for the following:

Take whatever leftover roasted vegetables you have and chop them up. Put them into a pan of quinoa and liquid and mix it all together (yes that is right – I make my quinoa in a large frying pan as opposed to a pot – for some reason it never sticks to the bottom of the pot this way). Bring to a boil, turn heat down to minimum and cover for 15 minutes. That’s it – To be truthful I don’t usually plate it like this – I just put some in a bowl and hunker down with it. ¬†Pure comfort food!

chicken and quinoa BBQ

Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

I came across this recipe on one of my searches for healthy recipes.  It looked great as an appetizer and I would think if you made it using portobello mushrooms it could be a complete meal. Check it out. The blog is located at www.queenofquinoa.me and the link below takes you to this recipe.

http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2012/09/quinoa-stuffed-mushrooms-easy-eats-magazine/

Quinoa-Stuffed-Mushroom-Bites-Queen-of-Quinoa

Lemony Shrimp and Quinoa

Given my affinity towards lemon I decided to do a quick and easy lemony dish using two of my favourite things…..Shrimp and Quinoa! These two items are on my list of quick and easy go to meals. You can do just about anything with them in a very short time.

I had some leftover asparagus in the fridge and some frozen vegetables in the freezer so added them to get a vegetable component and add some colour.  Check it out.

lemony shrimp and quinoa

lemonyshrimp and quinoa2

Ingredients – feeds 2-3

4-5 shrimp per person depending on size

2-3 stalks of asparagus per person cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup quinoa uncooked

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Juice of 2 lemons (plus grated rind of 1 or both lemons for some extra flavour )

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves minced or chopped

Pepper to taste (I have some lemon pepper that I used for even more of a lemon hit)

Salt – if you wish use a pinch – I don’t add any

Directions

Cook quinoa according to package directions – usually about 1 cup quinoa to two cups liquid. I added 1/4 cup of lemon juice to the liquid to give it a lemon hit. While cooking add the frozen vegetables (since the veg has moisture because it is frozen I tend to add a touch less liquid to the quinoa)

In a separate pan, heat oil and garlic and then throw in the chopped asparagus.  Let it sauté for a couple of  minutes  to get the asparagus slightly cooked. Add the shrimp, 1/4 cup (or whatever is left from the lemon juice) and some pepper.  Stir and cook until shrimp is light pink and turn off heat.

Put the quinoa in a bowl (or plate) and then top it off with the shrimp and asparagus. Total cooking time less than 1/2 an hour including cooking the quinoa.

Quinoa Pizza Pie

I was so inspired by the blog on pizza bites that I thought “why not make a whole pizza pie”???

Here is the recipe for what turned out to be a quick and delicious meal.

quinoa pizza 1

quinoa pizza

Ingredients (I used what was in my fridge – feel free to use whatever you fancy for toppings)

1 cup quinoa (will yield extra but extra quinoa is a good thing)

5-6 egg whites (I buy egg whites in a carton so I think it was about 6 egg whites) You want enough to seep throughout the quinoa but not make it too wet.

6-8 large mushrooms sliced

8 asparagus stalks cut into 1 inch pieces (use whatever veg you want to just as when you make a pizza)

1-2 minced garlic cloves

1/3 cup of old cheddar cheese shredded

Sprinkling of parmesan cheese (again use whatever cheese you have on hand or that you feel like having)

Directions

Make quinoa as per instructions on package and when done spread into a non stick frypan (or use an oil to prevent sticking). Add the egg whites and mix up. Press the quinoa into a flat layer. The layer of quinoa should be about 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch high in the pan. I used a 9 inch fry pan. ¬†I didn’t want to use tomato sauce as it would make it a bit too wet for my taste but by all means add sauce if you like. I then added a layer of old cheddar (wanted something with a bite to it as the quinoa is quite a mild taste). Saut√©ed mushrooms and cut up asparagus along with some garlic till browned.

Add the veg to the top layer of cheddar cheese and then sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Heat the pie over a low flame till the bottom becomes fairly solid then pop into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes till the cheese melts and the edges of the pie begin to brown (will depend on the oven for timing so keep an eye on it).

Take the pie out of the oven and loosen the edges with a spatula – then slide the whole pie onto a plate and slice in wedges and serve.