At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

Even in October, I still open the fridge to a crisper full of peppers, so this week, I once again attempted to use them all up before our next produce box arrived on Wednesday.   I call my first attempt Steak and Pepper Kebabs, but don't be limited by the name.  A quick marinade made from soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chopped rosemary and garlic (if I remember it) makes for a very tasty steak.  Pair it with bite sized peppers and onions and some oven roasted beets (peeled beets, cut into 1/2 inch slices and drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, baked at 400 for about 45 minutes) and you have a super tasty meal.  I  like to add mushrooms if we have them and I always add onions.  I didn't even make them into kebabs this time, I just roasted the peppers and onions and sautéed the cubed steak.
Steak and Pepper Un-Kebabs with roasted beets
The abundance of apples this time of year and my sweet tooth collided in this amazing Monday night dessert...Baked Apples.  I consulted a few recipes, but for mine, I just cored the apples (from Red Goose Gardens), and filled them with a mixture of a handful of brown sugar, a small handful of raisins and and equal amount of craisins and chopped walnuts, sprinkled with cinnamon and covered in a cup of apple juice.  I baked at 350 for about an hour, basting with the juices every 10 or 15 minutes.  The apple juice and brown sugar cooked down into a yummy syrup that nicely went over the ice cream I served with these apples.  A healthy dessert?  I can tell myself that.
The baked apples look kind of old and wrinkly.  Maybe I'll peel them next time.  But there will be a next time.  
On Tuesday, I had a little bit of extra time in the evening so I threw together two make-ahead meals for later in the week.   First, I used up some of the abundant peppers in the fridge by making some Stuffed Peppers, from my own recipe posted in January.
Green peppers stuffed with Mexican style ground beef and quinoa.
The peppers were delicious served with a sliced up giant roasted beet we got in our box from Red Goose Gardens.
Check out how huge this beet is compared to the average sized apple.  Crazy!
I also made some Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls, from my own recipe adapted from the Eat This, Not That guys.  This recipe is for a double batch, so I stashed a pan in the freezer for another night.
mmm...Sausage and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Friday night was sleepover night at our house, so I planned ahead and made some pizza dough at lunch time so we could have some home made pizza for supper.  If you haven't made pizza dough, give it a try.  This recipe is super easy and doesn't require a lot of kneading.  I topped the  pre-baked pizza crust with a bunch of stuff I had in the fridge and freezer:  jarred pizza sauce, mozzarella and shredded parmesan cheeses, sliced red, green and purple peppers, sliced onion, sliced mushrooms and a little pepperoni.  The result?  Crispy, chewy deliciousness that disappeared in about five minutes.
Look at the crispy crust and nicely browned cheese on this home made pizza!
For breakfast the morning after the sleepover, I whipped up some "Baked Pumpkin Donuts" that I actually made into mini muffins because I don't have a donut shaped pan.  No worries, they were still delicious and they disappeared quickly.  The recipe makes 48 mini-muffin sized "donut holes".  I used the last frozen container of last year's pumpkin crop (actually kabocha squash) instead of canned pumpkin, which I discussed in this post last October.
I call them donut holes, but they are probably Pumpkin mini-muffins.  Either way, they are yummy!
This weekend, my cooking blitz included Chicken Enchiladas, Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup, Stuffed Mushrooms and Kale Waldorf Salad.

The enchiladas are my own concoction that I have developed over the years, see below for the recipe.  Orignally, I used canned enchilada sauce, canned chicken and a whole brick of cream cheese, but I have made an effort to make this much more healthy.  The six enchiladas I made are so overstuffed, they will provide two suppers for the four of us.
These two enchiladas fed me and both of my kids.  Very filling!
We got a ton of different kinds of squash in our produce boxes over the last few weeks, so I am always looking for recipes to use them in.  I found this easy recipe for Crock Pot Butternut Squash soup on pinterest and gave it a shot.  Roasting the squash and onion really brought out the sweet flavor. I used one butternut and one acorn squash, because I only had one butternut.  At the end, I stirred in some sour cream, half and half and some garlic powder on top of the coriander, salt and pepper.   A perfect accompaniment to a crispy kale salad.
Squash soup and kale waldorf salad
On Saturday night, I decided at the last minute to whip up an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms to enjoy before our Chicken Enchiladas.  I was looking for something that used ingredients I already had, so this recipe with bacon, cream cheese and onions fit the bill.  Needless to say, they were amazing and made my eyes roll into the back of my head.  A definite "make again" recipe.
Look at the cheesy bacony goodness of these stuffed mushrooms!
Off to study for my teacher licensure exam...hope it's not as difficult as the study guide makes it seem.  You would think that earning a 4.0 in my Master's program would be proof enough that I can teach special education.  Oh well, what's one more hoop to jump though, right?

Chicken Enchiladas
2 chopped cooked chicken breasts or the equivalent (canned works, too)
1/2 brick light cream cheese
1/2 jar salsa (I used corn black bean salsa)
1/2 T. Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle Seasoning
6-8 flour tortillas
1 pkg spanish rice, cooked
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar salsa or enchilada sauce (I used frozen Salsa Verde and 1/2 a jar of regular salsa)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1.  Cook spanish rice according to package directions, stir in black beans and spread in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.
2.  Mix together the chicken, cream cheese, salsa, seasoning and 1/2 c. shredded cheese.
3.  Evenly divide chicken mixture between tortillas, roll up and place seam side down over rice and beans.
4.  Top tortillas with salsa or enchilada sauce and the rest of the shredded cheese.
5.  Bake, covered with foil, for about 30 minutes in a 400 oven.

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